New Literacies and Kittens!

I was shown one of the funniest Youtube videos I’ve seen in a while yesterday, which I have embedded below.

The video, Kittens!  Inspired by Kittens!, is of a little girl video taping herself “reading” a book about… well… kittens as she isolates each picture and creates dialogue according to their body position.  The crazy thing is this video has over six million views!!!

Although my friend introduced me to this video so I could get a good laugh, it also got me thinking a lot about technology and the skills our students are practicing regularly at home that could be utilized at school.  Most students go home and are surrounded by technology whether it be with their cell phones, iPods, computers, etc.  Kids are coming in with different literacies… new literacies… and schools need to work on embracing this new change!

Think about the world our students live in.

What are they doing for fun when they go home?  How many still play with dolls, action figures, or fake kitchens?  More children are using technology, becoming comfortable with technology, growing up understanding and learning with technology… so why when they come to school is this powerful and familiar tool being taken away?

School should be a place where students can blossom using the skills they already have in order to prepare them for the 21st century world, not a place where their full potential is being limited because of deficits in our education system.

Yes, some of the students that enter my classroom are low level readers and writers, but these are the same students that are extremely tech literate!  They can create webpages, navigate through information, and collaborate with their peers about their interests!  These are the new literacies that students need to have!  As educators, it is our job to recognize that these skills as equally as important as other traditional literacies and find ways to effectives incorporate them into our lessons!

Enjoy watching the video below and think about this..

What kind of 21st century skills are our students coming to us with and how can we embrace them in our classrooms?



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6 responses to “New Literacies and Kittens!

  1. Oh_the_Places

    Each year, when I start Inservice week for staff, I remind them of my favorite analogy. If a 5 year old came to Kindergarten reading on a 2nd grade level, would you stop teaching them? No, we meet the child where he is and take him as far as we can. So, when that same 5 year old comes to school knowing technology, we need to do the same.

  2. That truly is a great analogy! Kids are coming in with skills, and it is our job to take them to the next level!

  3. If your school div is like my own, we can’t seem to keep pace with technology. I think a workable solution is to encourage those students who are already equipped for web based work to bring their own hardware, so that we can focus budget on those who have little to no access otherwise. It’s not so much that school and school divisions are doing nothing to accomodate and differentiate for the 21st Century learner, it is more that interests are pulled in many different directions.

  4. Would you like to do a guest blog at I think this post would be exactly what we are looking for. You seem to have the same viewpoints.

    Drop me a line.

  5. I agree with what you wrote here!
    Kids are into tech, and school needs to reflect that in order to engage but also to reflect reality.

    I’m also convinced that ‘tech’ is a preferred learning style for some…I’ve seen students who struggle with reading/writing when faced with pen/paper…but put them on a computer and its a different story!

    Julie Johnson

  6. Pingback: Kittens and the New Literacy

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