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Critical Literacy

June 4, 2010

Well, a new on-line ‘connectivist’ discussion forum has started, this time being led by Stephen  Downes and Rita Kop.  George Siemens is a student, instead of a facilitator. I hesitate to call these things courses; this one in particular seems to be a fishbowl for an NRC sponsored research project, so I wonder just how much ‘coursing’ is occurring and how much ‘steerage’ is being applied.

I’ve arrived a little late to this ‘course’ (I gotta find a better name for it) having seen it advertised somewhere earlier but thinking I would pass on joining. However, after another invite I jumped in.  I haven’t been to any of the openmeetings yet but hopefully will join in next week.

The biggest problem I have so far is understanding what Downes and Kop mean by critical literacy.  I have at least these definitions:

CL:  literacies critical to functioning in a PLE.  This definition suggests tool familiarity

CL:  abilities related to critical thinking, reading, writing i.e. logic skills, syntax etc. as noted in the course outline

What I have really found interesting is Kop’s statement that the heart of the ‘course’ is about who controls access to information. Is this what this ‘course’ is primarily concerned with? Those that control the means of distribution (of information)…  Will this be a course in Marxism?

Kool! With a kapital K!


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