Would that I were a springboard for my colleagues,


one that could power them toward connecting and communicating in new, collaborative ways with web 2.0 tools! Instead, I’m afraid I’m an annoyance when I speak about the benefits of the read/write web for literacy teachers.

And right now, without the benefit of electronic media at all they are maintaining learning gains each year as measured by high stakes tests like those administered by the Collegeboard people. Besides being excellent teachers of literacy, they are sociable and socially-mediatd people.

But, what more might these educators be able to bring to kids if they were more familiar with the media that kids use, able to do gaming, “chatting,” “txting,” and “tweeting”? Now literacy itself has changed.

That’s why Juliette LaMontagne’s words resonated this evening, as I reflected on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” truce I’ve drawn with my colleagues who won’t willingly go into the digital frontier with me. The notion is scary, or seemingly pointless, or even misguided in their eyes, as I’ve noted previously in this blog.

Instead of engaging as professional educators and inside comfortable routines and canned curricula, LaMontagne claims that teachers could “actively engage in the online space and embrace the radical shift in teaching and learning that is upon us.”

In any department there is probably this split between individuals who are comfortable with old literacies and those who want to adventure into the new. But it’s frustrating, because they are all such great communicators–I know so much could be done, especially in literacy ed, if they would/could get into it with me.

Until then, I’ll do what I can to exemplify what LaMontagne describes as that new sort of educator she’s nurturing, so new it doesn’t have an agreed upon label yet:

Call it digital literacy, information technology, networked learning, new media literacy, or connectivism, they recognize it as an opportunity to transform the traditional student model from passive recipient of knowledge to active participant constructing knowledge. They experiment with technology tools in their classrooms, reinvent curricula, and re-envision the what and how of schooling. Their approach is decidedly student-centered and collaborative…

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