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Rethinking the Meaning of Literacy - The Missing Alphabet
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Rethinking the Meaning of Literacy

Redefining the meaning of literacy in the 21st century is an international megatrend!

This was just one of the topics considered at the New Media Consortium’s “Future of Education Summit” here in Austin this past week. I was one of the lucky one hundred participants from around the world representing the different fields of education, research and technology.

notes from NMC

Graphic notes from the Summit

The NMC has built this extraordinary annual gathering on ten years of research in emerging technologies in education. This probing into the future is published each year in their three Horizon Reports, one each for higher education, K-12 and museums.

Reporting and brainstorming were both at the heart of our time together. Larry Jonson, the CEO of NMC, expertly guided a process that can actually get to a finish line. This was   brilliantly facilitated by David Sibbet of Grove Consultants Int’l, who somehow took large-scale graphic notes in real time that kept up with the ongoing discussions.

Deb Howes, Director of Digital Learning at MoMA presents museums in the context of informal learning.

Deb Howes, Director of Digital Learning at MoMA presents museums in the context of informal learning.

Education alone had diverse delegates: museums concerned with informal learning, universities and community colleges presented data regarding online learning (MOOC’s) and the demise of credentialing as we know it, foundations and government agencies spoke of the need to look into the pivotal research surrounding Pre-K.

These were a fraction of the topics. The ubiquity of the internet now means that each of these domains must be refracted through a global lens.  The power of computers can now give back more and more salient analytics. What is the best use of all this power and creativity? How can we deal with all the change? How can students be the co-creators and beneficiaries instead of the victims? There are no easy answers. The conclusions came in the form of trends to report and action ideas to get at facets of these giant problems/opportunities.

For the parents who are looking to The Missing Alphabet as a useful window into some of these issues, we are delighted to report that we’re on the right track. If you would like to follow the discussions in the downloadable versions of the NMC’s Horizon Reports, you can find them here: http://www.nmc.org/horizon-project

There is also a Horizon Project Facebook page: http://facebook.com/thenmchorizonproject

 

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