Katina works at the University of Western Sydney as a lecturer in English. Her research areas are focused on the teaching and learning of multiliteracies with an emphasis on the intersection of literacy and technology. Katina has an extensive career in education, as a primary school teacher, a literacy consultant in Metropolitan East Disadvantaged Schools Program, as an adviser on state and national projects, and as an academic. She works closely with teachers in schools in co-researching projects to better meet the literacy needs of students.
Digital literacy: the cement that binds a world without walls
The literacy demands of texts that students need to be able to use and construct in today’s world has changed significantly in the last ten years. This change will continue with the burgeoning use of the electronic medium, particularly the Internet, in classrooms and the work place. Being multiliterate has become the new literacy benchmark. Syllabus documents cannot keep up with the changing textual environment nor the skills and understanding students require to become digitally literate. Being digitally literate involves having at your disposal the practices and processes of information literacy, print literacy, visual literacy and critical literacy. Being digitally literate enables students to piece together information from a range of different texts – written, visual, aural, across a variety of information sources found on the Internet. Students need to understand that each ‘move’ they make in creating their pathway impacts upon the knowledge they gain. This paper will consider how to support students and teachers to work with digital texts and the electronic medium in order to adapt their current practices to meet the changing nature of literate practices. It will draw upon case studies of classrooms in primary and secondary schools where teachers have considered change in their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to create a learning environment that is engaging and supportive using the new modes of learning and new mediums. It will also consider the importance of understanding the tactics students use to logically link sites. Together we will explore the different nature of digital literacy and the accompanying discourses which reflect quality teaching principles.
Liz Blumson, Pauline McLeod and Helen Reynolds
Liz Blumson and Pauline McLeod are Co-coordinators of the University of Queensland Library Cyberschool. Experienced teachers and teacher librarians in both state and Independent secondary schools, they continue to develop services for senior secondary schools in the delivery of quality, selected, online information. Helen Reynolds is a teacher librarian with some 25 years experience spent mainly in boys' schools, where her passion is engendering a love of reading in her students and fostering an information literate school community. She spent time in the second half of 2007 working on the Higher Education Equity Support Program for the UQL Cyberschool.
Delivering in the digital age for the Millennial generation
In a climate of limited funding and perceptions that Internet search engines such as Google can supply all the information needs of students it is imperative that libraries provide evidence that their information literacy programs are making a difference to student learning outcomes. The UQL Cyberschool – an outreach program to school students from the University of Queensland Library – together with The Southport School – an all boys day/boarding school situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia – have combined to provide evidence that teaching information literacy through online databases can produce the desired outcomes as described in the Big6 Information Skills for Student Achievement.
Julie's major teaching areas have been Health and Physical Education in Queensland secondary schools. She has qualifications for Diploma of Teaching (1988) and Master of Health Science (1997). Julie began a Master of Education – Teacher Librarian at Charles Sturt in 2006. She became interested in developing literacy and engaging students in education through teaching Heath, and as a parent wanting to see children read and participate in their world. In 2007, Julie has worked as a Learning Engagement Online teacher.
Creating e-books to re-engage students in the learning process
The students selected for the Learning Engagement Online (LEO) program are detached from the learning relationships within the class environment. Generally the students display a pattern of disruptive and non-attentive behaviour. Often the students present with literacy levels below that of their peers. During LEO, students work in groups to participate in online lessons with students from other schools. The project has required the students to read the text with their mentor or LEO teacher as part of the online lessons. Each week the students work through online tasks that required them to analyse and interpret parts of the text. Using a range of software including Microsoft Powerpoint, Gimp, Audacity, Art Rage and Google Sketchup, they then completed activities that required them to illustrate, animate or portray parts of the story. The creation of e-books allowed the students to develop their individual literacy skills.
Margaret is a classroom teacher and coordinator for ICT at New Town High School in Tasmania. Margaret uses constructionist pedagogies to teach through game development and other emerging real-world applications that bring learning to life for students. Her work has been recognised by a number of recent awards, including a World Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award in 2006, Teaching Australia’s Best National Achievement by a Teacher in 2006, a Hardie Fellowship and Australian Computer Society Educator of the Year 2007.
Video games - an essential literacy for the New Millennium
Since the age of the dinosaurs, the young have learned through play. They design and act out games that help them to prepare for the adult world. In the technological age, 21st century play revolves around video and computer games. Children are playing them everywhere, sometimes to the exclusion of all else. Yet rather than embracing new technologies, far too often educators view games as a dangerous distraction from the curriculum they are trying to provide. There is an ever increasing digital chasm emerging between what students experience in their lives outside of school and what happens inside school. Outside of the classroom, in addition to actual game playing, students are involved in complex communities of practice, buying and selling game items, blogging, and participating in developer communities. All of this, along with the motivation and enthusiasm, can be captured and harnessed for learning to create positive classroom learning environments. This paper explores a variety of approaches to the use of video games in teaching and learning programs to address curriculum outcomes in literacy, numeracy and thinking skills, in all learning areas, and across all grade levels from early childhood through to the senior years of schooling and beyond.
Pat has been a school library coordinator and English teacher. She is keenly interested in reading and reviews for several Australian journals. Her latest project is ReadPlus, which contains a review blog, book lists and teacher resources.
Blogs are an increasingly popular means of communication about children's literature. They usually are free can be relatively simple to start. Students are often eager to use this medium. The advantages and limitations of blogs along with factors to consider when creating and subscribing to blogs will be explored. Blogs can be used to provide news about library programs and enhance reading programs. By using a blog reader, a user can carefully select appropriate blogs to meet their individual needs. These can provide up-to-date news, reviews, online novels and information about what is happening in the publishing world.