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ICT's teaching literacy, numeracy in an African context

ICT's teaching literacy, numeracy in an African context

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  • What Was I looking for?Computers placed in marginal or sub-elite schoolsTeachers and learners operating with computersLiteracy Events and Literacy PracticesWhy?I wanted to understand the emergence of literacy practices around pre-installed computer hardware and software as argued in Multiliteracies work and the New Literacy Studies
  • A word wall of my abstract/overview
  • Who is passive here?Who is active here?What is here?
  • I capture video clips of learners sitting in pairs around the computer, in particular two young boys, ‘Leon and David’, one reading the words, the other clicking and scrolling across the pictures. There appears to be no set task or specific outcome for the lesson in terms of follow through from the classroom. Leon sits with his pencil in hand pointing at the screen, telling David the correct answer. They are identifying colours, e.g, red, green, yellow etc. on different types of objects, such as cars, hats and balls. This particular exert on the screen is of the ball.What opportunities for communication exist here?
  • Technological ThrustsNew forms of knowingScreen-based and multimedia textsKnowledge and digitizationSchools provide knowledge for communities
  • Results: Technology is set up in ways which are sometimes constrained/restrictive and thus reinforce skewed authority relations in the discourse of the classroom. Also technology can be set up in productive/creative ways which fosters student-led inquiry and leads towards action on the part of the learner.


  • 1. From Classroom to Lab:ICT’s teaching Literacy, Numeracy in an African Context
    Leighton Forbes
    University of Cape Town
  • 2. Basis of the Research Case-Study
    Western Cape, South Africa
    Ethnographic study in a primary school in a low-income area in Cape Town
  • 3. Problems and Purpose
    Computerized and networked media resources operate in these settings in specific ways that are ignored in discussions of the ‘digital divide’, and the call for the expansion of physical access to computers and the internet.
    (Prinsloo and Walton, 2008)
  • 4. Conceptual Resources/Theoretical Framework
    Literacy as a Social Practice
    New Literacy Studies
    Multimodality/Discourse analysis
  • 5. Data collection & Analysis
    Grade 2 and Grade 7 classroom observations
    Field – notes
    Transcription of teacher talk in the laboratory and classroom
    Multimodal discourse analysis
    Screenshots of computer lab activities
    Interviews (semi-structured/unstructured)
  • 6. A new communication order?
    The challenge for research is to extend and enhance understanding of the ways in which the use of new technologies influences, shapes, even transforms literacy practices. (Snyder, 2001)
  • 7. Social practices in the school
    Literacy event
    • the observed event most easily spotted in the classroom
    Literacy practice
    • The broader social activity associated with observed events
  • 8. Timetable
  • 9. Rules/Authority relationships
  • 10. Drill and Practice Software
    Still very popular
    Comes pre-installed
    Basically expensive electronic worksheets
  • 11. Multimodal analysis – computer screens
    Fill in the missing word activities
    Sequencing activities
  • 12. Challenges
    Shortage of books that accompanied the software
  • 13. Learners engaging, disengaged?
  • 14. Pre-installed Reading software
  • 15. Classroom inquiry
  • 16. Technological thrusts
  • 17. New forms of knowing
  • 18. Screen-based, multimedia texts plus other tactile digital tools
  • 19. Knowledge and digitization
  • 20. Schools provide knowledge for communities
  • 21. Scaffolding knowledge
  • 22. Grade 7 Class Project -The Tuck-shop
  • 23. Learner engagement: Questions and Inquiry during Maths
    Draft work of data gathering
    Survey of class favourites
  • 24. Student surveys
  • 25. Grade 7 work samples – data gathered from interviews in the classroom
    Line graph of favorite cars
    Line graph favorite brands
  • 26. Extending knowledge and leading towards action
    Gathering data, took surveys, workbook
    Skills using databases & spreadsheets
    Applying knowledge to the school community context
  • 27. Students Taking Action
    Prepare survey results
    Recorded findings electronically
    Analyze needs
    Report findings to school principal
    Write recommendations based on findings
  • 28. Graphing data
  • 29. Challenges
    Passivity vs. Taking action
    Power/Authority relations
    Teacher reluctance and/or apprehension
  • 30. Results
    Technology set up restrictive/constrained
    Technology set up
    productive/ creative
  • 31. Potential of Technology
    Use technologies as a mediating tool
    Infuse ICT integration into the school curriculum
  • 32. What Impact?
    Empowering and Equipping Children
    Customize learning experiences
    Share responsibilities
    Training of 21st Century teachers
    Key Factors for Success:
    Scaffold student learning activities around new tools
    Teacher competence with technology integration
    Develop learning communities around new technologies
  • 33. Technology Integration Matrix
  • 34. Moving from entry to transformation
    The teacher begins to use technology tools to deliver curriculum content to students
  • 35. Adoption
    The teacher directs students in the conventional and the procedural use of technology tools e.g. hardware or software
  • 36. Adaptation
    The teacher facilitates students in exploring and independently using technology tools
  • 37. Infusion
    The teacher provides the learning context and the students choose technology tools to achieve the outcome.
  • 38. Transformation
    The teacher encourages the innovative use of technology tools.
    Technology tools are used to facilitate higher order learning activities that may not have been possible without the technology
  • 39. Moving from Active to Goal-directed
    Students are actively engaged in using technology as a tool rather than passively receiving information from the technology
  • 40. Collaborative
    Students use technology tools to collaborate with others rather than work individually at all times
  • 41. Constructive
    Students use technology tools to connect new information to their prior knowledge rather than to passively receive information
  • 42. Authentic
    Students use technology tools to link learning activities to the world beyond the instructional setting rather than working on decontextualized assignments
  • 43. Goal-directed
    Students use technology tools to set goals, plan activities, monitor progress, and evaluate results rather than completing assignments without reflection
  • 44. Conclusion…
  • 45. Thank You
    Leighton Forbes
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