navigating 21st century multimodal textual environments: a case study of digital literacy

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Navigating 21st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital Literacy. Dr. Muriel Wells, Damien Lyons Deakin University , Geelong, Australia. Presenters. Navigating 21 st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital Literacy. Abstract. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Navigating 21st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital Literacy

Navigating 21st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital LiteracyDr. Muriel Wells, Damien Lyons Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.

1Presenters

Navigating 21st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital Literacy2AbstractIn the 21st Century young people have the opportunity to create digital texts that were unimaginable for previous generations. In the 21st Century young people have the opportunity to create texts that were unimaginable for previous generations. Todays children live and learn while immersed in a technological world that is fast paced and constantly in a state of change. As technology becomes more and more accessible and specifically marketed to children of the 21st century, educators are challenged to re-consider the literacy skills required to be successfully and safely literate, and the repertoire of literacy pedagogies teacher must have to effectively engage these young people in learning. While there is much evidence to suggest that schools and teachers are not all meeting this challenge, there are some inspiring examples in which schools, communities and teachers are taking up the challenge. This paper presents one case study, which is explored through a 21st century literacy framework that allows us to interpret and analyse the multimodal texts and the processes students use in their creation. Attention is paid to how the case study teacher created meaningful learning experiences and opportunities for them to create and interact within multimodal communications environments, both within and beyond the school.

3IntroductionWhat does it mean to be successfully literate in the 21st century?What pedagogical knowledge do teachers need to teach literacy in the 21st century?

The ability to successfully engage in literate activities is crucial for social, educational and work lives in the 21st century (Brown & Tryon 2010). While print based texts are still important forms of literacy young people now have the opportunity to create and interact with texts in ways that were unimaginable for previous generations. Todays children are growing up immersed in a technological world that is fast paced and in a constant state of change (Bruce 1997). As well as hard copy print based texts literacy now encompasses digital texts in a range of forms and visual literacy has become an important facet of the literacy landscape (Simpson 2013, p. 11). This has lead education policy makers to acknowledge the changing nature of literacies in the new Australia Curriculum documents that better reflect what is means to be literate in and for the 21st century. Enacting literacy learning in and for the 21st century requires informed pedagogical knowledge and skills and contextual understanding of the world children live and learn in. Within this paper, we offer a brief overview of the Australian Curriculum, locating it within 21st century learning discourse. We then introduce and define digital literacy, which is discussed within a broader context of literacy in and for the 21st century. Finally, we present, interpret and analyse one Case of a young students creation of a digital text in a movie modality.

4The Australian CurriculumWhat is the Melbourne Declaration and how did it guide literacy for and in the 21st century?In what ways does the Australian Curriculum reflect the Melbourne Declaration ?

The Melbourne Declaration acknowledges major changes in the world that are placing new demands on Australian education. While this paper does not intend to discuss all the changes the Declaration identifies, we do feel that three changes identified within the Declaration are significant to this paper. Specifically, the Declaration states that: Rapid and continuing advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are changing the ways people share, use, develop and process information and technology. In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT. While schools already employ these technologies in learning, there is a need to increase their effectiveness significantly over the next decade. [and goes on to say that] Literacy and numeracy and knowledge of key disciplines remain the cornerstone of schooling for young Australians. Schooling should also support the development of skills in areas such as social interaction, cross disciplinary thinking and the use of digital media, which are essential in all 21st century occupations. (MCEECDYA 2008)What these two changes identified within the Melbourne Declaration suggest is that teaching and learning in Australian schools must evolve to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world, that is digitally literate. The world our children live and learn in has changed, and will continue to change at rapid pace. The Internet has partly contributed to the facilitation of this rapid change. Children can access and contribute in ways that were simply unimaginable even a decade ago. It is now possible for children to create and publish movies, publish photos, contribute to blogs, access specialised information, ask specific questions. The teacher is no longer the person with all the knowledge. That role has long passed. Teachers have a different role, which sees them still guiding and enabling students, but in different ways.

5The Australian CurriculumHow does the Australian Curriculum locate literacy within the 21st century?

Literacy in and for the 21st century An Australian curriculum perspectiveTo understand literacy in and for the 21st century does not mean abandoning notions of traditional literacy or conventions of the English language. Arguably, this is a common misconception, and often produces heightened tensions within education and the wider community. Literacy in and for the 21st century is about understanding how we use different mediums to create different versions of meaning. Crockett suggests that:The skills we learn to read, write and communicate have changed. In the age of multimedia, hypertext, blogs and wikis, reading is no longer just a passive, linear activity that deals only with text. Today, its essential that all of our students have a wide range of skills beyond those that were needed in the 20th century, a range that includes the skills needed to function within a rapidly digital society (Crockett, Jukes & Churches 2011 p.17).Literacy in and for the 21st century is about equipping students with a range of skills and behaviours to interact and create meaning. It is about ensuring criticality is practiced and developed so that students can both understand the world around them, and contribute to it in an informed way. Students become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to interpret and use language confidently for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating effectively in society. Literacy involves students in listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts(ACARA 2013)Literacy traditionally referred to reading, writing, speaking, viewing, and listening effectively in a range of contexts. In the 21st century, the definition of literacy has expanded to refer to a flexible, sustainable mastery of a set of capabilities in the use and production of traditional texts and new communications technologies using spoken language, print and multimedia. Students need to be able to adjust and modify their use of language to better meet contextual demands in varying situations.Texts provide the means for communication. Their forms and conventions have developed to help us communicate effectively with a variety of audiences for a range of purposes. Texts can be written, spoken or multimodal and in print or digital/online forms. Multimodal texts combine language with other systems for communicating such as print text, visual images, sound track and spoken word as in film or computer presentation media. Texts provide opportunities for important learning about aspects of human experience and about aesthetic value. Many of the tasks that students undertake in and out of school involve literary texts, information texts, media texts and everyday texts.6Defining Digital LiteracyWhat is digital literacy?What impact is digital literacy having on teaching and learning in primary literacy classrooms?

Digital literacy has changed the way students create meaning by allowing them to convey meaning through sound, image, video, and text to a wide audience. The Internet, computer games, digital video, mobile phones and other contemporary technologies provide new ways of mediating and representing the world and of communicating. (Buckingham 2008, p. 74). Digital literacy is changing not only the way children engage with their world, but also the way they learn and understand their world. As technology becomes more and more accessible in the 21st century, educators are challenged to re-consider the literacy skills required to be successfully and safely literate, and the repertoire of literacy pedagogies teacher must have to meet effectively engage these young people in learning. While there is evidence to suggest that schools and teachers are not all meeting this challenge, there are some inspiring examples in which schools, communities and teachers are taking up the challenge. This paper presents one such example, which we explore through a 21st century literacy lens.

7The Case StudyDespite childrens engagement with contemporary communicative practices out of school, research (Burn and Leach, 2004) shows provision and opportunities to work with moving image media in early years classroom is limited (Metcalfe, 201