Web Literacies (vs. Fluency)

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend Educon 2.5. A fabulous conference/set of discussions about the future of innovation & technology in schools. One of the sessions I went to was ‘Web Literacies: Redefining the Continuum of “Literacy.”‘The conversation was jointly facilitated by Mozilla & the National Writing Project. Notes from the session show the general direction in which we were heading. The Radio Rookies video from the beginning of the session is definitely worth watching. It’s a very thought-provoking piece on many levels, and provides a context for the discussion that followed about what competencies and skills were used by the students in its creation. What do we want our students to be able to do with digital tools? How are we going to get them there?

Working in small groups, one of our tasks was to use the Mozilla Web Literacies Framework to create a tree of dependencies web literacy skills. In doing so, our group spent a lot of time talking about the difference between the terms web literacies and web fluency. Is there a fundamental difference between the two? Does web literacy indicate that a student has command over different digital tools in isolation but only becomes fluent through their seamless integration? Is knowing how to juxtapose different medias to tell a compelling story indicative of fluency? Where does coding fit into all of this? At the end of the day, is the goal for our students to be web literate, fluent, or all of the above?

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