Sunday, April 13, 2014

What's on Your Screen?

It's Saturday  and we are lounging around in the family room after having been outside in various pursuits in the most beautiful weather thus far this year.  While family time might have once been a comfortable silence around a shared movie on TV, it is in this moment, the comfortable silence of each of us involved in our own on-screen experience.

My husband is combing through baseball data on the old desktop, thinking about his next fantasy baseball move.  I am reading an actual paper and ink book, but have set it aside and picked up the Chromebook to look up job prospects for the next decade on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, as recommended by the author of the book.  I'll return to the traditional book in a few minutes.

It is a bit harder to surmise what my son and daughter are up to on their iPad and smart phone, so I just ask them.  "Nothing," they say, and I smile as I am immediately transported to their K-12 days, where "nothing' ever happened at school.  

My daughter explains that she is goofing off with SuperWhoLock on Pinterest.  That is, enjoying visuals and commentary from fans of the television shows Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Sherlock.  She skims the visual pins, engaging with accompanying text when drawn in.

My son tells me he is reading about carnivorous plants in South America. (There is no academic paper due here, or deep interest in botany, just an abiding curiosity about everything that was often at odds with school expectations all through his life...but that's another post, or is it?)  When asked what path he took to get to this article, he can only say that he started on Reddit and kept browsing until he wasn't bored.

This is a completely random snapshot of leisure time in 2014 across adulthood from age just-barely-there to close-to-retirement (that would be my husband, not me!) 

This picture strikes me as much more literacy-based than our leisure time would have been ten years ago. 
And it hits me that the fiction content of our leisure literacy is, in this moment, 0%.  

What are the implications for the classroom?  What kinds of reading and writing should kids be doing at school that prepares them for literacy in the real world?

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