Page created by: Jane Ridgeway

Language is not just the spoken or even the written word it encompasses; art in its many forms, dance, painting, drawing, sculpture and music, and nature including the 'works of man' and 'mother earth' and importantly the most vitual aspect of language is man's ability to understand what is being said.(Froebel 1826, pp. 208-229)

Forward to the 21st Century

Froebels's thoughts are still relevant, as to be truly literate today means being ‘cognitively and socially literate with paper, live and electronic texts’ (Anstey & Bull 2006, p. 23) and making meaning of the language within these mediums.

Children in the 21st Century experience more than traditional print medium, they are becoming multiliterate across many mediums.

These multiliterate beings move beyond the restraints of print becoming accomplished with making meaning of multimodality text. Multimodal text use sound, visual, language, movement and spatial design to convey meaning (Cope and Kalantzis cited in Makin & Jones Diaz 2002, pp. 37-38; Hill 2012, p. 361; Makin & Jones Diaz 2002, p. 37), particularly when combined together (Kress cited in Makin & Jones Diaz 2002, p.37).

Therefore, it is imperative for current classroom literacy environments to offer opportunities to develop multiliteracy skills allowing children the knowledge, understanding and flexibility to confidently utilise multiliteracies and positively interact with others at a local and global level (Anstey & Bull 2006, pp. 19-21 & pp. 54-55; Cope & Kalantzis 2009, pp. 173).
In this era of technology children are not only observing adults using available technology they are immersed in it as users.

Children experience technology before they even reach school. Just a few regularly available mediums are iPods, iPads, computers, various gaming consoles and mobile phones and then there are all the various ways to utilize them.

This page explores new literacy practices observed in classrooms and begins to compile a selection of resources that may be beneficial to educators.

What we saw used in classrooms.
Interactive whiteboards
Listening Posts

This table shows some of the technologies we have seen whilst on placement or working and volunteering in schools.

How we saw technology and media being used to enhance students literacy learning.

These are just some of the ways we observed students using the technology and media.

* particpating in lessons on interactive whiteboards.
* using iPods/interactive whiteboards/laptops to sing songs and act out stories
* audio stories on listening stations
* iPads/laptops to research online
* laptops/iPads and play interactive literacy games
* laptops/iPads to prepare literacy projects
* X Box
* laptops and computers
* Digital cameras/videos to prepare presentations and video clips
* watching videos/educational televsion online and often writing about it after.
* laptops/iPads/interactive whiteboards to read or watch online stories

Some examples of what we observed:


Skyping and blogging in schools

(4KM and 4KJ @ Leopold Primary School 2012)
Skyping in schools

(The Grade 3/4 Learning Legends @ Lonnie 2012)Skype has become a way on communicating globally. Students communicate with communities, classrooms and individuals on a local, national and international level. The classes in these links blogged with an Australian reality TV star and a mystery international class. The mystery class lesson involved working out a series of clues to determine where the mystery class was. Students had determined a series of questions to ask the mystery class. On talking to children many had experiences of using Skype at home to communicate with distant friends and family. Several children also talked to school friends on Skype expressing liking being able to see each others faces.


Blogging has become a tool seen in a lot of schools. Like Skype blogging can connect with a wider audience. Blogging can be built into the regular literacy block used at a everyday classroom level to assist with literacy as shown in Kelly Jordan's powerpoints on her blog. Blogging is a useful tool which allows children to engage with content, share with family, friends and teachers to communicate with parents about classroom activites.

(Jordan 2012)

Student blogging

This blog belongs to a Grade 3 student with a diagonised disabilty. Through out Prep and Grade 1 he struggled with concentration, fine motor skills, behavioural and social issues. In Grade 2 he won the chance to be a guest blogger on the class blog. When his teacher realised how blogging demonstrated his understanding of her teaching but couldn't express it the traditional way she built permannet blogging into his cirriculum.

(Poli 2008)

Example of a grade 3/4 classes persuasive writing. Their work was then uploaded to their classroom blog their families and wider global community to enjy and comment on

(The Grade 3/4 Learning Legends @ Lonnie 2012)

Early years literacy learners and digital technologies at home
It became clear during conversations with students that they use a variety of technologies at home.
Below are some of the more regularly used:

* iPads or tablets
* ipods
* mobile phones
* PS2 and PS3
* Nintendo DS
* X Box
* laptops and computers
* Digital cameras
* Internet capable televisions
The technology was used in mulitple ways.
Below are some of the more common ways:

* to communicate with family and friends
* for entertainment
* to complete homework
* artistic purposes

(StormLogixLLC 2011)

This You Tube clip is a classic example of how multimodality, multiliteracies and technologies for children has become norm of their environment.

The divide in use of technology in classrooms

We discovered that there is a lot of differences in the use of technology's and digital media in classrooms and school communities.
  • one school had a laptop for every child, with grades 3 - 6 able to take home each day, however other schools had to share 4-6 laptops amongst an average of 20 students or go to a seperate computer lab.
  • one school integrated IT into almost every lesson in a whole school approach whilst others either did minimal integration, nothing or had separate scheduled IT classes.
  • two schools were observed planning IT as a tool for students experiencing literacy difficulties.
  • Some teachers were comfortable, enthusiastic and planned digital content into lessons, whilst other teachers were clearly not as comfortable.

Our short time in classrooms showed us that there is a lot of diversity in how digital content, media and technology is used and available throughout schools.

The Evolution of classroom technology
It's the same shape as an iPad but it's a school slate, just one of the technological innovations that has occured throughout education. This links to a site that details a good varitey. The comments section is interesting too. People have reminisced about personal experiences, made observations, recalled technology not on the list and some comments discuss ways we can still incorporate using older technolgy in classrooms now, for example overhead projectors to share small items with the whole class.
The evolution of classroom technology

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