Exploring Literacy in the Disciplines: What Disciplinary Experts & Teachers Think

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

4:30 – 5:25 PM, July 6, 2017, Room 2, Palacio de la Audiencia Cultural Center

Soria, Spain
For this presentation, the researchers brought literacy professionals, professors, experts from several disciplines, and teachers together to inform each other and us about the role language and literacy plays in their respective disciplines. Their conversations highlighted how the literacies are used during an “at work day”, how professors can share this information with perspective teachers, and exactly what that means for middle and high school students (Draper, Broomhead, Jensen, & Siebert, 2010).

Presentation slides [ PDF]

Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project page. Visit the conference site here.

Literacy in the Disciplines

Literacy in the Disciplines

International Literacy Association Pre-Convention Institute

Developing Conceptual Knowledge Through Oral & Written Language  – Literacy Practices in Schools and in the Workplace: Match or Mismatch? #ILA2017

  1. PowerPoint  (Opens in Box.com)
  2. Introduction to Literacy in the Disciplines PDF
  3. Writing in the Disciplines by Time and Source PDF
  4. Accuracy in Digital Writing Environments: Read Up, Ask Around, Double Check [Free Access – Scroll down to find the article].
devere-bernadette-at-ila-july-2017-2-e1500226951644.jpg

Bernadette & DeVere representing Literacy Beat at #ILA2017

Reference:

Draper, R.J., Broomhead, P., Jensen, A.P., Nokes, J.D., & Siebert D. (Eds.). (2010). (Re)Imagining content-area literacy instruction. New York: Teachers College Press.

 

 

Literacy Beat Monday at ILA

Monday, July 20

Presenters:   Bernadette Dwyer
Title:             Supporting Literacy and Learning With the internet: Nurturing Collaborative Classroom Communities (ILA Board Session # 01342)

Join Literacy Beat at the International Literacy Association

Literacy Beat Goes to ILA

If you are planning to attend the International Literacy Association July 18 to 20 (with Institute sessions on July 17), we would love to meet the friends of Literacy Beat in St. Louis. Please stop by one of our sessions and say hello!

Here is where you can find us:

Friday, July 17

Presenters:   Bernadette Dwyer, Jill Castek, Colin Harrison
Time:            9:00 AM–5:00 PM  (session 1:15 – 2:00pm)
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-230
Title:             Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning in Transforming Adolescents’ Lives through Literacy. (Institute session #0865)

Presenters:   Bridget Dalton
Time:            9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-263-264
Title:             Transforming Literacy Instruction through Online Inquiry (Institute 01 Session # 0997)

Presenters:   Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Dana L. Grisham, Linda Smetana
Time:            9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-100-102
Title:             Academic Wordplay: Digital Strategies for Active Vocabulary Instruction In Vocabulary Collaborations: Pathways to Vocabulary Learning for All students, Grades 2-12 (Institute session #0986)

Presenters:   Dana L. Grisham, Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Linda Smetana
Time:            9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-230
Title:   Vocabulary Self-Selection Strategy Plus (VSS+):Post-Reading Concept Development Using Digital Tools in Transforming Adolescents’ Lives through Literacy. (Institute session #0865)

Saturday, July 18

Author Signing:        Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Diane Lapp, Maria Grant.
Time:            12:15–1:15
Location:       Corwin Booth (#1138) in the Exhibit Hall

  • Mining Complex Text, Grades 6-12: Using and Creating Graphic Organizers to Grasp Content and Share New Understandings
  • Mining Complex Text, Grades 2-5: Using and Creating Graphic Organizers to Grasp Content and Share New Understandings

Author Signing and Presentation:       Bernadette Dwyer, Jill Castek, and Colin Harrison
Time:            3:00pm
Location:       Shell Education and Teacher Created Materials in the Exhibit Hall

Text:   Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning

Sunday, July 19

Presenters:   Bridget Dalton
Time:           9:00 AM–10:00 PM
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-123
Title:             Guiding technology integration policy:  How do we do that and why does it matter for schools and communities # FR02  Featured research session chaired by Annemarie Palincsar

Presenters:   Blaine E. Smith
Time:            11:00 AM–12:00 PM
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-Second Floor Atrium
Title:             Composing Across Modes: Urban Adolescents’ Processes Responding to and Analyzing Literature # DP01 ILA Outstanding Dissertation Research Poster Session

Monday, July 20

Presenters:   Bernadette Dwyer
Time:            11:00 AM–12:00 PM
Location:       America’s Center St. Louis-265
Title:             Supporting Literacy and Learning With the internet: Nurturing Collaborative Classroom Communities (ILA Board Session # 01342)

Multimedia digital books: Forward Thinking

Teaching the Language Arts: Forward Thinking in Today’s Classrooms by Elizabeth Dobler, Denise Johnson and Thomas DeVere Wolsey. Published by Holcomb Hathaway, ebook available via Inkling platform.

forward thinking

  When I received a copy of Forward Thinking I was immediately struck by the calibre of the authors (Elizabeth Dobler, Denise Johnson and our own Literacy Beat blogger De Vere Wolsey). In turn, each author is well respected within the literacy community for situating their research in classrooms and making strong research-to-practice connections. The six modes of the Language Arts- reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and visually representing provide the organisational framework of this etext. However, it is the enhanced etext publishing format which I want to particularly draw attention to in this post.

A number of distinctive features encourage active learning environments by combining traditional and electronic content. These features allow the reader to transact with the text in multiple ways through media elements such as, video, graphics, and audio which are embedded in the etext. Readers can watch lessons being taught in real classrooms; have instant access to multiple resource ideas that are shared through video clips (e.g. writing workshop); listen to podcasts of teachers and students; view graphics of work samples and follow hyperlinks to websites. In addition, links between research and practice are featured in interviews with scholars like Don Leu, Dorothy Strickland and Nell Duke. Finally, the etext incorporates a note sharing feature which could be used to create pathways to learning through listening, reading and viewing within a community of learners.

The authors of Forward Thinking note that the book models ways in which electronic resources can be integrated with and used to augment traditional classroom instruction. Forward Thinking  allows us  envision the possibilities when technology is integrated in meaningful ways to enhance literacy and learning in the 21st century classroom.

Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning

Book  cover of Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning

When friends write a book, of course, you’re excited for them and can’t wait to read it.  What’s even more wonderful is when you read the book and it’s terrific – one that you know you will use in your own teaching. Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning by Colin Harrison and fellow Literacy Beat bloggers Bernadette Dwyer and Jill Castek is just such a book.

I found this book to be exceptionally useful for many reasons, but I will highlight just two of those reasons here.

First, Colin, Bernadette, and Jill are not only experts in technology and new media; they are first and foremost experts in literacy instruction. They have taught children how to become engaged and successful readers and writers, and they have taught and collaborated with teachers on effective literacy instruction and technology over many years. Their deep knowledge and on-the-ground experiences with children and teachers is demonstrated in every chapter. They speak directly to teachers, acknowledging the realities of today’s schools and the pressure to achieve high academic standards with all students, while offering a vision and concrete classroom examples to inspire us to embrace the challenge.

Second, this book provides a comprehensive blueprint for integrating technology so that children are more successful with print-based reading and writing AND are developing the new literacies of reading, learning, and communicating with eBooks and on the Internet. Bernadette, Jill and Colin complement a chapter on reading eBooks and digital text with two chapters on Internet inquiry – one focusing on the search process and the other focusing on how to compose and communicate through multimodal products. These are areas where we need to make tremendous progress if we are going to prepare our students for a future world that will be more multimodal, more networked, and more dependent on individuals who are creative, strategic, and collaborative.

I’ve copied the table of contents below. You will see that this book offers teachers multiple pathways for moving forward on their own journeys of technology and literacy integration. Enjoy (I know I will)!

Table of Contents

  1. Using technology to make the teaching of literacy more exciting
  2. Strategies for capitalizing on what students already know
  3. Strategies for using digital tools to support literacy development
  4. Strategies for using eReaders and digital books to expand the reading experience
  5. Strategies for teaching the information-seeking cycle: The process stage of searching for information on the Internet
  6. Strategies for teaching the information-seeking cycle: The product stage of searching for information on the Internet
  7. Strategies for encouraging peer collaboration and cooperative learning
  8. Strategies for building communities of writers
  9. Strategies for building teachers’ capacity to make the most of new technologies

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

The Literacy Beat Team is re-energizing and will be back in September with new posts and new ideas. Bernadette Dwyer took this photograph while in Vietnam in 2012. Time to relax and refresh!

Gone Fishing

Critical evaluation of online information : Scaffolding the development of skills, strategies and dispositions with our students

A post from Bernadette

The Internet is a largely unvetted, open access media and is available to any individual to publish any information. In contrast, print-based media, with a five century plus start on online media, has a number of traditional mediators and gatekeepers, such as editors, critics, and peer review processes in place. The Internet has shifted the burden for quality control and assessment of information, in terms of accuracy, objectivity, credibility, and trustworthiness, onto the online reader. And frankly, the online reader is struggling with the task.

 

Research suggests that, in general, our students are struggling to realise that incorrect, false or misleading information can be posted on the web; rarely challenge the authority and reliability of information presented; are consumerist when searching for online information, i.e. find just about sufficient information to satisfy their information needs; lack prior knowledge to assess the veracity of information presented and detect hidden author agendas; and are often misled by the appearance of a website. An additional complexity with evaluating online information may relate to students’ abilities to draw on limited prior experience and world knowledge to assess and evaluate online information.

Critical evaluation of online information encompasses:

  • critical thinking skills a disposition for interrogating the text; evaluating arguments, and questioning content.
  • critical reading skills an ability to evaluate relevancy, accuracy and reliability.
  • critical multimedia information literacy skills a capacity to critically consume information and to separate the medium from the message.
  • critical literacy skills an aptitude to view information as value laden i.e information is not neutral.

Therefore, critical evaluation of online information involves an orchestration of a repertoire of skills, strategies and dispositions, such as assessing accuracy, credibility, believability, trustworthiness, bias, reasonableness, coverage, relevancy, currency and readability. Critical evaluation is also dependent on reader motivation and the situational context.   Using the gradual release of responsibility model (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983) we can guide our students to develop the dispositions necessary to evaluate websites by considering the following four strategies:

  • Scan Perimeter for Authority: currency, coverage, intended audience, reading level
  • Dig deeper for Accuracy: credibility, believability, accuracy, verification of informatio
  • Raise your Antennae for Details: perspective, bias, commercial bias, trustability, reasonableness
  • Scrutinize the Support: ease of use, design features, multimodal elements, grammatical errors, spellings, working links, and citations.

 

    In Using  Technology to Improve  Reading and Learning (Harrison, Dwyer & Castek,  2014) a sample lesson plan is provided where the teacher employs the gradual release of responsibility model to explicitly teach, through think aloud, demonstration, and modelling, the critical evaluation strategies and dispositions necessary to determine the accuracy, credibility, trustworthiness, bias, reasonableness, coverage, relevancy, and currency about  two websites related to Martin Luther King ( the controversial Martinlutherking.org  website and the official website, http://www.thekingcenter.org) . Following explicit instruction the teacher can guide students as they critically evaluate the information presented on other paired websites using the four critical evaluation strategies. Students work collaboratively to assess the reliability of the information presented on the paired websites. Later, they discuss and present their findings to the class group.

Scan the perimeter for authority Raise antennae for details of reliability
Dig deeper for Accuracy Scrutinise the support

Questions to guide students as they explore websites are presented in the following figure from Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning (Harrison, Dwyer & Castek, 2014)

critical evaluation

 Younger elementary students could explore the following websites related to Christopher Columbus. Ask the students to collaboratively  judge the reliability of information presented on both using the four critical evaluation strategies. Again the students present and discuss their findings with the class group.

Christopher Columbus fake

christopher columbus real

 

 

Using the four critical evaluation strategies, students in middle grades could evaluate which of the following websites is authorized by the World Trade Organization.

 

WTO real

WTO fake

Here are some other resources which may help our students to  develop the skills, strategies  and dispositions to critically evaluate online information and resources; or at the very least they may raise students’ antennae to the possibility that false or misleading information may be posted online.

References

Harrison, C.,  Dwyer, B., & Castek, J. ( May, 2014). Using technology to improve reading and learning. Shell Education Publications: USA.

Pearson, P. D., & Gallagher, M. C. (1983). The instruction of reading comprehension. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8, 317-344.

 

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