Here's an interesting discussion on the age-old problems of generational differences, educational hand-wringing, literacy and peanut butter (peanut butter gets mentioned in the comments :) ).
Two points struck me as particularly relevant:
1. Every older generation thinks the upcoming generation is: "declining, less well-educated, sloppier, etc." than their own generation was. What's relevant about this point (for me) is that the decline is in the eyes of the older generation, not in the performance of the younger generation. It's a bias of viewpoint. Sociologists even have a name for this tendency to view the present as not living up to the glories of the past - "pessimistic bias".
2. There's a significant difference between the purpose of literacy - which I think is "the ability to communicate and understand" - and the formal teaching and assessment of Literacy. What I find relevant about this is the time lag between media fluency and educational assessments. We educators focus on measuring students' skills in using traditional media, and ignore their skills in using new media.
Here's a very interesting blog post from Dangerously Irrelevant. It discusses providing students with delivery options for their work. The idea being that students shouldn't always have to write a paper or give an oral presentation - they could choose to create web sites, make videos, create animations, etc. This reminds me a lot of Aimee's & Phil's Career Growth work, where they are offering students a great deal of choice. JR
Here's a thought-provoking article on the benefits/costs of multi-media & multi-tasking. A sampling:
"One of the deepest questions in this field is whether media multitasking is driven by a desire for new information or by an avoidance of existing information. Are people in these settings multitasking because the other media are alluring—that is, they're really dying to play Freecell or read Facebook or shop on eBay—or is it just an aversion to the task at hand?"
As the 2010 Olympics are just a few days away, I'd like to embed this Olympic Widget here for giggles and information. I'll post it on the SHS Wellness Blog as well so that it will be in a place that students may access it!