New literacies for connected learning in global classrooms

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Abstract

While much is being researched and written about the nature of new learning environments and the changing roles for teachers in the school of the future little serious attention is being paid to the new demands being placed upon students in secondary schools as they communicate, handle information and learn in global networked classrooms. In secondary schools, teachers expect to build on students’ existing literacy skills and understandings. These skills and understandings are essentially built around the paper-based technologies of pen, paper, books and libraries. Learning processes in networked learning environments require substantially different literacies. The key differences relate to the changing nature of texts with which students will need to work. This paper will discuss the implications for secondary curricula and pedagogy of the challenges presented by the literacy demands these “new texts” place on secondary school students in networked learning environments. In particular it will argue for a redefinition of basic literacies and learning processes taught and used in secondary classrooms.