INF533 – Part B – Critical Reflection

Word Count: 749

The digital landscape is constantly shifting, as is the literature present in this environment. The shifting nature provides the opportunity to provoke immersive and valuable learning experiences with students through quality literature (Kearney, 2011). Digital texts are inclusive of e-books, interactive books and transmedia (Lamb, 2011) and each format provides its own unique experiences within the classroom. Alignment with a sturdy criteria of quality literature is comparable to judging quality literature in print format, but offers a new perspective and levels unattainable in print (Walsh, 2013). Quality digital texts need to offer the classroom an experience that is easy to navigate, comprehend and enhance or support learning in a unique and engaging manner (Serafini, 2013).

Digital resources that are interactive provide crucial links to cross-curricular teaching and engage students in learning that expands beyond the classroom walls (Newsum, 2016). A strong development of meaning, understanding and sense of audience and connection is a fundamental component of quality digital texts (Walsh, 2013). Newsum (2016) highlights the purpose of digital texts is through catering to the diversity within the classroom, inclusive of learning styles, level of ability and experience. Newsum emphasises the importance of digital texts facilitating collaborative learning, interactive activities and non-linear learning sequences. Utilising digital texts effectively, students are engaged on multiple levels and provided with a contextualised learning experience (Farkas, 2013).

Teacher Librarians (TL) need to value and explore a wide range of interactive and digital literature and enhance their knowledge and understanding of the platforms available to students in the classroom. Wheeler & Grever (2015) discuss that fear over damage, inadequacy and disruption are reasons to hesitancy that teachers may have when implementing digital formats within the classroom. The exploration and analysis of a wide range of mediums as well as understanding digital formats can assist TLs incorporating the different digital technologies and literature within the classroom.

My personal preference has always been for traditional print format, however, my understanding of digital literature was considered e-books only. Through the exploration of different kinds of digital literature, I have developed a stronger appreciation for digital literature and value the multi-platform, non-linear learning sequences available. My appreciation for the intuitive, expansive and accessible digital literature has fostered a desire to increase the use of digital literature within my classroom.

Each digital literature that has been reviewed provides a foundational point for students to expand and foster their knowledge on. The digital literature primes itself to become a ‘hook’ (Nagro, Fraser & Hooks, 2018) and creates opportunities for students to develop their literacy and scientific research skills. The Conservation in the Magical Land of Oz digibook by ABC Education offers a unique and accessible introduction to digital literature and provides students with the initial information for a research task based around conservation and sustainability (ACARA, 2015). The digibook is accessible in my Stage 2 classroom as we have Chromebooks available for every student with internet access.

The focus task for students would be to design a Google Site based around a selection of animals from the digibook and to use the information gathered from the audio and visual components of the text and research into the conservation status’ and environmental issues that are impacting on the animals. Students combine their literacy skills and research skills to form an understanding and appreciation through relating their learning to a wider world issue.

An explicit lesson on research skills as well as creating meaning from various text types would provide students with beneficial abilities in navigating many forms of digital literature. An additional resource I would include is a transcript of the text for students with hearing difficulties or struggle with comprehending the associated audio. Students can be extended through the additional resources located at the end of the digibook and provide new knowledge on different animals.

The information era has necessitated students to proficient in skills and abilities that allow them access to the full potential of being 21st century citizens (McAlister, 2009). Traditional formats are not erased but rather expanded, enhanced and transformed into interactive mediums that incite engagement and enthusiasm towards learning and literature (Newsum, 2016). The connections to the wider world are becoming more prominent and relevant within the classroom and digital literature allows students to access these connections in varied experiences and contexts (Manresa & Real, 2015). Teachers are able to incorporate and promote these digital skills, technologies and literature within the classroom to provide holistic learning experiences for students and engage their higher thinking and cognitive skills

Part B References:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Cross-Curriculum Priorities. Retrieved from https://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/cross-curriculum-priorities

Farkas, M. (2013). Mobile Learning: The Teacher in Your Pocket. In Peters, T. A., & Bell, L. A. (Eds.). Handheld library: Mobile technology and the librarian, (pp. 31-43). ABC-CLIO, LLC.

Kearney, M. (2011). A learning design for student-generated digital storytelling. Learning, Media and Technology36(2), 169-188, doi: 10.1080/17439884.2011.553623

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

Manresa, M., & Real, N. (2015). Digital Literature for Children (pp. 150-200).

McAlister, A. (2009). Teaching the millennial generation. American Music Teacher, 58(7), 13–15. Radovan, M., & Perdih, M. (2016). Developing Guidelines for Evaluating the Adaptation of Accessible Web-Based Learning Materials. The International Review of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 17(4). doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v17i4.2463

Nagro, S., Fraser, D., & Hooks, S. (2018). Lesson Planning With Engagement in Mind: Proactive Classroom Management Strategies for Curriculum Instruction. Intervention in School And Clinic, 54(3), 131-140. doi: 10.1177/1053451218767905

Newsum, J. (2016). School Collection Development and Resource Management in Digitally Rich Environments: An Initial Literature Review. School Libraries Worldwide, 22(1).

Serafini, F. (2013). Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher, 66(5), 401-404. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=92711892&site=ehost-live

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Wheeler, S., & Gerver, R. (2015). Learning with ‘e’s. Crown House Publishing.

INF533 – Interactive Literature Review – Animal Sounds, Photos and Info

Word Count: 719

Category: Interactive Application
Title:
 Animal Sounds, Photos and Info
Developer: YED28; 2015.
Age Appropriateness: 4+
Cost: Free. 2 additional packs of 30 animals each available from parent protected in-app purchasing for $1.49 each.
Location: Available on any Apple device
Simultaneous Device Usage:
Unlimited

Interactive literature provide students with a combination of traditional information in conjunction with additional content that supports and develops the content in a meaningful and engaging way (Kearney, 2011). The difference from an e-book, an enhanced book and an interactive book is the rich learning experience through a digital platform. The focus on the interactive literature is to draw connections and engage students in a unique way, which can be done through the additional content present. The current climate of students are developing a plethora of digital skills and exposed to a range of mediums, learning experiences and tasks. An interactive application provides students an opportunity to showcase their experiences and support all the needs of learners based from the apps function and adaptability (Serafini, 2013).

Content, Interaction and Presentation:

The Animal Sounds, Photos and Info app provides students with high-quality pictures, sound recordings and information sheets about 50 animals available. Additional content includes a ‘match the sound’, inclusive of every animal and jigsaw puzzles of varying difficulty on each animal. For less than three dollars, teachers can gain access to an additional 60 animals.

The navigation of each animal is simple and the presentation of information is clear and structured (Bircher, 2012). Students can explore the animals from a main drop-down list or scroll left or right on the main screen. Students’ interaction with the app would be enhanced through the additional content of the puzzle and ‘match the sound’. The challenging and deep engagement with the app provides opportunities to support the learning needs of the students and meet their interests in a particular animal or focus (Kearney, 2011). The layout of the app is simple, providing limited distractions for the students (Radovan & Perdih, 2016).

Adaptability:

The adaptability of this app does not orientate around Walsh’s (2013) criteria for digital literature, rather focuses on providing engagement and factual information that is easily transferrable and expanded on depending on the interests of the students and their needs (Kearney, 2011). Biancaros & Griffiths (2012) highlight the importance of interactive tools assisting the growth of vocabulary and specific content knowledge which this app supports in students and provides the foundational steps to become a skilled reader. The various levels of activities within the app provide students with unique opportunities to develop deeper engagement with the animal of their choice, however, the information provided is simple and limited which requires the addition of other applications or information to expand on literacy tasks further.

Accessibility:

Animal Sounds, Photos and Info is an extremely accessible app being free and available on all Apple devices, provided iPads were available in the classroom. Students would benefit most from having a device each, but learning activities are still possible with the sharing of an iPad and app. The information is suitable to a Stage 2 class, however, with the use of scientific terms, a read-to-me option would assist students in making the text-to-sound connections. The value of the app also comes through students being able to navigate the app with little to no assistance from the teacher and provided with support or challenges depending on their level (Bircher, 2012).

Classroom implementation:

The Animal Sounds, Photos and Info app is a great introductory app that would instigate engagement with the various animals within the app. Teachers would use the app to demonstrate the various forms, purposes and audiences for informative text-types present within the English syllabus (NESA, 2015). There can also be connections made to explore ‘living things’ components of the Science syllabus (NESA, 2015) alongside their information and develop enthusiasm towards the topic before expanding on student learning.

Teachers would use this as a hook (Nagro, Fraser & Hooks, 2018) to introduce the concepts in focus, whether English or Science and provide opportunities to perform a diagnostic assessment of what students know and are interested in. Furthermore, the app can be used to assist students who struggle with research tasks by having the information present in a simple, yet engaging experience, making reluctant readers capable of completing their information tasks or scientific investigations.

References:

Biancarosa, G., & Griffiths, G. G. (2012). Technology tools to support reading in the digital age. The Future of Children, 22(2), 139-160. doi: 10.1353/foc.2012.0014

Bircher, K. (2012). What makes a good picture book app? The Horn Book Magazine, 3(1), 72-78.Kearney, M. (2011). A learning design for student-generated digital storytelling. Learning, Media and Technology36(2), 169-188, doi: 10.1080/17439884.2011.553623

Nagro, S., Fraser, D., & Hooks, S. (2018). Lesson Planning With Engagement in Mind: Proactive Classroom Management Strategies for Curriculum Instruction. Intervention in School And Clinic, 54(3), 131-140. doi: 10.1177/1053451218767905

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). English K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). Science K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

Radovan, M., & Perdih, M. (2016). Developing Guidelines for Evaluating the Adaptation of Accessible Web-Based Learning Materials. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 17(4). doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v17i4.2463

Serafini, F. (2013). Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher, 66(5), 401-404. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=92711892&site=ehost-live

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

 

 

INF533 – Enhanced Book Review – Conservation in the Magical Land of Oz by ABC Education

Word Count: 769

Category: Enhanced Book
Title:
 Conservation in the Magical Land of Oz
Author: ABC Education
Publisher: Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Education Services Australia Ltd 2012
Age Appropriateness: Stage 2 (8+)
Cost: Free
Location: ABC Education Website: http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/digibook/3047342/conservation-in-the-magical-land-of-oz
Simultaneous Device Usage:
Unlimited

Enhanced books differ from e-books through the additional formats of audio and visual movement and interactions. An enhanced book needs to have some form of interactivity, audio or video content and can provide links to additional content. The Conservation in the Magical Land of Oz presents these features and includes worksheets. The trend of incorporating digital formats are not meant to be a replacement of print text, which is what most basic e-books act as, but rather an expansion of traditional formats that complement information access and increase the information access available (Newsum, 2016). These complements are designed to assist students in developing the literacy skills to locate information faster and increase their learning and connections to the wider world (Manresa & Real, 2015).

Increasing students’ access and incorporating visual and audio components increases motivation and enthusiasm to the task. Expanding on the motivation and enthusiasm, teachers can assist students in developing their own understandings and strategies in a time-effective manner, further reducing frustration to digital tasks that may be present (Ross, Pechenkina, Aeschliman & Chase (2017).

Content, Interaction and Presentation:

The Conservation in the Magical Land of Oz is an informative ‘Digibook’ produced by ABC Education. The enhanced book utilises multimodal format to present information regarding animals and their conservation status within Australia. Each chapter is divided into an animal of focus, such as numbat, cuttlefish and koala, and provides written text on the side, to prompt student thinking whilst they engage with the visual and audio aspects of the text. The information is relevant to the wider world and creates opportunities for students to develop connections to their own life, a crucial aspect to learning (Manresa & Real, 2015). The quality of each video is high and promotes student engagement with the content.

Students have the opportunity to explore chapters that are intrinsically interesting to them, or explore the texts in a chronical order to decide their topic focus. The digibook is presented in a way that enables students to have their focus on the information, rather than any distractions or hyperlinks (Radovan & Perdih, 2016). Through the use of a range of animals, students are motivated to interact with the sections of text that interest and engage them.

Adaptability:

The adaptability features according to Walsh (2013) are lacking in this digibook, due to the nature of audio and visual format. Students aren’t able to annotate, bookmark or search within text for keywords, however, with the correct support from teachers could perform these features outside of the digibook. The written text is similar to the audio within the film but does not provide all the information that is presented. The language level is appropriate for Stage 2 and older, as presented on the digibook. One way of assisting students would be including a transcript for those students with hearing difficulties or to find challenging words. The website is user-friendly and simple which assists students in developing the intrinsic motivation to learn and explore more literature available.

Accessibility:

The digibook is easily accessible through any digital device and are free to access. Access would be restricted if the internet was down or one of the components did not work. Students would not gain the same benefits having access to only the visual or audio section of the text. Students with visual difficulties are able to access the literature through audio-format, however, students with a hearing impairment would be hindered due to no transcript.

Classroom implementation:

The enhanced features of this digibook provides students with the capabilities to create their own scientific research task using this digibook as the core to developing the crucial understanding of conservation. Students link both cross-curricula priorities of sustainability (ACARA, 2016) into both the Science and Geography syllabi (NESA, 2015), Students evaluate the images and information received audibly to comprehend the challenges currently being faced by the animals throughout the videos. Analysis on the visual elements as well as how a film is still considered an informative text establishes connections to the multimodal aspects of the English syllabus (NESA, 2015) and develops a deeper understanding of the skills needed to create meaning from these text types (ACARA, 2016). Teachers are also able to utilise the worksheets attached in the last chapter, linking to pages of extra information for students to use.

 

References:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Cross-Curriculum Priorities. Retrieved from https://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/cross-curriculum-priorities

Manresa, M., & Real, N. (2015). Digital Literature for Children (pp. 150-200).

Newsum, J. (2016). School Collection Development and Resource Management in Digitally Rich Environments: An Initial Literature Review. School Libraries Worldwide, 22(1).

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). English K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). Geography K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). Science K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

Radovan, M., & Perdih, M. (2016). Developing Guidelines for Evaluating the Adaptation of Accessible Web-Based Learning Materials. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 17(4). doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v17i4.2463

Ross, B., Pechenkina, E., Aeschliman, C., & Chase, A. (2017). Print versus digital texts: understanding the experimental research and challenging the dichotomies. Research in Learning Technology, 25(0). Doi: 10.25304/rlt.v25.1976

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

INF533 E-book Review – All About Big Cats by Jordyn Madison

Word Count: 746

Category: E-Book
Title: All About Big Cats
Author: Jordyn Madison
Publisher: 2014 MPB Publishing
Age Appropriate: Stage 2 (8+)
Cost: $4.19
Location: Amazon Kindle app on smartphone, tablet or Kindle device.
Simultaneous Device Usage:
Unlimited

The motion of today’s society into the information era requires a new set of skills and abilities for students to master (McAlister, 2009). The skills required to be a 21st century citizen focus on the digital landscape and students need to be familiar with how to operate and derive meaning from these online environments. Portable technology has enabled digital literature to become more prevalent and accessible in the classroom and it is essential for teachers to educate students on the interpretation of various digital literature and immerging forms of communication (Manresa & Real, 2015) including e-books.

An e-book is digitalized text from print form and is read online using a technological device (Lamb, 2011). The shift to non-traditional formats for literature are prevalent in school programs such as BYODs and the increase in platforms available to implement within the classroom. Manresa & Real (2015) highlights the importance of facilitating learning in new reading conventions, experiences and promoting exposure to new formats that are accessible through the use of a Kindle or e-reader device.

Content, Interaction and Presentation:

All About Big Cats by Jordyn Madison is an American e-book available through the Kindle app. The 47 page book is organised into chapters based on the animal focus and students are able to select the area they wish to move to with ease using the table of contents. The information is comprehensible for students in Stage 2 and provides basic information about each animal in focus. The dictionary function works within the e-book to assist students that are unfamiliar with any concepts or topic addressed. Further links are provided to different texts and can be provided to the students if suited to the learning objectives.

Interest is gathered and maintained through the use of images throughout the text, however, since there is only interaction with text and no other media, students could become disengaged. The presentation follows the traditional format of print media. An interesting addition occurring in the Kindle app is the text is underlined if other Kindle users have highlighted that text as important, which can assist students in understanding the crucial information, however, according to Radovan & Perdih (2016) may interrupt students’ readability of the overall text.

Adaptability:

Walsh (2013) provided features of adaptability to include being able to search for keywords and phrases, bookmarking capabilities, annotation, changes to font size, background colour and the incorporation of dyslexic-assistive fonts. The Kindle app provides each of these features that occur in a user-friendly manner, making it engaging for students to use the various components. Students may choose a particular ‘big cat’ and bookmark the pages on their cat and proceed to write notes within the app itself.

Improvements in converting text-to-voice could promote students’ oral vocabulary as there are examples of geographical locations that students would not be familiar with. Another improvement would be the conversion of the imperial measurements into the metric system.

Accessibility:

The requirement for this to be accessible for each students would be working in small groups and sharing an iPad per group or each student having access to a device that has the Kindle app. The Kindle app is not available for Chromebooks or Microsoft operating systems which can cause barriers to access for some schools and students (Leu, McVerry, O’Byrne, Kiili, Zawilinski, Everett-Cacopardo, Kennedy & Forzani, 2011). This e-book would be most effective in the classroom if every member had access to a Kindle-friendly device and the initial cost could be budgeted for. The e-book can still be sourced in other methods, however, the most effective would be through the app as it can be accessed across the board of students.

Classroom implementation:

Students use this e-book to develop an understanding of the digital formats and how to develop their literacy and comprehension skills, such as scanning, in a digital layout (ACARA, 2016). Working within small groups, if limited on devices (Bormann & Lowe, 2010), students are able to record meaning and develop an ability to identify literal information in texts, form meaning and develop an understanding of the purpose of information text types (NESA, 2015). Using this e-book as a foundation or introduction lesson in the class to provide students with guided instruction and developing the initial research and literacy skills would maximise the text’s positive features.

References:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). English K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

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

Leu, D. J., McVerry, J. G., O’Byrne, W. I., Kiili, C., Zawilinski, L., Everett-Cacopardo, H., et al. (2011). The new literacies of online reading comprehension: Expanding the literacy and learning curriculum. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1), (pp. 5–14). doi: 10.1598/JAAL.55.1.1

Manresa, M., & Real, N. (2015). Digital Literature for Children (pp. 105-120).

McAlister, A. (2009). Teaching the millennial generation. American Music Teacher, 58(7), 13–15. Radovan, M., & Perdih, M. (2016). Developing Guidelines for Evaluating the Adaptation of Accessible Web-Based Learning Materials. The International Review of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 17(4). doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v17i4.2463

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

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