INF533 Part C: Critical Reflection

Introduction

Through INF533 my understandings of education in digital environments has continued to expand. Initially I was hoping to develop my understanding of using digital narratives in the classroom. I was thinking mainly from a literacy and reading perspective. Now I understand digital narratives to encompass presentation of information (flipped learning), and for student work creation and student engagement.

Digital Literature

The ideas discussed in Module 1 regarding what constitutes digital literature expanded on my prior knowledge somewhat. I have begun to explore beyond eBooks, towards interactive narratives. I have also been considering the narrative element of a variety of computer and role-playing games. They can hook in students who may be negative towards narratives, and provide the basis for their own as they explore the game. I can apply Walsh’s and Yokota and Teale’s criteria for literature evaluation to future collection development in my next library and to text selection for curriculum reading tasks. This would involve using a checklist of criteria and comparing potential texts against it. In addition, the text would need to be checked against curriculum and topic requirements. I strongly believe that using texts that relate well to task context and which students can connect to is integral to student engagement.

Digital Skills

I really connected with the ideas in Module 2 regarding effective use of digital tools and positioning students to be successful with digital learning. Leu, Forzani, Timbrell and Maykel and Serafini and Youngs highlighted an additional skill set for students to efficiently work and read in digital formats. Additionally, Walker, Jameson and Ryan noted the necessity for information seeking and information transfer skills. These authors are connected to 21st century and digital literacy skills. In collaboration with classroom teachers, I would like to be embedding digital literacy using a variety of digital narratives – to explore and to create.

Creation of Digital Narratives

Through Module 4 the ways in which digital texts can be created by students to share their knowledge and understanding was explored. My reflection explores the various readings. There is a lot of potential for using student created digital narratives in classes. I think it is necessary to balance digital work and analogue learning (face to face discussions and using pen and paper). Students need to see the value in what they create and using digital narratives consistently in all classes could become monotonous. I would like to begin using digital narrative creation in my classes. For example, in History students could create a day in a life story (written, visual or audio) to show understanding of different times and cultures. In English, students could turn a traditional narrative into a picture story or a video. Digital narratives provide opportunities to embed narrative structure in all learning areas, and provides a platform for students to express voice, choice and empathy. Student digital narratives create pride in their own work, and experience in creating something for a purpose.

Technology Integration

Module 5 focused on the integration of digital media texts into student learning, through merging creativity, narrative and technology, and empowering diverse learners. The TPACK and SAMR models are highlighted to support teachers in ensuring a balance and reason for technology use in the classroom. The concept of merging creativity, narrative and technology (Hall, 2012) connects with Technology and Content Knowledge, and providing multiple ways (choice) in which students can present their understandings. Within 21st century education I think it is more important than ever to ensure that technology is value adding to student learning and not just used because it is available. When used, the models mentioned ensure the educator is considering how the technology is impacting student learning. I will endeavour to focus on the value added in my classes by following the TPACK model. I prefer this model as it highlights how technology connects with pedagogy and content.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the opportunities to explore different styles of digital narratives. I have warmed to some more than others, based on how busy the text was to engage with. I have expanded my understanding and views on using digital narratives in education. I am more open to different types of digital literature and how they can be used for literacy development or expression of knowledge. I am looking forward to the opportunity to apply this understanding in a library or classroom in the future. I think the possibilities for use of digital narratives either for reading or creating are limited only by creativity.

References

AnneWithAnE. (2013, August 9). AnneWithAnE. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/greengablesfables/videos

BradField Company. (2019) Inanimate Alice. Retrieved from https://inanimatealice.com/

Hall, T. (2012). Digital renaissance: The creative potential of narrative technology in education. Creative Education, 3(1), 96-100. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ce.2012.31016

Kingsley, K. (2007). Empower diver learners with education technology and digital media. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43(1), 52-56. doi: 10.1177/10534512070430010701

Koehler, J. (2019). The TPACK Framework. Retrieved from www.tpack.org

Leu, D., Forzani, E., Timbrell, N., & Maykel, C. (2015). Seeing the forest, not the trees. The Reading Teacher, 69(2), 139-145. doi: 10.1002/trtr.1406

Schrock, K. (2018). SAMR and Bloom’s. Retrieved from https://www.schrockguide.net/samr.html

Serafini, F. & Youngs, S. (2013). Reading workshop 2.0: Children’s literature in the digital age. The Reading Teacher, 66(5), 401-404. doi: 10.102/TRTR.1141

Walker, S., Jameson, J., & Ryan, M. (2010). Skills and strategies for e-learning in a participatory culture. In R. Sharpe, H. Beetham, & S. Freitas (Eds.), Rethinking learning for a digital age: How learners are shaping their own experiences (pp.212-224). New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central.

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment. In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp. 181-194). Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA). Retrieved from https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf

Yokota, J. & Teale, WH. (2014). Picture books and the digital world. The Reading Teacher, 67(8), 577-585. doi: 10.1002.trtr1262

INF533 Part A: Digital Project Context

My digital story telling project will be a content for flipped learning. My artefact will be aimed towards a Catholic middle school in the inner southern suburbs of Adelaide. The school is co-educational and caters for years 7-9. It feeds into the associated senior school with year 10-12. Students have 1:1 access to Chrome Books which are used in most lessons. The school site uses Google Classroom as its main learning system, this is support by SEQTA for administration and pastoral activities. Students are experienced in the use of Google Classroom to access subject content and submit tasks online.

Subject Area:

The flipped learning task will be linked to the Australian Curriculum, Year 7 Civics and Citizenship. The task will cover the concepts of constitution and federation. Depending on past experiences, this may be revision of prior learning or development of new knowledge.

Purpose:

Flipped learning is the process of setting content-based learning for students to complete out of class (eg. homework). The use of flipped learning tasks enables class time to be used for discussions, exploration, analysis of content, and student questioning.

The task will be based around video content sourced through the Parliamentary Education Office (creative commons licensed). The task will be designed on Wix, and following some design elements from TED Ed Lesson Creator, such as the inclusion of think questions and discussion prompts. There are two sections to this task which could be completed by students at different times. The use of Wix allows for the sequential placement of videos, overarching introduction and conclusion, inclusion of student questions, and opportunities for collaboration between class members. The use of student questions will inform the teacher as to any areas of confusion and questions to respond to in future lessons.

Audience:

This task is aimed at a class of Year 7 students. The class has several students with diverse learning needs.

Value for program implementation:

Flipped learning is the process of delivering direct instruction to students in their individual learning space (FLN, 2014). According to Educause (2012), the value of flipped learning is in the reallocation of class time to provide opportunities for student to ask questions, apply knowledge and collaborate with others. Technology is often incorporated into flipped learning, but it is not a necessity (Shaffer, 2016). When technology is used a model such as TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy, Content Knowledge) is beneficial to ensure equal implementation of technology, content and pedagogy (Shaffer, 2016). In order to undertake flipped learning, it is necessary to follow 4 pillars to support full implementation.

Flexible Learning:

Successful flipped learning uses a variety of learning modes to get information across to students. This include videos, discussions, reading, and mini assignments (Hennick, 2014). Students now have choice over when and where they can learn.

Learning Culture:

The learning culture of flipped learning incorporates a learner-centred approach where students are actively involved in creating knowledge and meaningful learning (FLN, 2014). Hennick (2014) describes the inclusion of hands-on activities increasing student involvement in their own education. Shaffer (2016) agrees that students with active involvement in their learning are more able to retain information and skills, than students passively involved.

Intentional Content:

With intentional content class time is maximised, and conceptual understanding and procedural fluency increased (FLN, 2014). With more time in class to participate in project-based learning there is more opportunity for students to develop Higher Order Thinking skills (Hennick, 2014). In addition, students now have greater access to their teachers while applying their new knowledge (Hennick, 2014).

Professional Educator:

As a professional educator in a flipped learning classroom feedback can be given to students immediately, and teachers are constantly assessing knowledge (FLN, 2014; Hennick, 2014). Teachers are also able to connect and improve their content through professional discussions and acceptance of constructive criticism.

Value for diverse learning needs:

Flipped learning has benefits to all members of the class, not just those with diverse learning needs (Bergmann & Sams, 2012 in Shaffer, 2016:

  • helps busy or struggling students
  • students can re-watch or pause their content
  • more time for student-teacher and student-student interactions
  • increases teacher understanding of their students
  • changes how the classroom is managed
  • supports students who are absent

Value for community use:

Following the creation and implementation of a flipped learning unit or task the resources can be shared within the school community. This is highly valuable as it saves other teachers time and could be a stepping-stone for some teachers to try a flipped learning model. If teachers pool their time and resources together an entire curriculum could be developed as flipped learning.

 

References

Educause. (2012). 7 things you should know about flipped classrooms. Retrieved from https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2012/2/eli7081-pdf.pdf

Flexible Learning Network. (2014). What is flipped learning? Retrieved from https://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf

Hennick, C. (2014). Flipped. Scholastic Administr@tor, 13(5), 38-42). Retrieved from ProQuest.

Koehler, J. (2019). The TPACK Framework. Retrieved from www.tpack.org

Shaffer, S. (2016). One high school English teacher: On his way to a flipped classroom. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 59(5), 563-573. doi: 10.1002/jaal.473

Module 4 Reflection: Digital Storytelling

Module 4 has covered a variety of areas, including some practical ways to incorporate digital storytelling into the classroom, and exploring the definition and how it has expanded over time.

I already had some idea of the potential for creating digital texts in the classroom from INF530. This module has built on those concepts and I have begun to make connections to curriculum and class tasks and explore the use of pre-made digital narratives.

It has been highlighted that there is opportunity for creating AND reading digital stories and these can both be incorporated into teaching and learning. Botturi, Bramani and Corbino discuss how digital stories can be used to assist with communication and finding voice for students with learning difficulties. Matthews comments similarly that communication is a benefit for using digital stories. While Tackvic highlights the benefits of using digital platforms to create narratives. And Bjorgen refers to the similarities and differences in student use of digital tools at home and school through a digital storytelling project.

These readings follow similar themes but approach to topic from different contexts. The concept of using digital stories with students with diverse needs to share their learning or their own personal story, highlights why providing tasks with different presentation options is necessary for all student learning.

Building a narrative from scratch is hard, particularly, as Tackvic points out, when the page in front of you is blank. Getting students to plan their narratives using digital tools – giving the access to images and music which can spark creativity is teaching students to use the tools around them to meet an end goal, and encouraging student’s own interpretation of images/sounds (thinking critically and creatively).

Students are exposed to digital environments/tools at home and at school, and they use them differently in each scenario. Students creating digital narratives at school are building a skill set they can use outside of the classroom. Conversely, they can bring skills learnt at home and apply them to school tasks. Yes, there is often a difference in what can/cannot be accessed (eg. YouTube), but this forces students to find other solutions.

Using digital storytelling in the classroom is something I would like to start doing. It provides opportunities for differentiation and critical and creative thinking, as well as building an ongoing understanding of digital tools and narrative structure. I would start small – working with one class on one topic in order to develop my presentation of the task and skills in tools. I would like to build up to completing at least one digital storytelling task a year with each class. There are multiple opportunities for this throughout the HASS and English curriculums.

 

References

Bjorgen, A.M. (2010). Boundary crossing and learning identifies – digital storytelling in primary schools. Seminar.net: Media, Technology and Lifelong Learning, 6(2), 161-175. Retrieved from EBSCO.

Botturi, L., Bramani, C., & Corbino, S. (2012). Finding your voice through digital storytelling. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 56(3), 10-11. doi:10.1007/s11528-012-0569-1

Matthews, J. (2014). Voices from the heart: The use of digital storytelling in education. Community Practitioner, 87(1), 28-30. Retrieved from ProQuest Central.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativity. The Educational Forum, 76(4), 426-429. doi: 10.1080/00131725.2012.707562

Module 2 Reflection: Learning and Teaching

Module 2 focused on how digital tools can be used to enhance teaching and learning, how digital tools relate to literature in the classroom, and the challenges around practically implementing them.

2.1 discussed the importance of using digital tools to their full potential in the classroom, instead of as a ‘busy’ tool to keep student occupied. How are we using the technology in our classrooms? In order to be most effective with digital tools, we need to position students as knowledge builders and producers, providing collaborative opportunities to engage students.

Serafini & Youngs’ (2013) discuss new skills required by digital readers, how digital reading can be incorporated into curriculum, and the effect of changing modes of texts. The ideas about using book websites and social networking opportunities to connect with likeminded readers can be applied to a classroom/school. In addition, the use of digital tools to create responses to literature is also valid. I think it is necessary to identify digital tools which can enhance an already embedded literature experience. For example, book reviews or book talks can be transferred to digital sites, comprehension responses can become digital. But we should also be looking to expand student experiences and incorporate tasks which can only be done in a digital format, to do this I think we need to think outside the box for tasks which allow students to show understanding as well as engaging with new texts or formats. Even incorporating a digital text as a class novel could provide a platform for students to explore something different.

2.2 looks at challenges in reading and responding to digital texts. There is the suggestion that comprehension and retention of information can be lacking through this format. Opportunities need to be provided for student to think deeper about the information they find, and to make meaning through collaborative activities. Walker, Jameson & Ryan (2010) highlight the need for students to have skills to transfer information between contexts and to locate relevant information. This section indicates to me the necessity of information and digital literacy skills teaching. These skills are necessary so students can identify what they need to know, how to find it, where to find it, how to evaluate it, and skills to create digitally and be literate/comprehend online. These are key areas within 21st century skills which student of today need to be developing.

2.3 looks at practical uses for digital tools in the classroom. Mills and Levido (2011) identify iPed as a pedagogy for incorporating digital tools and application into curriculum and task development. I think this methodology provides a good basis for integration of digital tasks and tools. Link – to students lives. Challenge – authenticity and authority of digital sources, reflect critically on assumptions made in own created products. Co-create – collaboration and sharing of knowledge to create a product. Share – with a community for feedback and recognition. By following iPed you can be sure that connections are being made between content and creation, and students are developing a variety of skills. I would like to integrate digital storytelling, following iPed would a good way to do this.

I would like to identify specific tasks for reading comprehension and creation which can only be completed with digital tools. This will ensure that the tool is adding to the learning task, and that curriculum goals are still being met. In addition, I would like to use iPed as the basis of a digital storytelling activity.

 

References

Mills, K. & Levido, A. (2011). iPed: Pedagogy for digital text production. The Reading Teacher, 65(1), 80-91. doi: 10.1598/RT.65.1.11

Serafini, F. & Youngs, S. (2013). Reading workshop 2.0: Children’s literature in the digital age. The Reading Teacher, 66(5), 401-404. doi: 10.1002/TRTR.1141

Walker, S., Jameson, J., & Ryan, M. (2010). Skills and strategies for e-learning in a participatory culture. In R. Sharpe, H. Beetham, & S. Freitas (Eds.), Rethinking learning for a digital age: How learners are shaping their own experiences (pp.212-224). New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central.

Module 1 Reflection: Trends and Developments

Module 1 discussed trends and developments in literature – from Gutenberg’s moveable type printing press to eBooks and digital narratives. I understand the speed at which changes to literature is occurring now, in relation to previous innovations. The use of reading and digital texts in the classroom needs to be able to value add and enhance the learning experience. Changes in format are also impacting pedagogy, and the way students comprehend information. ICT should be embedded into classrooms, providing a solid platform for introduction of different text formats.

Do we need to change how we teach comprehension and literacy? I think is it important for students to have opportunities to explore these skills using different text formats. I also think that for each type of format there are differences in how we note-take and comprehend the information. A discussed in Learning 2030 student have an intuitive sense for games on devices, but not necessarily education. They need to be taught hose to use their devices to find the information required. This aligns with digital literacy and information literacy skills which students will need to be effective 21st century learners and citizens.

Embedding and value adding with ICT in classrooms is integral to its use. The access which can be made to information and resources through digital connections can help students to see the bigger picture, as well as access resources they may not have been able to from a physical library.

Moving from print literature to digital literature can also increase student engagement and understanding of concepts. There can be more interactive elements within digital literature, and ways to expand on ideas and provide definitions and images to help build background knowledge. This could be highly useful for disengaged readers – particularly if you are able to access graphic digital narratives.

Literature in a digital environment can vary from the standard scanned eBook to electronic game narratives. I think the distinction in types of digital literature is important to understand when choosing a title. Do you just want to be able to display the book on a screen or do you want students to be able to interact with it, or have it read to them? I did not realise there were so many sub-categories of digital narratives. But is it clear that they all serve different purposes.

Walsh’s chapter highlights how to evaluate digital texts, and she does so through a comparison to good literature. What does the digital text add to the reading experience? How does what is adds connect to good literature? We should not be using digital texts ‘just because’, they need context and they need to add to student learning.

I found this Module helpful in understanding different types of digital literature, and ways to assess its quality. The key point for me here was that context and the value it adds are very important.

When developing my library collection, I will pay closer attention to digital narratives which are available. I will provide access to them through the library homepage or as favourite links on school computers. I will promote them and their usefulness to class teachers as alternate text types. I think having a better understanding of the types of digital literature and ways to evaluate it will be beneficial for collection development and motivation of disengaged readers.

 

References

The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2013, October 4). Learning 2030: From books to screen [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/215NPpHsQPk

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment. In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp. 181-194). Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA). Retrieved from https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf

Digital Narratives: A Beginning

Context

As a Teacher-Librarian it is important for me to explore different types of literature and the what they can bring to teaching and learning. I am looking to develop my understanding of digital narratives and how they can be used in a classroom environment. Personally, I mainly use print texts, I prefer the tactile sensation and being able to flick backwards and forwards with ease. The South Australian Public Library Network provides access to eBooks and digital magazines, as such I have started using them when the text is more readily available this way.

Concepts and Practices

I find the transformation from printing press to digital publication quite interesting, and the speed at which the transitions have been happening is amazing. I think that the key point from Module 1.1 is that, as educators, we need to stay on top of developments in technology and learn how to integrate them successfully into teaching and learning programs. In order to keep 21st Century students engaged in their learning, resources need to be provided which they can interact with and follow a path of interest for themselves. It is important for teachers to assess the digital tools being used to ensure that they are adding value to lessons.

I had not previously considered there being different types of digital literature. As Walsh discusses they can range from eBooks to electronic game narratives. Digital literature use in classrooms depends on the level of ICT embedded there. As mentioned in Learning 2030: From Books to Screen, students can tell the difference between light and fluffy tasks and those with deep meaning. Students are more likely to engage deeper with tasks where they can see the potential of what they are learning and the tools they are using. Identifying the right type of digital literature for your audience is a key point in evaluating the literature that is used, and maintaining student engagement.

I think digital literature in classrooms has a range of benefits – it allows students access to textbooks and novels without having to physically carry a book, it allows access to a wider range of texts than might be available within a library, allows access to materials which support understanding and engagement of the text – for example embedded weblinks for definitions or further explanations, interactive maps related to the character’s story. These additions can help students connect with content and relate to the characters.

The premise of Leu, Forzani, Timbrell & Maykel’s paper resonated with me, that teaching online reading and learning is necessary for student who will be finding more and more information in digital formats. They highlight four skills for online research and comprehension: Reading to locate information, reading to critically evaluate information, reading to synthesise information, and reading and writing to communicate information. With my TL hat on, there are strong connections between these 4 areas and Inquiry/Information Literacy skills, which are a necessity for 21st Century learners.

I am looking forward to expanding my understanding of the types and uses of digital narratives available.

 

References

The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2013, October 4). Learning 2030: From books to screen [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/215NPpHsQPk

Garrison, K. (2019). INF533, Module 1.1, Gutenberg to Kindle [Course notes]. Retrieved from Faculty of Arts and Education, Charles Sturt University, LMS web site: https://interact2.csu.edu.au

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., Timbrell, N., Maykel, C. (2015). Seeing the forest, not the trees. The Reading Teacher, 69(2), pp.139-145. doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/trtr.1406

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment. In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp.181-194). Marrackville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia. https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf