Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Multiple Literacies Blog Response

Today, the NCTE definition of 21st century literacies makes it clear that further evolution of curriculum, assessment, and teaching practice itself is necessary.

Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities, and social trajectories of individuals and groups. 

Twenty-first century readers and writers need to:

• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology

• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally

• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes

• Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information

• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts

• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Question for Blog Response:
Self-efficacy is the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals.  It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations in the future.  Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations.  One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.  According to Bandura's theory (social cognitive), people with high self-efficacy- that is, those who believe they can perform well- are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.

Consider the list of skill sets generated above from NCTE that students will need to master before graduating to be considered productive and literate citizens in the 21st century.  In what way(s) has our course this semester shaped your own self-efficacy regarding multiple literacies and your approach to teaching these skills to your own students (current or future)?


  1. I feel that Bandura's theory rings true to my very own self-efficacy. At this point in time, a lot of what I am being exposed to in the multiple literacies course seems daunting and over-whelming. However, I am a firm believer that I now have the foundation to be able to prepare my students to be productive 21st century learners. It will take time as all good things in teaching do. Yet, I know am much more aware of technologies and advancements now than before I started. I've also learned to do my best to try and stay ahead of the curve as new technologies that can assist classroom learning are being developed on a daily basis. I look forward to working with my students with these new ideas and technologies and I know that in many cases they will have more knowledge that I do in certain areas. I welcome the challenge of learning with and from my students as we both work towards achieving the necessary skills to be productive and literate citizens in the 21st century.

  2. Our course has definitely improved my self-efficacy in terms of 21st century skills. Prior to this class I did not feel that I was capable of performing and executing certain tasks (especially those linked to technology). I have always thought of myself as capable of learning new things, however, I have not always been completely sure of my ability to succeed in all situations, and I'm still not totally sure of this. What I am sure of is that now I have much more confidence and feel much more highly versed in terms of technology and the multiple literacies that currently exist and continue to pop up day after day. I have rarely been fearful of new tasks or challenges, but I also have not approached new tasks and challenges with the attitude that I would always succeed. I have always been somewhere in the middle. This class has definitely improved my self-efficacy, as I now feel that I can succeed as a 21st century reader and writer. I feel that I will be able to continue to improve my proficiency with technology as it evolves and hopefully to stay at the forefront of the learning curve. When I am teaching I hope to have my students be right there with me. I have also been exposed to so many literacies that I had no idea either existed or could be used as such valuable teaching tools. Thanks to Will Eisner and Coraline I feel much more able to critique, analyze and evaluate multimedia texts (I had never even opened the page of a graphic novel before this class). I feel that I can continue to build my 21st century skills successfully as both an individual and as a teacher, which I think is really important. I feel confident that I can transfer my learning from this class to novel situations and that I will be able to teach my students how to become 21st century readers and writers. Lastly, and most importantly, I've learned from this class that when I'm a teacher my students and I can work together to explore and learn about new technologies and multiple literacies. Developing these skill sets and knowledge can be a collaborative process amongst the teacher and students, which I think will help greatly to build my students' self-efficacy and make learning much more enjoyable for everyone.

  3. So far in our course we have learned through the “7 things you need to know…” lessons about various technologies, the many educational applications of both technology that we are intimately connected with and the technology that we have little or no familiarity with. These miniature looks into technology in the classroom have raised my self-efficacy considerably when it comes to learning about new technology and multiple literacy strategies and then incorporating those into my lesson plans and classroom activities.
    More than this exposure to technology, our various interaction with new and exciting forms of literacy, or “literature” have made me feel that I can be successful in engaging my students in a 21st century context inside and outside of the classroom. In particular, the use of film, internet resources, and most recently graphic novels have made me feel that I am competent and informed when it comes to the newest ways to present literacies to students. And for me that, that is what high self-efficacy in teaching skills for 21st century students, the ability to relate to students and the newest materials that will spark and maintain their interest in literacy and learning, and beyond that, to be comfortable and open-minded when introduced to and unfamiliar materials and teaching methods.

  4. Since I have lived in different countries to work and study, my belief in my ability to succeed in unexpected situations has played an important role for me to live and thrive. So far any situation in terms of different cultures and difficult tasks have been interpreted as some problems which I need to solve tactfully. I thought I am well prepared for any change and surprise; however, the contents of this course is more than I expected. It has been an eye-opening experience to realize how much I didn't know about digital technology and its user who are the students, Digital Natives. As a Digital Immigrants if I don't get myself ready for all the 21st century literacies, there will be a really big disconnection between my students and myself. I believe I am in the process of learning the digital language of computers and the Internet to interact with the students who like to parallel process and multi-task. If they function best when networked, I need to know how to network and also need to know how to prepare them to avoid all the unnecessary and harmful sideeffects. Furthermore, I need to reconsider both methodology and content to educate our Digital Natives to take advantage of their new ability to learn and integrate. I am so glad to understand the transition and changes in digital technology for me and my future students. In other words, life-long learning process is the only solution for me to keep up with the students.

  5. This course has significantly shaped my own self-efficacy. I feel like I am better prepared and more aware of the multiple literacies and the skills that students need to master in order to be considered 'productive and literate' citizens of the 21st century. As a second grade teacher, I feel like it is my responsibility to model these 21st century skills and incorporate them into the classroom. I have started pushing my students to question things a little more--and ask themselves 'how they know something is true?' Now, when we chart our 'questions' before starting a new subject (like science) we also brainstorm HOW to find this information. This course has made me aware of the importance of knowing how and being able to access information--at first my students just expected me to provide them with the inormation--now, I provide them with books and allow them to do searches on the Internet--they are now learning HOW to find the answers to their questions. This has been very empowering for them. This is only a start--this class has opened up so many possibilities and I feel capable of preparing my students for the future.

  6. “As society and technology change, so does literacy.” I think that this excerpt from the above text encapsulates an important learning that I have taken from our coursework thus far in EDUC-517. The “7 Things You Should Know About…” activity has absolutely worked to educate me more about different types of instructional technologies and make me feel more capable in using and incorporating them into my teaching. My self-efficacy of using these individual tools has absolutely increased. However, the place that I feel my self-efficacy has grown the most is in respect to how capable I feel in keeping myself “in the know” about these matters.

    The above list of skills that students will need to master before graduating to be considered productive and literate citizens in the 21st century is long and complex. Before beginning this course, I felt a bit lost in respect to some of the topics that we studied. I knew about the Internet and Facebook, and considered myself a proficient user of AIM and Google. I could manipulate an Excel document, and type a mean paper in Microsoft Word. The area that I didn’t feel powerful in, however, was my ability to keep up-to-date about the new technologies coming out. I knew it was important for students to know how to use certain forms of technology and digital media, but I didn’t understand why or for what purpose these general skills were important for them to learn. One of the biggest learnings I have taken from this course is that we should not hesitate to use both our colleagues and our STUDENTS as a resource to help inform us of the ever-changing technology that is being produced constantly. Our students are smart. THEY know what’s new and can identify the new ways that they access information. As teachers, it is our job to stay abreast of these new forms of technology and to navigate the skill set that students use for each to see what universal skills we might incorporate into our teaching practice. This is a difficult balance to maintain, and requires that we as teachers truly respect the knowledge that students bring with them to our classrooms.

    Overall, I do feel more capable at using blogs or understanding the benefits of sequential art like graphic novels and the place these tools will have in my classroom. The point that I am trying to emphasize is that what is more important is that I have grown in my ability to learn about a new thing, see how it works, reflect on my teaching practice, and see what parts of it could be improved by incorporating this new thing. Since society and technology are changing every day, the skills that students need to be literate in multiple literacies are also changing every day. I feel that my self-efficacy with respect to how capable and prepared I feel to meet this challenge have increased greatly as a result of this class.

  7. This course significantly impacted and improved my Self-efficacy as a 21st century learner and also an educator. Though knowing the terms about multiple literacies does not guarantee that I am using these technology in my working field; however, there is a saying “beginning is the half done”. Therefore, I believed that I had a good start up to now. Once I talked with one of our nuns about ‘Google App’ right after we learned, and her response was fascinating. She suggested me that I give a short lecture to the group of our nuns about the literacy skills that we need in the 21st century. That would be a good opportunity to share my study, also. Self-efficacy is a definitely one’s ability to cope with challenging situation in these opened high-technology society as Bandura defined. Before taking this course, I thought myself as somewhat qualified educator, but that was superficial level. There are so much uncharted territories in this course, multiple literacies. I feel so good about learning a new knowledge about other technology literacies and have a will to explore myself further more for my future teaching as well as my self learning. I agree with the idea about high self-efficacy- that is, those who believe they can perform well- are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided. To face the difficult task is more important to avoid the task. In this sense, this course has provided me lots of information to face with and also skills to go over with.

  8. I am so grateful for this course because it has taught me that I can succeed in this rapidly changing technological environment. I have realized that I am eager and quick to learn tools of technology and pass this proficiency on to my students. Since “technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments,” I feel it is my job as an educator to be on the forefront of technology and expose my students to multiple ways to access, create, share, evaluate and use technology and multiple literacies.

    As a kindergarten teacher, I have often said to myself, “Oh, that won’t work with my students.” Throughout this course, I have realized that there are some limitations to teaching four- and five-year-olds, but a lot of the time this is simply an excuse. After learning about Glogster, I immediately got on the website to look at it through the eyes of a kindergartener. I realized the concept is very similar to (but more complex than) the program KidPix, which I already use with my class. I am excited to teach my students how to “poster” themselves.

    Overall, this course has taught me that I can’t wait for our state standards or my principal’s expectations to change before incorporating current technology and multiple literacies in my classroom.

  9. My self-efficacy regarding multiple literacies has grown significantly as a result of this course. Previously my view of literacy was considerably narrower than it is now. My concept of literacy encompassed the more “traditional” views of facility in reading and writing in print media. I now understand that literacy in the 21st century is wide reaching and encompasses a range of communication options.
    Listening to the TED talks has opened my eyes about the incredible rate of growth of access to technology and its role in our lives. So far the “7 things you should know about” presentations have exposed me to tools that I never knew existed. I think I was familiar with about three of the web sites prior to the presentations. While I do not yet possess a high level of sophistication in the use of these resources, my sense of my own capability has grown. The knowledge that these web sources are available has enhanced my capability to explore them and to seek out other resources. We are only limited by our imagination.
    My own efficacy transfers to what I am able to provide for my students. Already, I have been thinking of ways to bring French culture to them through the use of web resources. The international possibilities of Creative Commons are there waiting to be explored. The need to teach our students to approach information critically and with discernment has become apparent. It is important to include these skills in our curricula.
    As we begin the investigation of graphic novels, my view of literacy, and therefore my level of efficacy, is further broadened. As stated in the NCTE definition of literacy, it is “multiple, dynamic and malleable”. The study of graphic novels is an example of being open to the malleability of forms of literacy. Through this medium the level of communication and comprehension is expanded to include another level of visual information. The exposure to graphic novels not only opens the possibility of using this media in my classroom, but it also opens my mind to an expanded definition of what print media entails.
    I am now more aware and capable of interacting with colleagues, both immediate and distant. Using the blog to share our responses has expanded my capability and confidence in using this tool. I am intrigued by the possibilities in social networking sites, such as Ning. Collaboration is available with a wide range of people, both for my own professional growth and for the growth of my students.

  10. Most importantly, the course has opened my eyes to the vast number of literacies and how critically important they are. I feel as though many of the skills listed above I was either not taught or taught on a cursory level. This is partly due to the fact that many of the technologies used and discussed were either new, non-existent, or not as pervasive as they are now. I learned them outside of school and after I graduated.

    One idea I find interesting is that not only do students have to have certain skills to be successful, but that the way they approach their "goals, tasks, and challenges" is also important. This makes perfect sense and is interesting in relation to the idea of being a student in the 21st century. There is so much to take in and navigate and everything is changing so quickly that it's impossible to learn everything and constantly keep up. However, if one has the tools and the confidence, or the self-efficacy, one is better equipped to do so.

    As for my own self-efficacy, I feel adequately-equipped to take on the world myself, as well as to teach these skills to my students. Because I don't teach kids, my approach may be a little different. Many of my students are around the same age as me, and have a similar level of literacy in these areas. Even though they are older, I still see a huge value in expanding their skills. We live in such a globally connected world that they are constantly exposed to and in contact with people from different countries, and primarily in English which is often why they are here. They not only need to perfect their English but also the way they collaborate with each other. In the future, I'd love to be able to help them expand their cross-cultural communication skills to enhance their role in this global community.

  11. My self-efficacy has definitely shifted as a result of this course. I can admit that I have always been self-concious and afraid to fail in front of others academically. With the production of new technologies, I have let myself "fall behind" for feeling that I do not possess the skill set to be considered technologically savvy. But, that was the old me. This course has opened my eyes up to various literacies and although there is tons of information, I feel comfort in knowing that some of my peers have yet to be exposed to things such as glogster, virtual worlds, etc. The educational implications behind these new developments are something that cannot be ignored by teachers .

    Although I do not plan on becoming a classroom teacher ever again, I do see how exposing these literacies to students will help them to truly become 21st century learners. We must help them acquire the skill sets to enable them to approach these new technologies with determination and bravery. This course has done just that for me. At first I was afraid to try any of these new technologies for fear of looking silly, but now I feel like I have the skills to at least give them a try. Plus, I am not the slightest bit embarrassed anymore to ask the students that I do work with in the ASB for help with the technologies we use. As far as I am concerned, the students are on the cutting edge of the new technologies coming out and it does not hurt for us to let them teach us about something too.

  12. This course has not only improved my self-efficacy but it has in a way actually created it, in regards to multiple literacies. I have never really thought of myself as someone who is technologically savy. My best friend has always been my technological clutch. Whenever I needed to learn about a new program, device, website or software I was sure to call on him. However, since the beginning of this calss I have begun to figure it out on my own. I really apprecaite the mini presentations we are each doing on "7 things I need to know about..." I feel that my self-efficacy level in learning about new technologies has grown significantly. Recently, the lap top that I owned for the past six years crashed. I was devastated but had little time to mourn my lost since I needed a new computer for school. I bought a new computer and what would have been previously a daunting experience went rather smoothly. I didn't shy away from installing the new programs or from exploring the new features on my mac. Prior to taking this course I am sure that I would have called David and had him explain all the features to me.
    As a future educator, I am excited to use the new technologies in my class and not only as 'whisles and bells.' I know how students can talk about teachers that aren't up to date. I refuse to be one of those teachers. Perhaps, before this class I wouldn't have cared very much, but now being more informed on how to use programs I feel obligated to use them.

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  14. Self-efficacy is the belief……
    What can be the biggest weakness of man?
    Jesus had worked on it since 2000 years ago. He made all the poor and unmotivated people believed that they could be loved by other people. Therefor, those people began to have confidence that they coudl do anything and became so powerful. In addition,poor people became quite threatening to the government. Thus, Jesus was crucified. Although,students are not poor people, I don't want them hold nothing before they enter the society. They should have those skills which we provide in school. As an educator, I will help future student to develop those skills: 1, using technology to improve study.
    2, Communication skills for multiple purposes
    3, Skills of collecting efficient and sufficient information
    4, Creative abilities for multimedia text
    5, Adjust to the world full of the multiple religions.

    This course definitely shaped my self-efficacy, because every kind of literacy I study in this class spur me to become a good educator. In addition, this class provides profusion of tools to open different windows to see this world.

  15. This course has made me a lot more comfortable and confident incorporating many of the skills listed above into my classroom environment. Two skills that I want to focus on are “build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally” and “develop proficiency with the tools of technology”. First of all, I think that this course has made me comfortable participating in meaningful group discussions with others. Because we have many important discussions, and I have seen how they are organized, I know that I can (and actually have) facilitated these types of discussions with my students. These new ways of taking about important issues and hearing what a diverse group of people have to think has created such an amazing community and sense of respect among my students. I feel confident during “sharing time” that my students are learning and respecting others- and also becoming 21st century readers and writers. By having these discussions ( card parties, strip sharing time) my students are excited to read, write, shared, and learn about our discussion topics.
    In regards to the use of technology, I now know new ways that I can incorporate websites, search engines, and many other interactive sites for my students- which will also help them grow as a 21 century reader. I have found that the use of technology can be a great way to reach out and help my struggling students. Through the “7 Things You Should Know About” presentations have also given me additional resources that I can use to collaborate with others (worldwide!) and improve my instruction. I feel confident in using technology in the classroom for other things besides power points, typing papers, and United Streaming Videos. I am confident in showing my students how to be responsible researches on websites, and know that they are learning. This course has also inspired me to want to learn more about multimedia technology in my classroom- which I will hopefully feel comfortable teaching with and using in my classroom in the near future!

  16. My sense of self-efficacy has changed profoundly over the past few months. When I first walked into this class, I had no idea what multiple literacies meant or how this class would help me shape my future pedagogical style. Now, I know exactly what I need to do in order to successfully turn my students into 21st century learners. In the different schools that I’ve worked in, students were only taught the basics about different computer programs like how to use them to create projects. While knowing how to use technology is important, knowing how to apply that knowledge to solve problems and communicate more effectively is equally, if not more, important. Students need to be able to think critically about how information is transmitted to others and what the moral and ethical implications are when using different types of media with different groups of people. Since this course started, I have learned how to incorporate different types of technology into the classroom to create more effective and authentic learning experiences for my students. I have also learned about the role of graphic novels and anime in the classroom; how they engage the students and provide opportunities for them to analyze and synthesize information. This class has instilled a sense of confidence in my abilities as a teacher. It has shown me that the time has come for us to move away from traditional teaching methods to embracing all of the opportunities that technology has to offer.

  17. This course has helped me to realize the multitude of ways in which our students are expected to become literate. The rate at which our students are expected to gain this literacy is a bit overwhelming as well. When many of our students are performing at a below level reading fluency, it is difficult to expect them to be able to acquire these skills. However, I think breaking them into categories and implementing them one at a time into my lesson planning has helped me be able to look at these skills with my own self-efficacy. I enjoy being able to apply the real-world skills to our regular standards. Too often, I allow myself to become stressed out about whether or not my students are acquiring the skills they need, but this class has helped me realize that as long as they are in contact with different forms of literacy (movies, novels, articles, internet research, etc.) throughout the year, I am accomplishing at least some of the goals of multiple literacy. Beyond that, using group work and working our school’s IB theme of Internationalism into lesson planning also covers some of those skill areas. The laid back environment of our classroom has also influenced me to host more of that kind of atmosphere in my room as well.