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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 Technology, 36(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.