Using your readings and interaction with the subject to date, develop a statement about your current knowledge and understanding of concepts and practices in digital literature environments, tools and uses, within the context of your work or professional circumstances.
Before beginning this subject I knew that I did not have a firm grasp of what digital literature environments were beyond what I know as a 24 year old computer literate adult. That is ebooks, websites, computer programs, apps… and a strong sense of the overwhelming nature of technology in todays society.
To begin with my current knowledge is very limited to what I have experienced as a student, what I have used in the classroom and what I use in my everyday life to unwind and explore personal interests. I know how to use a blog, I know how to play around with Scratch, I know how to download ebooks and apps; but unfortunately in my professional experiences I have had very limited use of technology within the classroom. Most schools I have worked in have struggled with technology because of outdated resources (old computers, broken Ipads, an ageing staff without a ‘techy’ etc.), and like most teachers I’ve had to work with what we’ve got and make the best of it. However, I have have had the good fortune to have gone through university where training in using smartboards, web 2.0 and a variety of other technologies were explored during my studies.
While reading the initial first module of this subject I’ve been challenged to think more deeply about some of the concepts surrounding digital literature environments, things to be honest I haven’t thought about since I was last studying at university. For example, how literacy is shifting from a linear book and knowledge imparting resources to a deictic or ever-changing multimodal environment (Leu, D.J. et al, 2011). I’ve been reminded of how linked inquiry learning is to technology (The agenda with Steve Paikin, 2013). I’ve been reminded of the importance of teaching online comprehension as much as book comprehension as they require different skills (The agenda with Steve Paikin, 2013). Finally I’ve been challenged to think about what digital literacy environments mean for creativity in classrooms (The agenda with Steve Paikin, 2013) which always reminds me of the Ted talk by Sir Ken Robinson. (Ted, 2007). For a new technology rich future we need to be teaching the future of the human race how to identify important questions, locate information, evaluate information, synthesize and communicate within the online environment (Leu, D.J. et al, 2011).
Technologies tools and uses in school environments is constantly shifting as new technology is developed. As apple has trademarked “There’s an app for that” (Gross, D, 2010) and if there isn’t already I am sure there soon will be. Personally I have used some of these technologies to research, to create, for enjoyment and for social collaboration within the classroom and I look forward to discovering new ways to do so and how to better use these tools within my own practice and the context of being a teacher librarian.
Finally, my biggest take home idea so far is that technology is a tool that is changing the way we think and develop ideas. It is powerful and scary but it is something worth learning to use and something worth teaching so that our students can have the best chance at fulfilling their potential as 21st century learners.
Gross, D. (2010). Apple Trademarks ‘There’s an app for that’. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/10/12/app.for.that/
Leu, D.J. et al. (2011). The new literacies of online reading comprehension: Expanding the literacy and learning curriculum. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1)5-14. Doi: 10.1598/JAAL.55.1.1
TED. (2007, January 6). Do schools kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson TED. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY
The agenda with Steve Paikin. (2013, October 4). Learning 2030: From books to scree. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/215NPpHsQPk