Last semester in EDUC 404 – Literacy, Language and Culture I was involved in an inquiry project on digital literacy where we discussed how technology is changing the context of literacy learning inside and outside the classroom. Our group was interested in examining how schools were addressing this shift in literacy learning by looking at the diverse ways teachers were incorporating digital literacy into their classroom practice and using it to personalize instruction for their students. In classrooms where the teacher was comfortable using technology, students were involved in a variety of different ways of expressing their learning through Smartboard activities, blogging, podcasting, video production, and digital story booking. Not all teachers were jumping on the technology bandwagon though and this is unfortunate, because students need many opportunities to develop these tech skills. Some of those reluctant teachers expressed a concern that the learning curve was too steep and felt stressed at keeping up with all the innovations of the 21 century. I can relate; however, that is not an excuse as we will never keep up with all the tools. Therefore, we just need to understand the functions for which the tools are developed so that we can be pick and choose the resources that best serve our instructional needs. Those teachers who are not digitally savvy must remember that they have a valuable resource within the classroom to confer with…their students!
For our final presentation we used Prezi, a cloud based presentation software, to document our learning. What we wanted to do is showcase some of the web 2.0 tools that we encountered: prezi, youtube, bitstrips, podcasts, glogster, and wordle. Our Prezi includes an interesting youtube video on digital literacy as well as a TED talk by Thomas Suarez, a 12 year old app designer.