Finding the Digital Learning in Literacy

Why do we need to teach our students to be literate in the online world?
The simple answer is, our children are not the same as we were all those years ago. They live in a different world, have different attitudes and different expectations.....they require a different education.

In July 2009, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) released their report, Click and Connect – Young Australians' Use of Online Social Media. It found that over 50% of 12-year-olds were using online social networking tools such as email, Instant Messaging and other social tools. This figure reaches 94% by the time they are 17.

According to the study, Australian children spend more time online as they grow older. 'They are telling us the internet is part of their everyday lives, and as they approach secondary school, it’s increasingly important to their social lives. 8-9-year-olds were found to be using the internet on average 3.7 days per week, while 16 to 17-year-old went online almost every day. The time spent online per day also increased from 1.1 to 3.5 hours respectively.'
[Source: Digital Media]

If this is the world they live in, this is the world educators need to prepare them for and teach them about.........being literate in the world, including the online world, is being empowered.

So, what does this mean for literacy learning?

Our students can:
  • learn content and strategies in new ways with new tools
  • learn to create content, present their ideas and collaborate with peers, teachers, experts in new and immediate ways
  • engage with text in ways not possible with books and paper based materials
  • focus their reading of an infinite variety of texts at different levels - word, sentence and text level
  • learn to create and re-purpose work for different audiences and needs, utilising a variety of multimodal presentation formats – blogs, wikis, social networking, podcasts, video, animation, interactive books, web conferences, virtual world presentations
  • maximise the study of literary texts by toggling between screens to look at different texts, using grammar checks to analyse texts, read or view other online responses to the text, use web 2.0 applications to organise, analyse or summarise information from the text
  • experience the interconnectedness and authenticity of language in real contexts:
    • reading and writing through blogs, discussion forums, chat, instant messaging, email, eBooks, wikis, web 2.0 applications, online publishing
    • speaking and listening through real time web conferencing, skype, podcasts, video, animation, web 2.0 applications, virtual worlds, gaming
  • have their work assessed throughout the process and respond immediately to the feedback of teachers, peers and the wider online audience.

The following pages contain resources to support classroom literacy planning and lessons.

Professional Reading / Listening / Viewing

Literacy Web Sites and Resources

Literacy Web Applications [Web 2.0]

Using Audio and Video effectively in Literacy


SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: You don't change performance without changing the instructional core, the relationship between the teacher and the student in the presence of content.
Richard Elmore.

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