Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home Literacy Environment in the Digital Age

Recently I have been working on home literacy environment and came across the Home Literacy Environment Questionnaire (HLEQ) by Griffin and Morrison. The measure was designed in 1997 and addresses paper based print only. In only 15 years the measure has become less and less relevant.
This brought me back to an observation that Berliner, perhaps my favorite educational thinker, made in an Educational Researcher piece. His claim was that some social research is very time dependent and has an "expiration date" [my phrase].

The rapid changes in what it means to be literate and the ways literacy plays out in a media rich digital world have made a large variety of research and practice tools irrelevant. Surveys and interviews that are paper centric in reading and writing miss whole potential worlds of engagement that exist parallel to the print world. In today's world access to magazines newspapers and libraries is paralleled to websites, applications and online newsstands.

It also means that publications cycles for research must be shorter if they explore new tools. These tools need to be comprised of modular pieces that can be removed when they become irrelevant and added to as new technologies become relevant.

Some examples can include: Adding to "How many hours of TV watching does your child do daily?"
"how many hours does your child play video games?" "How many hours does your child spend online?"
In addition to "how many books do you have at home?" We could add- How often do you use e-readers/ tablets to access magazines or books?"

I am working on such an instrument right now and will report some results soon!
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