What does it mean to be fully literate now?
If we expect our children to be both consumers and producers of visually communicated ideas, we have to ask ourselves, ‘How do we prepare them for that visual world?’ If we expect them to be fluent in this new visual language, where do we begin teaching the visual grammar and visual vocabulary skills that will help them both understand and present concepts and ideas that use images as well as or instead of text? (Theodosakis 2001)
Many of us teachers (myself included) are what’s affectionately coined ‘digital immigrants’ where we’ve moved to a virtual new world inhabited by ‘digital natives’ (the children we teach). While many of us may feel daunted by ICT and the seeming ease that children can use computers, it’s important to remember that they still require the literacy and communication skills to make the most of this technology.
The computer has rolled all the storytelling media of the past into one; oral and song, pictures and print, and now the moving image as well so it’s up to us as teachers to learn alongside our students and make the most of these great co-operative learning opportunities. It’s okay NOT to be an expert in all things, and we can model how to find out and learn as we go.
There’s a wealth of information online and please feel free to get in touch with us for help and suggestions.