Digital Storytelling

The art of storytelling is intrinsically human. 

Tumisu / Pixabay

 

Stories are the way humans have conveyed information, cultural traditions and ideologies throughout the centuries as well as being the conduit of language, literature and literacy (Cornett, 2014). But whilst stories have been part of human culture for millenia, the way these stories are ingressed have evolved.  Burkey (2016), points out that access to stories has not changed but prevalence of personal devices and evolving technologies have increased the methods of access.  This is because storytelling, and the format in which they occur, are a reflection of societal norms.  This shift in storytelling access is more apparent in young people as personal devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are an essential part of a teen’s social capital, and a reflection of their generation (Vidales-Bolanos & Sadaba-Chalezquer, 2017).  

manfredsteger / Pixabay

 

Digital storytelling (DST) is a rapidly developing format that combines emerging technologies and literary works (Ciccorico, 2012).  The process allows visual, audio and textual elements to be woven together to convey information in a digital format for either recreation or informative purposes (Ohler, 2013, p.94).   The fundamental difference between a traditional story and a DST, is that the latter would lose its value if viewed without a screen.  This is because the interactive and gaming elements present in most DST require the use of technology and a personal device for a transaction to occur between the story and the viewer (Ciccorico, 2012).  The integration of DST in educational practice encourages students beyond just passively using technology into creators and users of technology.  

From an education perspective, DST has great potential for teaching and learning.  Moran et al., (2020) believes that the combination of storytelling and technology can improve traditional literacies and 21st century skills. The multimodality of DST allows students to engage and experiment with different literacies, formats and technologies across the curriculum and address the needs of diverse learners.  This exposure to DST has an ability to impact literacy identities as well as provide assistance to EALD students and those with learning needs (Moran et al., 2020; Ross Johnston, 2014).  When DST is integrated into teaching practice it allows the students to experience the text in a dynamic way by expanding algorithmic creativity and narrative perspectives (Ciccorico, 2012).  It also allows teachers to engage students into difficult content matter such as the Holocaust and White Australia Policy as the format allows for the interweaving of primary and secondary sources in a non confrontational manner. 

DST is a highly adaptable format that can be used effectively across the curriculum and year levels to effectively address curriculum outcomes.  ACARA (2018) requires teachers to integrate digital literature such as DST in their practice to ensure students have the relevant skills and literacies for active citizenship in a digital world (MCEETYA, 2008).  Educators who fail to integrate mobile technology into pedagogy limit the development of new literacies and competencies.  By incorporating DST in educational practice, teachers are encouraging students beyond the passive use of technology to active users and creators of technology (Moran et al., 2020, p.6).

References

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

 Burkey, A. (2016). Shifting stories in a digital world. FYI 20 (1), p.12-15. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_rmit_aeipt_211907

Ciccoricco, D. (2012). Chapter 34 – Digital fiction – networked narratives. In Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (2012). The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Taylor & Francis eBooks. Retrieved from CSU Library. 

Cornet, C. E. (2014). Integrating the literary arts throughout the curriculum. In Creating meaning through literature and the arts: arts integration for Classroom teachers (5th ed,) (pp144-193) USA

Curran, G. (2017). Unlocking life stories through digital storytelling. Fine Print 40(1), p. 28-30. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_rmit_primary_828942069094737

Littlejohn, K. (2018). 1917live: Historical storytelling in the digital space. Teaching History 52(4), p. 4-7. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_rmit_primary_207856499201807

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

MCEETYA (2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

Moran, R., Lamie, C., Robertson, L., & Tai, C. (2020). Narrative writing, digital storytelling, and coding: Increasing motivation with young readers and writers. Australian Literacy Educators Association, 25 (2), p.6-10. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_gale_infotracacademiconefile_A627277934

Ohler, J.B. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom: New media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/1hkg98a/alma991012780180302357

Ross Johnston, R. (2014). Literary literacies: Digital, cultural, narrative, critical and deep literacies. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 556). Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Vidales-Bolanos, M., & Sadaba-Chalezquer, C. (2017). Connected Teens: Measuring the Impact of Mobile Phones on Social Relationships through Social Capital. Media Education Research Journal 53(25). Retrieved by https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1171085.pdf

Reflection – Reviewing Digital Literature for a High School Library.

Reviewing Digital Literature for a High School Library.

congerdesign / Pixabay

 

A teacher librarian (TL) is tasked with ensuring the collection development and management policy (CDMP) suits the needs of the curriculum and the school community (Johnson, 2018).  

Whilst the curation of the physical collection is well established, the rapidly evolving nature of digital resources makes the selection of digital literature (DL) more challenging.  This complexity arises from the variety of emerging DL trends and their integration into the library management system (LMS) (Johnson, 2018, p.128; Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005).   

geralt / Pixabay

There has been much controversy regarding the efficacy of digital literature (DL) in education.  Jeon (2012) suggests that DL has lower rates of comprehension in comparison to print, but Ross et al., (2017) believes that there is no notable difference between print, screen and tablet.  The discrepancy is based upon the role digitisation plays in comprehension.  Keen (2016) believes that digitisation increases engagement, improves learning outcomes and addresses the behavioural, cognitive and developmental needs of teenagers.  Whereas Mitchell (2011) points out that not all digital texts are superior to print texts, and that DL needs to be evaluated  against a set criteria to ensure that the enhancements promote the learning of literacy and language.  

A printed text requires:

  •  a single literacy to gain access to the information.   

However, DL needs the reader to be:

  • masterful with multiliteracies,
  •  competent with computation and 
  • dexterous with devices (Rettberg, 2012).  

These skill requirements indicate that poor traditional literacy will translate to poor digital literacy because technology virtuosity and digital aptitude are not intuitive  (Moore & Cahill, 2016, p.5; Brown & Czerniewicz, 2011).  This necessity of explicit instruction has thoroughly debunked the myth of the digital native.  

 

ACARA (2018) has included DL in the Australian Curriculum in an effort to address the multimodal and multiliteracy needs of the 21st century.  The embedding of DL allows students to use these new technologies to connect to the curriculum, develop multiliteracies and competencies, which are essential for active citizenship in a digital society (MCEETYA, 2008; Cullen; 2015).  Importantly, DL acknowledges students’ learning needs, the shift in the reading paradigm as well as the presence of participatory culture in modern society (O’Connell, Bates & Mitchell, 2015; Moore & Cahill, 2016, p.6). 

There are several pedagogical implications of utilising DL in teaching practice.  Visual ergonomics and information overload have significant impacts on the reader (Mangen, Walgermo & Bronnick., 2013).  Print texts have strong visual permanence which aids comprehension, but in nonlinear hypertext narratives such as After 6/4, the inability to ‘flip back’ is a hindrance.  However, both Schreuder’s digital novel and the Bible app provide linearity and a sequential storyline which facilitates text comprehension for low ability and literacy students (Gonzales, 2016; Botzakis, 2018).   

Information overload is an issue in After 6/4 and Land of the Magic Flute.  The multimodality of these resources require readers to critically evaluate the images, text and audio simultaneously, and this can overwhelm some students.   But in Schreuder’s digital graphic novel, the arias give the reader time to process the multimodal information, whereas in After 6/4, the format enables the reader to navigate at their own pace.

Peggy_Marco / PixabayFrom a pedagogical perspective, app based learning such as the YouVersion Bible app are ideal for teenagers in a Catholic High school  as it promotes engagement, increases motivation, provides access to online communities, allows for text anonymity and acknowledges the importance of a personal devices to a teenager’s social capital (Cullen, 2015; Vidales-Bolanos & Sadaba-Chalezquer, 2017; Yokota & Teale, 2014; Dickenson, 2014; Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018).  This app also satisfies the requirement of enhancing the learning of language, and the supplementary videos assist in decoding and comprehension for EAL/D and learning needs students  (Gonzales, 2016).  

The major hurdle to implementing this app across the school is that it is an app.  My school has a strong mobile phone policy due to persistent disciplinary issues (Selwyn, 2019).  The current criteria does not permit its inclusion even though this app meets the educational, behavioural and behavioural needs of the students, as well as addressing the content requirements.  This exclusion of this resource should question the validity of the CDMP and its selection criteria in this digital age (Johnson, 2018).

The reality is that teachers are very confused about young people and their literary preferences.  Dickenson (2014) and Earp (2017) both agree that teens favour print, whereas Twenge et al., (2019) suggests that the internet and interactive media are the preferred medium due to the prevalence of participatory culture.  But this preference does not always translate to successful classroom practice.  Whilst students may have a strong inclination for DL, not all formats aid the learning of literacy and language.   It would be poor professional practice to promote DL that impedes learning, just like its poor practice to exclude excellent resources due to an impediment in the CDMP.  

But then… I did just that. 

But then… I did just that. 

Sometimes our practice is as only good as the policies that frame it. 

References: 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/literacy/introduction/introduction

Brown, C., & Czerniewicz, L. (2010). Debunking the ‘digital native’: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy.  Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 26(5). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00369.x

Dickenson, D. (2014). Children and reading: Literature review. Australia Council 2014. Retrieved from https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/research/children-and-reading-literatur-5432557e418db.pdf.

Earp, J. (2017). Infographic – Teen reading habits. Teacher Magazine. Australian Council for Educational Research.  Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/infographic-teen-reading-habits

Botzakis, S. (2018). Comics in the classroom: Using graphic novels for content learning. In D. Wooten, B. Cullinan, L. Liang & R. Allington (Eds).  Children’s literature in the reading program: Engaging young readers in the 21st century, (5th ed., pp. 140-152). Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Cullen, M. (2015, December 21). How is interactive media changing the way children learn. In EducationTechnology. Retrieved from https://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/12/how-is-interactive-media-changing-the-way-children-learn/

Gonzalez, J. (2016, October 9). Graphic novels in the classroom: A teacher roundtable. Cult of Pedagogy. Retrieved from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/teaching-graphic-novels/

Hashim, A & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education, 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection management for youth : Responding to the needs of learners. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Jabr, F. (2013). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

Jeon, H. (2012). A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. The Electronic Library, 30(3), 390-408. doi: 10.1108/02640471211241663 

Johnson, P. (2018). Chapter 4 – Developing Collections. Fundamentals of Collection Development 4th Edition. ALA Editions. Chicago. Retrieved from EBSCOhost Books.   

Keen, N. (2016). Stopping the slide: improving reading rates in the middle school. Connections, 99. Retrieved from https://www.scisdata.com/connections/issue-99/stopping-the-slide-improving-reading-rates-in-the-middle-school/

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B. R., & Bronnick, K.A. (2013). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, 61-68.doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.12.002 

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

MCEETYA. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: the role of school libraries. FYI: The Journal for School Information Professionals 15(2). Retrieved from CSU Library. 

Moore, J., & Cahill, M. (2016). Audiobooks; Legitimate ‘reading’ material for adolescents? Research Journal of the American Association of School Librarians. Retrieved from www.ala.org/aasl/slr/volume19/moore-cah

Moorefield-Lang, H., & Gavigan, K. (2012). These aren’t your father’s: the new world of digital graphic novels. Knowledge Quest, 40(3), 30-35. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=b349502e-3dd2-48d3-9d9a-6beed7db31cc%40pdc-v-sessmgr05&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=82563984&db=lih

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., Mitchell, P. (2015). [R]Evolution in reading cultures: 2020 vision for school libraries. The Australian Library Journal, 63(3), 194-208. DOI: 10.1080/00049670.2015.1048043

Rettberg, J.W. (2012). Electronic literature seen from a distance: the beginnings of a field. Retrieved from http://www.dichtung-digital.org/2012/41/walker-rettberg.ht

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. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v25.1976. Retrieved from https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/1976/pdf_1

Selwyn, N. (2019). Banning mobile phones in schools: Beneficial or risky? SBS News. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/news/banning-mobile-phones-in-schools-beneficial-or-risky-here-s-what-the-evidence-says

Teen Reading In a Digital Era. (2017). Report at a glance – Teen Reading in a digital era. Murdoch University & Deakin University.  Retrieved from https://teenreadingdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/teen-reading-folio-report_email.pdf

Twenge, J., Martin, G., & Spitzberg, B. (2019). Trends in U.S. adolescents’ media use, 1976-2016: the rise of media, the decline of tv, and the (near) demise of print. Psychology of Popular Media Culture 8(4). p.329-345. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/ppm-ppm0000203.pdf

Vidales-Bolanos, M., & Sadaba-Chalezquer, C. (2017). Connected Teens: Measuring the Impact of Mobile Phones on Social Relationships through Social Capital. Media Education Research Journal 53(25). Retrieved by https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1171085.pdf

Yokota, J., & Teale, W. (2014). Picture books and the digital world. The Reading Teacher 67(8), pp.577-585.    DOI:  10.1002/trtr.1262   

 

 

Reviewing Digital Literature – The Land of the Magic Flute

Resource 3 – The Land of the Magic Flute

Summary:

The Land of the Magic Flute is a convergence of music, narrative and digital media and can be described as a modern opera.  Based upon a famous Mozart & Schikaneder Singspiel, Die ZauberFlote (1791) , this graphic novel (GN) adaptation is a quest for enlightenment, knowledge, justice and truth that is conveyed through haunting imagery, text, sound and Mozart’s arias.  The colour and images are very evocative of two main settings, with the modern world in bright colours, and the fantastical world in sombre shades with harsh angles.  This resource would appeal to fans of classical music, graphic novels and multimodal literature. 

Curriculum Links:

  1. Year 7 English – ACHHS214 
  2. Year 8 English – ACHHS157
  3. Year 9 English – ACELT1637/ ACELY1739 / ACHHS175
  4. Year 7 & 8 Music – ACAMUR097
  5. Year 9 & 10 Music – ACAMUR104

Learning, Literacy and Language:

Graphic novels (GN) offer great opportunities for promoting language, literacy and learning, but are often underestimated because of their non traditional format (Laycock, 2019; Gonzales, 2016).  The Land of the Magic Flute uses clever combinations of prose, poetry, film, imagery and music to convey the storyline and this makes it a valuable resource for content delivery, as well as improving multimodal and critical cultural literacies (Laycock, 2019).  GN are predominantly used within language arts courses, but can also be utilised effectively across other content areas to support literary learning.  For example Maus (1991), Auschwitz (2004) and Bag of Marbles (1973) are frequently used in studying the Holocaust as the visual nature of the GN allow readers to relate to the sensitive issues within the text without being overwhelmed (Gonzales, 2016).  

Digital graphic novels (DGN) promote emerging literacies and critical thinking, because the narrative structure and complex storyline provides the reader with cultural history and context (Karp, 2011; Maniace, 2014; Brenner, 2015).  Readers are able to identify emotions from the variance in facial expressions, body language and physical metaphors present.  The sequential imagery, linearity of narrative and visual permanence facilitate text comprehension for reluctant readers, visual learners, low literacy and EALD students (Gonzales, 2016; Brenner, 2015; Botzakis, 2018; Karp, 2011).   The features such as embedded music and computer graphics, were used successfully to enhance the storyline  (Kirtz, 2014). 

 The embedding of the seven Mozart arias during pivotal points in the narrative gives the reader time to contemplate the storyline and the value of that modality at that point in the story.  The arias  are supported by subtitles and emphasise the tension in the story, allow the reader time to analyse the words in conjunction with the graphics and this combined effect provides context for increased comprehension and independent reading (Botzakis, 2018; Leu, 2005).   The inclusion of fantastical creatures meets the needs of adolescents who seek fantasy stories as a method in which to understand and investigate the difference between good and evil in humanity (Kole, 2011). 

 DGN have great capacity for innovative teaching, but educators are disinclined to utilise GN because of the assumed lack of literary qualities and that they require the same explicit instruction and scaffolding as traditional texts for comprehension and literacy development (Phelps, 2011; Botzakis, 2018; Hallman & Schieble, 2012).  The reality is that  that explicit instruction and the effective teaching of multimodal literacies utilising DGN can lead to a transference of ability to other texts and disciplines (Hallman & Schieble, 2012). 

Trends:

Digital GN is the convergence of two major literary trends: sophisticated graphic narratives and digital literature (Moorefield-Land & Gavigan, 2012; Walsh, 2013).    The recent plethora of DGN is due to its lowered publication costs and this allows emerging artists and authors increased opportunities for self publication  (Moorefield-Lang & Gavigan, 2012).   Whilst GN collectors prefer print editions, avid readers tend to prefer digital versions as they are often cheaper and can be purchased on the release date (Wilson, 2019).  

 Technology:

The Land of the Magic Flute is accessible on all devices with internet access and Flash or Javascript installations, but the digitisation effect is more pronounced on tablets (Wilson, 2019).   Authentic learning requires students to be in their third place, and integrating GN and DGN into the curriculum narrows the strong dichotomy between student choice and curriculum canon (Grazotis, 2017; Phelps, 2011; Laycock, 2019) .  

Resource integration:

GN are traditionally classified within Dewey at 741.5 but most school libraries merge all titles to a single location and whilst DGN cannot be physically stored in a particular location, it can be catalogued and linked into the library management system (LMS) (Kan, 2020).  The Land of the Magic Flute can be integrated into the LMS, LibQuests and class intranet pages as well as accessible from most devices, which makes it an excellent teaching tool.  Like other interactive websites, there is no guarantee of longevity and as the resource requires internet access to work. It would be recommended that this DGN is used for classroom practice to limit the digital demand on rural, remote and low income households (DIIS, 2016).  

Recommendation:

The Land of the Magic Flute successfully meets the needs of the curriculum, as well as addresses the developmental, literacy and critical thinking needs of the modern teenager.  It would make a valuable addition to a school library collection.  

 

References:

Brenner, R. (2015).  A guide to using graphic novels with children and teens. Graphix. Scholastic Teachers. Scholastic. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/guide-using-graphic-novels-children-and-teens/

Graphic Novels in Education [Blog]. American Libraries. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2011/08/01/the-case-for-graphic-novels-in-education/

Graphix. (2018). A guide to using graphic novels with children and teens. Scholastic Australia. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/content/dam/teachers/lesson-plans/18-19/Graphic-Novel-Discussion-Guide-2018.pdf

Grazotis, J. 2017, ‘Unlocking the third space – Activating your library’, Scan 36(4), pp. 34-35. Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/scan/past-issues/vol-36–2017/unlocking-the-third-space-activating-your-library

Hallman, H., & Schieble, M. (2012). Dimensions of young adult literature: Moving into “New Times”. The ALAN Review 39 (2). DOI: https://doi.org/10.21061/alan.v39i2.a.5

Kan, K. (2020). Cataloguing graphic novels [Blog]. Diamond Bookshelf. Diamond Comic Distributions. Retrieved from https://www.diamondbookshelf.com/Home/1/1/20/181?articleID=37812

Kirtz, J.L. (2014). Computers, comics and cult status: A forensics of digital graphic novels. Digital Humanities Quarterly 8 (3). Retrieved from http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/8/3/000185/000185.html

Kole, K. (2018). The role of fairy tales in affective learning: Enhancing adult literacy and learning in FE and community settings. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 58(3), 365-389. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/2250950746?accountid=10344

Maniace, E. (2014). Reading process comparison between graphic novels and traditional novels.  Education and Human Development Master’s theses. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1539&context=ehd_theses

Mozart, W.G. (Composer) & Schikaneder, E. (Librettist). (1791). Die ZauberfloteA Singspiel in 2 Acts. Vienna, Austria. 

Phelps, V. (2011). Pedagogy of graphic novels. Master Theses & Specialist Projects – American Popular Culture Commons. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2070&context=theses

Schumacher, J. (2014). More ways to pitch graphic novels [Blog]. Literacy Now. International Literacy Association. Retrieved from https://www.literacyworldwide.org/blog/literacy-now/2014/08/12/more-ways-to-pitch-graphic-novels

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).

Wilson, J. (2019). Everything you need to know about digital comics. PC Magazine News. Retrieved from https://au.pcmag.com/features/12330/everything-you-need-to-know-about-digital-comics

 

 

Reviewing Digital Literature – YouVersion Bible Mobile Application

 

Resource 2 – YouVersion Bible Mobile Application 

Summary:

The YouVersion Bible mobile application (Bible app) contains a range of Bible versions, which make it a suitable resource for aspects of the national curriculum and in all schools that teach Religious Education.   In the ACT, RE is taught at Catholic and independent schools, and is a BSSS certified senior course (ACT BSSS, 2020).   All these courses require a Bible, but many students refrain from reading traditional Bibles due to the associated stigma and peer pressure (Lipsett, 2008).  Therefore this digital option allows students to access the Catholic Good News bible and gain access to both the Old and New Testaments, highlight and take notes electronically, as well as participate in associated online communities such as sharing verses online via social media whilst maintaining their social capital.  

Curriculum Links: 

  1. Religious Education Yrs 7-12
  2. World Religions Yrs 11-12
  3. Study of Religion Yrs 11-12
  4. Year 7 Curriculum:
    1. Civics and Citizenship (HASS) – ACHCK051, ACHCK053, ACHASSK196
  5. Year 8 Curriculum:
    1. Civics and Citizenship (HASS) –  ACHCK065 
  6. Senior Ancient History curriculum 
  7. Unit 1 – ACHAH084, ACHAH085.
  8. General Capabilities – 
    1. Literacy –
    2. ICT – 

 

Learning, Literacy and Language:

The inclusion of a Bible mobile application (Bible app) into schooling engages disinterested students, promotes new literacies, social reading, online communities and assists students that desire text anonymity (Li & Wu, 2017, Dickenson, 2014; Singleton et al., 2018).  This app has immense capacity to promote literacy through text enhancement, narration and videos, which supports language disorders, as well as a lack of skeuomorphic features which reduces the cognitive load (James & DeKnock, 2013).  An important point to make is that this Bible app’s format is consistent to the traditional text, and this symmetry allows teachers to scaffold learning to improve both online and offline reading (Leu et. al, 2015).   The only unfortunate issue is that the narrator’s voice is more appropriate to Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than a sacred text.  

There are other benefits of including this app, such as the promotion of social reading, online communities and development of digital literacy (Hashim & Vongkulluksn).  The  social strategies are underpinned by Vygotsky’s sociocultural development theory and work towards increasing motivation, shaping reading behaviour and improving text comprehension (Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018; Li & Wu, 2017, p.257).  Mobile apps require gestural manipulation for navigation and this physical operation is essential to digital literacy  (Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018; Heckman & Bouchardson, 2012).  Students that use this app for personal or educational purposes, are able to gain access to content, participate in collaborative reading, online communities as well as develop their language and literacy skills (Leu et al., 2011; Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018).   

Technology:

The inclusion of mobile apps in schools is often fraught by disagreement (Selwyn, 2019).  James and DeKnock (2013) point out that smartphones and tablets have a greater capacity for the amplification and presentation of literary works, but many schools restrict the use of personal devices citing issues with discipline, distraction and cyberbullying (Selwyn, 2019).   Unfortunately, the refusal to include smartphones in schooling inhibits students from learning how to regulate their metacognitive processes, and further promotes the dichotomy between classroom instruction and the real world (Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018; Edwards, 2013).  

Trends:

Literacy is dependent on language, technology and the cultural practices of society (Sargeant, 2015).  It is clearly apparent that mobile phones are an essential aspect of a teen’s social capital, and need to be a stronger presence in education (Leu et al., 2011; Vidales-Bolanos & Sadaba-Chalezquer, 2017; Yokota & Teale, 2014).   The implementation of this app as part of pedagogical practices means educators are meeting the needs of their students, the current reading paradigm, as well as providing access to learning in a social environment and extending literature to beyond the school perimeter (Combes, 2016; Edwards, 2013; Valenza & Stephens, 2012).  Educators who fail to integrate mobile technology into pedagogy limit the development of new literacies that are essential for citizenship in a digital world.  

Resource Integration: 

Mobile applications cannot be curated and catalogued in the same manner as other digital resources, and this impacts how a resource can be managed and utilised (ASLA & VCTL, 2018).   This Bible app is available from Google and Apple play stores and can be downloaded on most newer devices without any cost to the user which minimises any impact from the digital divide (DIIS, 2016).   Unfortunately there is a slight difference between the Apple and android versions of this text, and this may cause some difficulty for schools that have a BYOD program.  

Recommendation:

This resource meets the curriculum, cognitive and behavioural needs of the students, however, the integration of mobile apps is contraindicatory to the school smartphone policy and it does not meet the school’s requirements of LMS integration.  The recommendation is to find an alternative resource. 

 

REFERENCES:

ACARA. (2014a). Literacy Learning Continuum. General Capabilities. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/media/3596/general-capabilities-literacy-learning-continuum.pd

ACARA. (2014b). Information & Communication Technology. General Capabilities. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/media/1074/general-capabilities-information-and-communication-ict-capability-learning-continuum.pdf

ACARA. (2014c). Civics and Citizenship. F-10 Curriculum – HASS. Educational Services Australia. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/civics-and-citizenship/

ACARA. (2014d). Ancient History. Senior Secondary Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/senior-secondary-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/ancient-history/?

ACT Board of Secondary School Studies. (2020). BSSS A/T/M/C/V Courses. ACT Senior Secondary Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/curriculum/courses

ASLA & VCTL (2018). A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resources centres 2nd Edition.  ALIA. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policies-procedures-manual_ed2.pdf

Combes, B. (2016). Digital literacy: A new flavour of literacy or something different? Synergy, 14(1). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303663805_Digital_literacy_A_new_flavour_of_literacy_or_something_different

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Dickenson, D. (2014). Children and reading: Literature review. Australia Council Research. Retrieved from https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/research/children-and-reading-literatur-5432557e418db.pdf

Edwards, J. (2013). Chapter 9 – Reading beyond the borders: Observations on digital ebook readers and adolescent reading practices. In Whittingham, J., Huffman, S., Rickman, W., & Wiedmaier, C. (2013). Technology tools for the Literacy Classroom. SCOPUS. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3974-4.ch009

Hashim, A & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education, 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education/

Heckman, D., & Bouchardson, S. (2012). Digital manipulation and digital literature. Electronic Book Review. Retrieved from http://electronicbookreview.com/essay/digital-manipulability-and-digital-literature/

Ibacache, K. (2019). Use of language learning apps as a tool for foreign language acquisition by academic libraries employees.  Information Technology and Libraries 38(3):22-33. Retrieved from DOI: 10.6017/ital.v38i3.11077

James, R., & de Knock, L. (2013). The digital David and the Gutenberg Goliath: The rise of the enhanced e-book. English Academy Review 30(1), p.107-123. DOI: 10.1080/10131752.2013.783394

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):139-145. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399

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

Li, W., & Wu, Y. (2017). Adolescents’ social reading: motivation, behaviour, and their relationship. The Electronic Library 35(2):.246-262. Emerald Publishing. DOI: 10.1108/EL-12-2015-0239. 

Lipsett, A. (2008). Children bullied because of faith. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/nov/17/bullying-faith

Prahani, B., Jatmiko, B., Hariadi, B., Sunarto, D., Sagirani, T., Amelia, T., & Lemantara, J. (2020). Blended web mobile learning (BWML) model to improve student’s higher order thinking skills. International Journal of Emerging Technologies 15 (11). pp. 42-55. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v15i11.12853

Rowe, E. (2017). Religion in Australian Schools: an historical and contemporary debate [Blog]. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/religion-in-australian-schools-an-historical-and-contemporary-debate-82439

Sargeant, B. (2015). What is an ebook? What is a book app? And why should we care? An analysis of contemporary picture books. Children’s Literature in education, 46, 454-466. doi: 10.1007/s10583-015-9243-5

Selwyn, N. (2019). Banning mobile phones in schools: Beneficial or risky? SBS News. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/news/banning-mobile-phones-in-schools-beneficial-or-risky-here-s-what-the-evidence-says

Singleton, A., Halafoff, A., Bouma, G., & Rasmussen, M.L. (2018). New research shows Australian teens have complex views on religion and spirituality [Blog].  The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/new-research-shows-australian-teens-have-complex-views-on-religion-and-spirituality-103233

Valenza, J.K., & Stephens, W. (2012).Reading Remixed. Educational Leadership, 69 (6), p.75-78. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262967094_Valenza_J_K_Stephens_W_2012_Reading_Remixed_Educational_Leadership_696_75-78

Vidales-Bolanos, M., & Sadaba-Chalezquer, C. (2017). Connected Teens: Measuring the Impact of Mobile Phones on Social Relationships through Social Capital. Media Education Research Journal 53(25). Retrieved by https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1171085.pdf

Yokota, J., & Teale, W. (2014). Picture books and the digital world. The Reading Teacher 67(8), pp.577-585.    DOI:  10.1002/trtr.1262  

 

Reviewing Digital Literature – After 6/4

 

RESOURCE 1 – After 6/4

Summary: 

After 6/4 is a collation of differing viewpoints of the Tiananmen Square event in Beijing 1989.  Created as an anniversary tribute, After 6/4 contains a range of primary sources, news headlines, videos and personal anecdotes using VR, animation, audio, 360 video and other archival storytelling (Chen & Heald, 2014).  This digital assemblage of  primary sources remains a valuable teaching tool about persuasive texts, multimodal media literacy, and even more so in the light of the recent Hong Kong protests.   

Curriculum Links:

  1. Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia:  (OI: 5 and 7)
  2. Year 8 English (ACELA1543)- Main value to collection.
  3. Year 9 Media Arts (ACAMAM073, ACAMAR078, ACAMAR079
  4. Year 9  History –  (ACDSEH146)
  5. Senior History curriculum – Unit 4.

Learning, Literacy and Language:

After 6/4 provides a vibrant learning experience as readers navigate their way through varied perspectives on a non-linear timeline.  The reader is required to assimilate the primary sources, make an evaluative decision and interact with the text.  This complex navigation requires higher-order thinking as students explore the multimodal perspectives, and correlate them to the state-sanctioned or author’s bias (Kopka, 2014).  After 6/4 clearly accentuates the power of persuasive language and its impact on the reader.  It also highlights the dichotomy of free press versus state sanctioned media, and requires the reader to develop their own conclusion about the complexity of historical and media partisanship that is pervasive in modern society (Lamb, 2011, p.15).  This transmedia resource challenges students to develop their multiliteracies, critical thinking skills, and understand essential media conventions (Kopka, 2014).  

It is popular knowledge that video and computer gaming are very popular with teenagers, and After 6/4  challenges young people to utilise their transliteracy expertise for educational needs (Kopka, 2014).  After 6/4 elicits the reader’s interest by requesting them to select their country of origin then linking to a range of multimodal media texts.  Readers are further rewarded by additional information as they ‘click’ through the timeline.  By offering language choices in both English and Mandarin, After 6/4 allows the reader to interact with the text without the need for a translator.  The resource is further supported by subtitles which promotes literacy development and helps lower literacy students engage with the content material. 

Interactive resources such as After 6/4 are useful in engaging disengaged learners and reluctant readers into subject matter than may normally be of limited interest to them (Kopka, 2014; Raja & Kumar, 2010).  The appeal arises from the rhetoric of grasping and gamification theory prevalent in many interactive websites, which has a positive correlation to motivation (Heckman & Bourchardon, 2012; Kopka, 2014). 

After 6/4 requires the reader to physically manipulate the screen making the interaction more maningful and further immersing the reader into the text.  This is because interactive and hypertext media allow the reader to encounter and practise both efferent and aesthetic reading practices,  which is essential for the development of both online and offline reading skills (Pietschmann, Volker & Ohler, 2014). Unfortunately, this immersive experience  and features such as, parallax scrolling, non linearity and lack of visual permanence require the teacher to provide  extensive scaffolding for students with learning disabilities (Raja & Kumar, 2010; Botzakis, 2018).  

 

Technology Trends:

The inclusion of interactive websites into classroom practice, advocates for the presence of technology as part of modern societal practices (Ross Johnston, 2014b, p.633).  Transmedia resources promote 21st century skills such as, experiential learning, critical thinking, as well as the development of trans-literacies (Cullen, 2015; Pietschmann, Volker & Ohler, 2014; Kopka, 2014; Leu et al., 2015).   Interactive media is a rapidly emerging digital format and needs to be part of education to ensure students develop the necessary skills for life in the 21st century (Leu et al., 2015). 

Resource Integration: 

After 6/4 is a locally produced interactive website and is freely available online with no licencing limitations, making it a very thrifty resources.  Interactive websites can be integrated into the library management systems, LibQuests and class intranet pages, as well as embedded into class documents, and accessible from a range of devices.  This makes After 6/4, a valuable teaching tool for digital and media literacy.  The only caveats are that this DL requires the internet to access and interact with, and this could be an issue for rural, remote and low income households (DIIS, 2016).  Therefore it would be recommended that After 6/4 is used in the classroom for teaching and learning rather than being tasked for homework.  Additionally, as the resource is found on the internet, there is no guarantee it will be freely available indefinitely so caution is required when unit planning.  

Recommendation: 

After 6/4  would be a suitable addition to a school collection.   

References:

ACARA. (2019). Cross curricular priorities – Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia. F-10 Curriculum. Educational Services Australia.  Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/cross-curriculum-priorities/asia-and-australia-s-engagement-with-asia/

ACARA. (2014a). English Curriculum. F-10 Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/english/?strand=Language&strand=Literature&strand=Literacy&capability=ignore&priority=ignore&elaborations=true

ACARA. (2014b). The Arts – Media Arts Curriculum. F-10 Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/the-arts/media-arts/

ACARA. (2014b). HASS – History Curriculum – Unit 4. F-10 Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/history/

ACARA. (2014c). Modern History – HASS. Senior Secondary Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/senior-secondary-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/modern-history/

Botzakis, S. (2018). Comics in the classroom: Using graphic novels for content learning. In D. Wooten, B. Cullinan, L. Liang & R. Allington (Eds).  Children’s literature in the reading program: Engaging young readers in the 21st century, (5th ed., pp. 140-152). Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Briggs, S. (2016). Using gaming principles to engage students. InformED [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/using-gaming-principles-to-engage-students/

Cullen, M. (2015, December 21). How is interactive media changing the way children learn. In EducationTechnology. Retrieved from https://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/12/how-is-interactive-media-changing-the-way-children-learn/

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Heckman, D., & Bouchardon, S. (2012). Digital manipulation and digital literature.  Electronic Book Review.  Retrieved from https://electronicbookreview.com/essay/digital-manipulability-and-digital-literature/

Kopka, S. & Hobbs, R., (2014). Transmedia & Education: Using Transmedia in the Classroom with a Focus on Interactive Literature [Blog]. SeKopka. Retrieved from https://sekopka.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/transmedia-education-using-transmedia-in-the-classroom-with-a-focus-on-interactive-literature/

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading re-defined for a transmedia universe. Learning & Leading with Technology 39(3), p.12-17. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ954320

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. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399

Pietschmann, D., Volkel, S., & Ohler, P. (2014). Limitations of transmedia storytelling for children: A cognitive development analysis. International Journal of Communication 8, p.2259-2282. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279323387_Limitations_of_Transmedia_Storytelling_for_Children_A_Cognitive_Developmental_Analysis

Raja, B.W.D., & Kumar, S.P. (2010). Do multimedia applications benefit learning disabled children? Journal of Educational Technology 6 (4). Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1098361

Ross Johnston, R. (2014a). Chapter 23 – Literature, the curriculum and 21st-century literacy. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 472-489). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 

Ross Johnston, R. (2014b). Chapter 30 – Visual literacy: Reading the world of signs. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 618-636). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

 

Assessments require rubrics!

I have just finished writing another saga about the the process that goes into evaluating digital resources for a school collection and it occurred to me that assessing resources would benefit from a rubric.

So I made one up.  This way TL can grade the digital resources.  The marking system emphasises the higher value some criteria have over others.

The sources for my brilliance are below.

 

References for this rubric:

 ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (2018) Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries. American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/selectionpolicytoolkit/criteria

El Mhouti, A., Nasseh, A., & Erradi, M. (2013). How to evaluate the quality of digital learning resources? International Journal of Computer Science Research and Application. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260392089_How_to_evaluate_the_quality_of_digital_learning_resources

Learning for the future: developing information services in Australian schools 2nd edition (2001). Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South. Retrieved from http:// www.curriculumpress.edu.au/main/goproduct/12405.

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 elementarty grade classroom. Reading Teacher 69: (2), p.139-145. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399.

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: the role of school libraries. FYI: The Journal for School Information Professionals 15(2). Retrieved from CSU Library.

National Library of New Zealand, (n.d.a). Your library’s digital collection. Service to Schools. Retrieved from https://natlib.govt.nz/schools/digital-literacy/your-librarys-role-in-supporting-digital-literacy/your-librarys-digital-collection

National Library of New Zealand. (n.d.b). Selecting and purchasing resources. Service to Schools. Retrieved from https://natlib.govt.nz/schools/school-libraries/collections-and-resources/selecting-resources-for-your-collection/selecting-and-purchasing-resources

Walker, S., Jameson, J., & Ryan, M. (2010). Chapter 15 –  Skills and strategies for e-Learning in a participatory culture. In Sharpe, R., Beetham, H., & de Freitas, S. (2010). Rethinking Learning for a Digital Age. Retrieved from CSU library.

Yokota, J., & Teale, W. (2014). Picture books and the digital world. The Reading Teacher 67(8), pp.577-585.    DOI:  10.1002/trtr.1262  

When motivation matters – integrating digital literature into classroom practice.

geralt / Pixabay

 

My journey into literature started very traditionally.  Like all members of my generation (after boomer but before Z), I learned to read from first readers to chapter books, series fiction and comic books ( more Jughead than Nimona) and all of them in print.  Consequently as an adult, my preference for recreational reading is for print and I do use digital journal articles for educational purposes but that is a matter of expediency rather than inclination. As I have documented my reading journey in previous blog posts so I will not go into that again. 

(But you are more than welcome to read about my love of reading/books etc.  Try this one when I fell in love with reading, or this one about the importance of storytellng, or this one about childhood favourites)

My personal  preferences for text formats have leached into my professional practice.  As an early career teacher I always favoured print texts for my classrooms because that was the medium I was confident and comfortable using.  I was reluctant to explore and use digital literature because I wanted to conserve my faculties for behaviour management and pedagogical practices.  I did not want to add in technology and digital literature to my already overloaded self.  

Fast forward two years and my foray into the role of a teacher librarian has forced me to extend my practice into the digital realm.  I have learned how to teach information literacy by navigating my way through ebooks, audiobooks and interactive books online.  I have downloaded and experimented with book apps, created bento boxes and book trailers.  Through this journey of discovery using digital literature and creating digital text, I have come to the conclusion that there are three main concerns when advocating for the inclusion of digital literature in the classroom.  These concerns are, students, teachers and the technology itself. 

The most commonly cited impediment for the implementation of digital literature into classrooms are the students themselves.  I have previously detailed the multitudinal issues relating to reading and comprehension of digital texts in another blog (see here), so I will just give a synopsis now. Besides the usual issues of forgotten, uncharged and missing laptops, many students struggle with reading digital literature because they struggle with visual ergonomics in digital texts.  Their inability to locate text leads to reduced comprehension and negative mental representation of the text (Mangen et al., 2013, p.66).  This lack of comprehension, combined with poor digital literacy (see this post!) and the fact that many students are easily distracted by games and social media can negatively impact the integration of digital literature in classroom practice. 

Teachers themselves are another liability when it comes to the implementation of digital literature in the classroom. Even though AITSL (2017) is very clear in the Teacher Standards that ICT needs to be included in teaching strategies (Std 2.6), and within resources selection (Std. 3.4), there is still a strong reluctance among many teachers to use digital literature meaningfully in their classroom practice.  This disinclination to use digital literature could be due to a myriad of reasons as Hyndman (2018) explains in this article.  One very pertinent reason is that many teachers feel pressured to suddenly become digital experts as they often assume they need to be the expert so as to instruct and assist students in their learning (Hyndman, 2018).  Hyndman (2018) goes on further to say that these feelings of anxiety can exacerbate in schools with  BYOD programs as the large variability in student device capability can cause increased technology anxiety.  But there is no expectation that teachers be experts in understanding the complexities of individual devices nor in how the digital literature was created, only that they use them in their teaching practice (AITSL, 2017; ACARA, 2014). 

geralt / Pixabay

 

The last crucial variable is the literature itself.  Digital literature comes in many formats and ranges from scanned books on a website, ebooks, enhanced ebooks, linear narratives, hypertext nonlinear narratives and mobile applications for tablets and smartphones.  Each of these literature formats may use different technology, require competency in different literacies and consequently need specific pedagogies for instruction.  The combination of these new formats and technologies can be overwhelming for many teachers.  Unfortunately, professional development for teachers regarding ICT and digital literature is often ad hoc and lack specific focus, which can inhibit the integration of these technologies into classrooms (Howard & Thompson, 2016). 

When you view these issues, it seems evident that the best way to improve the breadth and variety of digital literature in classrooms, is to explicitly motivate, introduce, and teach educators about the various formats and their applicability to classroom practice (Korthagen, 2017; Hyndman, 2018).  As teachers we have little control over student’s device selection and swiss cheese memories.  But we can have control over our own learning and behaviour.

There are a myriad of learning courses available for teacher education, and teachers are encouraged to extend their professional development.  This explicit instruction targeting ICT and digital literacies would be assumed to automatically lead to a cognitive change in teachers, which in turn would correlate to improved integration of digital literature in classroom practice.  (Korthagen, 2017, p.390).  But this assumption of correlation following a cognitive change is a fallacy as behavioural change requires more than just improved cognition, it requires motivation and affect too (Korthagen, 2017, p. 389-390)!   

Therefore it seems foolhardy of ATSIL (2017) and ACARA (2014) to mandate the integration of technologies and multimodal literature into classroom practice without accounting for the requirements of behavioural change (Korthagen, 2017, p. 389-390).  Simply dictating teachers to increase digital literature into classroom practice will not succeed in altering their behaviour, as this level of change requires cognition, affect AND motivation (Korthagen, 2017, p.390).  Affect not only has an impact on teacher behaviour but also on student motivation.  Teachers who are frustrated and disinclined with using digital literature are not going to translate the value of that format to their students.  Whereas teachers who gain pleasure from using ICT are more enthusiastic about it, and this has a positive effect on their motivation too.  Intrinsic motivation in teaching comes from teachers having a sense of autonomy, competence and relatedness in their profession (Korthagen, 2017, p.391).   A teacher that has learned about digital literature, through formal professional developments or informal social learning is more likely to implement those new practices if they are enthused about it and that they can apply this knowledge in a manner of their choice.  

So it appears the best way for a teacher librarian to introduce and promote digital literature in schools is to:

  1. Run training sessions for teaching staff and support staff about various digital literature formats and how they meet specific learning outcomes.
  2. Share your ideas, enthusiasm and motivation about digital literature, model, talk, blog and boast about how it works for your classroom, and most of all, be positive and laugh about it –  After all, happiness and a smile are way more infectious than COVID-19.

Pexels / Pixabay

 

 

REFERENCES

ACARA. (2014j). Information and communication technology capability learning continuum. F-10 – General Capabilities Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/media/1074/general-capabilities-information-and-communication-ict-capability-learning-continuum.pdf

AITSL. (2017). Standards for Teachers. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards

Howard, S., & Thompson, K. (2016). Seeing the system: Dynamics and complexity of technology integration in secondary schools. Educational Information Technology, 21, p.1877-1894. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10639-015-9424-2.pdf

Hyndman, B. (2018). Ten reasons teachers can struggle to use technology in the classroom. The Conversation [Blog]. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/ten-reasons-teachers-can-struggle-to-use-technology-in-the-classroom-101114

Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0. Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), p.387-405. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13540602.2016.1211523?needAccess=true

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B. R. & Bronnick, K.A. (2013). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, 61-68.doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.12.002 

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

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).

Teens, trends and technology.

 

congerdesign / Pixabay

 

There is no comprehensive data on the recreational reading preferences of Australian children and teenagers across print or digital formats, but a study conducted by Deakin University and Murdoch University point out that teens have a clear preference for print in comparison to reading on devices (Cull, 2011; Dickenson, 2014; Earp, 2017).    This is surprising considering over 90% of Australian children and teenagers have access to a computer or laptop, but more than 75% never used them to access digital literature (Earp, 2017).   This information seems contradictory when you consider that recent fieldwork into public libraries showed a significant shift from traditional to more digital and computer based resources to compensate for the shift in the reading paradigm  (Wyatt, McQuire & Butt, 2015, p. 6-8).   This is because libraries are anticipating the long term presence of digital literature, and are motivated to curate their collection to hold a range of physical and digital resources, as well as a repository of technology for their clientele’s personal, social or educational use (Cull, 2011; Wyatt, McQuire & Butt, 2015, p. 8).   

O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell (2015) point out that the advent of e-books and e-readers have been the biggest game changers for school libraries in the past few decades.  E-books, especially e-textbooks have become increasingly popular in schools across the country as they are able to integrate multimodal features such as interactive maps, videos and images and enhance teaching and learning practices (O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell, 2015).  E-books also meet ACARA’s mandate to include a variety of print, digital and hybrid resources as part of the ICT and Literacy components of the General Capabilities (ACARA, 2018). 

Whilst e-books address curriculum requirements and educational needs of the modern student, O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell (2015) do acquiesce that including digital literature may be cost prohibitive to many schools and students.  Many students, especially those in lower socio-economic areas lack the financial ability to purchase a personal device to access e-books, and many schools cannot afford to purchase additional e-readers or other personal devices for all their students.  The other pertinent issue is internet access.  E-library subscriptions such as Wheelers require internet access at all times to read the book which is problematic when on public transport or out of wifi, whereas Borrowbox titles can be downloaded and then used offline, which is far more beneficial.  But both e-book repositories permit only one borrower at a time to access a title.  For class texts , this can be extremely expensive for schools to purchase multiple subscriptions for the same title.  The other pecuniary issue is that many e-books are often just ‘leased’, and as they are not owned by the school, can suddenly become unavailable and or the lending parameters change without warning.  

Whilst the cost of e-books may be prohibitive, the on-going costs of maintaining digital literature subscriptions for online encyclopaedias and databases are often cheaper than  obtaining individual journal subscriptions (Cull, 2011).  Academic libraries in particular, often purchase databases with access to a variety of journal articles for a lower cost than individual subscriptions.  Smaller libraries may coalesce to purchase a subscription together.  For example, ACT local libraries offer Gale databases as part of their collection.  

When it comes to genres, recent publishing trends show an increase in young adult literature across Australia and the world (Manuel & Carter, 2015).  These trends indicate two possible reasons, the first being that young adults are reading increasingly, and the second, is that as teenagers age into adults, they are retaining their young adult reading preferences.  Manual & Carter (2015, p.122) point out that fiction is still the most popular choice for teens, followed by multimedia, non-fiction and magazines.  Genre wise,  fantasy and mystery are popular with both sexes, and romance disdained by everyone (Manuel & Carter, 2015, p.123).  Graphic novels are making a comeback but this time in a digital space, girls seem to like detective stories, action and adventure, whereas boys like science fiction, informational texts and biographies AND EVERYONE HATES POETRY (Manuel & Carter, 2015, p.123-124; Moorefield-Lang & Gavigan, 2011))!  

What is interesting about reading preferences with teenagers is that text selection and pedagogical practices in the classroom actually has an impact on students.  When inappropriate classroom texts are selected, and or the pedagogy associated with them is poor, students develop an antithesis for that particular title/genre or reading in general (Manuel & Carter, 2015, p.125).  A perfect example would be Golding’s Lord of the Flies. I studied this text many moons ago and I only have ghastly memories of the text. 

I am an avid reader and I STILL GET THE HEEBIE JEEBIES when I think about that book.  

Whereas appropriate texts and good pedagogy can bolster a love of reading.  I studied Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre ain high school and I still love her to the point where I have seven copies of Jane Eyre!!!

   

 

 

*All imageswere obtained from the public domain.

YES I HAVE 7 COPIES OF JANE EYRE!!!

 

 

Digital devices have been often touted as the panacea for improving reading rates, literacy and learning for three main reasons.  Introducing digital literature into classroom practice allows teachers to bridge the digital disconnect between a teenager’s personal life in the digital world and the school’s analogue world.  By making these valuable connections, teachers are able to lure students to tasks they may normally disdain, such as reading class texts or researching online.  Combined with the fact that most teenagers are permanently glued to their personal devices means that they are very receptive to the idea of using (their phones and) digital literature for personal and educational purposes.

 

REFERENCES:

Cull, B. W. (2011). Reading revolutions: online digital text and implications for reading in academe. First Monday, 16(6). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3340/2985

Dickenson, D. (2014). Children and reading: Literature review. Australia Council 2014. Retrieved from https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/research/children-and-reading-literatur-5432557e418db.pdf.

Earp, J. (2017). Infographic – Teen reading habits. Teacher Magazine. Australian Council for Educational Research.  Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/infographic-teen-reading-habits

Houston, C. (2011). Digital Books for Digital Natives. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 9(3), 39–42. EBSCO 

Manuel, J., & Carter, D. (2015). Current and historical perspectives on Australian teenager’reading practices and preferences. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 38(2), p.115-128. Retrieved from https://www.alea.edu.au/documents/item/1175

Moorefield-Lang, H., & Gavigan, K. (2012). These aren’t your father’s: the new world of digital graphic novels. Knowledge Quest, 40(3), 30-35. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=b349502e-3dd2-48d3-9d9a-6beed7db31cc%40pdc-v-sessmgr05&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=82563984&db=lih

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). Literature in digital environments: Changes and emerging trends in Australian school libraries. In L. Das, S. Brand-Gruwel, K. Kok, & J. Walhout (Eds.), IASL 2015 Conference Proceedings: The School Library Rocks: Living it, Learning it, Loving it (pp. 356-369). International Association of School Librarianship. http://www.meles.nl/_clientfiles/SMD/IASL2015_Proceedings_Vol2_2ndEd_ResearchPapers.pdf

Teen Reading In a Digital Era. (2017). Report at a glance – Teen Reading in a digital era. Murdoch University & Deakin University.  Retrieved from https://teenreadingdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/teen-reading-folio-report_email.pdf

Wyatt, D., McQuire, S., & Butt, D. (2015). Public libraries in a digital culture.  University of Melbourne & State Library of QLD. University of Melbourne Press. Melbourne Victoria. Retrieved from https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1867865/PublicLibrariesinaDigitalCulture.pdf

The evolving nature of literature for the digital classroom.

DarkWorkX / Pixabay

 

The advent of technology, the internet and plethora of personal devices has forever changed the world and in turn, the paradigm of a secondary classroom. 

Whilst teenagers and society in general have embraced technology in its multiple forms for personal, social and recreational purposes, Education Departments and schools are often delayed in their digital pedagogical practices.  This delay in the embedding of digital technologies and literature has exacerbated the disparity between the information literacy skills that society demands, and the ability students have when they finish school.

This digital gap is even further widened in areas of lower socio-economic success, rural and remote communities, and First Nations peoples, who lack the personal means and access to devices and reliable internet connections (DIIS, 2016).  

For further information on the deepening of Australia's digital divide .. click here!

MCEETYA made a concerted effort to address this disparity by advocating for the embedding of ICT in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians .  The argument put forward by the creators of this declaration, was that ICT is an essential skill required for active citizenship in a digitally rich information society (MCEETYA, 2008)Therefore ICT skills and competencies are essential to ensure each student is able to gain entry into this new paradigm.  ACARA’s response to this declaration was to create curriculum learning outcomes that allow students opportunities to access, analyse, modify and create a range of hybrid, digital and multimodal tasks (ACARA, 2018).  Examples of these include access to digital literature for classroom activities, explicit teaching of new literacies and assessments that require students to explore, create and analyse multimodal texts.  

The simplest form to introduce students to digital literature is within classroom practice.  Digital literature can be defined as texts that utilise computer technology and a device in order to access and engage with the text (Rettberg, 2012).  Unfortunately this may be a limiting factor for many students and schools that lack the financial means to secure devices and internet connectivity.  This issue became glaringly obvious in the recent nationwide school lock down which shifted learning to from onsite to online. 

Check out this article by the ABC published back in March 2020. 

Coronavirus opens education’s digital divide, as COVID-19 forces schools into online learning 

The level of computation associated with the digital literature varies with the device and format.  It can range from the most simple form of a scanned book on a website, to the interactive hypertext narratives with multimodal features in a mobile application (Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018; Rettberg, 2012).  The middle of this digital literature continuum contains genres or hybrid genres such as e-stories, linear e-narratives, interactive stories, hypertext narratives and electronic games narratives (Walsh, 2013).  

My own knowledge of digital literature is rudimentary at best as I am strictly a user of digital content rather than being a creator – though this blog would be the only exception to the rule.  Whilst I do use my kindle and am able to engage with digital texts, it is a matter of expediency rather than personal pleasure.  By that token, I prefer reading digital texts rather than listening to audio-books and am  completely disinclined to use digital narratives (or anything that is non linear in nature) as I find those sources too overwhelming for indepth analysis.  But as a teacher librarian I need to be aware of the various formats and educate myself as to their benefits to student’s learning and literacy.

  The irony is that this Masters course has caused me to test, trial and experiment with more digital media than I ever would have in my life!  

Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing several different examples of digital literature that can be used in classroom practice as part of my own learning journey into literature in the digital space.   Each review will discuss the source’s value to the curriculum, to learning and literacy and to digital competency.

References:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

MCEETYA (2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

Rettberg, J.W. (2012). Electronic literature seen from a distance: the beginnings of a field. Retrieved from http://www.dichtung-digital.org/2012/41/walker-rettberg.htm

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 Austr

Task 1 – INF533 – Reading, literacy and digital literature in the classroom.

xxolaxx / Pixabay – Reading in a digital landscape.

 

The advent of technology, and plethora of personal devices has revolutionised the reading paradigm to the point where, texts are no longer restricted to print, but are now available through multiple formats and platforms.  Digital literature utilises a continuum of technology to convey meaning, and the level of computation varies from a scanned book, to the interactive hypertext narratives with multimodal features  with a host of genres and hybrid genres such as e-stories, linear e-narratives, interactive stories, hypertext narratives and electronic games narratives. in the middle (Walsh, 2013; Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018; Rettberg, 2012).  These new formats as Lamb (2011), and Sadokiesiski (2013) point out, require additional literacies to engage, process, evaluate and communicate. 

This is because reading has evolved from text decoding, to constructing meaning from symbols (Lamb, 2011) . 

ACARA’s (2018)  response has been to define literacy as the ability to interact with, engage and communicate across modalities for personal, social, economic and recreational purposes. 

This definition clearly indicates that teaching practice needs to include a variety of texts, in print, digital and hybrid formats (Leu, Forzani, Timbrell, & Maykel, 2015).  But whilst there are strong arguments and mandates to include digital texts, there are are complications.  

Many students struggle with digital text comprehension, as the simultaneous synthesising of visual, audio and text information causes information overload (Jeon, 2012; Mangen, Walgermo & Bronnick., 2013).   Students with poor fundamental literacy are at further disadvantage, as they are easily distracted away from the content by the multimodal elements, as well as being unable to locate information due poor visual ergonomics (Lamb, 2011; Leu, McVerry, OByrne, Kili, Zawilinski, Everett-Cacopardo,Kennedy, Forzani, 2011;  Jeon, 2012; Hashim & VongKulluksn, 2018; Mangen et al., 2013, p.66). 

geralt / Pixabay – Feeling overwhelmed???

 

I have noticed that here is a strong disinclination for teachers to include the creation of hypertext narratives and games in their practice (Mantei, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018).  This hesitancy could be attributed to the premise that it requires both the student and the teacher to be competent in the additional literacies  (Leu et al., 2015).  Whilst many students could be considered digital natives and may possess the necessary skill set to create such hypertext, many teachers would be considered digital immigrants and therefore lack the confidence to implement such technologies in their classroom.  Unfortunately by excluding creation of digital texts, students are disadvantaged by the lack of potential extension and consolidation of learning. 

Armstong (2020) Bloom’s Taxonomy. CC – BY – NC

Remember Bloom – By failing to include a creative element – students are being denied opportunities for higher order thinking.  

In an effort to address some of these concerns, our library team has a balanced collection of print and digital literature, as well as have recently implemented an information literacy scope and sequence  (Leu et al., 2015).  Our students have access to a robust physical collection, e-books and audiobooks through a BorrowBox subscription, as well as online databases such as InfoBase, Gale, Britannica, EBSCO, Trove, and World Book.  

Anecdotally from my position as a teacher librarian, I can see the students vastly prefer print for recreational reading, but have a strong preference for digital resources for informational purposes.  I regularly see many teachers include digital texts into their teaching practice through reading and viewing of e-books, online databases and web based texts.  Through our information literacy program, we are endeavouring to teach digital literacy skills, such as, how to locate, evaluate and synthesise information, as well as problem solving in both online and offline scenarios (Leu et al., 2015, p. 140).  

Digital literature has transformed society, the definition of literacy and the landscape of pedagogical practice.  Time will only tell if our scope and sequence improve digital literacies and competencies in both the faculty and the students… stay tuned for further updates

 

 

References 

Armstrong, P. (2020). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/. Image licenced under CC – BY – NC 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Hashim, A & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education, 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education/

Jabr, F. (2013). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

Jeon, H. (2012). A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. The Electronic Library, 30(3), 390-408. doi: 10.1108/02640471211241663 

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

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 elementarty grade classroom. Reading Teacher 69: (2), p.139-145. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B. R. & Bronnick, K.A. (2013). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, 61-68.doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.12.002 

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Rettberg, J.W. (2012). Electronic literature seen from a distance: the beginnings of a field. Retrieved from http://www.dichtung-digital.org/2012/41/walker-rettberg.htm

Sadokierski, Z. (2013, November 12). What is a book in the digital age? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/what-is-a-book-in-the-digital-age-19071

Sargeant, B. (2015). What is an ebook? what is a book app? And why should we care? An analysis of contemporary picture books. Children’s Literature in education, 46, p.454-466. doi: 10.1007/s10583-015-9243

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).