Susan and Dan talk with Joy Nolan from the NYC Department of Education. Joy shares her expertise on literacy.
The discussion begins with some basic definitions:
- Digital Literacy – having the skills to navigate Internet and digital technology in general, strategically
- Visual Literacy – information is transmitted visually via inforgraphics, interpretting visuals (maps, tables, etc.)
- Media Literacy – finding and evaluating, analyzing and synthesizing
- Literacy -reading and getting information from text
Technology has morphed the definitions.
Is it true that younger readers decode visuals better?
The myth of the digital natives. Kids still need to learn skill sets. If you grow up in a digital or visual world, you’ll learn how to read what comes from those technologies, but considering the content thoughtfully usually requires instruction.
Having a specifically social goal is what drives a lot of media use. Joy warns not to assume kids know technology broadly. They may know how one application or device works, but not technology across the board.
Susan and Dan assumed visuals were there to support the text, but Susan read somewhere that younger readers approach it the other way around; the text supports what they’ve gotten from the visual.
Joy thinks of the visual as a text. Information is provided. The new Common Core standards address this.
The relationship between text and visuals can be complex. Joy gives an example for a sophisticated reader in how the visual might carry a heavier conceptual load.
Dan reinforced this with a book he recently read concerning video production and layering visuals. Rapid Video Development for Trainers is available through ASTD. He relates this back as an instructional designer. Labeling, for instance, can make a difference in what readers understand.
The conversation shifts to reading longer, tougher texts. Are we still getting readers to the point where they can chew on concentrated, sustained pieces?
Common Core standards address these skills, too. Joy reminds us that kids generally rise to the expectations we set for them. No more letting the skills slide.
After the discussion, Joy sent us these links to share!
- Wasting Time Is New Divide in Digital Era
- Why more schools aren’t teaching web literacy—and how they can start, Part 1
- Web literacy: Where the Common Core meets common sense, Part 2
Susan tells a story about the value of feedback. Thank you, Linda Heun, who taught Susan at Northeast Missouri State University (now known as Truman State University).
Listeners, we’d like to hear how you address with different literacies in how and what you teach.
Post your comments below or call us at 1-800-609-9006 x8055 (US and Canada) or 678-255-2174 x8055 (outside US and Canada) to record a message by phone.