THE AGE OF THE DIGITAL CLASSROOM

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Following on from my previous post about ‘New Literacies’, teachers in the 21st Century must not only use technology for the sake of using it in the classroom, but must find ways to integrate it into the classroom experience to enhance learning and make learning relevant to our students (Barone, 2009). Barone’s (2009) article Literacy Instruction With Digital and Media Technologies highlights THREE important facts that we must embrace:

  1. Preparing students for ‘New Literacies’ by preparing ourselves: As with any form of learning, students must be exposed to it explicitly throughout their school experience and build on their prior knowledge of technology and digital media at home. Through scaffolded experiences, students should be provided with opportunities to explore and understand how these new modes of interaction and learning work through exposure to digital technologies from Kindergarten. Teachers must prepare themselves with the confidence, resources and right attitude to be able to teach this as with any other curriculum area.
  2. Rework of traditional student assessment modes: Imagine written assessments where students are assessed on their ability to type a report using new technological tools rather than handwritten paper assessments. Teachers must adjust and modify their traditional assessments to move towards evaluating traditional content knowledge through new modes of literacy. This is not saying remove all assessment of traditional literacy, but rather, assessing skills and literacies that are more relevant and familiar to the learner of today.
  3. Immersing the classroom experience in ‘New Literacies’: Looking at the success of Fernley, it is evident that immersing the teaching and learning experience through use of technology has helped in motivating students to learn as well as assist teachers in changing their attitudes to adopting this radical change in the way classroom lessons are taught. From an online classroom blog to students collecting their daily activities and homework from their online folder, an enriched learning environment can be created to enhance learning and provide the guidance for students to develop the relevant skills to succeed in a future filled with technology.

References

Barone, D., & Wright, T. E. (2008). Literacy Instruction with Digital and Media Technologies. The Reading Teacher, 62(4), 292-302. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/docview/203281892/fulltextPDF?accountid=14757

– MR. QUAN

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