EDUC7710 What Path Do We Take Now?

Assignment: Complete the two readings (Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Leu, O’Byrne, Zawilinski, McVerry, & Everett-Cacopardo, 2009) and answer the fundamental question about what path we should take now.

Q1. What are these new and digital literacies and how do they affect teaching and learning in the classroom?
Even after I read the two articles, I’m still not sure what the differences are between new literacies and traditional literacies. I do know that they both deliver information. I came up with the list below to help me to identify anything that stuck out as being unique. Digital media just adds variety to how and what can be supplied by traditional text:

Variety added by Electronic Devices, Delivery Methods and Capabilities
1. Devices include computers, e-readers, tablets, mobile phones; these vary by cost, size, screen mode, operating speed; some can be used for other purposes besides reading.
2. Delivery varies by page layout, brightness, mobility/portability, battery time, cross-platform capability (or not), reading via an application or a pdf, wifi or 4G, etc.
3. Capabilities include adjusting font size and type and screen brightness. Additional information can be hyperlinked and embedded material, inclusion of alternate representations, such as charts, images, video, audio, etc. Some content on some systems can be annotated/shared/edited.

Q2. But how do these differences affect how we teach and how students learn?
I found very little information on this topic so it seems more research needs to be done to address those questions.
Here’s one to open the conversation: The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens

Q3. What do teachers need to integrate the greater variety of material available digitally?
A basic understanding of how the Internet works and how websites are designed.
An understanding that digital information can be created, increased, decreased, altered, and deleted within seconds, minutes, or years.
How to use a computer and possible a tablet.
How to use a search engine to uncover materials pertinent to subjects.
How to store, retrieve and make information available.
Acceptance that (much) digital material can provide valid resources.
The desire to incorporate digital devices and materials into course work.
The will to learn about how digital devices and materials could benefit students and themselves.

Q4. What do we do about it?
No successful revolution was ever forced from outside. No ruling body or organization can affect the integration of technology in learning. The impetus must come from the teachers and the students themselves, for they are the ones that will benefit.

In response to “what path should we take now”… The path is in a constant state of change, always being cleared and going in new directions; old paths are covered up again. If you are unsure what turn to take, follow those who ignite the spark of curiosity among their peers. They hold the lamp so all of us can see the path as it is now and give us a glimpse as to what is around each bend.


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