Intertwining Digital Technology Into Literacy Methods Courses

Pooja and I (Clare) did an analysis of 6 literacy teacher educators who truly intertwined digital technology into their literacy methods courses. (Book chapter will be published soon and we will post that info.) In the meantime I thought this chart might be useful for literacy teacher educators who are preparing for the upcoming school year.

Overall Goal: Teaching 2.0
Specific Goals Example
Make literacy classes participatory ·      Post comments on each other’s work (e.g., Wall Wisher, Text tagging, Voice Thread)

·      Post comments in asynchronous time

·      Provide student teachers with feedback on-line and encourage them to respond to the feedback

·      During class student teachers post questions or contribute comments to a shared space

·      Before class student teachers post comments about the readings

·      Create Wordles when analyzing a text

Create an infrastructure for accessing resources and for sharing resources ·      Develop a repository of resources on a university platform (e.g., Blackboard) or on their own website

·      Share books, videos, websites on a class Wiki

·      Use DT tools (e.g., Smartboard) to access info on the spot while teaching

·      Access materials/videos for use in teaching (e.g., Globe Theatre productions of Shakespearean plays)

Provide authentic learning experiences ·      Student teachers make an iMovie on a specific topic (e.g., on bullying)

·      Analyze videos student teachers created during their practice teaching

·      Skype with authors they are reading

·      Participate in teacher communities by contributing to blogs and Twitter feeds

·      Participate in teacher-focused events (e.g., contribute a piece to a BBC competition on current affairs/news)

·      Student teachers create podcasts on an aspect of literacy to share with broader community

·      Watch videos of authors they are reading (both scholarly articles and children’s literature)

·      Student teachers post photographs of themselves on the university platform as a way to introduce themselves to their classmates

Gain an understanding of the increasingly globalized nature of literacy

·      View videos from other countries (e.g., teachers in Japan) to see similarities and differences with their own context

·      Participate in world-wide teacher communities

·      Participate in crowd-sourcing

·      Share statistics on literacy beyond home country

·      Use visual representations (e.g., photographs) to move student teachers beyond their immediate world to unpack a range of issues (e.g., gender representation in children’s literature)

Reframe issues related to literacy and literacy teaching ·      Watch videos of teaching (exemplary or poor practice) and analyze them

·      Use videos from their practice teaching classes as “data” for their inquiry projects

·      Student teachers select a picture from a photo array and relate the action in the photograph to a theory they have been working on

Bridge practice teaching and the academic program ·      Reflect on practice teaching by sharing and analyzing photographs/videos they took

·      Use email and social media to remain connected during practice teaching and as a place for student teachers to ask questions or share concerns

·      Create a video case study of pupils which relates to a theory of literacy

We also created a graphic to capture the elements of their pedagogy:

Literacy Graphci

Their courses were fundamentally different because they had truly reconceptualized their teaching, not simply tinkering by adding glitzy DT; rather, they constructed highly participatory experiences that occurred before, during, and after the official 3-hour class. Learning occurred in multiple ways: readings, f2f discussions, online communities, viewing, analyzing, and providing feedback on texts which immersed student teachers into the issues of literacy. It went far beyond introducing “methods” to teach literacy; it was framed by learning to teach literacy as a global citizen. This ambitious goal was matched with unparalleled support by the professors. Their multimodal/technology-rich teaching practices modeled the possibilities available to teachers and students; however, they were constantly trying to balance preparing student teachers to address the traditional forms of literacy, which they will probably observe in schools, with more expansive understandings. They had not discarded typical elements of literacy methods courses such as teaching the writing process or components of a balanced literacy program.

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