Literacy Beyond Reading and Writing

Literacy Beyond Reading and Writing

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 Literacy for Success in the Information Age

In a world permeated by technology it is important for kids to be educated and well informed. Our world is constantly evolving, and with that comes new information and new ways to relay and receive information. Some of you may feel that technology is too daunting and overwhelming, and will all together try to avoid it. However, our children will be consumers, they will be workers, members of communities, and citizens, and will be expected to move at a much quicker pace to identify problems. As students, teachers, workers and citizens we will be expected to evaluate and find information from a variety of sources. We are now in the information age with new literacies arising all of which can help us navigate life and fully engage in our society.

So, how many are there?

There are 12 types of literacies!

  • Digital literacy– ability to comprehend information found online. For example: text messaging, blogging, social networking, podcasting, and video making are all extending our communication abilities and changing what it means to both “read” and “write”.
  • Media literacy- ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication. Anything from interpreting emojis to understanding messages in online advertisements.
  • Recreational literacy- activities that result in positive attitudes, interests, and habits.
  • Disciplinary literacy– treatment by experts in disciplines of students reading writing and critical thinking.
  • Civil literacy– knowledge how to participate and effect change in local community.
  • Information literacy– a process where the learner needs to find, understand, evaluate and use information for their own personal gain.
  • Functional literacy– literacy skills required to navigate society successfully
  • Content literacy– use of literacy in specific areas such as science literacy
  • Early literacy– what a child knows about communication, reading, and writing before they learn to read and write.
  • Developmental literacy– takes a child’s stage of development in consideration. provides developmental appropriate literacy instructions.
  • Balanced literacy– reading program that uses several different reading methods to offer reading instructions.
  • Critical literacy– collection of skills that cultivate innovative teaching and critical thinking. assists students in thinking critically about the things they read, instead of just brushing the surface.

These literacies we discussed above equip individuals with the tools they need to effectively connect, solve, and discern the world around them as it continues to evolve. Many libraries now offer multiple resources for students such as free computers, ebooks and audiobooks to make sure no child is left behind! Students can also use free tools and apps that are available on computers and smartphones.


a few fun suggestions to get you started:

iMovie- Create videos with your child, from how-to’s to story telling!

GarageBand – Create music or podcasts together with this built-in app for free!

Sheets and Slides on Google or Microsoft office can help kids create their own chore lists or teach them to track their own progress

Podcasts- this is a modern day story time with unlimited topics to help inspire your children!

We hope this blog was informative! We would love to hear back from you.

Laura Ashley is a real life mom to a dinosaur-loving two year old. She has ventured into blogging to help other parents answer the questions that are on all of our minds as we navigate this ever-changing world! Her goal is to provide fast information in easy-to-read formats so parents like herself can go back to tracing fossils and chasing velociraptors.

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