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  1. 1. “ We don’t go on the computers anymore” - How Urban Children Lose-out in Learning the New Digital Literacies <ul><li>Kathleen Gormley, Ph.D., The Sage Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Peter McDermott, Ph.D., The Sage Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Achievement gap between urban and suburban schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Urban schools frequently under threat of review and closure. </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy education is often at the center of the problem - achievement gap. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Connection between literacy and technology is increasingly important </li></ul><ul><li>New literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Digital divide </li></ul>
  4. 4. New digital literacies <ul><li>Information and communicative technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Internet useage </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation software </li></ul><ul><li>Email/instant messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Video and audio production </li></ul>
  5. 5. Children are disadvantaged when <ul><li>Schools do not provide access to new literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers do not model the use of the new literacies </li></ul>
  6. 6. Research questions <ul><li>What do 4 th and 5 th grade children know about the digital literacies? </li></ul><ul><li>How do urban and suburban children in 4 th and 5 th grades compare and contrast in their knowledge and skills with the digital literacies? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Method
  8. 8. <ul><li>Descriptive study </li></ul><ul><li>Two data sources: qualitative and quantitative </li></ul>
  9. 9. Qualitative <ul><li>Six-opened ended questions of children </li></ul><ul><li>Performance-based observations </li></ul><ul><li>Written narratives that integrate info from interviews and observations </li></ul>
  10. 10. Open-ended Questions <ul><li>Do you have a computer at home? How often do you use it? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the computer? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have supervision when using it? How are you supervised? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you like to do on the computer? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you use the computer at school? </li></ul><ul><li>How often do you use the computer at school? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Sample narrative (page 8 of paper): </li></ul><ul><li>Ryan typed with one finger on each hand and maintained eye contact with the keyboard, largely ignoring the print on the monitor. He needed help opening Word, but he quickly showed he could use the keyboard and type his name, add space between first and last name, shift for capitals, and insert punctuation. With a little help he managed to change color, size and font. He did not know how to add borders, tables or page numbers and it was clear he was never shown how to do that. He loved baseball and he wanted to search the following question: “Did Babe Ruth take steroids?” He typed the question into the Google window and selected the site that “looks like it has it (answer).” He said he loves soccer and has been trying to get his family to take him to Florida to see a soccer game (minor league). He has a laptop and Internet at home. He uses the laptop everyday after school and uses it when he is “bored.” He uses the laptop in his bedroom or in the living room. He said his parents supervised him with the laptop. His favorite site is to go to his father’s Facebook page and play games that are associated with it. Another favorite site is and he watches YouTube in his room. He said, “I’d rather learn different things on the computer. We have VlVO in school and code99.” He said he goes to the learning center every Thursday “to learn and play games.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Quantitative - Likert Scale <ul><li>Word-processing: keyboarding, formatting </li></ul><ul><li>Internet search: search engines, site appropriateness, bookmarking, url </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation software: layout, formatting, slide show </li></ul>
  13. 13. Setting and Participants <ul><li>Four low income urban schools </li></ul><ul><li>One middle income suburban school </li></ul><ul><li>4th and 5th graders </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sample schools
  15. 15. Results
  16. 16. Results - Quantitative
  17. 17. Results Qualitative results - urban <ul><li>Almost all urban children typed with one finger from each hand </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty formatting Word documents </li></ul><ul><li>Few knew presentation software </li></ul>
  18. 18. Urban continued <ul><li>Reported only occasional use of computers in school - little integration of tech into curricula </li></ul><ul><li>Interne t at home </li></ul><ul><li>Practice math, complete sample question items for the state reading exams and playing games </li></ul>
  19. 19. Qualitative - suburban <ul><li>Learned keyboarding in 3rd grade </li></ul><ul><li>Full-time librarian/media specialist </li></ul><ul><li>Smart boards in most classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Technology at home and adult modeling </li></ul>
  20. 20. Discussion
  21. 21. <ul><li>Little change in urban teaching methods despite new technologies </li></ul><ul><li>What urban children learn about the new literacies occurs outside of school. </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure to teach to the test </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Suburban children have greater access to new literacies at both home and school </li></ul><ul><li>Suburban children advanced in use of digital literacies </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Technology integration occurred in this suburban school. </li></ul><ul><li>Suburban children are greatly advantaged in their learning of the digital literacies - cultural capital. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Urban schools face testing pressures that encourage test-preparation rather than new literacies. </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all the children, urban and suburban, had Internet access at home (90%). </li></ul><ul><li>Few urban children knew how to keyboard with all fingers. </li></ul>