Get clickable!

I just listened to two podcasts, both very similar in content. The first was Steve Hargadon’s interview with Will Richardson, who thinks kids should be ‘clickable‘, and that it’s the teacher’s job of teaching the kids to be responsible in using internet skills.

Clickability – this is the way I understand it: Your presence on the web and the possibility of others to click on to what you are doing, saying, thinking, etc

I love the term clickability and have been giving it a lot of thought. Then I listened to the round table talk with Clarence Fisher, who had quite a similar position towards ‘clickability’, although he didn’t use this word.

What Clarence mentioned that made a deep impression, was that teachers have an obligation to teach pupils to act ethically on the internet. He mentions that his class has contact with a class in Lebabon and and that classes. They connect what’s going on in the world to how it affects children in these areas. They learn empathy.

Both podcasts stress how reading skills for internet communication has changed and is changing, and how much more important reading is becoming as a result of the new technology. Much more stress needs to be placed on deciding about the sites they encounter – can they be believed? what is the source? what is the position? is it serious? is it critical/ironic/etc?

WOW – who said reading is a skill lost on the youth?!


4 Responses

  1. I think you are right about the importance of reading today. And as you say, we need to teach young people critical reading skills. There is so much for us to learn in order to help our students learn!

  2. It seems to me that the young people do more reading and writing than any other generation before them. People complain that they don’t read books any more and try to get away from essay writing( I will not elaborate here on this issue 🙂 ), but they really READ AND WRITE A LOT! By playing online games, they also learn communication and negotation skills, often intercultural communication skills, and MANY other skills.

  3. This idea of clickability is quite a unique one. Being at one´s fingertip our having information we need or want in a click.

    I agree with you Illya, as well as with Nancy and Patricia about the key role of reading. Youth nowadays probably do read and write more than the previous generation. But I feel the kind of language they are using is made up, in general, of very simple vocabulary terms. That´s my perception.

    A children´s book story has more academic terms than any television program, even for adults. It is said that popular magazines have more complex vocabulary than most everyday conversations. So the type of language students are reading and writing is too simple if not embedded in more complex activities that make them run into the words they will need in secondary school and college.

    Prof. Jim Cummins mentioned at a Language Colloquium last Saturday that a prototype called “e-lective” was being designed to have students cut and paste any electronic text they were interested in, then have access to online dictionaries (mono or bilingual) so they could check on the meaning of unknown words in a click, have statistical information about the difficulty of a text in a click, get exercises to practice the personalized unknown words in a click, and so on. So what took a lot of time before can be at the student´s fingertip and he himself would be able to construct his own knowledge, select the texts he is interested in, become accountable and responsible for his own learning. That would be a great tool for literacy in general and ESL/EFL in particular if made available. I´ll keep you posted on this one 😉

  4. Yes, Berta, the complexity of language is a problem. In fact, you addressed a thought I’ve been mulling about for a while. I suppose it was waiting for the next load of questions ;-)I think this would also be a goo question to discuss in depth, as it is also our responsibility to introduce a wide range of language to our students. How can these resources (with stress on blogs) do this?

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