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					Digital Literacies in the Classroom
Integration, Implementation, and Assessment



  Grace Bernhardt, Michael McLeod, Stephanie Sheffield
      Rhetoric & Writing Program, Michigan State University
What are digital literacies?
                 „Traditional‟ vs. „New‟
                       Literacies
    „traditional‟ literacy
          Isn‟t it just „the ability to read and write‟?


    „new‟ literacies
          What happens when our composing space
           changes?



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           What are digital literacies?
    Functional vs. technical skills

    [Digital literacies include] the ability to use digital technology,
     communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and
     create information. (The Digital Strategy Gallery)

    The ability to work with images and to design what we write
     means that we now need to compose more than just words
     and sentences. Sometimes we need to include photos or
     charts in an essay, and other times we might choose to make
     arguments using genres other than essays – in Web logs, in
     PowerPoint presentations, in email. (Faigley, “Picturing Texts”
     17)
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           Why do digital literacies belong in
            the language arts classroom?
     The English language arts are the vehicles of
     communication by which we live, work, share, and build
     ideas and understandings of the present, reflect on the
     past, and imagine the future.

     Through the English language arts, we learn to
     appreciate, integrate, and apply what is learned for real
     purposes in our homes, schools, communities, and
     workplaces . . .

     The ultimate goal for all English language arts
     learners is personal, social, occupational, and civic
     literacy. [MI Curricular Framework, pg. 15, emphasis added]
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           Digital literacies can . . .

     encourage critical thinking
     make connections to students‟ lived
      lives
     acknowledge expanding notions of
      literacy

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           Digital literacies can teach
               students to be . . .
      critical consumers of information

      critical producers of information

      participants in an increasingly visual
       and digital civic discourse

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            Michigan benchmarks say
           that a „literate individual‟ . . .

    communicates skillfully and effectively
     through printed, visual, auditory, and
     technological media in the home, school,
     community, and workplace

    understands and appreciates the aesthetic
     elements of oral, visual, and written texts

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How can we address digital
 literacies in our classes?

  Example: Digital Video Assignments
           How are digital videos similar
              to print-based texts?
          Goals
          Audience
          Process
          Shape



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       How are digital videos different
          from print-based texts?
          Distribution & delivery
          Composition
            Development
            Content



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             Similarities: Print-based
           vs. Digital Video Assignment

    Required drafting process
    Required research (gathering information, synthesis)
    Ask for persuasive argument
    Offer variety of topic choice
    Provide specific requirements for final product
    Assign specific genres and describe those genres
    Offer a rationale for the assignment
    Attempt to provide a clear understanding of what the
     final product will look like and accomplish

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             Differences: Print-based
           vs. Digital Video Assignment

     Digital assignment offers examples of
      what an effective PSA looks like
     Digital assignment does not ask students
      to cite their sources




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Developing Digital
  Assignments
            “Adapting” assignments to
                  digital modes
    What are the consequences of making this
     assignment digital? What is gained?
     What is lost?

    How does a change in mode impact this
     assignment?
          What must be changed or removed? What
           must be added?
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           What are the characteristics of a
            digital video that effectively
            addresses this assignment?
    MAPS
          MODE: engaging talking heads, narrative,
           aesthetic consideration; action: moving images,
           transitions, still images, “Ken Burns effect”; voiceover;
           text, labels; soundtrack: music, sound effects;
           organization: beginning, middle, end; evidence
          AUDIENCE: teacher, classroom/peers; anyone
           with a computer and an internet connection;
           community; subject of the assignment
          PURPOSE: (this specific assignment) “to inform”
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           and “to encourage”                                      16
       Revising the assignment sheet
      How can this assignment sheet be
       revised to better convey expectations to
       students?
   •Drafting process – due dates, expectations of grading
   •Reflective piece ?
   •Rubric
   •Learning objectives
   •Samples and templates – what is this supposed to look like?




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How do I do this?
                         Complications
    Resources
          Technical support
          Computer hardware
          Computer software
          Technology infrastructure


    Lack of Professional Development
          Instructor training
          Student training


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                Scenario 1: PowerPoint
    Media
          Still images from Flickr.com (licensed through Creative Commons)
          royalty-free music (licensed through Creative Commons)
          original text written based on research and personal experience
          PowerPoint animations and transitions

    Technology
          Hardware: desktop computer, internet connection, 3mb free space
          Software: PowerPoint, web browser

    Time Requirements
          Prewriting (research, drafting): 1.5 hours
          Composing final product: 1 hour



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                     Scenario 2: iMovie
    Media
          still images from Flickr.com (licensed through Creative Commons)
          animation, transitions, and titles rendered inside software
          royalty-free music (licensed through Creative Commons)
          original text written based on research and personal experience
          narration based on original text

    Technology
          Hardware: computer (Apple), internet connection, 3 GB storage
           space, microphone
          Software: Apple iLife, web browser

    Time Requirements
          Prewriting (research, drafting): 2 hours
          Composing final product: 2 hours

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            What these assignments do
    Engage students‟ multiple literacies
          textual, visual, digital
          introduction to rhetorical analysis
    Develop student research skills
          research involving data, images, and audio
          responsible use of copyrighted material (including
           documentation)
    Reinforce recursive writing
          writing and revising a script, storyboarding, non-linear editing
    Writing for a real audience (potentially)
    Writing in modes students know and appreciate
    Civic engagement
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           What these assignments do
Examples of Michigan content standards addressed:

    Write fluently for multiple purposes to produce compositions, such
     as stories, poetry, personal narratives, editorials, research reports,
     persuasive essays, resumes, and memos.
    Plan, draft, revise, and edit their texts, and analyze and critique the
     texts of others in such areas as purpose, effectiveness, cohesion,
     and creativity.
    Demonstrate how language usage is related to successful
     communication in their different spoken, written, and visual
     communication contexts, such as job interviews, public speeches,
     debates, and advertising.
    Describe and use the characteristics of various oral, visual, and
     written texts (e.g., debate, drama, primary documents, and
     documentaries) and the textual aids they employ (e.g., prefaces,
     appendices, lighting effects, and microfiche headings) to convey
     meaning and inspire audiences.
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                      Conclusions


    Resources & Ongoing conversations
          http://digitalvideo.pbwiki.com


    Questions?




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