Modes of Communication

In What Ways Can We Provide Students with Transliterate Opportunities?

Transliteracy relies on the use of a variety of mediums for the purpose of gaining and sharing knowledge, it is important that we provide students with opportunities to experiment with these modes and give them experience with linking information. Students must be able to transfer their skills from one platform to another. Several modes of communication are listed below that support a wide range of skills and purposes.


Online reading

  • Websites, wikis, blogs
Online reading requires students to skim, scan, browse, organize and filter information, but also involves different skills than reading print. Text is non-linear, it may involve multitasking, pages continuously link to one another. Information can be emailed, copied, embedded, connected to RSS feeds, linked, etc.

Video games

  • environmental, geography, drawing, history, humanitarian, language learning, math, musical
Some video games provide opportunities for students to connect personal experiences to their fantasy video game world. Several

games are educational and require critical thinking skills such as decision making, problem solving and higher level thinking. Many games are interactive wherein they can communicate with others via the device. Multi-player, role-playing games allow users to create and share information (Ito et al, 2010, p. 197).

e-books/audio books

  • many titles available (view here)
Because e-books contain digital print and sometimes images, users can rely on a variety of reading and thinking skills. Audio books contain only audio but still require critical thinking skills. Users will still need to be able to skim, scan, browse, organize and filter information on e-books. Audio books require skills of visual imagery, memory, organization and higher level thinking. These modes allow readers to transfer their technical skills gained from online reading and online navigation.

The Future of the Book _ IDEO from THUS INC on Vimeo.

Book apps

  • many titles available (view here)
Book applications connect information from print or audio books to practical applications. They may extend the story elements, reader's thoughts or link to other learning opportunities such as games or creative production. Similarly to e-books, these allow readers to transfer their technical skills gained from online reading and online navigation.


Stack of Books

  • any book, magazine, newspaper or text in printed format
Similar to online reading, students need to be able to skim, scan, browse, organize, filter and think critically about where to find information in print and also how to use information from print. They can take this information and post it online through a wiki or blog, email, create songs or artwork from an inspirational read, share the text through Skype or on a social media site, etc.


  • any audio version or print song (lyrics or music)
Songs require skills of listening and interpretation. Students can connect songs to readings, thoughts, experiences. Songs can be found online at various sites, as YouTube and through iTunes and then can be embedded into projects. Songs can also be created using programs such as Garageband.


Verbal communication

  • face-to-face conversation, Skype or other VoIP services, etc
Non-verbal cues, active listening, questioning and tone are skills essential to conversing with someone else. Conversations with people are a very effective way of gathering and sharing information so that it can be transferred from one mode to another.

Non-verbal communication

  • sign language, body language
Even if words are not spoken, communication can still occur. Sign language is an acquired still that must be taught.

Body language is recognized through experience. These modes are transliterate simply because they are a form of

communication. Knowledge gained can be
Talk to Me

transferred to any other mode of communication.

Social Media

  • Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc
Social media requires a multitude of skills - reading, writing, digital citizenship, technical skills, critical thinking, responsibility. All of these tools allow for the creation of ideas and the sharing of information.
iPhone Sharing Menu

Web 2.0 Tools

  • Voicethread, Animoto, Slideshare, Social Bookmarks
Web 2.0 tools require a variety of technical and creative skills. They allow people to generate projects, share information and post to the web. All of these tools are interactive and informative (Ito et al., 2010, p. 251)

Web Toolbox

Questions to consider:

1. Which of these modes are you most comfortable with ? Which would you like to learn more about?

2. What other modes of communication would you add to this list?