Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children's Literature

What does it say?

-ICT promotes global learning experiences and enhances learning in literacy. 'ICT is a powerful tool in the classroom because it can ignite the imagination and bridge the global divide, despite possible unevenness in opportunities. The teacher needs to look at ways that the emerging technologies can blend with traditional methods to enhance and influence student's writing and learning in enjoyable ways' (p. 258).

-'It provides 'access to a range of resources, new audiences and a variety of media allow the teacher and students to teach and learn in enriching ways' (p. 259). There is a broad range of software available and the internet connects the classroom to the world, enabling them to research and be involved in many different ways.

-'Writing on the computer may not be a private activity but result in lots of social interaction, which changes the nature, and content of the writing' (p. 260). Students can work collaboratively in groups or pairs and have others reading their writing. e.g. using the interactive whiteboard to read a childs' work as a class or writing a classroom story.

- There are a number of benefits when using ICT to teach writing. These include-
-'develops a clearer understanding and awareness of the basic structure of written and visual texts
-provides a high quality of presentation that can motivate students who find manual writing difficult or messy
-allows students to reflect on their writing and to make changes easily through cutting and pasting text
-helps students writing more interesting texts because of the access to a wide variety of information
-identifies, checks, and corrects grammatical and spelling errors
-allows students to store and retrieve texts easily
-promotes both independent and collaborative writing
-provides possiblilites for multimedia creations e.g. by employing graphic images, sound, and video with the printed text
-encourages students to write for longer periods of time because of the editing capacity
-allows for collaboration with other cultures, e.g. exchanging folk tales
-gives opportunities for publishing and communicating within the classroom and worldwide
-encourages risk-taking and creativity in writing' (p. 260).
Although, all of these may have negative sides to them. e.g. plagrism, poor skills and writing techniques.

Challenges

-resources and the 'digital divide'. Wealthier schools sometimes have a bigger range and availability of technology software and resources. (p. 259)
-there is a danger of the writing language becoming more like the spoken work and colloquial. e.g. students writing and reading text messages, web pages and emails.

-to be used effectively in the classroom, the teachers need the correct skills. 'Computer proficiency skills need to be taught and practiced and integrated into curriculum as part of school policy'. Main areas include-
-navigating world wide web and information retrieval
-evaluating web sites and software for different learning areas
-word processing and desktop publising
-how to file and manage info
-how to utilise presentation software
-how to utilise communication software (p. 261-64).

-'The physical wellbeing of students and their cognitive development needs to be considered at all times when using computer technology' (p. 268). Are the students on task? Are they learning what they should? Is the information authentic?