Powerpoint Slides - University of Massachusetts Amherst

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					         Supporting English language learners’ academic
             literacy development through blogging

                       Dong-shin Shin: University of Massachusetts
            Wendy Seger: Gerena Community School/University of Massachusetts

5/5/06                                                                         1

         Our Inquiry Stance

          Many benefits of using computer technologies as pedagogical tools (Bump, 1990;
             Cochran-Smith, 1991; Chun, Mayer, & Leutner, 1998; Cummins, 2002; Labbo, Reinking, &
             McKenna, 1995; Mayer & Moreno,1998; Nelson & Cmarata, 1996).

          Multiple challenges for teachers to use technologies as pedagogical tools

                    •      Lack of expertise in using computer technologies
                    •      Lack of technical support
                    •      Digital divide
                    •      Time constraints
                    •      Difficulties keeping up-to-date with rapidly changing technologies

          Need for more and more studies to address computer technology-assisted
           instructions as socially situated practices (Cummins, Brown, & Sayers, 2006; Warschauer,
             2000, 2006)

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                                       School Setting

          Gerena Community School: School Year 2005 – 2006
         •  Serves 698 students (K-5)
         •  71% Latino; 22% African American; 7% Euro- American
         •  34% English L2; 26% LEP; 19% Special Education
         •  90% of students receive free
           or reduced lunch
         • Failing to meet AYP(2004)
         • No computer lab & class

          Pod 10D
         •   A mainstream 2nd class
         •   Technology Resources:
              -8 ACCELA laptops
              -30% of students: access to computers outside school
              -Library visit on Friday mornings

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                                   Inquiry Project Context
         English Language Arts: 4 learning centers ; for a school year
            daily edit/guided reading/independent reading/writing center

         District Reading Plan for 2nd Grade:
              friendly letter, recounts, procedural writing, expository writing, reports, & persuasive writing

         State Standards for for 2nd Grade ELA
             Writing Strand: #19-25

         Genre-based Pedagogy for teaching academic genres:
            scaffolding linguistic and structural features of genre (e.g., mini lessons with “six
            traits”), authentic authorship, socially meaningful purposes, and audience (Dyson, 1993;
              Gebhard, Harman, & Seger, 2006; First Steps, 1999; Schleppegrell, 2004) .

         ACCELA: Better supporting ELLs to acquire academic language and content for
         academic achievement through new and equitable practices that
              •“Engage in collaborative and systematic inquiry with teachers;
              •Draw on the knowledge, skills, and expertise of all stakeholders;
              •Seek out and value the contributions made by the communities and families of the
              ELLs to the schools;
              • Share our developing understandings and perspectives of learning and teaching with
              one another” (ACCELA Website, http://www.umass.edu/accela; Willett, Harman, Hogan, Lozano,
5/5/06        & Rubeck, 2007).                                                                                   4
                  Mediating Academic Writing With Blogging

         Use of computer technologies for literacy education involves learning
         and teaching how to use:

                   •linguistic /discourse features (e.g., e-mail genre vs. IM genre vs. online
                   feedback genre)
                   •meaning making resources (e.g., visual/audio resources)
                   •roles for a reader and a writer
                   •procedures for producing texts
                   •rules of communication

         in a certain way shaped by social, cultural, institutional, and pedagogical
         contexts of reading and writing practices within a local group--e.g., Gerena
         10d, ACCELA--(Lemke, 1998, 2000; New London Group, 1996; Warschauer,

         How do reading/writing activities within a class blog mediate students’
         academic literacy development practices?

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                           Guiding Inquiries

         •In what ways was Mrs. Seger drawing on the blog tool to
         support ELLs’ academic literacy development?

         • What kinds of learning practices were the ELL students
         engaged with in developing academic literacies through

         •How were the students appropriating the blog to accomplish
         their academic and social goals?

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                 Embedding a blog into ELA Writing Center Routines

           Writing Procedures

                                Scaffolding of genre knowledge

                                                             Writing on Computers
         Feedback in the blog

                                     Publishing: Posting draft
5/5/06                                                                              7
          Goals for Using a Weblog in Teaching ELA Academic Genres

            Teaching recounts/           Incorporating technologies/
         supporting family literacies        Computer literacies

          •Explicit instruction                 Construction
          •Social purpose                       Communication
          •Audience                Blogging     Expression
          •Critical knowledge                   Inquiry
          of academic genres

                              Expanded audience
                             Authentic authorship
5/5/06                   Awareness of intended audience                8
              Looking at the Project through Diany’s Experience

         Relevant information
         Age: 7 years old
         Language: English & Spanish
         (Spanish: home language /English: more confident)

         Academic level:
         –Reading: below average
         (DIBELS--Sept. (47)/
         Nov.(79)/June(95) )
         –Writing: slightly below average
         –Literature response in blog:
         above average

         Relationships with classmates:
         Very Social
         Computer experiences:
         No computer experiences
         before the project

5/5/06                                                            9
           Collaboration among School, Peers, Families, & Communities

         SCHOOL                         FAMILIES


5/5/06                                                            10
         Collaboration on the Class Weblog: Exchanged Feedback Comments

         Recounts                                   Persuasive Letter
         •Feedback received from others             •Feedback received from others
              First draft: genre structures/             First draft: genre structures
              suggestions for contents / checking        /suggestions for additional contents
              information                                /checking word use/ compliments
              Second draft: sharing similar
              family experiences/checking                Second draft: checking word use/
              information                                suggestions for additional contents
              /expressing wishes & advice                & word choice/ request
                                                         feedback/expressing friendship
         • Feedback sent to others
              First draft: genre structures/ asking • Feedback sent to others
              about details/ expressing sympathy /       First draft: genre
              sharing her experiences                    features/suggestion for word
              Second draft: supporting friends           choices/checking contents & word
              with similar experiences/expressing        use/expressing appreciation/
              sympathy & envy/ acknowledging             complimenting/expressing
              friends’ behaviors                         friendship

5/5/06                                                                                   11
                   Lines of “Blog-Mediated” Learning Practices

         Learning academic genre knowledge:
         •Textual features: verb tense/connector/cohesion
         •Structural features:
               –Recounts:“big picture /zoom in/back to the big picture”;
               –Persuasive letter: “thesis/example, problem, solution / restatement of thesis”
               –Recounts: the beginning of setting (“When I was ...”) / paste tense/ the ending (“THE END”)/
               feeling statement as finale/ illustration
               –Persuasive letter: the beginning of letter (“Dear Mr./Mrs…”)/ requiring with modal adverb
               (“please”)/ the closing statement (“sincerely”)/affirmative statement (“this is important…”)

         Acquiring computer knowledge
         •Computers: turning on & off / opening programs/ using the touch pad
         •Word program: typing/saving files/using tools for checking spelling & grammar/changing font
         sizes/cutting & pasting
         •Web browser: typing URL/ knowing ID & password
         •Blog: using hyperlinks & navigation bars/composing & posting comments

         Becoming an academic collaborator
         •Sharing personal experiences with others
         •Exchanging feedback on each other’s writings as a capable other
         •Being supported by and supporting classmates with similar or different experiences .
5/5/06                                                                                                  12
             Interactively Working Lines of Learning Practices
             Toward Diany’s Academic Literacy Development

         •   Ability to give and incorporate multiple types of feedback into text production:
              E. X.) Comments of the blog—genre organizations,
              questioning contents of recounts, sharing experiences,
              and expressing appreciative comments

         •   Increased awareness of purpose and audience:
                E.X.) use of ―sincerely‖ instead of ―love‖
                issue of using ―please‖ only once

         •   Increased awareness of conventions:
               E.X.) Green and red lines of MS Word program /
               Uses of spell check tool.

         •   Collaborative writing Practices :
               E.X.) More interactions among peers
               / between students and teachers in the process of writing
               (for conventions and technical problems)

         •   Importance of receiving feedback from audiences in having successful writing
5/5/06           E.X.) ―I feel bad that some [few] people write you.‖                           13
         Diany’s appropriation of blogging for academic and social goals

         Confidant Student
         •Presenting her developing her confidence in writing and typing.
         •Proving her academic capabilities to peers and teachers.

         Maintaining Friendship
         Caring friend
         •Providing compliments, encouragements, and apologies for making her friendships

         Popular Student Status
         •Competing to get recognition from significant figures of the class.
         •Proving her popularity to the classmates(e.g., “J-Lo”).

         Computer Expert for Mom & Friends
         •Helping Mom to use the Internet and to type.
         •Exchanging information about websites with friends.

5/5/06                                                                                 14

         Blogging afforded Diany:
         • Academic Writing Practice
              – authentic authorship
              – expanded audiences
              – new roles for author and reader (boundary between author and reader blurring)
              – more opportunities for engaging with multiple voices
              – increased alignment with “Segerkids10D-standardized” genre features.

         •   Social Relationships
              – different relationships with friends and Mom (additional examples: M & J)
              – new student identities
              – new self-image

         •   Family Literacies
              – opportunities for valuing her family’s linguistic and cultural backgrounds
              – family’s support for school literacy development (e.g., visit the class to tell a
                 story, buying a computer for her)
              – more parents’ encouragement and compliments on writing with computers (e.g.,
                 summer camp for learning computers and poetry)

5/5/06                                                                                      15

         Suggestions for uses of the blog:
         •Composing recounts on paper first, then typing on computers.
         •A blog as a public space with expanded audience.
         •Guiding constructive ways of exchanging and using feedback.

         Principles for Computer-Assisted Instruction:
         •Importance of accessibility to technology resources.
         •Uses of technology as a means, not as an end goal.

         Logistics & Administrative Support:
         •Compliance with school district policies regarding the use of
         instructional technologies
         •Importance of administrational support.
         •More technical support for managing a computer-integrated project
5/5/06                                                                        16
                         Next Chapter for Segerkids Blog

                                                 Reading Comprehension Support
            Professional Development
         What are the purposes of writing    •     Different relationship between the
         children do in classrooms?                teacher and the students
         For whom are they writing?...       •     Increased pressure for high stakes
                                                   test preparation
                                             •     Limited support for their academic
         •Which ones are more                      and computer literacies
                                                  Segerkids as third grade bloggers

         •Which are for authentic purposes
         from the child’s perspective?

         •Purpose and audience make the
         difference in how engaged our
         students are in their writing

5/5/06                                                                                17

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