How to Improve Multiple Literacy in the Classroom Using New Literacies

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How to Improve Multiple Literacy in the Classroom Using New Literacies

Mishelle Bass

Kathrene Donaldson

Tiffany Kelly

Kennie Oyefusi

Britney Shaw


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Table of Contents

Introduction

3

Literature Review

3

Methodology:

4

Who

10

What

10

How

10

Data Analysis

11

Questions

11

Literacy Questions

11

What, and how, do my students write each day?

11

How do I model writing?

12

Do I use critical literacy in my classroom?

13

Digital Tech in the Classroom

13

Findings

14

Conclusion

26

References

29

Publishing

30



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Introduction


In contemporary society technology and use of digital tools have become a way of
life as evidenced by the ever changing, rapidly expanding world of digital technology
.

Digital technology

is used not only in the social media world, but also in

the work place,
and increasingly in education as school districts strive not to be left behind. School
districts are striving to equip their schools with adequate computers to foster relevance
between the technology inundated society and the education sys
tem that prepares
students for the workforce. Technology applications and soft wares designed to facilitate
classrooms content area instruction, are becoming more numerous with tools like class
web 2.0 for teachers’ digital instruction and students’ digita
l products. The
re is a

pro
liferation of digital web tools,
media
applications
and

interactive technology.
S
tudents’ preoccupation with them outside the classroom through social media
netw
orking, gaming, and access to a

wide range of content and connectivit
y, emphasize
the urgency of harnessing these tools for education
. S
tudents are
writing more than ever
before, but t
he irony is that the students are writing more outside class, in what they see
as unrelated to their education, than they are writing in clas
s. The explosion of digital
communication makes it imperative that teachers step up their roles

as teachers of digital
writing. They have to

provide support for

students in understanding the complexities of
communicating in our contemporary world, because

students’ exposure to and interaction
with the wide array of digital content on the world wide web does not mean that
reflection and learning takes place.

Research shows the preoccupation of education professionals with making
technology an integral part
of educational instruction. There is a move from the initial
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focus of integrating technology into instruction, to using technology as instructional tool
and medium of students’ multi literacies learning product across content areas. DE Voss,
AaDahl and Hic
ks (2010)
,

noted that according to the Writing in Digital Environments
(WIDE) research, “Networked computers create a new kind of writing space that changes
the writing process and the basic rhetorical dynamic between writers and readers.
Computer technolo
gies have changed the processes, products and contex
ts for writing in
dramatic ways,
” (p.5). This change demands that teachers equip students for higher
education and future workplace experiences by teaching them to work across and within
networked places
using different modes of multi literacies. Students interact and engage
with different digital tools as they write
,

using

different modes and across genres, to
communicate with local audiences within their classrooms/schools local intranet and the
wider audience on the internet. To this end, this study explores the current level of digital
technology knowledge of teachers, t
heir use of technology in writing instruction, research
into available digital multi
-
media tools that will enhance technology based instruction
across the content/subject areas, and findings to propel more informed usage of these
tools in instruction and s
tudent digital products.

Literature Review


The digital age is among our society and students are engaged in technology more
than ever.
Paper and pencils are becoming old
-
fashioned; therefore, in order to practice
literacy in the classroom, teachers need t
o incorporate technology in every room. By
integrating technology, teachers are creating digital environments and experiences for
their students. Using multiliteracies and technology within the classroom helps ensure
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students are receiving the most up
-
to
-
d
ate lessons to prepare them for the twenty
-
first
century.

Al
-
Hazza, T., & Lucking, R. (2012). An Examination of Preservice Teachers' View of
Multiliteracies: Habits, Perceptions, Demographics and Slippery Slopes.
Reading
Improvement
,

49
(2), 59
-
72. Retrieve
d from:
http://web.ebscohost.com.ruby2.uhv.edu/ehost/search/basic?sid=564f5ac2
-
492e
-
45b9
-
aa09
-
7f70cf112421%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=103

Al
-
Hazza and Lucking offer an outlook on how new literacies must be
incorporated into education. They suggest that teen
s today are extravagantly enthralled in
the world of technology. The authors express that reading materials are no longer just
print sources, but also include other forms of electronic reading. Our youth are now
spending great quantities of time immersed
in technology. The Pew Research Center’s
Internet & American Life Project found that 93% of teens, age 12
-
17, use the internet.
Additionally, “while online, a total of 78% play online games, 73% use social network
sites, 73% use email, 62% get news, 49% re
ad blogs, 48% buy products, 31% look for
health info, and 14% create blogs” (60). Al
-
Hazza and Lucking further suggest that the
movement to utilize technology so frequently has begun to change society. Technology
has grown to be a normal part of people’s l
ives. Since society is changing to use more
and more technology, educators must be able to keep up with the general public. Literacy
is no longer the same as it was approximately ten years ago. The National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education an
d the International Reading Association have both
acknowledged that it is imperative to incorporate technology into the curriculum.
Furthermore, teachers must be comfortable instructing and assessing students using
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technology. This is necessary in order to

close the gap between traditional print and new
multiliteracies. Al
-
Hazza and Lucking reviewed a pilot study of 63 prospective teachers
and their views on technology and new literacies. From the study, 83% of the prospective
teachers believed that “teache
rs should be held accountable for mastering these new
technologies” (65). The findings indicated that future teachers will be starting work with
a great deal of technological experience; however, “being an avid text
-
sender may not
lead directly to a higher

level of understanding of how to best teach literacy skills or plan
for other forms of literacy expansion” (69). The others concluded their findings with this
statement: “Many of the issues involved in understanding the new literacies are esoteric
and com
plex” (70) Somehow, these inner circles of thinkers that grasp the knowledge and
comprehension of integrating technology into the curriculum will be able to share with
society.

Borsheim, C., Merritt, K., & Reed, D. (2008). Beyond Technology for
Technology's
Sake: Advancing Multiliteracies in the Twenty
-
First Century.

Clearing House
,

82
(2), 87
-
90. Retrieved from:
http://web.ebscohost.com.ruby2.uhv.edu/ehost/search/basic?sid=564f5ac2
-
492e
-
45b9
-
aa09
-
7f70cf112421%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=103

Borsheim, Merritt, and Reed made the bold, yet brief, statement that “literacy is
changing” (87). This article discusses the shift from traditional literacy to multiliteracies.
Multiliteracies has been “based on the well
-
established assumption that technol
ogies
(including computers, cell phones, PDAs, the Internet, and Web 2.0 applications such as
wikis, blogs, and other social networking sites) have impacted the nature of texts, as well
as the ways people use and interact with texts” (87). The authors sugg
est that teachers
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with a multiliteracies pedagogy are more likely to prepare their students for what is to
come in the twenty
-
first century. Borsheim wrote first on multiliteracies and traditional
curriculum. Incorporating multiliteracies into the curricul
um helps in three ways: students
can gain knowledge through “authentic experiences;” can “support traditional curriculum
objectives;” and will go beyond those objectives in order to further the development of
multiliteracies (88). With traditional texts no
t being used as often and technology being
used more and more, students are even researching differently. Technologies support the
students’ research in ways never explored before. Also, technologies help connect
students to real audiences. Next, Reed gave

her intake on multiliteracies beyond the
classroom walls. Reed began by stating that she disagreed with those who believe that
students are not engaged in reading and writing anymore. She maintained that students
are still reading and writing; it just loo
ks differently than a traditional setting. By
integrating technology in the home and school, Reed has seen a significant increase in
participation from her students. Reed summarized by suggesting that teachers must
always be looking into the future in orde
r to keep up with technology and the changing
society. Next, Merritt expressed her thought on multiliteracies for preservice teachers.
Merritt spoke about how important it is for teachers to model their technology uses with
their students. By modeling, stu
dents will engage on a different level and will be more
motivated to try some of the new technology in the classroom. She ended with stating
that technology also helps the preservice teachers know how to utilize literacies in this
century and how it benefi
ts the language arts. By keeping up with future technologies,
teachers will be more knowledgeable in keeping their students on track with the skills of
the twenty
-
first century.

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DeVoss, D.N., Eidman
-
Aadahl, E., & Hicks, T. (2010).
Because Digital Writing
Matters:
Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments
. San
Francisco: Jossey
-
Bass.

Since technologies have been altering society, it has also begun to impact the
classroom. Students are enthralled in technology on an almost non
-
stop bas
is it seems,
but can they learn literacy this way? Teachers must begin to incorporate technology into
their classroom. The atmosphere of writing is changing, and the new ways of writing
instruction must be included into curriculum. This book encompasses th
e importance of
digital writing, how to incorporate digital writing, discusses the rapid growth of the
digital age, and offers help in directing teachers how to grow in their technology
knowledge in order to progress the writing of their students.

Peterso
n, S., Botelho, M., Jang, E., & Kerekes, J. (2007). Writing Assessment: What
Would Multiliteracy Teachers Do?

Literacy

Learning:

The

Middle

Years
, 15(1),
29
-
34.


Retrieved from:
http://www.alea.edu.au/documents/item/127


This article discusses
multiliteracies theory and writing assessments.
Multiliteracies theory was defined as viewing “literacies as social practices that help us to
achieve social intentions within range of social contexts of our daily lives” (29). Since
teachers are always tryi
ng to bring the students’ outside experiences into the classroom,
writing and the multiliteracies theory work very well together. The multiliteracies theory
allows the students to go beyond the traditional writing workshops by encouraging
students to bring

in information from the Internet to support their writing. An original
writing assessment model by Spandel (2005) included six traits: ideas, organization,
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voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions and layout (cited in Peterson et al.
2007, p.

30). Multiliteracies teachers would use this model but add in the social aspect to
writing in the new digital age. When assessing writers through the multiliteracies theory,
“teachers have to see students differently” (35). With the extension of technolog
y,
students will engage in a wider audience than just the walls of their classroom; therefore,
modifications should be made to the current assessments.


Unsworth, L. (2008). Multiliteracies, E
-
literature and English Teaching.
Language &
Education: An Inter
national Journal
,

22
(1), 62
-
75. Retrieved from:
http://web.ebscohost.com.ruby2.uhv.edu/ehost/search/basic?sid=564f5ac2
-
492e
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7f70cf112421%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=103

Unsworth compiled this article to help teachers use digital resources to furthe
r
educate their students in “literary understanding and literacy learning” (63).With the
increase of reading tools available online, students can be more connected and find
additional information on the texts they are reading. Through organization, interpr
etive,
and pedagogic frameworks, teachers can help students connect traditional literature with
the World Wide Web and digital technology.

"Victor" Chen, D., Wu, J., & Wang, Y. (2011). Unpacking New Media Literacy.

Journal
Of Systemics, Cybernetics & Infor
matics
,
9
(2), 84
-
88. Retrieved from:
http://web.ebscohost.com.ruby2.uhv.edu/ehost/search/basic?sid=564f5ac2
-
492e
-
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-
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Chen, Wu, and Wang opened this article with a great introduction stating that
“literacy has

evolved historically in stages: classic literacy (writing
-
understanding);
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audiovisual literacy (mostly related to electronic media); digital literacy; information
literacy (mostly related to computer and digital media); and recently new media literacy
(mo
stly related to internet and the phenomenon of media convergence)” (84). The
development of new literacies has grown through a societal process which has developed
a unique framework. In the authors’ interpretation, new literacies include four
mechanisms:
functional consuming, functional prosuming, critical consuming, and
critical prosuming. Their take on the pros and cons of functionality and criticalness was
an interesting thought. The article is ended stating that for a person to be an effective
particip
ant in the twenty
-
first century society, students must obtain the new media
literacy skills.

Methodology:

Who

A group of Masters of Education Literacy Studies students got together to research the
use of technology in the classroom and how it can be used
to promote multiple literacies
across the content areas.

What

A researched look into new literacies and the use of digital writing in today’s classroom

How

We created a list of questions for
teachers from various backgrounds

to answer and
discuss. After t
he discussion began we narrowed our topic to the use of technology in the
classroom. Ultimately coming up with the question, How can we improve multiple
literacy in the classroom using new literacies?

We created a set of goals for teachers to
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strive for
when trying to implement new literacies and improve multiple literacies in the
classroom.

Data Analysis

Questions

Literacy Questions



What con
stitutes a student as literate?



Can you be literate in one subject and not
another?



Is

literacy a natural trait or one that is taught?

How does your view

affect
your literary teaching?



How do you promote literacy i
n other subjects, such as math?



Are you happy with the amount of writing that is done in your classroom?

How can you add mo
re?

What, and how, do my students write each day?



What kind of writing happens daily in your own classroom?



How long does it go on?



How is it organized?



Who is involved?



What content areas are involved?

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What is produced?



How much writing goes

through the stages that real writers go through:


drafting, reviewing, editing, rewriting, and publishing in some way (going
public)?




How important is the writing process in your classroom?

How can it be
promoted in informal writing?



What digital r
esources do I have available in my classroom or school?

How do I model writing?



How often do your students see you write?



In what situations?



Do they see you go through the stages?



Do you talk about your writing?



Does this help or hinder?



When
it comes to digital writing, how do I show my students that I as well
write in this manner?



Do you share your writing with your students?



Are your students encouraged to offer suggestions or comments about
your writing?

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Do I use critical literacy in my

classroom?



Do I ask my student “Why did you have this character say this thing?


What does it show about the relationship between him and the rest of the
characters?”



Do you talk about text structure and how it impacts a reader’s
understanding?



Do y
ou talk about why writers use certain effects to impact the reader’s
interpretation of an event?



Do you talk about how language can be used to include or exclude
readers?



Do you ask questions about the
author’s

choices with the text and how it
might af
fect the meaning?



Do you ask students what the underlying view of the author is and how it
affects the text?

Digital Tech in the Classroom



How do I use digital technology within my writing instruction?



What are some ways I can teach my students to ut
ilize digital product in
both LA and content area writing?



How can my students use digital research in the content areas?



How are the digital
enrichment materials evaluated?

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What do digital enrichment materials add to my less
ons?



How

are the digital t
ools perceived by the students?

Findings

From our research within the topic and our discussion with teachers from various
backgrounds, we developed the following goals for improving multiliteracies using new
literacies and digital technol
ogy in the classroom.



Students are defined as literate in multiple ways

To be literate means to be knowledgeable in a particular area. When we think of
being literate, we often think of being able to read and write, which are aspects of
literacy.


Howeve
r
,

it's also about understanding and truly comprehending the material.


Literacy encompasses so much more than just reading and writing, especially now with
the definition of literacy ever changing and the continuous introduction of multiliteracies.
In the

article Writing Assessment: What Would Multiliteracies Teachers Do by Pete
rson,
et a
l
.

(2007) states, “Multiliteracies theory also expands the symbol systems we associate
with literacy from an exclusive focus on the printed word to visual images, multimed
ia,
and digital technologies such as the Internet” (29).


Literacy involves how we gain
knowledge, interact with it, and communicate it.


Literacy should not be taught only in
Language Arts, but instead be present in all academic areas. Within these areas
media
literacy should also be present. Chen, Wu, and Wang (2011) concluded, “
Media

literacy
-
an essential skill that no one in the 21st century can afford not to have” (par. 23). By the
time a student enters school, their exposure to literacy greatly influ
enc
es their literary
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skills and this

range of skil
ls is vast among those students
.


No matter the literary skills of
students, literacy can be promoted and an envisionment classroom created.

A student
does not need to know how to spell correctly or even w
rite in order to begin their
exploration with writing.

Literacy can be integrat
ed into every subject and topic.


Furthermore,

reading can be implemented into many different academic disciplines and
literacies.


You can be literate in certain subjects and

aspects while not in others.

Being able
to read situations or feelings is being literate while being able to read text and words is
also considered being literate.

There is the aspect of fiction and non
-
fiction

literacy
, they
are very different in the
way you process them;
also
expository versus narrative literacy.


Students can be wonderful readers when it is something of interest to them, but when
they come across text that is not of
interest;

they can become very poor readers.

This can
affect studen
ts

because

much of standardized testing is reading short passages not of
interest.

Having a multitude of assessments for students to demonstrate their skills and
especially their literacy is important.

Miscue analysis is a great tool in showing how
stude
nts are literate in certain aspects of reading, but can still be a poor reader.


Literacy
is natural.


Some subjects and concepts come easier to us than others, which goes back to
how we can be literate in some areas than others. Of course, we teach, we ar
e taught, and
we learn, but this goes back to the natural part of it. We all have the capabilities, but it's
what we do with the knowledge and what we make those experiences into.



Digital tools should be incorporated into classroom writing

Digital writin
g and tools add a new dimension to lessons and activities.

They
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help to motivate students and capture their attention, but digital tools also allow for
students to interact with the material in many different aspects and ways. The article
titled,
Beyond T
echnology for Technology’s Sake: Advancing Multiliteracies in the
Twenty
-
First Century

written by Borsheim, Merritt, and Reed (2008) suggests, “Teachers
who employ a multiliteracies pedagogy offer their students ample opportunities to access,
evaluate, sea
rch, sort, gather, and read information from a variety of multimedia and
multimodal sources and invite students to collaborate in real and virtual spaces to
produce and publish multimedia and multimodal texts for a variety of audiences and
purposes” (87).

For someone to truly grasp information they need to be exposed to it
multiple times and in multiple venues.


Students today write more than they realize.
Texts, emails, IMs and blogs are just a start to the everyday writing students use outside
of school.

Borsheim et. al. (2008) states, “
Technologies taught in the classroom enhance
students’ abilities to use them as well as understand the complex ways they challenge us
to participate in the world” (90). Creating a digital environment within the classroom
wh
ere students can utilize their expertise in digital technology such as this and expand
their writing knowledge is what the teachers interviewed all wanted to achieve.


Technology is a
motivating force with students;
writing is not.


If we as teachers can
combine the two
,

we will create a motivating factor for writing in students.


The National
Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the International Reading
Association have both acknowledged that it is imperative to incorporate technology into
the curriculu
m.


(Al
-
Hazza & Lucking.


2012)

Digital technology can be used with
writing instruction in a multitude of ways.


By showing students different ways to utilize
online tools, they too
,

can explore and try different digital writing that they have

never
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explored before.


Students receive digital tools very well
; therefore, t
hey are motivating
and encourage them to do things they are interested in while making it seem as if they
aren't doing classroom work.

There are many tools to promote digital wr
iting within the classroom. See Figure
1 for a unique representation of a few of the tools we c
ame across during our research.
The figure was created using info graphics.

There are also tools that can be used to
present concepts to students. See Figure 2 to view a Prezi that is used to present digital
writing in the classroom.

F
igure 1


ht
tp://prezi.com/a0shf10mwvcn/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

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Digital tools should be evaluated and assessed

More than just integrating technology into the classroom is the importance that
the technology is actually useful to the classroom.

Borsheim et.

al (2008) suggests,

Searching, gathering, managing and evaluating online resources, composing multimodal
texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, and developing a critical consciousness
about how we produce and consume texts highlight some of the p
edagogical challenges
that twenty
-
first century technologies can help us integrate into instruction” (90).The
technology a teacher chooses to utilize can supplement the material or draw attention
away from it.


To ensure the digital tools and enrichments a
re holding up to the teaching
goals, teachers must assess their usefulness.

The standard trial and error approach will
help to try out tools and weed out the technology found to not fit the curriculum.


A
survey used by the students to evaluate the materia
ls is also helpful.

Student feedback on
how they feel the materials affected the lesson can provide insight into what they are
thinking and allow for the teacher to better find what motivates their students.


The mark
of an excellent teacher is the abilit
y to select what is needful and utilize it, blending
resources to meet students' needs.


A survey from the students would be a tool to gauge
their attitude on the digital tools as well as how
the students perceive them
.

Additionally,
s
tudent feedback can
help teachers to choose appropriate tools as well as learn other ways
to utilize told they already use.

Technology is every changing and students always seem
to be t
he first to master it and be up
-
to
-
date on it.

Having their input into the tools used
and

how to use them will help us as teachers to stay technologically integrated.


Another
helpful evaluation tool is a checklist.

Teacher
s

can create a list of what they want to
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accomplish with the lesson and then find the tools that fit the goals.

One tool

might not
meet all of the goals on the
checklist
;

so many tools might be needed.


Technology should be a tool and not a driving force

Of all the goals we have discussed for teachers to strive for when implementing
digital technology into the classroom to
improve the multiliteracies of students, this is the
most important to us.

Educators must have the understanding that technology should be
used as a tool within the lesson and not a driving force of creating the lesson for the sole
purpose of utilizing te
chnology.

Creating a digital classroom is about creating an
environment where technology is incorporated as a supplement to the curriculum and not
as a driving force for the curriculum.


A digital tool should be just that, a tool.


It should
provide rein
forcement for the lesson, a new medium for students to explore, as well as
expose students to new ways of seeing information. In a study by Al
-
Hazza and Lucking
(2012), if found, “Educators and various

Accrediting agencies such as,
The National
Council for

Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2002) and the International
Reading Association (2009) have recognized the importance of integrating technology
into the curriculum and have placed an increased emphasis on incorporating new
technology into the s
chools” (63).


Technology should not be integrated into only one
lesson to meet the goals of technology integration.


Instead, it should be incorporated into
the curriculum on a daily basis. Integrating technology goes beyond showing power
points during
lessons or having students use computers during stations. Students must use
digital tools to create and publish product. Devoss et. al (2010) found, “For teachers, it is
not simply a matter of “integrating technology” into the school day, but rather a mat
ter of
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uncovering the most powerful uses of technology to accomplish learning goals for
specific students. To do this, they can create digital environments and experiences to
extend their most effective practices into even more powerful learning opportunit
ies for
students” (29).

Educators have moved from integrating technology into the classroom into using
technology as a learning mode in the school. Lessons must connect students’ knowledge
and use of digital tools as they work towards goals and objectives.

Content area literacy
and technology can be used to create a curriculum across all subjects that encompass the
same important technological skills and tools.

As stated by Borsheim, Merritt, and Reed (2008), “When I keep the objectives in
the forefront,
my students do as well; therefore they do not get carried away with the
technology we are using to complement the writing” (89). Together educators and
students create authentic learning experiences for everyone.

Technology should supplement the lesson,
not hinder the lear
n
ing.
Using digital
tools both for instruction and student products take learning beyond the classroom.



E
-
por
t
folio use

Creating a running record of student work within the digital tools and technology
integration is a digital runnin
g record.


An informal look at not only how a student has
grown in their knowledge and skills, but also at how technology has advanced.


Technology is ever changing and present in all that we do.


Students need to be kept up
-
to
-
date on these advancements t
o stay competitive in a global world.


Allowing students a
chance to see how their skills have grown is a powerful motivator for knowledge.

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Publish student work

Another motivating force for knowledge is acknowledgment.


Students
work hard
and that work sh
ould be shown not only to other classmates, but also other classes and
teachers.


By providing positive acknowledgment in a student’s work, students feel
pride.


Amongst the pride a hard working student feels, published works also provide
other students wi
th real life examples of the skills and information they are using.


They
show what exactly can be done using technology and digital tools and hopefully will
demonstrate new ways and ideas for using technology in the classroom.


Writing should happen every

day in the classroom

Writing should happen every day in the classroom and incorporate a variety of
mediums. With the digital age upon us there are more unique and creative ways to
incorporate writing into everyday tasks. Peterson et. al. (2007) noted,

“Wr
iting is not
viewed as a set of skills that children can master and then perform on demand. Instead,
writing is viewed as one of many social practices that use language to accomplish
particular ends within particular social contexts” (30). Writer’s worksho
p and journals
can be created on the computer and a creative story writing assignment can come to life
using an app on the Ipad. Borsheim (2008) stated

“Technologies scaffold students’
development of these traditional skills and make the purposes and proce
sses more
authentic than they were in the past” (88). Many of the classrooms evaluated had a set
writing time for their students.


Included in this time were free writing, project writing, as
well as informal journaling.


The need for more time was an issu
e with many.


Time is
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limited and the writing process definitely takes time. Creating a classroom where writing
is a
dominant

presence is the goal.


Teachers are finding that infor
mal writing can be
beneficial and that i
nformal writing is just as important

as
writing
that

follows the
traditional stages of drafting, revising, editing, and rewriting.


Informal writing can still
help promote better writers.




Teachers should model writing and allow for student feedback

An important tool for teachers that is
often overlooked is the importance of
modeling for students.


Students should see teachers writing in the class
room on a
multitude of levels; m
odeling writing
for students so they can have an example to work
off.


S
howing them some of your work and the
stages you went through in correcting the
paper will most likely help them in working through their current and future papers.


By
writing along with the students and making your struggles with the writing visible,
students are encouraged to persevere with

their writing.


Every student has seen their
teacher write on the board or overhead, but have they all seen them write for themselves
or ever had a ch
ance to review what was written?

Teachers make mistakes just as
students do in writing, but the biggest m
istake is not embracing this opp
ortunity to share
with students. It is with this modeling that students are exposed to tools, which t
hey can
utilize in their
own
writing when they

themselves

make mistakes.


If teachers can make a
special intent to rememb
er to model writing, their students might have different
experience outcomes.


In modeling
,

talk about the writing, explain what it is you are
doing, and discuss the why of it all.


It is the piecemeal modeling of each part of the
process;

not the authenti
c writing modeling that is the goal.


Let them help with the
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writing during shared, interactive writing.


Students gain knowledge and writing skills by
seeing an active model of the process, and to hearing thinking out loud while making
errors as well as m
aking corrections.


This helps them see the process and what it might
be like for them.


Discuss struggles with students.


Talk all the time about struggles with
writing.


Students should see that teachers do not know everything and everyone has
struggles

of their own.


Modeling

helps to discuss the mistakes made and the possible
reason behind them and also how to fix them.

Students can relate to this and by
discussing and modeling the process they are seeing the tools

they are learning in action.


Also,
by d
iscussing how writing makes us feel helps students to see that writing can be
for enjoyment as well.


Share your writing with students

Knowing how to accept criticism and how to give it are tools that good writers
need.


Being able to critique others h
elps us improve our own skills and shows students
how
writing is an ongoing process.

Modeling how to accept critique is a great skill to
pass on as well as the ability to give constructive criticism and be able to look critically at
another's writing.


Le
arning how to be positive even when being negative.


Allow
students to provide feedback on your writing as well
, and

discuss critically the choices
you made and how they affected the final product.


The choices in writing are solely
those of the author.


D
emonstrating how these choices can dramatically change the text is
vital in teaching writing.




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Digital writing encompasses all subjects, not only Language Arts

Every subject should include writing.


Incorporating writing into all areas of
education is i
mportant.

Digital writing can be incorporated in the sa
me ways as
traditional writing. For example, c
reating assignments that utilize digital tools instead of
the traditional pen and paper writing we are accustomed to incorporates digital writing
into th
e classroom.


In other subjects, teachers can give students a journaling assignment
at the end of a lesson to incorporate writing.

Also, as a way to create a digital aspect to
the assignment, students can create a blog in place of a journal.


Science clas
ses could go
to the computer lab after participating in a scientific lab and write it up.


Social studies
classes can use all kinds of different online tools to make a report or to further study a
certain topic.


Math is now even becoming friendlier to use

online with certain places
having easy ways to enter fractions and so forth.


To use digital research in the content
areas students can research any topic using Google and the
Internet

as well as have access
to numerous academic journals and articles they

would not normally have access to prior
to the
Internet
.


Most academic texts now have not only hard copies of texts, but also
digital copies and supplementary activities to engage students online, providing digital
access to information 24/7 both at scho
ol and at home.


Students can read digital texts
online, review commentaries, and follow hypertexts to get additional information and
critic
al explanations as they read.


Furthermore, s
tudents can engage in classroom and
grade level blogs and blog classmat
es as they collaborate/share/bounce ideas off each
other to attain a deeper level of understanding of texts, expanding their knowledge base
and become more versatile with information technology tools across content areas.


The
more they engage in online tr
ansactions with texts, the more exposure they get for
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creative ways of presenting information in their different academic disciplines.


Engagement with digital tools help
s

students take charge of their learning under the
skil
lful guidance of the teacher.


Learning

becomes
an adventure in which the students
take the initiative and responsibility to achieve the predetermined learning objective in a
fun, intellectually a
nd socially satisfying manner, making l
earning fun and not a chore.


Digital materials allo
w for automatic differentiation with students choosing what works
best for them.


They also add real world application to lessons and product.





Use critical literacy to drive a better understanding

Critical literacy is a way to connect students to a particular text as well as the
social issues that might be involved.


Talking about the why's and how's, text structure
and impact, certain effects of a story or topic, and the language the author chose t
o use
are all ways to use critical literacy in the classroom.


Critical literacy

helps the student to
start thinking more broadly and specific about the book or topic and help them
understand how to become life
-
long learners.


Talk about why writers use ce
rtain effects
and how we read/interpret/understand the text based on those effects.


Focus more on
how language can be used to include or exclude readers and questions about author’s
choices with the text and how it might affect the meaning.


Engage in cla
ss discussions
about the whys and hows of the authors' portrayal of characters, or the point of view of
non
-
fiction texts; showing that how events are portrayed

and interpreted will differ based
on the narrator.


Guide students to look at a text holistical
ly and determine how the
writers' presentation of the text information
-
structure affects ease of reading and
understanding.


This

is

especially important

in non
-
fiction texts where text structure and
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vocabulary has to be understood for students to decipher

the information effectively.


Word choice and plot selection are all up to the author.


What do they want us to
believe?


How do they want us to feel?


Taking a critical look into writing and how an
author's decisions and views affect the text itself.

C
ritical literacy helps teach students
understand
how to view text from many variable viewpoints.

Conclusion

After exploring the use of digital technology in writing through research, previous
literature, personal and professional experiences, discussions, and collaboration, it was
determined that digital writing and technology can improve multiple literacy in th
e
classroom.
Kathrene says, “I feel that we as a group have a better grasp of what it means
to teach in the “now” (as well as prepare for the future). By keeping up with the interests
of students and the ways that society is progressing technologically, we

can hope to instill
greater learning patterns for our students. Additionally, we can help train them better for
college, the workforce, and the community by including digital technologies in their
lessons. A top goal is to help the students become life
-
lo
ng learners as well.”

Mishelle shares, “I now understand how important it is to plan using technology
from the beginning and within all content areas as opposed to waiting to use it for a
specific project. I know that I have not used digital writing tools
or technology nearly
enough in my classroom, and I believe this will be one solution. I also know that more of
my focus needs to be on students' use of technology and creation of digital product within
all content areas. Yes, I will continue to find engagi
ng ways to use technology for
instructional purposes, but my main goal is student learning and use of the tools.

I also
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know that I need to engage my students in more digital writing. My experience has been
a bit limited up until this point, and I now feel

I have the knowledge to bring more digital
writing into my classroom.”

Tiffany explains, “I now know the importance of modeling writing and literacy
for my students as well as the importance of showing flaws.

I was always trying to hide
my flaws to my st
udents instead of embracing them and showing them how to overcome
mistakes.

I relate more to teachers who I see as real people and I think that my students
would relate to me more as a person if I showed I too make mistakes.

I also now believe
that by mo
deling to my students how to work through mistakes will help give them the
tools they need to work through their own mistakes.

Incorporating literacy into every
subject and using technology, as a tool is the basis of the research we did.

I learned the
imp
ortance of using technology as a tool to serve my lessons over creating lessons for the
sole purpose of utilizing technology.

Technology should be used to supplement
information and lessons instead of be created.”


Kennie says, “We now know that usage of
digital tools should be a normal part of
our instruction, not something to be added periodically. Digital tools should be
systematically introduced to the students with direct instruction on usage and internet
safety, so that they acquire a toolkit they ca
n select from as needed for assignments.”

Britney shares, “I feel like I have learned so much about how to be a better
teacher through how I can incorporate the tools we have found and the ideas we have
established to have a more technology driven classroo
m. I also feel that I better
understand how to incorporate digital writing into all subject areas as well as literacy and
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have learned some fun, engaging ways to do that in my classroom. I feel like I have a
better understanding on what it means to be lite
rate and how to implement strategies that
will help my students do this.”

In “Beyond Technology for Technologies Sake” the authors refer to incorporating
technology as “a multi
-
litera
cies pedagogy”.
Adopting a mult
i
-
l
iteracies pedagogy in the
classroom all
ows students to learn through authentic experiences, supports challenging
and engaging aspects of reading and writing, and goes beyond “traditional literacy
objectives to support and advance the development of multi
-
literacies” (Borsheim,
Merritt, & Reed,
2008).

In order to establish
multi
-
literacies pedagogy we must step away from the
mindset of occasionally integrating technology. We must instead think about our
objectives and how technology can influence the writing opportunity (Borsheim, Merritt,
& Ree
d, 2008). Through research and shared experiences we have seen how students
throughout all grade levels can utilize digital writing tools. There are many engaging
methods that students can use to share their writing, ideas and knowledge within all
subject
areas
,

such as Wordles, Wikis, Blogs, digital research, Story/Book creator
applications, comic strip writing, and educational/social networking sites. As educators
we must allow our students the opportunity to utilize and explore a variety of these tools
t
o help ensure their success in our digital world.



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References

Al
-
Hazza, T., & Lucking, R. (2012). An Examination of Pre

service Teachers' View of
Multiliteracies: Habits, Perceptions, Demographics and Slippery Slopes.
Reading
Improvement
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49

(2), 59
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72.

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Borsheim, C.,

Merritt, K., & Reed, D. (2008)

Beyond Technology for Technology's Sake:
Advancing Multiliteracie
s in the Twenty
-
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Clearing House
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(2),
87
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NWP, DE Voss, D., A
aDahl, E., and Hicks, T. (2010)

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. Jossey
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San Francisco, CA

Peterson, S., Botelho, M.,

Jang, E., & Kerekes, J. (2007)

Writing Assessment: What
Would Multiliteracy Teachers Do?

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Unsworth, L. (2008). Multiliteracies, E
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literature and English Teaching

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"Victo
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(2011
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Publishing

This research can be found online at

http://mbassbwe
.blogspot.com/

http://www.slideshare.net/upload

http://figshare.com/?gclid=CNLDwpe_zbgCFUlp7AodtSYAnw