"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Viewing My Teaching

I teach computers. That's what I tell people I do for a living. In the past I've defined myself as a trainer, because that's what job descriptions called what I do. Years ago I took career counseling and one of the main recommendations was that I teach people to do their jobs. Twenty five years later, that's what I do. I think I do it well, although I always question my abilities after a difficult class (don't we all?). Now my sense of self sees a teacher. I thought I taught computer literacy, but Coiro points out that the digital literacy is so much more. In interviewing supervisors and managers, digital literacy was being able 'to tell a story with the software'. I actually heard that twice, in reference to Microsoft Excel. He writes, "Reading purposefully to solve problems using the Internet also means knowing what to pay attention to while being aware of the increasing range of digital techniques . . ." So now I can't even say someone is computer literate if they can work on the computer - they have to be able to understand how to use the computer to learn.

I teach Introduction to Computers and the Internet. I think everyone would be surprised at how difficult it is to teach someone what the internet is. For adults, it's teaching them that they can go somewhere that doesn't exist, get something that doesn't exist, and move it to somewhere that doesn't exist.

And for the record, I spelled reassurance incorrectly on a previous post. I know it's nothing, but it's been bothering me. My bad.

Joyce M.


  1. Joyce, Coiro is a she--Julie Coiro! And I am glad you are elevating your sense of self from instructor to teacher. Does this reflect a shift from skill instruction to more of an emphasis on comprehension?
    Also, Coiro's ideas are just scratching the surface of "critical" reading. Lessig wrote years ago about the ideological and HIDDEN nature of code (internet text).

  2. My bad. That is my wrong perspective - I don't know why, but I have a tendency to think authors are male. I have NO idea where that comes from, but it's a bad mental behavior. And the shift is slow but coming. When I teach Excel, I've seen that students have to understand the 'why' of the skill or else they won't understand the 'how'.

    Joyce M.


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