Over the years, I have collected education-related media clippings on a variety of topics. These articles below provide some insights into how multi-literacies informed teaching practice can provide real educational benefits for our students.
Winners of the Inaugural DETWA Teacher’s Innovative Online Learning Award (2007) described the influence of ICT integration on teaching and learning in their classrooms:
Rod Blitvich, a secondary science teacher, described how his podcasting and movie-making projects led to “a wonderful transformation in discipline/motivation problems within [his] classes”.
John Atkins, teaching in Broome, Western Australia, described how Indigenous students were encouraged to use MP3 recorders and headsets to “tell their stories in a non-threatening, non-shaming way”. This practice helped teaching staff overcome long-standing barriers to assessing Indigenous students’ speaking skills.
Paul Fuller, an innovative primary school teacher, engages his students in a range of online projects, including podcasting and blogging students stories. He “was blown away by the enthusiasm, energy and quality of writing … as formerly reluctant writers became prolific authors”. (Google “Albert the Blogging Bear” for an example of his work).
DETWA (24/8/2007). ‘Paul’s students are global citizens’ and ‘Teacher’s Innovative Online Learning’ in School Matters, Issue 8.
A collaborative project between Murdoch University and Cooblellup Primary School (Western Australia) found that the use of Interactive Whiteboards to support literacy and numeracy teaching led to significant improvements in students literacy and numeracy results.
Surveys of student attitudes indicated that students became more motivated and engaged in their learning, and mathematics results were on average 2.5 times greater than expected for normal developmental growth.
[Murdoch University (May 2008). ‘Hi-tech whiteboard hits home’ in Discovery Magazine, v(2) Issue 4]
Children who use technology are ‘better writers’ – A survey finds blogging, use of social networking sites, and texting leads to improved writing outcomes for students (National Literacy Trust, UK)
A survey of 3,001 children aged nine to 16 found that 24% had their own blog and 82% sent text messages at least once a month. In addition 73% used instant messaging services to chat online with friends. However, 77% still put real pen to paper to write notes in class or do their school homework. Of the children who neither blogged nor used social network sites, 47% rated their writing as “good” or “very good”, while 61% of the bloggers and 56% of the social networkers said the same.
“Our research suggests a strong correlation between kids using technology and wider patterns of reading and writing,” Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, told BBC News. “Engagement with online technology drives their enthusiasm for writing short stories, letters, song lyrics or diaries.” Mr Douglas dismissed criticisms about the informal writing styles often adopted in online chat and “text speak”, both of which can lack grammar and dictionary-correct spelling. “Does it damage literacy? Our research results are conclusive – the more forms of communications children use the stronger their core literary skills.”
Extract from BBC News Online “Children who use technology are ‘better writers'”, by Zoe Kleinman (Thursday, 3 December 2009)