My hopeful vision for the future of literacy instruction…

I am currently working on my MEd at Nipissing University and loving my current course “New Literacies: Making Multiple Meanings“. We have spent 10 weeks inquiring into traditional literacies, new literacies, multiliteracies, digital literacies, multi-modalities and beyond!

And now, for our penultimate assignment, we have been asked to share our vision for the future of literacy. I have chosen to focus my vision on the future of literacy instruction in schools.  I have chosen to share my vision here, publicly with all of you, in hopes of stimulating a conversation about the future of literacy instruction beyond the four (virtual) walls of my online classroom. I have chosen to share my vision through words, images, screenshots, inforgraphics, memes and videos.

So here it goes….

I hope, in the future, students are encouraged to express their ideas and communicate through multi-modalities, using words, images, movement, sounds, videos, emojis, gifs, symbols, memes, hashtags and more…


(Screenshot from course participant)

I hope, in the future, that educators realize the very meaning of the word “literacy” is deictic.


(Screenshot from this published article)

I hope, in the future, educators realize that literacies are situated in time and place – not a frozen constant that have always existed and will always exist.

I hope, in the future, educators are discerning and fair in their criticism of new literacies and the technologies that make them possible.


(Labelled for non-commercial reuse here)

I hope, in the future, educators realize the volume of information being created and consumed without the use of pencils and paper.


(Image: Erik Fitzpatrick licensed CC BY 2.0)

I hope, in the future, the power of youth literacies are understood and harnessed in the classroom.


(Original image created by compilation of screenshots of classmates posts)

I hope, in the future, students are not confined by limitations of past literacies, but encouraged and supported to be readers, writers and communicators in the time period they were born in.


(Original image photographed by me)

I hope, in the future, narrative inquiries move beyond books to include the exploration of films and video games.


(Image source)

I hope, in the future, students are not only allowed, but also supported in learning how to share their ideas through blogs, tweets, snaps, instagram posts, podcasts, videos, vlogs, thinglinks, powtoons and more.


(Screenshot of classmate’s post)

I hope, in the future, the school system sees creativity and literacy as inextricably linked… unable to survive without each other.


(Image source)

I hope, in the future, that vernacular, situated, authentic and artifactual literacies play more of a central role.


(Original image compiled from screenshots)

I hope, in the future, a hyperlink is perceived no differently than a MLA citation.


I hope, in the future, students have their own Personal Learning Networks where they can connect globally with like minded learners, not confined by geographic location or age groupings.


(Image by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano- on image (CC) by Alec Couros- /

I hope, in the future, the use of screenshots, memes and mashups are not seen as infringements on copyright.

I hope, in the future, classrooms show just as much (if not more) evidence of the 6 Cs than the 3 Rs.


(Screenshot taken from course material in summary of this publication)

I hope, in the future, to witness the death of the 5 paragraph essay, the weekly spelling test, the hamburger paragraph, the reading log, the story plot chart, the reverence of the paper dictionary,  and the overinflated sense of importance placed on penmanship.

5p meme.jpg

(Original meme created by me at 

I hope, in the future, education will prepare students for the world that is and will be… not the world that once was.

Finally, I hope that this future I have envisioned is not a distant future, but a near future – mere years away… months away… days away…  or, perhaps hopefully, already happening.

13 thoughts on “My hopeful vision for the future of literacy instruction…

  1. Ayesha November 12, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Love this prospective


  2. aggiekesler November 12, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Spot on! I had to laugh at death to the 5 paragraph essay…yes, yes, yes! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world. I’m a better educator for it. 🙂


  3. Nadine Bailey November 13, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Love the ideas, don’t love that none of the images/ text snippets were referenced…


    • tbondclegg November 13, 2016 / 10:27 am

      Thank you for the feedback. That is an area as a new blogger than I need to and will work towards improving at.


  4. Soraya Fernandes November 13, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Very impressive and intuitive to what we as teachers should already be doing with literacy teaching in learning communities today, but our first obstacle is changing the mindset of educators.


  5. Michelann November 15, 2016 / 1:34 am

    For ten weeks, I have benefitted from Taryn’s work in the New Literacies course. Any school staff is fortunate to have her on their side; any group of students benefits from her vision. Like Taryn, I hope that her vision is in the near future, not the distant future. Thanks for risking, reflecting, and sharing!


    • tbondclegg November 15, 2016 / 2:26 am

      Thanks Michaelann, your course has been amazing. It has provoked me thinking and inspired me to change many of my approaches to literacy instruction. Thank you for your support and your vision of what a MEd course should be like in 2016!


  6. Michael November 15, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Thank you Taryn for this! I’ve learned a lot just from your input and collaboration into the course as well. I love the tombstone for the 5 paragraph essay. My job just died, so I had better get on this new literacies boat soon!! 🙂 Take care.


  7. Sarah Donaldson November 16, 2016 / 11:16 am

    I love the remixing and combining of images from our course and new ideas all compiled into one engaging post. I agree with Michelann and Michael above that your contributions to our course have been inspiring. For me it has been truly refreshing to know that another elementary teacher respects young children and sees them as creative and capable people who should be trusted and encouraged to drive their learning. Like others, the death of the essay is my favourite. Fingers crossed that our paths will cross somewhere in the world of international teaching 🙂

    Sarah 🙂


  8. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano December 21, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    I really enjoyed your post, but had to laugh, when I saw you give “original image credit” for the networked teacher image. I created the image back in 2009 based on an image of Alec Couros. Since I failed to add attribution of Alece and me directly on the image (it was placed in the description of the image on Flickr), it has been used over and over again without attribution. Just another example of how some any of us still lack certain literacies (digital citizenship) and how hard it can become to trace original sources.

    The Networked Teacher


    • tbondclegg December 21, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Hi Silvia,
      Thank you so much for your comment. My own digital literacy skills are still developing – but I am working hard to improve. 🙂

      I have corrected the image credit for your photo! Thanks for creating such an amazing image and apologies for not have the correct image credit when this post was initially published.


  9. MrBlowers June 27, 2017 / 2:07 am

    Excellent post!
    There are still great expectations by parents to incorporate the burger structure, 5 part essay etc but it becomes very clear to me that if you have a clear vision (like the one you have set out) and are prepared to spend the time showing what will replace these things and why it will benefit their child they will quickly change their minds!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s