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.


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

Metacognition: Use it Again and Again!

Hello all:

Upon starting this blog, I formulated a working definition for digital literacy. (See  https://wordpress.com/post/54145519/160/. ) I have several strands that I believe make a good view of how one ought to think of digital literacy.

I like to revisit  the strands in the next few posts.

Today, let’s discuss and use metacognitive strategies.
You remember that metacognition has to do with ” thinking about your thinking.”  I also like the way Dr. Donna Wilson at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/metacognition-gift-that-keeps-giving-donna-wilson-marcus-conyers defines metacognition. She writes, ” metacognition, is  the ability to think about your thoughts with the aim of improving learning.”

I agree with Dr. Bill Jenkins who writes of strategies that can be used to teach children or help them to know when their metacognitive skills are working. (Don’t worry everyone, you don’t have to say “metacognition” to them in all your discussions. We’ll just know we’re doing a good thing.) 🙂  He includes in his blog post these ideas:

1. Give children clear goals as to what they should accomplish from the start.
2. Ask questions before, during, and after the task so that the child will know the key points that he or should have considered.
3. My personal favorite which he has tagged as a self-monitoring strategy: Teach the child to give a verbal signal such as “aha”  when he or she gets the idea or a hmmm, if he or she doesn’t get it.

Now that you’ve read this, I have another question: how can you use metacognitive strategies in everyday activities at home?

Do share your thoughts!

Ed’s View: Digital Literacy and the Illustrated Story Creation

In attempting to carve my niche into the writing market through — the illustrated story– I’ve had some challenges.

In designing this story format which is enhanced with graphic art,  pictures, then one combines storyboard art throughout,  this is only accomplished through modern-day digital technology and a good dose of digital literacy.

Since digital literacy is thought to be the ability to use and possess a basic understanding of networked devices (smartphones, tablets, software applications connected to the internet) creating the illustrated story is impossible without it.

I have been able as a digital immigrant to learn the skills necessary to create my first illustrated story. Thus far, I have learned to move the story creation  seamlessly between the editor and artist through smartphone, tablets, or PC’s. This movement allows  me and others involved in the project to work on the story by adding onto or refining our work.

What I have not learned, as a digital immigrant, to do well is  social media marketing. Yes, I use Facebook and LinkedIn,  but my comfort level is low.  I still have the need to see a person’s facial expressions as we converse. And no, an emoticon at the end of the sentence doesn’t make up for seeing the person’s expressions.

What’s a guy to do? Keep plugging away at it. Keep up with me as I write here again and do see my illustrated story through the link below.


Signing off,

Edward Carter has more than 10 years’ consulting experience for an investment bank firm on Wall Street. He has an MBA with additional degrees in management and technology. He has sat on the board of directors for two technology start-up companies. He is now breaking into the arena of writing illustrated stories.


Metacognition: How is Your Thinking Working For You?

https://i0.wp.com/mcdn1.teacherspayteachers.com/thumbitem/Metacognition-Salad-Mini-Poster-042576500-1370733400/original-721999-1.jpgPicture taken from http://mcdn1.teacherspayteachers.com/thumbitem/Metacognition-Salad-Mini-Poster-042576500-1370733400/original-721999-1.jpg

The easiest definition that I know of regarding metacognition is that it is “thinking about your thinking. ”

The late Dr. Michael E. Martinez refined the definition to be “the monitoring and control of thought”. See his full paper at  http://www.gse.uci.edu/person/martinez_m/docs/mmartinez_metacognition.pdf

If you have never heard of the word “metacognition” you are probably:
1. pronouncing the word over and over,
2. thinking about the concept,
3. analyzing  what you have read about the word,
4. trying to attach its meaning to some other concept you know from the past,
5. reviewing your thoughts until you are sure you understand the word!

Congratulations: you are practicing metacognitive strategies and thinking about how you think and even how you learn.

To be digitally literate,  yes, you need to use the electronic devices and software programs to find your information. Yet, once you find your information, you also need to interpret what you see and know if you are learning from the information you find.

So… digital natives and digital immigrants how’s your thinking working out for you?

Do share your thoughts!



Digital Literacy Strands Explored!

Hello all:
Stay tuned as I begin to post thoughts on what I believe are the major strands of digital literacy: that is information literacy, visual literacy, metacognition, and lifelong learning.
To get your head in the game, if you have not been thinking about these terms lately please see:

Digital Learning Day

Today’s the big day! It’s Digital Learning Day. National events will be held across the United States as panelists, educators, students, and politician talk and practice digital literacy and digital learning.

Definitely join in on the discussions hosted via the Digital Learning Day website. You can participate in free webcasts* there.
If you are new to the concept of digital learning, I would join the webcast 11:35 a.m.:Digital Learning: The Journey So Far

Go to http://www.digitallearningday.org/events/national-event/ for more details.

* webcast — a program that is shown (viewed like a television program)on the Internet.
Happy learning!