Challenges of using digital literature in the classroom
I really think that to include technology and digital literature in our pedagogical practices, we need to ensure that they ultimately meet educational goals and are of literary worth. The implementation of such resources should enhance the learning process, not detract from it, so being able to ascertain the value of technology and digital literature and how they enhance the learning process is paramount. Morgan states that digital resources must be included in the curriculum because our students live in a digitally-driven world as such, their interaction with digital resources has changed how our students learn and see the world (Morgan, 2014).
To ensure that technology and digital literature is embedded in educational practices, this process should involve great collaboration with teaching staff and the teacher librarian (TL). The literature should be of high quality and meet curricula demands, but should only be included if it is going to enhance learning, rather than be the focus of learning (McKnight et al., 2016). Sometimes it’s a fine line to determine what is classed as quality literature, when one can become distracted by the additional features that are included that purport to enhance the learning process. Only teachers, in consultation with their colleagues and indeed the students themselves, can truly ascertain this. What is also important to remember, is that one cannot assume that students have the digital literacy skills, or the technological skills, to access digital texts. Whilst students may be an expert on their iPhone and Instagram, this doesn’t necessarily mean that students can effectively and critically navigate and engage with digital literature. Teachers will need to ensure that they provide learning opportunities to develop a range of reading and comprehension skills, as well as digital skills (Leu et al., 2015).
Leu, D.J, Forzani, E.,Timbrell, N., & Maykel., C. (2015). Seeing the forest, not the trees: Essential technologies for literacy in primary grade and upper elementary grade classroom. Reading Teacher 69: (2), p.139-145. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399.
McKnight, K., O’Malley, K., Ruzic, R., Horsley, M., Franey, J., & Bassett, K. (2016). Teaching in a digital age: How educators use technology to improve student learning. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 48(3), 194-211.
Morgan, H. (2014). Using digital story projects to help students improve in reading and writing. Reading Improvement, 1, 20-27.