Going Trendy: Early Literacy

Hello  all:

Just posting that I’ve decided to follow the trend of focusing on early literacy. (Parents, caregivers, educators, and early literacy produces an equation that is very trendy in library work with young children and a concept upon which I wholeheartedly agree.) Even here as I have discussed digital literacy, I’ve implied that children must be literate before good use of the digital tools can happen.

It’s likely that I will post little here over the next months so that I can focus my energy on my early literacy work on YouTube. I promote early literacy through reciting, rhyming, and reading: usually of nursery rhymes. Go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG-afzk4ZZbNGuTbpHRR5cw

I invite you to visit the channel and by all means, I’d be delighted if you subscribe.

No matter what I’m doing, words and reading always seem to be at the heart of it.
Continue with me on the journey at YouTube.


Website Building Anyone — Part 2

The website is launched! Below is my process for trying to be “in the know” with respect to using digital tools for personal or professional growth.


  1.  Picked a web host.
  2.  Picked a theme.
  3.  Set up the pages  — Home, About Me, Blog, and a few others.
  4.  Wrote new text and copied pieces of texts from previous work I had done and put that into the pages.
  5. Added a photo in the About Me section.
  6. Changed the theme.
  7. Added a few keywords so that the search engines would retrieve my site for people to view.
  8. Held my breath and emailed the link  to 18 people that I thought would give my quick and constructive criticism.

Share your website building experiences.

P.S. If you want to view the website, look under the Links section and click on Creating Something.



Website Building Anyone?

Immersed in the digital age as we are, technology seems to have taken over our entire lives. Well, when you are striving to be a part of the digital community and not run over by it, you start doing as others do.

I find myself in such a predicament. I am now trying my hand at building a website. (Actually, this is my second attempt.)  Many tout the ease of building a website: we can give you themes from which to choose, no html coding knowledge required, and drop and drag building is at your fingertips.
“The system is all intuitive”, they say.

I am here to tell you, it’s not all intuitive! YES, you can figure it out. But please go in with an open-mind, lots of patience, and the willingness to let at least one person look at the site while it is being developed. Having a good sense of color combinations and knowledge of font style, doesn’t hurt either!

The children and teens under our tutelage probably won’t have as much trouble as I am having. Nevertheless, we have to prepare them to use the digital tools for everyday life, self development, and professional communication.

Can’t you see the day, when building a website will be just as common a required skill among job workers then as using word processing skills is to us today?

Share your thoughts.



Digital Literacy 2015 Trends Revisited — A Use of Digital Tools for High School Seniors

Hello all:
I am revisiting an entry posted at the beginning of this year on digital literacy trends. See https://digitalliteracyvine.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/digital-literacy-trends-for-2015-quick-thoughts/

I discussed digital literacy with regard to educational issues, job skills, and going green.
I thought to extend the post by suggesting ways that high school seniors can professionally use cyberspace to their advantage. One social media tool is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is touted as the world’s largest professional network.

Yes we know many teenagers use digital tools  to be on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Consider suggesting that the high school seniors in your life begin to build a professional electronic/cyberspace presence on LinkedIn.

Once signed up they can use the website to:
practice writing and uploading a resume,
practice building their communication skills by reaching out to peers in a professional manner, (They could also connect with college personnel or college freshman if they are about to be a college student.)
 learn of the professional opportunities and professional associations that are posted through LinkedIn.

Look to get the high school seniors in your life to jumpstart their professional career. There’s no sense in letting those digital tools be used just for entertainment!

Do share your thoughts.

Coding: Is It a New and Necessary Component of Digital Literacy?

Hello all:
Striving to remain digitally literate and looking for ideas to share with my readers, I search the Internet and books for more ways to think about and discuss digital literacy. Today, I came across  coding and digital literacy, so these words become the crux of today’s post.
First, here is a good definition of digital literacy that I wanted to share. Marcus Wohlsen writes* that digital literacy is ” about educators, policy makers, and parents understanding how to give the rising generations of digital natives the tools they need to define the future of technology for themselves.”

This digital literacy definition is couched in his article about coding or the knowledge of how to do computer programming or write software instructions so that one can tell a computer what to do.    He relays that coding is not just about getting a computer to do what you want, but about creating your own digital tools.

While the concept of creating your own digital tool is certainly noteworthy and probably even one that we should strive for, I say we must continue to focus on having the greater percentage of educators become digitally literate so that they can shape the students’ thinking and learning when using digital tools. (Wohlsen presents this line of thinking in his article too.)

I further the idea by saying that those who are raising these students: not just parents, but grandparents, and even great-grandparents need to be digitally literate in this current cyberspace world before we sprint off to make new tools. What good is a new digital tool if we have little idea of how to wield the ones already at our disposal?

Share your thoughts!

* See the full article at Digital Literacy Is the Key to the Future, But We Still Don’t Know What It Means

Visual Literacy: Now You See It — What Does It Mean? (Part 2)

Recently a colleague* did a short photo shoot of me and I used the pictures for my YouTube Channel. (Go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG-afzk4ZZbNGuTbpHRR5cw.)
I thought it would be a good image to use when talking about visual literacy**.  Pretend you have a youngster nearby or go and get a real one and discuss the collage.
How would you

How would you “think through” these images?

During the discussion of visual literacy, here are a few questions I’d ask:
1. What does it look she’s doing?
2. Does she look happy, sad, confused, excited, or peaceful?
3. How do you feel as you look at the images?
4. Why might she be the only one in the images?

Here’s an extension  project — have the child draw his own picture collage and write a story about it. See if you can take a picture and post it on your favorite social media site or have the child send it to a friend or relative. (You ‘ll cover in art, writing, and the use of digital tools all in one sweep!)

Share your experience!

* Thanks to Mary Marques for the photos.
** For extensive reading about visual literacy see the document at http://www.iste.org/docs/excerpts/medlit-excerpt.pdf

Visual Literacy: Now You See It– What Does It Mean?

Hello all:
I’m continuing with some details about my working definition of digital literacy.  (See  https://wordpress.com/post/54145519/160/.) The last posts were about metacognition and information literacy. Today’s post is about visual literacy.

Visual literacy for me is obtaining meaning from and correctly relating images to each other so that they enhance your understanding of the world around you.

Dr. Todd Finley in his Edutopia blog post* gives a terrific and short definition for visual literacy. He writes that visual literacy should help students “think through, think about, and think with pictures”.

As we see and interpret images long before we understand the written language, the opportunity to teach youngsters to comprehend the direct and the implied message of images starts right away! The challenge for we digital immigrants to teach visual literacy to digital natives with all that technology exposes us to is sometimes daunting.

Yet the sooner we start, the sooner we will see success!
Share your thoughts!

* http://www.edutopia.org/blog/ccia-10-visual-literacy-strategies-todd-finley. (View his post to see specific strategies he gives for teaching visual literacy.)