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What are 21st Century Literacies? [Guest Post]

What is information literacy in the context of an MMORPG?

How do you assess learning in a tabletop RPG?

What makes a proficient reader of graphic novels?

How do readers approach text in video games?

What literacies will be essential for 21st century learners?

When will formal testing adapt to the shift from individual knowledge to social knowledge, and what will that assessment look like?

These are but a handful of the topics broached in the GLS7 presentation on digital literacy that left game designers, researchers, and educators alike wondering what’s next. These are great big questions that I can’t even begin to answer, but that will no doubt be important topics of study and debate as our society and educational institutions slowly catch up with the rapidly changing nature of knowledge, communication, and collaboration.

So what do you think will be the essential “new” literacies of the 21st century?

[photo from Flickr user Will Merydith]

This article cross posted at

Josh Caldwell is a Junior High English teacher and technology specialist from Seattle, WA. Prior to entering the world of education, he was a systems administrator, programmer, and designer. Inspired by the potential for technology to empower students, he is constantly subjecting his poor students to experiments in gaming and technology while providing professional development opportunities for other educators. Josh blogs at


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