I love this quote by Tim Stafford (2011) Teaching Visual Literacies in the Primary Classroom, when I read it I just about jumped of the couch shouting YES YES YES, it resonates so much with my current thinking surrounding literacies and the 21st century.
” Why do we not expect children to learn to read and understand traditional books without first being taught how to do so so, so why do we assume that that they ar able to read and understand the other forms of media without help? Are they to teach themselves ” (p. 2).
The lifeworlds of the children whom we are educating consists of immersion into digital texts, who has ever heard a child say “Just google it?”, I know that I have many many times, but do we teach children how to be critical learners? How to gain meaning from visuals (pictures, photos, movies). Even if we look at traditional texts (books) the levels of imagery and layering in the stories leads us down a different path. For example the book ‘The Zoo’ by Anthony Brown has parallel story lines with the text saying one thing and the visuals saying something else.
We are living in a world which is becoming increasingly globalized. The walls surrounding geographical boundaries are disappearing, we can now get onto skype, facebook, google hangouts and chat with people from over the world. As these types of communication become more frequent we need to ensure that as our students grow they are able to communicate across diverse settings.
I believe we need to explicitly teach digital literacies as we would teach any other part of literacy.