Preparing Teachers to Teach the New Literacies

How do we prepare our teachers to teach the new literacies to their students? I wrote an article for OnCUE Fall 08 and wanted to share with you an excerpt with eight steps of professional development to incorporate the new literacies:

1. Create a Shared Vision for the New Literacies. Work together to design what the future will look like in your city, school, home. Look two, five, and ten years ahead as you design the future. Consider and list the skills your students will need in this future you designed.

2. Assess Current Skills. Survey teachers, administrators, and students for currents skills and impressions of how teaching and learning is perceived today.

3. Map the Curriculum. What and when do you teach the curriculum? As a school, department, or district, review what is taught simultaneously and how teachers can weave topics and concepts across disciplines and grade levels. Review any pacing guides and how concepts are taught from grade to grade.

4. Compare and Contrast Current and Future Skills and Scenarios. Create a chart listing current and future skills for teachers, students, and administrators. Write what a classroom today looks like and compare it with one that you designed for the future.

5. Set Professional Development Goals. Create goals based on the compare and contrast chart. What major goals will be needed for you, students, teachers, and/or administrators to attain the future scenario.

6. Develop Objectives for Professional Development Goals. Create measurable objectives to support each of the goals that define who will be doing what by when.

7. Design Activities, Time, and Resources Necessary to Attain Objectives. Create activities in a sequential timeline that identifies more specifically the who and what by when. Determine what standards will be met and curriculum taught and if an activity is a replacement unit.

8. Establish the Essential Conditions Needed for Implementation. Work with the administration to design a support system with all of the essential conditions needed including allowing teachers to take risks and think out of the box.

Barbara Bray, Educational Consultant,; President, My eCoach

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