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  • Explain at this point that it is not a linear process.
  • Focus more on the transition between pre-schooling to traditional schooling and how technology can help. The analysis would come later but the basis could be started at this point.

Writing and technology Writing and technology Presentation Transcript

  • Writing and technology at the crossroads: Literacy and Vygotsky Presented by Prisca Rodriguez
  • 21 st Century Literacies: Definitions
    • Traditional definitions include:
    • The ability to read and write
    • A person’s knowledge of a particular subject or field
  • 21 st Century Literacies: Definitions
    • Being prepared to enter the adult world no longer means learning to read and write in the traditional pen and paper productions, but to engage in a rapidly expanding global community that is constantly in flux.
  • 21 st Century Literacies: Definitions
    • According to NCTE, twenty-first century readers and writers need to:
      • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
      • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
      • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
      • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
      • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
      • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
  • Traditional methods teaching writing
    • Traditional methods have focused solely on writing mechanics, in a way that the “mechanics of reading what is written are so emphasized that they overshadow written language as such” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 105).
    • This has resulted in a one-sided enthusiasm for the mechanics of writing and a lack of purposeful, meaningful writing that communicates and foments self-expression.
  • Written language and Vygostky
    • Writing is as a way to communicate and a platform for self-expression
      • It is based on artificial training
      • Requires an enormous amount of attention and effort from the teacher
    • Its mastery is a critical turning point in the cultural development of the child (p. 106)
  • Important features of written language
    • “ Written language is a second-order symbolism which gradually becomes direct symbolism
    • It is the culmination of a long process of development of complex behavioral functions in the child” (p. 106)*
  • Practical implications
    • Vygotsky gives us three practical conclusions:
    • It would be natural to transfer the teaching of writing to preschool
    • Writing should be meaningful for children
    • Writing should be taught naturally; in other words, writing should be cultivated and not imposed
    • How can we accomplish this?
  • Learning and social interaction
    • Learning is not a process that the individual can accomplish alone
    • “ Human nature presupposes a specific social nature and a process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 88)
  • Learning and social interaction
    • At first, children use imitation to accomplish tasks that are beyond the limits of their own capabilities
    • Through social interaction, children can move beyond their actual developmental level into a zone of potential development
  • In the zone
    • Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development permits us to delineate the child’s immediate future and his dynamic developmental state
    • This allows us to determine the possible course of maturing/development
    • Through the use of technology we can create a zone of proximal development for children that could better help them acquire the literacies they need for this century
  • Enter technology
    • As in the case of teaching writing, the use of technology in the classroom has largely been implemented to access curriculum, as opposed to exploring the language and theory of technology in a way that is meaningful and real to students, from the onset of their education.
  • Misuse of technology
    • Too many teachers simply use technology and media to help students access curriculum.
    • We are missing the opportunity for critical analysis.
    • By providing only access, we encourage cognitive overload
  • Social interaction and technology
    • Vygotsky states that “learning awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers”
  • Social interaction and technology
    • Kellner and Share state that education must meet the challenge on teaching media literacy in a multicultural society (2005, p. 370).
    • Thanks to constant advances in technology, the world is figuratively shrinking. Our society is no longer limited to the places we frequently visit, but to a virtual community of multicultural bits and bytes for which students need to be prepared.
    • Using technology we can create various social situations in which children can learn from others
  • Technology and ZPD
    • “ Children’s learning begins long before they attend school […]. Any learning a child encounters in school always has a previous history […] that differs markedly from school learning” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 84).
    • We live in a “media-saturated culture, [where] we consume visual images, responding with our senses, emotionally, cognitively, all at once and somewhat hungrily, as if we are popping a chocolate into our mouths” (Way, 2005, p. 15)
  • Technology and ZPD
    • Technology alone cannot create zone of proximal development. Just as with chocolate, we can eat to our heart’s content, but we will never know of its composition and effects without the lens of a microscope and the aid of a more experienced adult
  • Transformed relationships
    • Adams and Hamm state that “unleashing unlimited global sources of knowledge for the human mind to tap into lifts the learning experience several levels up, not unlike the major shift that occurred when society moved from an oral to a written culture” (2008, p. 8).
    • Globally, though we are still just as physically separated from other societies, we can now communicate, share, participate, and otherwise interact instantly, which presents various opportunities for learning
  • Limitations and possibilities
    • Technology is not the solution to all educational problems. There are still many obstacles to overcome, such as negative attitudes towards technology and commonplace practices and understandings of teachers trying to incorporate it.
    • However, Vygotsky hoped for a curriculum that taught written language as opposed to its mechanics, in a socially diverse context. Effective use of technology in the classroom can help bridge the gap.
  • References
    • Adams, D. & Hamm, M., (2001). Literacy in a multimedia age . Norwood, Massachusetts: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.
    • Kellner, D. & Share, D., (2005).Toward critical media literacy: Core concepts, debates, organizations, and policy. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education . 26.3 , 369-386.
    • National Association of Media Literacy Education. (2007). Core principles of media literacy education in the United States . Retrieved October 30, 2008, from http://www.amlainfo.org/core-principles.
    • Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes . Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
    • Way, C. (2006).  Focus on photography: A curriculum guide . New York: International center of photography.