Purpose and Description
Literacy has traditionally been equated with an ability to read and write, as well as listen and speak. With the introduction of the internet and mobile connectivity, this concept may be outdated. A Faculty Learning Community provides an opportunity to explore what literacy now means in a wired world. Access to information has exploded in the past five years, yet few students have the skills to organize, manage, and digest this array of data. The digital divide is no longer hardware-based but rather skill-based. It is therefore a timely opportunity to research how literacy is evolving. This community welcomes participants of all capabilities and experiences who wish to explore what this new concept of literacy might mean in the classroom. Meeting every 2-3 weeks, the community will offer members the opportunity to investigate, discuss, implement and critique 21st Century literacy and skills into their teaching as a means of enhancing student learning. This community will meet for the duration (August – June) of the 2008 – 2009 academic year. Key outcomes for participants will focus on identifying the skill sets students (and faculty) will need for learning, how to access levels of those skills during instruction, and methods to sustain these skills in the future.
Participants will determine the selection of topics for seminars and workshops that will guide the activities of the community for the academic year. During the Fall 2008 semester faculty members will explore the literature associated with 21st Century literacy. In the Spring 2009 semester, participants will build on knowledge and insights gained during the fall semester to propose, design and implement teaching projects aimed at using 21st Century skills to enhance student learning.
In addition to the individual projects, FLC members will also design and complete a collaborative project that will contribute to enhancing student learning within the wider VCU community.
Each participant will have available up to $1000 to support the integration of the information and knowledge gained in the FLC into their classrooms. The funding can include, for example, purchase of appropriate hardware and software, travel to conferences, and so forth. A portion of the funds can be distributed at the beginning of the FLC, and in full at the close of the 2008 – 2009 academic year.
The community will be assisted by a facilitator from the CTE who is trained in digital pedagogy and instructional technology, with twelve years of evolving knowledge in technological impacts to education.