One teacher's response to literacy learning and teaching using technology

Learning and teaching Literacy Education School curriculum Technology Information technology Schools Australia

The federal government’s pledge for increased access to computers for students has been held up as "groundbreaking reform" as "digital schools" become a reality for more students.  However, access to technology remains uneven across schools, student competency levels differ and teacher expertise varies considerably. Incorporating new technologies such as laptops, wireless connectivity, smartboards and mobile communication devices into interactive practices frequently requires rethinking configurations of curriculum, bodies and space.
Teachers are experts in pedagogy, but not necessarily in technology.  It is vital that teachers are acknowledged for the considerable knowledge they have about their profession – what constitutes ‘good’ pedagogy, the nature of learning and ways to engage students in the classroom. While there appears an ever-increasing range of technologies to incorporate within classroom learning experiences, many teachers know technology use alone is not a substitute for good practice.  As such, it is important that teachers articulate clear reasons and purposes for technology integration in connection with curriculum goals and student learning gains. This paper reports on the initial stages of one project aimed at supporting teachers to do so.  It explores teaching practices in the literacy session of one teacher as we:

• identify and describe practices for the integration of new technologies in literacy pedagogy;
• begin to examine teacher and student activity in these teaching practices;
• consider the theoretical underpinnings of such practices.

This paper was first presented at the 'Bridging Divides: ensuring access, equity and quality in literacy and English education' conference, 9-12 July 2009.

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