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Digital Edu Summaries

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago







Jena's Article Summary





           In Adapting Your Teaching To Accommodate The Net Generation of Learners, Skiba, et al. (2006) denote that contemporary higher education requires increasing demands for curriculum revisions—“accountability from a variety of constituencies both inside and outside of the academy”. As Skiba et al. have noted, the particularly intense impact of information technologies on the Net Generation leads to the Net geners’ pursuit of digital learning, and creates challenges for educators to accommodate the Net Generation’s demand in respect to digital literacy, experiential learning, interactivity, and immediacy (Skiba et al. 2006).

         According to several authors (Brown, 2000; Frand, 2000; Howe & Strauss, 2000; Merritt, 2002; Oblinger, 2003; Tapscott, 1998), Net Generation learner is depicted as an “assertive, self-reliant, curious person” who possesses characteristics that are enmeshed in 10 broad themes: 1) Fierce independence: being an active information seeker and creator of information and knowlege , 2)Emotional and intellectual openness, 3) Inclusion: view the world in a global context and move toward greater inclusion of diversity, 4) Free expression and strong views, 5) Innovation: constantly trying to push the technology to its next level and figure out how to create a better world, 6) Preoccupation with maturity: armed with knowledge, they strive to be more mature than their predecessors, 7) Investigations: Curiosity, discovery, and exploration are key for this generation, 8) Immediacy: this generation views the world as 24 -7 and demands real time and fast processing, 9) Sensitivity to corporate interest, 10) Authentication and trust: they know the need to verify and check resources and authenticate people(Skiba et al. 2006). Skiba et al. align themselves with these authors and state that the ten characteristics of the Net Generation exhibit an implication of the Net geners who are described as “both information and multimedia literate (Brown, 2000)—the seeking for information from the Internet and cyber sources rather than from traditional lectures and book readings. Accordingly, Skiba et al. target the Net geners’ need for digital literacy, and identify several strategies in coping with the challenges of the educators’ adaptation to accommodate the Net Generation. “Interactivity and collaboration”, as Skiba et al have illustrated, engage in the concept of “group work” and collaborative learning—wired classrooms: “the use of Clicker and interactive response devices in classroom”. In addition, “immediacy, connectivity and communications” manifest the Net geners’ expectation to immediate responses and instant information sharing. Net geners tend to have an emotional and intellectual openness as well as diversity and freedom of expression. Skiba et al., consequently, describe three different forms of communication that can be used by faculty member and learners: “one-on-one” (e.g. email, IM), “one-to-many” (e.g. news groups, message boards), and “many-to-many” (chat rooms, wikis, and webcasts).

      Though some educators are in transient adapting to accommodate the Net Generation’s expectations and learning styles on digital education, many educators and researchers are still experimenting for strategies and solutions to minimize the challenges in higher education. Ultimately, as Skibi et al. advised, perhaps it may be more valuable to further explore “the balance between the physical (classroom) and the visual world [or the cyber world]”.


Work Cited:

Skiba, Diane J., and Amy J. Barton. "ADAPTING YOUR TEACHING TO ACCOMMODATE THE NET GENERATION OF LEARNERS." Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 11.2 (2006): 15-15. Academic Search Premier. 12 March 2007.


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Ellie's article summary



In “Technology and Literacy Educcation in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection Between Work and Schooling,” Labbo et al. explain the importance of digital literacy acquisition that provides a bridge to other goals in life. Labbo et al. describe that while computers are present in classrooms, they are not used in teaching as much as they should be because “electronic texts can be programmed to take on attributes of a dialogue and result in a literal text-reader interaction” while “readers cannot literally converse with the text” (Daniel and Reinking, 1987; Duchastel, 1988; Reinking, 1987; Reinking 1994, cited in Labbo et al.’s p.276). Providing a considerably easy way to this abstract idea of digital literacy, Labbo et al. introduce five key concepts of digital literacy. 

Labbo et al. convey that the first key concept of digital literacy is that “digital literacy requires the ability to be a lifelong learner” (p.277). According to Labbo et al., “children’s skills with using a computer must not be limited to their ease with using a particular program, but rather their ability to learn how to use any program they encounter” (p.277) and that this is a “crucial ability” (p.277) to foster in classrooms. The second key concept that Labbo et al. introduce is that “digital literacy acquisition and development often occur in the pursuit of other goals” (p.277). Labbo et al. believe that educators need to create opportunities for students to “digitally encouter, discover, and articulate their thoughts through digital composing and problem solving” (p.278) because the use of computer is increasing in the workplace. The third key concept they bring into light is that “digital literacy occurs in social contexts” (p.278). Labbo et al. explains that because workplace digital literacy necessitates various social interactions such as working on a “project” (p.279), schooling for digital literacy must provide consistent opportunities for “flexible, collaborative, and digital social interactions” (p.279). Labbo et al. introduce the fourth key concept that states “digital literacy requires strategic competencies” (p.279). Labbo et al. explain that to make sense of “hypertextually formatted information” (p.279), students must develop strategies that allow them to “search for and select information embedded within networked hypermedia modules” (p.279) and to “[express] their ideas through hypertextual products and the links among data that they create” (p.279). The last key concept that they argue is that “digital literacy requires critical knowledge assembly and production” (p.280). Labbo et al. contend that students “must learn how to make meaning of and with a variety of symbol systems” (p.280) and “to integrate multiple digital tasks for specific communicative purposes” (p.280), which would ensure the “reliability or integrity of the information” on the Internet.

Labbo et al. describes that teachers feel fortunate when they are presented with “classroom computers” (p.287), but their happiness do not last very long. Labbo et al. expresses problems with the lack of training that teachers receive because it ultimately results in the lack of digital literacy education for students. Labbo et al. point out that “when teachers receive the support and equiptment necessary to become digitally literate” (p.287), not only a “concurrent transformation” (p.287) will take place in the “teachers’ own realm of work” (p.287) but also in the creation of the “opportunities for digital literacy development” (p.287) for students.





Literature cited:


Labbo, Linda D.; Reinking, David; McKenna, Michael C. Technology and Literacy Educcation in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection Between Work and Schooling. Vol 73 (3): 273- 289, 1998.


See Article:

Technology and Literacy Education in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection Between Work and Schooling 





Ayumi's article summary




   "Teachers often feel fortunate when they find themselves presented with classroom computers; however, many feel less fortunate when they soon discover that they are not offered much training; much outside support; or a cultural context that embraces the use of technology for educational, professional, and personal communicative purposes” (287). According to Technology and Literacy Education in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection Between Work and Schooling by Linda D. Labbo, David Rainking, and Michael C.McKenna (1998), in the “not-so-distance past”, “A traditional concept of literacy a the ability to read and write print on a page has dominated schooling and adequately served the literacy demands of he society and of the workplace” (273). However, in the present, or what they call the “emerging economic digital era”(273), this concept is changing. In the new digital workplace, “an enhancement of old skills, development of new skills, and understanding of digital forms of literacy”(274) are required. In the new basic literacy experience of many university students, they are expected to be “digitally fluent, possess the ability to quickly acquire digital literacy”(274), or to become digitally fluent by the resources, such as computer labs and coursework provided by universities (274).

   Labbo, Reinking and McKenna provide a “brief discussion of the unique features of digital text” (275), “identify key concepts about digital literacy as those concepts relate to technological trends in the workplace” (275), and finally, they describe “a select set of innovative instructional uses of technology that have the potential to transform digital literacy education” (275).

      Most of most absolute and unique features of some electronic texts relate to the format of hypertext: electronic documents structured as nonsequential or nonlinear clusters of information, and multimedia programs: integrate various symbolic forms of digital data such as text, images, icons, video or sound clips. 

      The authors point out few “innovative instructional uses of technology” (281) that goes with the previously given key concepts of workplace digital literacy. The classroom-based ideas they share in the article are the result of their various researches and studies, and these researches investigate a variety of issues related to “how digital forms of text are revolutionalizing how literate acts occur within society, the workplace, and the schools” (281). They assume that “the mere presence of technology in the classroom will not result in innovative classroom applications” (Greenleaf, 1994; Weir, 1989), and thus, they note the role of teacher as “guide, facilitator, coach, coparticipant, lesson writer, and evaluator”. The innovations that they give include ”a) instructional innovations in reading and composing with hypertext, b) instructional innovations in accessing information on the Internet, c) instructional innovations in computer-mediated communication, and d) instructional innovations with sociodramatic play and CDs” (282).

      As instructional innovations in reading and composing with hypertext, Meyers, Hammet and McKillop (1998) discovered from their research that “Teachers who expect students to work in collaborative groups on hypermedia projects provide unique opportunities for students to gain digital literacy” (282). Similarly, Reinking and Watkins (1996) found that usage of hypertext give positive effects on “students’ social interaction, collaboration, and organization of information” (283).

Instructional innovations in accessing information on the Internet, or the effective use of the internet in the classroom support students’ learning experiences, and it is depend on how teacher uses, structures. First, educators “need to find out district policies related to appropriate Internet usage” (284), and second, they “should start early in the year to demonstrate, directly teach, or conduct internet guided tours involving navigation strategies in the course of whole group digital experience”(284). In addition, Leu and Leu(1997) suggest that teachers should become familiar with and target educational websites.

     Beach and Lundell(1998) posit that “unique opportunities to develop digital literacy occur during computer-mediated communication”, such as real-time chat and e-mail. They discover that “students constructed shared perspectives, understood the contexts and consequences of the text as it emerged on the screen, and reflected on their roles in the online discussion”. E-mail exchanges give opportunities for the teachers to become an advisor and become what Labbo and Field (1996) refer to as a “generative curriculum”: “a course of study in which the topics and resources for study are generated by the questions students raise, the ideas they share, and problems they encounter” through e-mail exchanges (286).

Instructional innovations with sociodramatic play and CDs are shown by Labbo’s  (in press) discover that through occasions to playfully interact with digital resources, children gain their concepts about digital literacy by learning the computer usage such as “access information, store and retrieve data, maintain correspondence, and achieve communicative goals” (286).

     Even though computers are present in classrooms, they are not currently transforming educational practice or traditional notion of literacy into digital environment. There are many innovative instructional uses of technology in literacy classroom for students to become digitally fluent, but it can occur when “teachers receive the support and equipment necessary to become digitally literate” (287).



Work Cited:


Labbo, Linda D.; Reinking, David; McKenna, Michael C. Technology and Literacy Educcation in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection Between Work and Schooling. Vol 73 (3): 273- 289, 1998.


See Article:

Technology and Literacy Education in the Next Century: Exploring the Connection Between Work and Schooling





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