(Not) Talking About Literacy

I miss Literacies. I miss the way the Café would extend each issue. I miss the sense of Canadian literacy workers talking to each other. It probably wasn't exactly like I remember - but what I remember, I miss. And I wish there was somebody else in Canada who wanted to write and share and read and think about kids and adults and families and neighbourhoods learning to read and write better.

[Note: there used to be a long section here about how literacy coalitions don't talk about literacy anymore, except in vague, buzz-word phrases saying literacy is "fundamental" but not merely reading and writing, and we should promote it and/or our programs as a tool for change... blah, blah, blah. I took it out because it was just me complaining again.]

If you're a literacy worker like me, and if you want to read and write and share about the traditional adult and family literacy work you do, you might learn to blog. Google Blogger and Wordpress are free and accessible. Ning has closed its free services, and Facebook is a walled garden, so you should avoid those. But there are other, smaller free blogging platforms. Microsoft's Live Spaces isn't the worst tool in the world.

See ya around, I hope.


Nancy Friday said...

I miss Literacies too Wendell. When it closed down a big hole was left in its place. Clearly the funders didn't read Literacies and appreciate its value, otherwise they would have not only continued the funding for it, but increased that funding.

I hope to see you around soon as I'll be in Saint John in mid May - just around the corner from you!

Thanks for the encouragement to blog. I read blogs and sometimes comment. I've opened two blogs myself, but really just to see how they work. Great tools for "talking" online for sure. It's just to take that next step and make the commitment to share my thoughts, perspectives on things, and myself.


Wendell said...

Hi Nancy.

One of the best things about Literacies was how they could facilitate conversations. The journal was something to gather around. NALD, as great as it is, doesn't provide that. And, somehow, I've never managed to find my way into list-serve conversations.

Blogging's not a perfect vehicle, but it's pretty good.

And, of course, you can embed cool David Bowie videos - can't do that in a list-serve!


KarenB said...

It sounds to me like you're putting the call out to front line literacy workers (those of us in the classroom) to join the conversation. It must be tiring waving the banner all by yourself. Message received. :)

Wendell said...

I'd never tell other people what to do, or judge their choices about how to best use their time.

If they want to do the right thing and blog about literacy while also posting cool David Bowie videos and tasteful LOLcat humour, that's their choice. Or, they could do the wrong thing.

Nope. I'd never judge.

Seriously, though, it can be a drag if you start feeling like you have to think up something new each week. And complaining about work can get you fired. So, no, this venue isn't for everyone.

I just think it's an easy way to share small-scale research in practice and reflective learning.

Glenn Groulx said...

Hello Wendell,

I have migrated a lot of my blog posts about blogging, adult literacy issues and indigenous pedagogy from the Athabasca University site where I was a student blogger to a new blog:


I recognize that it is now time to provide some more information on how to use the blogging tools and show literacy educators (already busy beyond belief) how to save time and effort.

I think a lot of literacy educators might want to do blogging and model it for their students, but don't have the time to dabble and flounder for a year or more getting a sense of what will work and what won't.

I have done the 1-2 year blogging apprenticeship in the virtual wilderness, and I would love to share what I ahve learned with others, and save them time and hassles. The type of blog you choose to write is so individual, but the pattern of development from it being a private reserve of thoughts as a diary, to group blogging, to other things, is a unique journey for each of us.

I appreciate that you blog, and you have a dry sense of humour and I find myself grinning and nodding my head unconsciously at times.