Day 13 – #AprilBlogADay – Literacy

How is literacy critical to the advancement of society today?

I’m going to assume we all believe literacy is critical to the advancement of society. Literacy is so multifaceted, though, I wonder what are all those facets of literacy needed to advance society?

Here are just a few random thoughts on this, a busy day in the middle of #AprilBlogADay!

  1. The world is so full of the artifacts of all of us literate people. It’s overflowing. Of course, writings, recordings, and videos can beautify, provoke, delight, challenge and ignite. But not all. Some harm. Some mislead. Some cause death and destruction. Some are banal and useless. More than ever before we need critical literacy to wade through the flood of what is available to us to consume.
  2. If we are to be heard, we have to also be able to produce literacy — writing, speaking, graphics, multimedia.
  3. Literacy in reading is so much more than just the letters and their sounds, plus sight words. I can teach my kindergarteners to sound out decodable words and memorize sight words. I’m reminded of this daily. If I’m not focused on comprehension, even at this early age, I’m doing them a disservice.
  4. We also need digital literacies, like in the ISTE Standards for Teachers (below) and Students. I wonder how long we will let teachers get away with saying, “I’m not very good at computers.” I’ve been hearing it for 16 years, since I went back to teaching, and each teacher had a computer in his/her room. Really, it’s time.
  5. What other literacies did I not think of?

14 April is Leaders for Literacy Day.