Web 3.0, Networked Literacy, and Information Fluency | #ISTE10

web 3.0

“Teach kids for their futures not our past.”

These are my reflections and biggest takeaways from #ISTE10, #ebc10, and @angelamaiers. If every teacher, educator, advisor, administrator and parent could hear, understand and apply these quotes and ideas, education will truly transform; and we just might be able to save the world while we are at it!

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“Kids are no longer on the web but OF the web.”

Our students are no longer just reading content on the web (web 1.0) or interacting with content on the web (web 2.0); they are creating the web as they hope it to be (web 3.0). Today kids can and should contribute their own content and refork the work of others’. In the new web 3.0 users are no longer on the web but OF the web, building a community and working together to filter through and find meaning in information.

We need to begin to incorporate numerous forms of literacy development in our curriculum, spending less time on print literacy and moving toward digital literacy and ultimately a networked literacy. Jeff Utecht of the Thinking Stick defines networked literacy below:

“Networked literacy is what the web is about. It’s about understanding how people and communication networks work. It’s the understanding of how to find information and how to be found. It’s about how to read hyperlinked text articles, and understand the connections that are made when you become “friends” or “follow” someone on a network. It’s the understanding of how to stay safe and how to use the networked knowledge that is the World Wide Web. Networked Literacy is about understanding connections.”


“You get out of the web what you put into the web.”

With this digital community and virtual canvas in mind we read differently, listen differently; we write differently, research differently, etc. It’s a new kind of information fluency. In a recent YouTube video entitled Infowhelmed The 21st Century Fluency project reports that our current digital output would translate into books stacked so high they could stretch the distance from Earth to Pluto thirteen times! It would be enough paper to deforest the planet twelve times. And it is growing… more rapidly than ever.

We are in a constant state of information curation and we cannot do it alone. Our students need to know how to use their networks to collect, sort, aggregate, and share information – to get their message across. “We need a contribution mentality not a completion mentality.” A new curriculum is necessary to help our students manage to effectively and efficiently navigate in this infowhelmed space and produce, not simply consume content.

“Teach learners TO BE not simply TO DO or TO KNOW.”

21st century learning

21st century teaching and learning is not about cool new tech tools or having a Smartboard in every classroom. The power of 21st century teaching and learning is in the collaboration, the creation. “This is a PEOPLE revolution, not a technology revolution.” Students are no longer writing for their teachers – for a grade, but for an international audience – for conversation. Students are no longer reading about life in Africa; they are skyping with South African classrooms. The flat classroom list goes on and on.

As outlined by Angela Maiers, kids need to be taught to be incredible infosumers, synthesizers, question askers, translators, and contributors. Students should know how to make sense of all this information and to refork it in a way that makes sense to people. Students no longer need quick answers; they have Google in their pocket! They need to be incredible question askers and translators. “The world’s language is not a five paragraph essay. It comes in the form of images, music, art, and heartfelt emotion.” We must teach kids how to be worthy of being listened to.

Further Reading

Fluency 3.0 – Moving at the Speed of Creativity – Wesley Fryer
  • A review of Angela Maiers’s opening keynote at the Iowa 1 to 1 Institute as well as access to her slideshare on fluency 3.0.
The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy – Wendy Drexler
  • Including patterns for networked learning, personal learning environments, tasks, organizational forms, resources, toolsets and sample student activities
Combat the Locked-Net Monster: 5 Ways to Teach Cyber Safety and Digital Responsibility 
  • If you are thinking, this is all fine and dandy but how am I supposed to get around my school filters and win over administrators and parents on the wonders of the read, write, and social web? – start here.


Photo1 from olivermarksim 
Photo2 from 21st Century Fluency Project
Photo3 from Angela Maiers
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com

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