In today’s world, being literate requires much, much more than the traditional literacy of yesterday.

—Rebecca Alber

Traditionally, literacy was about speaking, listening, reading and writing. Literacy has taken on a much broader and complex meaning. Today there’s also digital literacy, media literacy, new literacy etc. In this signpost you are invited to reflect on how your literacies have changed, when compared to your parents and to speculate on new literacies the next generation of learners may need for the future.


Reflection on the 21st century learner

The following video, published by the MacArthur Foundation, questions how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. John Seely Brown a researcher with particular interests in radical innovation and digital culture suggests that today’s gaming oriented children want to be measured and feel that if they are not learning, it is not fun. How does this relate to how you feel about learning?

Watch the video and think about:

  • What “literacy” skills have you acquired when compared to your parents?
  • What “literacy” skills will be important for future learners in higher education?

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Share a reflection by posting a comment on WENotes. For example:

  • My parents did not need to …
  • A new literacy I acquired is the ability to …
  • Higher education students of the future will need to …
  • … is an important 21st century skill for future employment

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