Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop
New Literacies of the Internet Extend Your Knowledge | New Literacies of the Internet
Examine the Topic
How has technology changed the nature of literacy instruction in the intermediate grades? What are the issues that teachers face in integrating technology into their literacy curriculum and instruction? Read the following statements on the impact of technology on literacy learning. Think about how these statements relate to your own classroom instruction and any questions you have about using technology to support students’ literacy development.
Reading and writing have changed as new technologies have entered our lives. You can see the change probably most visibly in the new literacies that are required on the Internet. There are new literacy skills that are required for identifying important questions. There are new reading skills required for searching for information. There are new literacy skills required for critically evaluating information. There are new literacy skills that are required for synthesizing very disparate pieces of information that you pick up in your journey on the Internet. And finally, there are important new literacy skills that are required for communicating with e-mail technologies, instant-messaging technologies, or other technologies for communication. If we’re really serious about preparing students for these new forms of reading and writing and the new contexts for reading and writing that are going to define their future, we have to take a little bit of a risk and integrate these technologies into our classroom.
Internet technology has affected a number of areas in the reading classroom. First, a significant difference in reading strategies is evident when students read on the Web when compared with traditional print text reading. This affects our methods of teaching in computer-mediated environments. In addition, we need to realize that because technology changes so rapidly, we will probably always play “catch-up” in the educational sense. We must be willing to learn from technological changes and also acknowledge that some of our students may be a great deal more technoliterate than ourselves, and encourage them to help in the classroom. I do not support the view that technology will replace teachers. In fact, we have an integral role to play as part of the literacy community in evaluating the use of technology in classrooms and insisting that designers produce educational software that is pedagogically sound. We must continue to help students evaluate all textual environments critically. Use of technology does not necessarily mean better teaching. The Internet does not represent an alternative “better than books”; it signifies an option “different from books.” As teachers, we must approach technological change by asking ourselves whether our teaching has the potential to be enhanced by technology, and whether technology serves a purpose in aiding student learning. If not, then why use it? Web literacy has implications for how we effectively teach reading strategies in both print and digital environments, so schools and educational funding agencies must consider professional development needs of teachers in a real and practical sense. Only through adequate professional development will the average classroom practitioner be able to cope with the changes taking place now and in reading classrooms of the future.
Sutherland-Smith, W. “Weaving the Literacy Web: Changes in Reading from Page to Screen.” The Reading Teacher 55, no. 7 (April 2002): 662-669.
Consider how you integrate technology within your literacy and content-area curriculum. Write your answers to the following questions:
- How do you decide when to use technology to support your curriculum and instruction?
- What are the risks in using the Internet to enhance learning?
- How do you adapt your instruction strategy for use on the Internet?
- What is the role of the teacher when integrating technology with literacy development? How is this different from the role of the teacher in traditional instruction?
Tips for New Teachers: Teaching With Technology
Whether you are new to teaching or just new to teaching with technology, integrating computer use in your literacy and content-area curriculum can be challenging. The following suggestions will assist you in using technology to support your students’ literacy development:
- Plan for integrating instruction in technology with your regular curriculum. This will allow for more time to use technology in authentic learning experiences.
- Prepare for “Plan B” in case technology breaks down. Make sure you have books and other print resources to support learning.
- Learn what your students can already do with technology and what they can handle in subsequent instruction.
- Keep the focus on the content learning, with technology use to support that content.
- Schedule mini-lessons on using technology (the Internet, software programs, word processing programs) before integrating with the curriculum.
- Explore search engines that are designed for children (e.g., Yahooligans, Kidsclick).
- Explore classroom teachers’ Web sites for your grade level to learn about instructional practices for literacy and technology.
- Schedule specific times for computer use to provide all students with equal access to technology use and practice.
- Situate computers so that monitor screens are clearly visible to you and the students.
- Take advantage of professional development opportunities to learn more about how to use technology to support literacy learning.
5.2 Analyze the Video | New Literacies of the Internet
Watch the video, "New Literacies of the Internet," taking notes as you watch. After you watch, jot down your answers to the questions below. If you prefer to watch the video in segments, pause the video when you see the next chapter heading.
Workshop 1 Creating Contexts for Learning
This session examines how classroom organization, routines, and grouping practices can enhance literacy skills in the middle grades. Literacy expert Jeanne Paratore discusses teaching strategies that foster reading and writing skills. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 2 Fluency and Word Study
This session focuses on how students in the middle grades develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Literacy expert Richard Allington discusses specific teaching strategies that help build fluency and vocabulary, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 3 Building Comprehension
Comprehending text is one of the main goals of reading. In this session, literacy expert Nell Duke discusses what good readers do and strategies teachers can use to help students build comprehension skills. Classroom footage provides examples of comprehension strategies.
Workshop 4 Writing
This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing in the middle grades. Literacy expert Nadeen Ruiz discusses the connections, conventions, and inventions that provide a framework for teaching writing, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 5 New Literacies of the Internet
This workshop focuses on the evolving use of networked technology in education. Literacy expert Donald Leu discusses strategies that help students effectively read, write, and communicate on the Internet. Classroom examples illustrate strategies for using Internet resources in the classroom.
Workshop 6 Teaching English Language Learners
Changing classroom demographics call for a range or teaching strategies. In this session, literacy expert Robert Jim�nez discusses strategies teachers can use to create a successful learning environment for all students, while supporting English language learners. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 7 Teaching Diverse Learners
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how teachers can meet the diverse needs of readers and writers in their classrooms. Classroom examples and teaching strategies address different aspects of diversity, including culture, language, background, ability, and learning approaches.
Workshop 8 Assessment and Accountability
This session explores assessment, standards, and outcomes. Literacy expert Kathy Au discusses the strategies teachers can use to assess students' understanding in reading and writing. Classroom examples illustrate how students can participate in their own assessment.
Supplementary Workshop 6 - Teaching English Language Learners
Professional Development Workshop Guide