INF533: Assessment 4: Part C: Critical Reflection

Word Count: 750

Originally when approaching this subject, Literature In Digital Environments, I had a basic understanding that technology and books combined are eBooks, however, eBooks would not take over the publishing industry. Throughout this course I have explored the vast nature of digital literature, the ebb and flow of trends, the impact of digital storytelling and interactive texts can have on both teaching and learning as well as how to create these stories and implement them within the classroom myself. In my Introduction Post to the unit I noted my limited knowledge and practices, however, I failed to note my hesitation towards implementing digital literature as I was unaware of what is considered quality literature.

Throughout this course I have constantly referred to Serafini & Young (2013) because the article left a resounding understanding of what digital texts look like and what they offer in the classroom. The importance of having quality literature and pedagogies that allow students to explore the 4 areas mentioned by Serafini & Young has shaped the way I teach and the way I look at digital literature.

In Assignment 1 I did not understand the extensiveness of digital formats out there and stuck with limited choices rather than expanding my search and utilizing the time to find outstanding texts for my classroom. Digital literature provides a lot of choice for teachers to select from, however, the course has provided us with the resources and tools to select quality criteria (Walsh, 2013; Yokota & Teale, 2014) and as a result quality literature. Reflecting on my choices I regret not expanding into the wider web and selecting quality websites that engage students on a deeper level and provide more opportunities for controlling the narrative as there are numerous categories of digital narratives (Groth, 2018) that I was unaware of and unwilling to explore.

Another reference that has resonated with my understanding of digital literature is Tackvic (2012). Tackvic highlights the importance of teaching digital literature in a way that students can utilize the skills and technologies in a variety of circumstances as these will pave the way for students being 21st century citizens. Students need to understand the fundamental skills and advance their technology tools to maintain their role in a technology driven and focused world. Knowing how crucial it is that students have the capabilities to source their own information, read and create digital literature to share and analyse and to develop their own unique outlook on the digital world encourages the use of quality, authentic and numerous digital experiences that allow students to explore the digital world in an engaging way.

Tackvic (2012) discusses that through digital platforms, students can find the process of writing less challenging and more engaging. A great example being utilized in my classroom is Pobble365 where students select an image, discuss with a friend and then write a narrative in GoogleDocs and submit the narrative within the session. Students locate their own inspiration or be guided by the teacher’s choice. Digital photos have opened avenues for creativity and unique expressions of self that may have been more challenging to create by hand originally.

Alexander (2011) discussed how narratives have changed and examples of how storytelling occurs in the digital world. Alexander provided an understanding of the various forms that storytelling can be found and helped to create a framework of the ways in which students can explore narratives in a new perspective. Shifting the perspective from consumer to creator allows students to become collaborators and producers of creative narratives (Mills & Levido, 2011) that express themselves  in unique light.

 

One area that I am working to improve on is the implementation of copyright with digital texts. For the Digital Storytelling Project, I thought my idea was sound, however, creating a digital product is not a remake and I had failed to think of the copyright stance of creating a digital remake. Digital texts commonly use other sources and materials, but issues can be rectified with knowledge and learning. Teaching creative commons licensing and the importance of referencing correctly assist students in developing a better understanding and avoidance of major issues (Agnew, 2009).

This course has expanded my knowledge of digital narratives in multiple ways and I am thankful that my pedagogies have shifted to meet the needs of my students, co-workers and wider community.

Part C References:

Agnew, G. (2009, September 3). Restrictions of digital rights management [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/aRfX2gPwXMo

Alexander, B. (2011). Storytelling: A tale of two generations, Chapter 1. In The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=678297&ppg=20

Bernard, P. (2019, July 28). INF533 Assignment Post 1 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/paigespages/2019/07/28/assignment-post-1/

Groth, S. (2018, May 20). Still defining digital literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thewritingplatform.com/2018/05/still-defining-digital-literature/

Mills, K.A., & 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. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativityThe Educational Forum, 76(4), 426.

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).

Yokota, J. & Teale, W. H. (2014). Picture books and the digital world: educators making informed choices. The Reading Teacher, 34(6). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/3886534/Picture_Books_and_the_Digital_World_Educators_ Making_Informed_Choices

INF533: Assessment 4: Part A: Context.

Word Count: 750

The digital story-telling project is designed to engage students’ interest and display an example of how students can interpret their own creations. Originally the task was for students to redesign a sustainability text and critique the text on the important topic of Sustainability, however, after discussions of originality and copyright were presented, the texts then became an inspiration, rather than a digital copy. The audience for this story is the students of 5/6Gold to present their assessment challenge and create a unique exploration of Bowen Public School.

The story is presented as an adventure through Bowen Public School and students are presented with areas of sustainability and the impact the school community has on the environment. The subject areas of Science, through the exploration of human impact on the environment (NESA, 2015), and English remain at the forefront and the importance of sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (ATSIHC) remain prevalent and develop ICT capabilities as a cross-curricula priorities (ACARA, 2016). The purpose of the story is to formulate questions and ideas about ATSIHC and Sustainability present in Bowen Public School and encourage students to focus on the area that is most relevant to their individual lives (University of Houston, 2013). Students will then be grouped based on their interests and continue the project by creating their own digital story on their chosen topic within Bowen Public School and/or their local community.

Bowen Public School has a substantial amount of opportunities for students to participate in ATSIHC through NAIDOC, BroSpeak and SisterSpeak as well as in the classroom. The project allows students to focus on the areas that they need to address in their learning and feel comfortable presenting. Bowen Public School has a 50% Indigenous population. By providing the option students who are non-Indigenous can learn more about the Indigenous culture and Indigenous learners can either highlight their culture or learn about Sustainability. Sustainability is not currently a large priority for the school and this project is designed to promote an interest and understanding of Sustainability and how it could be further developed within Bowen Public School.

Multimodal texts as an area of study has been planned for Term 4 and the project is creating a space for students to explore how texts work in a digital format, how to shape their own digital stories and decide on their audience (NESA,2015), whether that be to the class, teachers or school community as a whole as well as exploring relevant and real life topics (Tackvic, 2012). Students are provided with guidance to support the various learning needs through different texts as examples of ATSIHC and Sustainability and the deconstruction of the story used as an example. Students are given guidance and support in constructing the storyboards and plans, as well as how to incorporate either video footage or photographs shot on iPads, iPhones or the professional cameras provided by the school. Each student has a Chromebook with Windows Movie Maker and explicit step by step lessons establish how the ‘hook’ story was designed enables students to edit their own digital stories.

The value of a digital storytelling product is through reading, sharing, creating and analyzing (Serafini & Young, 2013). The project requires students to read and understand texts on a deeper level to ensure that they are presenting the information correctly and accurately. They develop their reading and writing skills through the project and synthesise their ideas to ensure it fits within the 3-5 minute timeframe. Sharing is presented through the development and creation of their video to share on an online community and converse with the larger school community about topics that they are interested and engaging with. The creation of their video is a source of quality understand and assessment and provide students with a tangible product to admire and continue to reflect on. The creating process requires high-order thinking skills to be activated and students will need to have the confidence in their final product. Finally students need to critically analyse their final works and the other members of the class to reflect on their learning and experiences to help solidify learning and to inform further teaching activities.

This digital storytelling product requires students to be able to work in a group environment alongside having access to the recording devices and Chromebooks. Students need to receive a USB to ensure that students consistently have access to their product. Consideration to the length of the video, the language used and the supports students need.

 

References

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

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.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativityThe Educational Forum, 76(4), 426.

University of Houston (2013). Educational uses of digital storytelling: What is digital storytelling? Retrieved from http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/page.cfm?id=27&cid=27

Module 4.1: Digital storytelling

What questions (or answers) have formed in your mind in relation to digital storytelling? How does social media fit into the mix for you? What are the most important connections to learning overall?

I find that I am questioning the expanse of digital storytelling and the applications I could make within the classroom. Is a twitter thread narrating an event that happened over the course of time considered a non-fictional tale? Buzzfeed articles are considered to be literature, as many articles in print form are considered but where does story fall into this realm? Alexander (2011) highlighted some examples of storytelling in the 21st century and it resonated the strength of story, especially online. As an avid player of the Sims I constantly build a narrative through gameplay and type their history and life into the game. Is this a digital story of fictional characters I have created? It might not be quality literature but it’s engaging and my aim is to make meaning for my fictional characters and myself.

Social media platforms can be a thorn for teachers due to age restrictions and cyberbullying but if moderated and utilise different safety features, social media can provide a wealth of information and stories for students to gather and enjoy. The most important connections with learning is the ability to utilise the technology tools and skills developed in the classroom in a range of contexts to strengthen students’ ability to be members of the 21st century (Tackvic, 2012).

Alexander, B. (2011). Storytelling: A tale of two generations, Chapter 1. In The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=678297&ppg=20

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativity. The Educational Forum, 76(4), 426. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131725.2012.7075622

Module 3: Exploring digital forms

Explore innovative digital literature sites. What did you enjoy most? How could you incorporate social networking sites for literature organisation and access, such as Inside a Dog, GoodReads or LibraryThing into your practice?

Being familiar with Goodreads is beneficial in being able to incorporate this platform into my teaching. Students are currently writing reviews for Oliver and as a class we could create a profile and post our reviews and ratings communally. Students would be able to see interactions with others reviews and provide an authentic voice to the target audience. The Goodreads shelves and Inside A Dog provide excellent and relevant literature for students to explore.

Inside A Dog, whilst more YA orientated than primary students (my current class), it provides students with an understanding of the current publishing industry audience. Students can create a literature study of any appropriate texts and discuss online which they would vote for and why they would consider it or not.

Another aspect that could be incorporated for students to present their views online but keep it within a meditated section would be to have a Google Site dedicated to our reading where each tab would provide options for students to add their experiences and engagement with literature and keep the discussions within the class. Personally, I love the idea of being able to express yourself globally but I understand a few of my current parents may not agree with that view.

Module 2.2: Challenges of using digital literature in the classroom

There is an enormous difference between facility with technology and being able to engage with the content of digital literature. How can you alter your pedagogy to ensure technology and digital literature is embedded in your educational practices?

The alterations need in my pedagogy needs to focus on the quality of the literature being used within the classroom. Technology can be used as a ‘hook’ for student engagement, however, if this hook provides no other value than novelty then the technology isn’t being utilised to its fullest capacity. Digital literacy and inquiry tasks need to have substance and provide students with connections to larger contexts. As discussed by Serafini & Young (2013) the opportunities to have quality digital experiences surrounding literature can be accessed through the reading, sharing, discussing and analysing activities and lessons, but they need to provide value to the students. Context and the ability to apply skills in a range of situations, especially from digital environments is crucial to teach to students. The challenge is finding the balance with engaging students and providing them the quality opportunities to expand their learning and love of literature.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Module 2.1: Digital environments

Think about your own journey as an educator – what has changed in your teaching practice over the course of your career with regards to technology use and literature? Is that change embedded at a core level, or is it a matter of changing tools?

Having only graduated at the end of last year my teaching career hasn’t been a long one so far, however I am still learning and growing in terms of technology use and combining literature with technology. I got placed on a 3/4 class at the beginning of the term and their use of technology was amazing. I quickly got up to scratch on utilising Google Classroom and how to incorporate digital technology in any form of lesson. I had not heard of Wushka before and the students really enjoy reading texts from the Chromebooks. Students also have a Chromebook each, which was unheard of in any of my other teaching experiences. Students engage with literature in a different way and are able to access thousands of stories at a drop of a hat.

My teaching practice has to evolve to incorporate the teaching of new formats and teaching students how to develop their own multimodal texts, which is part of the English syllabus. I also utilise Seesaw which is an app where students can record themselves discussing literature and share that with members of the class, creating a stronger sense of meaning and formatting their ideas to be vocally coherent. The change is not a matter of tools but understanding and teaching students how to engage with this new format that is constantly evolving. Serafini & Youngs (2013) discuss how students are still decoding language, however, the structures and formats being presented are different and teachers need to ensure students have the skills to understand these changes. Sharing, such as on Seesaw, has also become global and students are able to participate in social situations to share, discuss and analyse texts online. I am an active consumer of ‘BookTube’ and discuss novels frequently with friends all over the world and I would like to incorporate it more in my classroom next term.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Module 1.1: Evaluating digitally reproduced stories

After completing the above readings, consider Walsh’s chapter, and share your knowledge, understanding and experiences with digital narratives in the subject forum. What are the key points of synergy that you have encountered? What are the differences?

My experiences of utilising digital narratives is extremely limited. I am familiar with the ‘traditional literature re-presented in a digital space’ (Walsh, 2013) and have viewed Dust Echoes before but did not understand the value or consider the website as literature. Digital narratives feel overwhelming due to the various hybrid forms that they can be presented in, however, the value of engaging readers and presenting meaning-making in new and authentic ways should hopefully outweigh any hesitations that I or other teachers may be facing. As a future Teacher Librarian I need to formulate a deep understanding of how to best invoke the learning of students and foster that love of literature so prevalent in today’s society.

Unsworth’s (2006) provides categories to assist in developing an understanding of the e-literature environment how the continuum of literature is constantly merging, evolving and innovating. Key uses of synergy is to foster a deeper sense of engagement and provoke more from the story, whether that be emotions and reactions from the reader, connecting to a wider audience or emphasising a point within the narrative. Traditional literature can synthesise a combination of literacy techniques to provoke more but engaging more senses like touch navigation or audio combinations with visuals further impact on the reading experience.

Unsworth, L. (2006). E-literature for children. Enhancing digital literacy learning. Routledge, London.

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).  https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf

INF533 – Assessment 3 Topic Proposal

Topic:

How is sustainability present within literature?

Stage 3 Students are divided into 5 groups and are given the choice of 5 sustainable texts to create a video around. Students are allocated a fortnight block throughout Term 4 to complete their video.

Text List:

Collected Poems by Judith Wright

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat by Stephen Michael King

One World by Michael Foreman

One Plastic Bag by Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

Digital Tools and Spaces.

Windows Movie Maker would be utilised for students to create their videos, working for a fortnight on their presentation to be uploaded to the class YouTube channel. Students are able to add clips, texts and pictures to make a holistic video.

Rationale:

Sustainability is an area not present at the forefront of learning within my current school. This project would be a Stage 3 semester summative assessment in either Term 2 or Term 4. Prior to the term a “sustainable” term would be run to provide students with the knowledge needed to complete the task and would run in either Term 1 or Term 3. This ensures that students can highlight and explore a range of sustainable measures that individuals and larger communities can take. The idea is that students are combining comprehension skills with an investigation and fulfilling research skills through creating a questionnaire within their group, aligning with both the English syllabus and the Science syllabus. Sustainability is also a cross-curriculum priority.

Students are provided with the digital skills to make this video and edit it independently throughout the “sustainable term”. The fortnight timeframe allows students to draft a script and brainstorm ideas, record the video footage and edit and upload their final creation. Students are required to compose, edit and communicate effectively their ideas on sustainability present within the text.

Sections of the resource:

  • Overall is a 4-5 minute video.
  • Minutes 1-3: showcases the text in video or animation form and then students answer the focus question: “How does this text promote sustainability?”
  • Minutes 4-5: Students will formulate one question each and ask that to the members of their group and record their answer.

Curriculum Codes:

ST3-4LW-S, ST3-1WS-S, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-3A, EN3-7C, EN3-8D.

 

I am so excited to experiment and make one of the presentations.

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