In reflecting on this course from beginning to end, I find myself with a much better picture and time-line of the process from oral language to the forms of text we use today. Ong (1982) wrote about oral cultures and their ability to preserve knowledge without the ability to write, and how that increased the need to develop memorization skills, oral histories, and the importance of conversation and social speech. Early styles of writing were developed as cultures had the need to express their thoughts and ideas in ways that would preserve their knowledge, which in turn progressively improved with the invention of papyrus and writing tools.
Moving the calendar ahead to present time we can see the larger picture of the journey from orality to literacy, and to the multi-literacies we recognize today as part of the more commonly recognized 21st Century Learning Skills. As we explored the multi-literacies described by the New London Group (1996), I can see the importance of re-defining writing and literacy for the 21st century students I am teaching.
Throughout this course I have had the opportunity to discover how these multi-literacies can be implemented and integrated into the curriculum I teach every day. Using the course weblog to publish my work, and to see the work and ideas published by my peers has given me the opportunity to express my learning along side of my peers. The blog also provided me with a chance to reflect on my work based on the responses and perspectives posted by my readers. I found the final project by Grant Sorensen and Andrew Lemon, Media Representations of the Attacks on the World Trade Center, inspired me to reflect on the ‘image’, and how it can be used not only to describe an event or moment in time, but can also be purposefully used to evoke an intentional literary response.
I explored several different web 2.0 tools such as, Toondoo, slidebomb, smilebox, among a few others, as I tried to find ways to express my work in other media. I found it most useful to see how others used web 2.0 tools to present their work, as it inspired me to venture a little further to try out new tools. My group presented our final project with Prezi, and I find myself still searching out resources for ways to make future use of it smoother and less tedious.
Over all, my discoveries in this course have lead me to delve deeper into finding creative ways to inspire my students to write for their audiences. My students need to be prepared to write and communicate in very different ways and for very different purposes than when I was their age. I realize that as technology changes, and our global community grows, the needs of my students’ will change. My challenge will be to model and inspire them to be communicators who can respond to, and evoke response from, their global audience.
Ong, Walter. (1982). Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London: Methuen.
New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92