Children are more and more exposed to new technologies in their daily lives. It has become crucial for teachers to bring new literacies as an effective ‘tool’ to engage children in the classrooms. Few ideas I have gained from reading Barone and Wright (2008)’s article on using new literacies in the classroom were:
1. Book Blog: It was interesting to see how children joined a book blog where other students reading the same book were actively and collaboratively contributing on ideas and on each other’s postings. This activity incorporates both traditional literacy (reading a book to gain content knowledge) and new literacies (blog posting and sharing ideas), which allows students to gain not only motivation, but improve writing competency and critical thinking at the same time (Warschauer, 2006 as cited in Barone & Wright, 2008, p.301).
2. Hybridity in new literacies: Using laptops in the classrooms doesn’t mean using new literacies in the classrooms. Blogging (eg. book blog, class blog etc) is one example of using new literacies, and it allows students to use word processing, drawing, music and more (Barone & Wright, 2008, p.295). Graphic organisers, digital worksheets, and instant messaging (IM) are only some of many other ways of integrating new literacies for quality teaching and learning.
3. New literacies instruction: Integrating the technology in lesson planning is great, but it is also important to prepare students for new literacies. With new literacies scaffolded, students will become proficient with new literacies and thus be ‘better equipped with the skills required in their futures’ (Barone & Wright, 2008, p.301). In order for this to happen, teachers should constantly work to refine their knowledge about technology and explore different ways to use it for effective teaching and learning.
Barone, D., & Wright, T.E. (2008). Literacy instruction with digital and media technologies. The Reading Teacher, 62(4), 292-302.