NEW LITERACY PRACTICE

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Literacy learning is redefined. With the advent of new technologies, literacy and literacy practices are changing at a pace never experienced before (p.2). ... Students are interacting and learning through networking and collaboration’ (p.3) (DET, 2010)






Technology is beginning to be more heavily incorporated within the mainstream curriculum as 'many researchers from a range of perspectives conclude that the reading and writing skills of yesteryear are insufficient in our increasingly digital world' (Baker 2010). So, 'New' Literacy Practices are based around using new technologies e.g. SmartBoards, computers, iPhones, digital cameras etc, and how they aid and enhance education and learning.


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The table below presents data collected through a Funds of Knowledge interview based on students from Prep to Grade Two. In particular, it highlights their use of technology and now it enhances their learning/funds of knowledge or how it could be used to enhance their learning/funds of knowledge.


Technology in Funds of Knowledge
Benefits of technology use/ Possible areas for extended use of technology
CHILD A
N/A
Child A could benefit in the use of technology, particularly whilst reading stories. The child focuses heavily on interesting pictures to gain their attention, so through the use of an e-reader/iPad/computer, the child might find themselves more interested in reading. The use of a SmartBoard or an interactive writing tool of some kind may also aid in Child A's interest in writing as it may be more appealing to write on the computer board than just paper.
CHILD B
Playstation 2, X-Box 360 DS Computer TV
Child B has access to numerous forms of technology, mostly gaming consoles of some kind, but would never the less enhance their ability to be creative.
CHILD C
XBOX, Mobile Phones, iPad, Computer
Child C was also exposed to various forms of technology, therefore contributing to their funds of knowledge. A form of technology that would be particularly useful for this child, would be their ability to use a mobile phone (if they are in trouble and need help etc..)
CHILD D
Playstation, Computer, Wii, iPhone, Search engines eg. Google
Child D has quite a high exposure to technology and is quite competent to find out new information using the resources at hand. Due to their competencies in computer work they are able to use different tools to publish and present their work (both at home and school).
CHILD E
N/A
Child A has a learning difficulty called Dyspraxia which affects her speech and fine motor skills. The use of technology e.g. a computer, may greatly increase Child E's ability to express what they are feeling, have access to a wide variety of information through the use of the internet along with engaging in activities based on their interests.


It can be seen that technology is an important part of some of the student's funds of knowledge, but is not yet present in some of their funds of knowledge. The lack of exposure may be due to age, or lack of opportunity or they may have just forgotten to mention it at the time. Literacy skills are very important to use all of these forms of technology, particularly picture/word recognition, so as time goes on students are given varied opportunities to experience new things.



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This table is a summary of technologies used within classrooms and a brief explanation of how they can be used to enhance learning.

TECHNOLOGY
USES
LEARNING EXPERIENCES
CD player
Playing music and stories
Listening, singing along. Provides the opportunity to practice their phonology
TV / DVD
Watching / listening
Language structure and form are modeled to the students
Computers
Typing / writing skills
Typing final copies for presentations.
Learning PowerPoint, word and other programs
Interactive white board
Reading and writing activities
Practicing fine motor skills with the SmartBoard pens
Online stories
Listening, following the stories with their eyes and fingers, interactive pictures (connecting words to visual stimuli)
Movies
Students are exposed to new vocabulary and once again have different language structures modeled to them