Connections – shifting demands

One connection, in particular that resonates with me is Neill Postman’s notion of surrendering culture to technology, as discussed in chapter 3 of Technopoly and the emergence of a multiliteracies pedagogy.  The ground is shifting, the skill demands are changing, and many educators are only focused on content.  I participated in an executive meeting this week discussing the role of educational technology in our institution.  When I raised the issue of multiliteracies, and the need to integrate the use of ET in to the application of course assignments, one Dean suggested not all students wanted to use technology.  I responded by stating, if in trades a certain tool was required would we make it optional?  I think not.   There has been a shift…multiliteracies is about employability skills not just a cool way to do something.  Tapscsott discusses the challenge changing  “talk and chalk” instructional methods, and this is particularly evident in educational environments where instructors cannot be required to do specific types professional development.  This view is expressed by Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, when they highlight the research that has been done on multiliteracies since the New London Group, yet they suggest not much has been done in schools in this same time period.  It is difficult to adopt a multiliteracies pedagogy when those instructing are not multiliterate. 

The challenge as an educational administrator is how to engage faculty in the use of multiliteracies pedagogy?  This is my long-term assignment that I hope will provide a return to all concerned.  Regardless, the demands are changing due to the labour market demands.  Therefore, this transformation will happen, but are we going to be a beneficiary of the change or is it is going to leave us behind?  As a community college, our practices must be responsive to the labour market otherwise we will surely die the death of a thousand cuts.

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