Project Summary

What it means to be literate in the 21st century is vastly different than the end of the 20th century. Students now have the world at their fingertips through computers, smartphones, and tablets. They have a network of friends and followers around the world. Our students have a vast amount of technical knowledge they bring with them to the classroom. As a result, our role as educators and the learning environment we create in our classrooms must change to reflect the reality of the world our students live in. Just knowing the basic skills of reading and writing is no longer enough to successfully obtain employment. Social media has had a great influence on our students’ literacy learning and development. In this presentation we have explored how the social spaces it occupies promote collaborative learning, how social media can be a motivational factor in the development of students’ writing skills and in their engagement in writing activities, and how it has changed our understanding of authors and audiences. We hope that our presentation will have afforded you, our audience, the opportunity to reflect on your own beliefs about social media and its influence on literacy.

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