Common Core leaves digital-literacy gap

Common Core State Standards and the related ACT Quality Core standards leave a digital-literacy gap, writes Paul Barnwell, a Tennessee teacher.

Adult literacy in 2012 means being able to synthesize information from multiple online sources to write a blog post or substantive email. It means analyzing which online tools will best serve your communications purpose. It means making smart decisions about what information is useful online, and how to curate and filter the endless stream of data coming in. It means reviewing your digital footprint and learning how to take some control over what information you broadcast to the world, from your tweets, profile pictures, and recommended links.

“The language of the common standards is simply not bold or specific enough when it comes to digital-literacy skills,” writes Barnwell.

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  1. First, they wouldn’t let students use calculators. Later, they decided students required extensive lessons in order to learn how to use a calculator. What had been a simple, useful tool became an educational fetish. Just like “collaboration” went from being something obvious to being something that had to be taught.

    Now they are fetishizing the internet. Yeah, there’s some stuff there that’s good to know. So spend an hour or two teaching it, but don’t make it part of a curriculum.

  2. I know what we should do. Students should not study the classics as originally written; rather, the classics should be edited for ease of understanding leaving more time for multimedia. Students should not study proofs with formal logic (first-order predicate type stuff); rather, they should learn all this fancy new computer DOS stuff like c:\list, c:run, and how to manage 640K RAM. Students should not have to learn about logarithms, since they are just buttons on your calculator. Besides, anything that needs a log to help solve it already has an app written. What we should do is just teach our students that any problem that they may face and be expected to solve will already have an app written for it. Sadly, we will be right.

    • After a couple of generations of this, who will be left to make the calculators and program the apps? Or make the iPads the apps are on? We’re heading towards ‘Idiocracy’, count on it. And I was hoping our civilization was heading towards ‘Star Trek’ instead… *sigh*

  3. lightly seasoned says:

    Synthesis is strongly emphasized in the secondary strands. They do not specify online sources, but judging reliability and bias are there.