Friday, October 5, 2012

CCSS: Summarizing Info Presented in Diverse Formats

Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS: p. 24; Grade 5
2. Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
I work on a literacy project, so I’m always thinking about where digital tools are appropriate for literacy strategies. I’m also very well aware of the new forms of literacy that our students need to become expert in. It includes being able to "read" the diverse media and formats listed in the CCSS. Although this standard is the one for grade 5, this standard begins to be addressed as early as grade 1.

It is very easy for us to send students off to the web to do their research, read their online textbook, read about current events, or make connections between what they are reading and maps, images, and related websites. However, the distractions, search hits, and vast array of formatting are endless. As educators, we teach children how to read a book – pointing out the title, author, publisher, copyright, table of contents, index, etc. When it comes to textbooks, we address units, chapters, headings, sub-headings, vocabulary words, review sections, and the like. For scholarly pieces, we point out headers, footers, footnotes, and bibliographies. When we send our students to the web, we … send them to the web.

As I wrote in an earlier post about digital textbooks, all of these visual, quantitative, and oral formats on the web are different from their counterparts on paper (or record, tape, CD for the oral formats). However, for some unknown reason, we just assume that our students will be able to process the information as well as or better than they do with information on paper.

So, if the CCSS state that students should be able to summarize such information, what are educators going to do to teach digital literacy skills? Here are my ideas:

  • Teach them how to navigate their digital textbook.
  • Recommend ways that they can take advantage of the multimedia in a digital textbook, without it becoming a distraction.
  • Provide headphones to listen to podcasts, newscasts, and other audio. Or, better yet, let them use the ones they probably have in their pockets.
  • Use tools that make the distractions go away.

o blocks out all of the extra stuff on YouTube and Vimeo.
o blocks out everything but the article you actually want to read. All of those advertisements and unrelated links disappear!

  • Show them how easily an image or sound file can be manipulated, so that they are educated consumers of digital materials.
  • Teach them literacy skills for today: digital literacy, media literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, communication literacy

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