Multi Literacies Mediating The World Education Essay

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In this assignment I will be exploring and critically discussing six relevant readings in relation to Multiliteracies in education. I will be discussing and analysing the central point's which arise in the reading, how this connects to wider readings, and what it suggests for our teaching practices. Furthermore; I will be concluding with my stance on teaching Multiliteracies in learning institutions in the near future.

Durrant, C. and Green, B. (2000). Literacy and the new technologies in school education: meeting the l(IT)eracy challenge? Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 23(2), 89.

Durrant & Green (2000) discuss the practice of 3D literacy in classrooms in twenty first century. This practice of literacy and technology learning brings together simultaneously three aspects: The operational, the cultural and the critical which you will see in the image provided. This practice is important across the curriculum as it prepares students for the demand in technology skilled workforces in the twenty first century, as technology is a major part of the world we live in today. Students are exposed to these technologies in the home so therefore providing this resource in the classroom we are able to link the home learning environment to that of in the school; which hopefully provides a better experience for children to gain that higher learning. An issue which Delors (1996) discusses about how theory is changing with the movement of the twenty first century and that students need to be able to understand these changes in order to survive in everyday life. Durrant & Green (2000) explain the changing nature of the print based text, and how it is now part of a vast array of literacy resources provided in classrooms across the world. You will see here that computers are now an important part of the classroom environment. Whereas here you will see how the interactive whiteboard has influence the way in which lessons such as literacy are taught in schools in today's society. As a future educator I believe that these technology resources are just as effective in teaching students literacy as they allow the students to be involved in their learning. In having the ability to do so Durrant & Green (2000) discussed how the Australian government has provided funding for teachers to have access and training to these 'new' technologies in order to be better equipped in classrooms. With the new resources that have emerged over the years the concept of learning literacy is forever changing and as future educators we need to be 'up to date' with these changes in order for our students to benefit in the classroom and in their learning.

Henderson, R. (2008). It's a Digital Life! Digital Literacies, Multiliteracies and Multimodality. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years; 16(2), 11-15.

Henderson (2008) argues that digital technologies for young people in today's society are the becoming the 'norm'. In this picture you can see that students are exposed to digital mediums during their everyday life experiences. Young students are exposed to different multimodal meanings through everyday experiences such as watching TV, where they are being exposed to colours, sounds and moving images. This is also present in the New London group (1996), where they discuss the six design elements in the meaning making process. Henderson (2008) along with Martello (2007) both converse on the issue that it is important for educators to indentify and focus on the strengths and capabilities developed as part of their socio-cultural practices. Having this connection we as educators are then able to view Vygotsky's 'scaffold' theory in order to extend and promote that higher learning in literacy which is present in this diagram here. With acknowledging 'new' literacy practices we need to understand and accept that new regulations and rules that are in practice in today's society. For example, this website which is for children to utilise exposes them to different ways of making meaning instead of using print based text and reading from left to right, the student is now making meaning from a range of multimodalities, including visual images, audio, hyperlinks and linguistic components. Henderson (2008) brings an important understanding explaining that as future educators we need to acknowledge that students will have diverse experiences of digital technologies from outside the classroom, although other students may not. In saying this; we need to be able to work with their knowledge and diversity and move forward.

Knobel, M. & Lankshear, C. (2007). Sampling 'the new' in new literacies. In M. Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds). A new literacies sampler (pp. 1-24). New York: Peter Lang

In this article by Lankshear & Knobel (2007) they begin by discussing the socio-cultural perspective in relation to literacy and how that relates to the discourses one person has. They confer about what Gee (1996) mentions which relate to the primary and secondary discourses that are socially recognized ways of using language. A primary discourse is made up of how we learn to do things within the family dynamics and our secondary discourse is enlisted through participations through outside groups such as churches, work and clubs Gee (1996). Having these discourses allow for students to understand the concept of literacy. Lankshear and Knobel (2007) discuss 'new' literacy's as having "technical stuff" and "ethos stuff", they discuss that new literacy's are more participatory, collaborative and distributed. This I feel to be beneficial to students as now students are able to be involved in their learning and are now able to share and collaborate with others. This website is an example how students are more engaged with the new literacy's put forward in the society, the focus isn't so much about the initial game but the way in which the students are now being involved in their literacy learning, it now gives the student control of their learning. Websites like this allow for students to learn new skills in order to use these web pages and gain a literacy understanding by being able to scroll through information, click on objects in order to begin the game. The Multiliteracies that society is now faced with has students involved in their learning, for example the internet and weblogs; students are in control of what they publish onto the web for others to read and comment. Lankshear and Knobel (2007) define these as new literacy's. Literacy in the twenty first century provide students, teachers, parents and the wider community; to build and participate in literacy practices that involve new and different kinds of values and procedures and I also believe the new literacy's are a valuable recourse in order to catering to the number of students who learn better my participation.

Luke, A. & Freebody, P. (1999). Map of possible practices: further notes on the four resources model. Practically Primary, 4(12), 5-8

Luke & Freebody (1999) discuss the strengths of the four resources model in relation to educate students in becoming literate. It is an approach which incorporates a variety of relevant practices that integrate the ever changing culture; such as technologies rather than looking at the right method of teaching. Durrant & Green (2000) discuss the changes being put forward by these technologies in the classroom and how teachers need to adapt to these changes. In the picture here you will see how computers now play an important position in the classroom setting as well as interactive or smart boards being used to conducts lessons such as literacy. Whilst on placement I was able to witness an interactive whiteboard being use to teach a numeracy lesson, from that experience and from discussions with the teacher I saw and he felt that it was beneficial to the learning of his students. Luke & Freebody (1999) also draws on prior learning from outside the classroom; whether it is the community, everyday life or cultural practices. Learning that happens from people we engage and interact with (Kalantzis M., & Cope, B. (2004). An example of this approach is present here; this picture illustrates that not only the child is gaining that prior learning outside of the school but also the use of technologies being used. I feel that as a future educator we need to be able to draw from these experiences student's have witness and been part of in order to allow a true connection to their learning in the classroom. Martello (2007) discusses the importance of having the knowledge of the children's past experiences with literacy so we can therefore plan for those experiences.

Martello, J. (2007). Many roads through many modes: becoming literate in childhood. In L. Makin, C. Jones-Diaz & C. McLachlan (Eds.), Literacies in childhood : changing views, challenging practice (2nd ed., pp. 89-103). Marrickville, N.S.W.: Elsevier Australia.

Within this article by Martello (2007) she brings a clear understanding to the study of literacy through the assertion that making-meaning of text lies within the social practices that a student has experienced before they come to school; such an approach which is present within the critical literacy's Luke (2000) touches on. Martello (2007) discusses the importance of considering the diversity among each student literacy experience as every student's pathway into literacy's are through different modes in which they have been exposed to; the six design elements The New London Group (1996) discuss. A good example of this is seen in this picture. The focus is on the students interaction with one or more modes, they are not only visually learning about what is on the screen in front of them but they may also be participating in spoken and or written modes inside the home with parents or peers. Although when teaching students we need to understand that not all students will come in contact with the same modes, some children will have more contact with some more than others. Therefore as educators we need have knowledge of each student's past experiences therefore we can extend their learning. Martello (2007) argues the diversity in spoken language, the spoken language that students are exposed to in their homes. This is an example of how the diverse spoken language in the home may affect a child's approach to learning literacy, and as educators we need to provide this awareness to our teaching strategies in order to allow a sensitive blending of expectations in their pathway to new literacy's

New London Group (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92

New London Group (1996) provides a strong position on Literacy Pedagogy and its position in the changing society. The authors bring to mind the connection among the social environment, the linguistic and cultural diversity amongst students which plays an important part in the learning of literacy. Such an approach to literacy is present in Healy (2008); he discusses how text in today's society embodies social meanings which relate to a person's culture. The New London Group (1996) critique the changes that need to made in Literacy Pedagogy in order for it to be relevant in today's working society, as outlined in Delors (1996) who also discuss the importance of providing students with the relevant resources and teachings for the twenty first century workforce. In this video, it makes an interesting and valid point to how the world is changing with new technologies and how we need to incorporate this into our classrooms and teachings. The new London group (1996) present an argument that they discuss in relation to the variety of significant modes of meaning-making where they link closely to the visual, the audio, and the spatial and so on. There is no set standard or skills that represent language, new communications in today's society are reshaping the way people, teachers and students use language. One example of multimedia resources is found here, it is clear to see that with these new technologies students are able to interact online with literacy texts and due to majority of students having access to computers in the classroom I feel it is a great way to incorporate both print and digital text modules into the students literacy experience. The webpage presents some of the six design elements in meaning-making that The New London Group (1996) discuss; some being audio; which is through the sound of the bee and turning the pages. Visual as it is visually stimulating to the student who is accessing it through the use of colours, spatial; as it is using the use of the whole screen allowing students to move around freely, and gestural from the bee's tone and expressions these are just a few but they all link together in order to allow the student to make meaning of the text presented. One implication I have found here is that when the students are reading the book, it does not allow the students to progress at their own pace. This could lead to students not getting the required learning experience out of this digital text and maybe others.

In conclusion, as educators I believe we need to accept that literacy pedagogy is ever changing with the new technologies that our society is exposed to in the twenty first century. As a future educator we need to acknowledge and draw on the social, cultural and linguistic diversity and experiences students have prior to coming into the classroom and extend on them by 'scaffolding' their learning to promote higher learning in literacy. As a future educator I will be incorporating the 3D approach that Durrant & Green (2000) discuss which I feel is closely linked to that of Luke & Freebody (1999) of the four resources model in order to allow for the students in my classroom to gain an understanding and make-meaning of the new technologies in which society has produced and allow for the learning and understanding of literacy.