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Our 2015 students are a different breed to those I started teaching 20 years ago. The increasingly digital world has evolved at such a fast and furious rate and I am very aware of the need for me as an educator to do my utmost to keep abreast of change. I am excited to see in the Module 1 readings, the considerable scope to blend and integrate my beloved visual communication methods (art and design) with technology and multimedia to tell stories and communicate ideas.

My recent move from a traditional, 50 year old school to a very new school has been a sudden immersion for me into the world of digital reading and online teaching resources. This new and evolving professional context has some unique challenges. We have no library or teacher librarian (controversial I know!), no text books, few other printed resources and a limited resource budget. Our students have iPads across the school and for these reasons, we are very interested in low-cost digital literature options, whether the linear e-book or the more interactive ‘Inanimate Alice‘ style multimedia online content. As teachers we are spending inordinate amounts of time, searching for appropriate resource content online, to be the curators of information discussed in Learning 2030: From books to screen. We are most certainly co-learning digital discernment skills alongside our students. Despite the challenges, we are likely to engage with exciting new possibilities as we are so very determined to engage our learners and to turn challenge into success. Our context does not provide the opportunity to slip back to old pedagogy or dated resources and so we are constantly in the beta mode recommended by Michelle Cordy in Learning 2030.

This is entirely new territory for me and what sold me about studying INF533 (when I was ready to withdraw and have a break) was that the unit content is so relevant.  I am teaching Information Technology, Media and a Religious Education unit that revolves around the Old Testament and I have quickly realised that INF533 is both likely to inspire me with interesting and creative thinking for each class I am teaching, as well as enable me to test out some methods to create rather than just consume digital literature. I have already interwoven some of our reading content into my classes and sparked discussion with Year 9s – Do iPads supersede books? When and how should we question content? How do we know if information is reliable? Can fiction change reality? How might we be creators and not just consumers?

As a Graphic Design teacher, I am proficient in using and teaching illustration, photo editing and layout software and can adequately use motion graphics and video editing. A flick back through my previous blog posts and last semester’s study choices for INF530 will attest that I am very interested in driving the use of technology to create and not just consume; however the possibilities for creating the kind of interactive content that the reading has inspired so far, is outside of my current skill set.

One of the truly exciting things about the Module 1 content is the indication that digital literature is moving away from simply an electronic replacement for traditional materials and more possibilities are emerging to augment traditional reading and story creation with interactive and creative media possibilities. Developing creative thinkers, adept at flexibly adapting to new media is inevitably the future of education and I am excited by possibilities to learn more myself to charge my ability to drive this direction in my professional context.

Image attribution: Flickr photo Wall-e reading by Yon Garin. Shared under Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

References

Darnton, R. (2009). The Case for Books. New York: PublicAffairs

Fora TV. (2013, September 27). The new literacies | Clive Thompson [Video file]. Retrieved from http://fora.tv/2013/09/22/the_new_literacies

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=67371172&site=ehost-live

Web.mit.edu,. ‘The Gutenberg Parenthesis’. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 July 2015.

Wise, J. (n.d.). How fiction can change reality | TED-Ed [Video file]. Retrieved from http://ed.ted.com/lessons/jessica-wise-how-fiction-can-change-reality#watch

Yokota, J. & Teale, W. H. (2014). Picture books and the digital world: educators making informed choices. The Reading Teacher, 34(6). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/3886534/Picture_Books_and_the_Digital_World_Educators_ Making_Informed_Choices

YouTube,. ‘Learning 2030: From Books To Screen’. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 July 2015.