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what does it mean to be literate?

As an Indigenous person and educator, I am literate in the Indigenous ways of knowing; literate comes in many forms. I share this knowledge with various people, including scholars, adults, colleagues, and students. I used to think that being literate meant being well versed in reading and writing and understanding worldviews. I am learning a new way of being literate; before this class’s readings, interactions, and discussions, I was a technological illiterate. I knew nothing of what it took to be an informed digital citizen. I now can take in information from any media (written, video or audio) and filter through the information and assess what is accurate and inaccurate, drawing on the knowledge I obtained from this course. I plan on using this information to improve myself and the world around me. I never thought it would be necessary for me to be learning a new skill, but the way the world is going today, I feel it’s a must for me. I often think that my blogs don’t contain enough of what I am hoping to say, therefore often left feeling literate. I am learning to navigate the traditional with the contemporary.

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6 responses to “what does it mean to be literate?”

  1. Jeff, you are doing a great job of developing your tech literacy! Many people do not attempt to learn new skills, so you are already ahead. I always say that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly (meaning it’s okay to be vulnerable). You bring in fantastic Indigenous knowledge that I wouldn’t connect to media literacy if you weren’t in this class, so thank you for sharing with us all.

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    1. thank you Leah my wife and co-workers notice that I get excited when I learn how to use a new app. I never thought I wold need to learn anything new, however I have to bridge these two worlds.

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  2. It’s interesting how we as adults process information, and are able to move from one perspective to another. I am glad that you are learning and that you are able to take your understandings and bridge them with new learning. It takes courage to admit when you do not know something or are not comfortable doing something, but try. Keep up the great work!

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  3. I appreciate your perception of literacy Jeff. I will admit that I am clearly not as technologically literate as I thought I was coming in to this class, the same for media literacy. It is there, but this class and what Alec and our classmates bring to the table has been very enlightening. Reading your post highlighted the fact that I am illiterate in the Indigenous ways of learning. From a personal perspective, I would love to meaningfully advance my literacy in both areas. I see as much value in educating myself, students, and my own children in digital and media literacy as there is in Indigenous ways of knowing. As a non-Indigenous person with an open mind, am I out to lunch on this?

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    1. thank you for your response, Bart. I too have come to realize being literate comes in many forms. I am learning about media literacy and am actually quite enjoying t.

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  4. I love that you discuss a new category of literacy I had never thought of before – being literate in Indigenous ways of knowing! I think your open and honest journey in this course highlights an important realization that we all have our strengths, as well as areas we are working towards improving and learning more about. There are many educators out there who don’t know nearly the depth and breadth about Indigenous ways of knowing as you, Jeff! I think the takeaway from this is we can share our strengths with others to help them improve in that area of their literacy that might be lacking.

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