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Date Author Title
2011-09-19 Steve Gardiner 21st Century Literacy with David Jakes

Teachers interested in 21st Century education and the changing nature of teaching and learning today seem to be on a constant search for new resources to keep them up with the latest developments. One such resource is created by teacher/speaker David Jakes from Chicago.

His website, JakesOnline.org, is a wealth of information about the new methods of communicating and collaborating in today's world.


Jakes explains, “The ability to communicate in the 21st Century mediascape requires a thorough understanding of digital collaboration tools. The power of these tools resides in the ability to connect individuals of similar interests together while providing the raw material to drive thinking in a new direction, and in the process, drive creativity and innovation within a truly social, collaborative interface.”


With that viewpoint in mind, his website provides access to the latest in digital tools, training programs, information, and classroom ideas. Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of his website is the way he sets it up to share so much information with educators. Want a quick link to hundreds of ideas about using web tools in the classroom? Check out Jakes' Delicious account at http://www.delicious.com/djakes which provides hundreds of links to items you will find interesting, intriguing, or entertaining.


Jakes also provides links on his site to summaries of his many presentations. One of the most amazing is his talk on Digital Storytelling, a trend he says is one of the most powerful in the tech world today. His site gives teachers and students information about what digital stories are, what they do, and the steps necessary for making one. He has links to the tools that will help students create these digital stories, and he provides examples so students can see what others have done and gain ideas about what to do with their own stories. He has links to Photostory 3 and Moviemaker 2, programs for creating digital stories, as well as ideas about using those tools in the classroom. He also has links to tutorials to help with learning the process of digital storytelling.


He has also written a number of articles (none of which have been peer-reviewed, he assures us) about a variety of new literacy topics. In addition to digital storytelling, he has pieces on developing wikis, using Flickr in the classroom, and creating virtual workspaces for students. This website is a wealth of information for anyone wanting to know something about digital literacy or wanting to know where to go to get help using digital tools.


I first heard David Jakes speak at a Blue Ribbon Schools conference in Boston in 2010. I started the day off by attending his workshop on new tools for the 21st Century. I was hooked. I tossed out my agenda for the day and stayed for three more workshops, spending the entire conference day listening to his ideas. It was a day well-spent.


Anyone interested in knowing more about modern literacy and where it is going needs to know about him. If possible, hear him speak in person. If not, spend some time at JakesOnline.org and see where 21st Century Literacy is taking us. It is going to be an interesting trip and David Jakes is an excellent guide.

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