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The 21st Century Learner & Multiliteracy

I was surfing through a variety of ESL/CALL/technology blogs today and found a VERY exciting and intriguing site, called Educational Origami. Educational origami caught my eye because, first of all, it is a combined blog and wiki (the blog is at edorigami.edublogs.org , and secondly, it focuses on a hot topic...the 21st CENTURY LEARNER. The author of this site is Andrew Churches, the Curriculum Manager and Computer Studies and Learning Technologies Trainer for Kristin School in Auckland-a large independent school that focuses on education for the 21st century. In 2008 and 2009, the Educational Origami wiki was nominated for the Edublogs Best wiki awards.

It is the issue of 21st century learning that is a burning hot topic among teachers, researchers, graduate students, parents, and school boards alike. Of course, the definition of the 21st century learner would not be complete without direct or indirect reference to terms like "digital generation" and "multiliteracy". My own school board is going through a redefinition of the concept of literacy for the 21st century, and it is placing a heavy focus on student engagement through technology and multimedia...in my opinion, this is an important and timely consideration.

The Educational Origami blog/wiki presents many, many stimulating pages which not only examine the digital learner and how information and communication technology pedagogically fits into the classroom, but also how it relates to topics such as assessment, learning styles and multiple intelligences, and get this...Bloom’s DIGITAL Taxonomy! WOW, COOL!!! There is an interesting chart comparing traditional pedagogical approaches to digital approaches, and some handy quick sheets which demonstrate the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy with technology and Web 2.0 skills listed on them. I got to this blog/wiki from another blog which was quite interesting as well, ESL Technology.com...a great blog to browse once or twice per month for CALL topics and suggestions for engaging older and more advanced ESL students.

What I like about Educational Origami, is that, first of all, it challenges the reader to not only redefine how they think about learners in this day and age, but also encourages us to ponder the definition of a 21st CENTURY TEACHER! Secondly, the blog/wiki takes many old but foundational frameworks and ideas about teaching and learning and updates them into the 21st century by relating the ideas, in a detailed manner, to specific technology skills and digital learning. As with any wiki, the text is not directly focused on research study discussion, however, the author/moderator presents his ideas in a very detailed and academic manner, and does provide bibliographies for the major texts that he is presenting. I would encourage any ESL teacher or graduate student to browse and ponder on this site!

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