Workshop 2 – Digital Resources for Literacy

Reading the Web

The Salyer article explains how to clearly teach about reading and comprehending online materials for children.

Salyer, D. (2015). Reading the Web. The Reading Teacher, 69(1), 35-39. 10.1002/trtr.1380 Accessed February 22, 2016 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/trtr.1380/abstract

Analysing web resources:

A website that has information about Australia that is clear, age appropriate (stage 3) and a good model for a lesson about note taking and reading online.

Website: Australian Culture Guide

Description: This website uses  subheadings (located on the left-hand side) to allow easy navigation to the desired areas of the website. The information provided, while accurate and supported by appropriate images, may not be fully reliable as the authors are two individuals who “decided to do something to contribute in a positive way to the world and at the same time do something [they] both love”.

A short video (3 minutes or so) about Australia that is age appropriate (stage 3), which could also be used to model note taking using the visual and aural aspects.

Website: Facts about Australia for Kids (YouTube)

Description: While this video is longer than the anticipated 3 minutes, the information provided within the video is quite accurate and extensive. Each frame within the video contains both written text and audio to match, which informs students about the various aspects of Australia.  In order to use this resource properly within the classroom, I would suggest the teacher select specific sections of the video to show, making sure to cover the following questions:  What is the population? What are the main cities? What is the fauna of Australia?

A website that is poorly written (too long or complex) or has too little information or that only sells a product etc. about Australia to use as a contrast to the other sites in order to develop student’s analytical and critical skills.

Website: Australia Facts

Description: This website is not suitable for use within the Stage 3 classroom as the information is too complex and long-winded. It is also questionable how reliable the information provided by the website is, as no formal author or source is given. Although the website is easy to navigate and includes subheadings, students would have to read through a large amount of unnecessary content in order to find the information they are looking for. In terms of a Stage 3 classroom, the content provided by the website is too advanced and detached from the Stage 3 content.

 

Developing your Photography Skills

The following images explore photography composition tips as listed in Pakarklis’s blog post.

Since photos play such a large role in communication, what types of skills can you develop and teach your students when they are taking their own photograph?

‘Rule of Thirds’

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This photograph utilizes the feature of ‘Rule of Thirds’. The ‘Rule of Thirds’ allows photography to be highly dynamic, with a clear focal point. The eye is immediately drawn to the building within the photography, and interest is evoked. Why was the building included? What can we tell from the building?

‘Leading Lines’

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This is my favourite image from the series. Utilizing the feature of ‘Leading Lines’ the viewer’s eye is guided to the salient person in upper right-hand corner of the photograph.

‘Follow the Direction of Movement’

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The above image utilizes the feature of ‘Follow the Direction of Movement’. I think this is great way to transition from still images to moving videos. Students could talk about how, even without any actual movement within the image, there is a sense of movement created, enhanced by the viewers eyes being guided across the photograph.

 

Social Media, News and Critical Literacy

Reliability of Media Checklist:

Who is the author? Is the information well referenced, or is it presented in the form of an advertisement? Are pictures and photographs used effectively within the website? Is the site reliable? .com? .gov? .edu?
ABC News Each article cites the respective author. The information provided, while not explicitly referenced, draws on various sources for the information. It should be noted that this information has been interpreted, and thus has a level of subjectivity. This pictures on this website are mainly used to draw the viewers attention to the article. While this website is not endorsed by the government, the nature of a news corporation websites leads to the idea that there will be some level of reliability within the information provided.
Animal Conservation Lyle Zapato – A member of the Kelvinic University branch of the Wild Haggis Conservation Society. Information provided on the website is very subjective, and includes personal opinion. While there are images used within this website, I would not say they are used effectively. They do not add any level of understanding. This website is not reliable. There is only one individual listed as an author and no cross-referencing evident.
News Author not given. The information provided by this website is done so in a satirical manner. Through this, it is questionable as to whether the information provided is true or made up. This pictures on this website are mainly used to draw the viewers attention to the article. This website claims it is “America’s finest news source”, yet does not provide any backing to this statement. From this, it is questionable how reliable this website truly is.
Nature and Science News Each article cites the respective author. The original content published on this website does not provide any references. Additional to this, the website provides links to journal published articles. While there are images used within this website, I would not say they are used effectively. They do not add any level of understanding. While this website is not endorsed by the government, the nature of a news corporation websites leads to the idea that there will be some level of reliability within the information provided.

Teaching Critical Media Skills in the Classroom:

David Buckingham – International Research and Media Commentator

In the growing world, where technology and social media play such a vital role in everyday life, it is key that we equip our students with the skills required to decipher what information is reliable and what is not. David Buckingham raises some key points within his article, where he discusses the importance of highlighting the inclusion of bias, and examining credibility. While the inclusion of bias and personal representation can be a great tool to use in writing tasks, such as persuasive texts, students need to be taught that sometimes this subjectivity affects the validity and reliability of a text, e.g. a news source. This issue of reliability, due to the inclusion of subjectivity, can clearly be seen when comparing “ABC News” and “News” (as seen in the above table). This issues of subjectivity, and the inclusion of bias within texts, could be highlighted within the classroom through the inclusion of a comparison table. Students could be given a webpage which contains highly reliable, objective information, and a webpage containing highly subjective information. Students would then be asked to compare the webpages to decide which webpage they believe contains the more reliable information.

References:

Required Reading

Pakarklis, E. (2013). 11 composition tips for taking great photos with your iPhone.   Retrieved February, 2016, from Parkalis photography

Salyer, D. (2015). Reading the Web. The Reading Teacher, 69(1), 35-39. 10.1002/trtr.1380 Accessed February 22, 2016 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/trtr.1380/abstract

Glass, I. (2015). 573: Status Update. This American Life. Retrieved November 27th, 2015, from http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/573/status-update?act=0

Recommended Reading

Schugar, H. R., Smith, C. A., & Schugar, J. T. (2013). Teaching with interactive picture e‐books in grades K–6. The Reading Teacher, 66(8), 615-624.Accessed February 22, 2016 from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/teaching-interactive-picture-e-books-grades-k-6

Fair Dealing  and Educationhttp://www.copyright.org.au/admin/cms-acc1/_images/169501865452392488546d3.pdf

Australian Copyright Council site for more information – http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-answer/browse-by-a-z/

Further Reading

Online video – Leu, D. J. (2009) New Literacies of the Internet. Teaching Reading 3-5. Accessed July, 2009 from http://www.learner.org/workshops/teachreading35/session5/index.html

Resources:

Nothing Beats the Real Thing website – resources for teaching about he media http://www.nothingbeatstherealthing.info/resources

Persuasive language- activities and assessment ideas. http://www.nothingbeatstherealthing.info/persuasive-language-online-resource

Creative Collaboration & Why Copyright Counts- This resource includes a plan for one discrete lesson on copyright, piracy and digital citizenship, with an option for a second lesson to allow students to apply ‘fair go’ principles of social justice to create and edit a short film. http://www.nothingbeatstherealthing.info/creative-collaboration-and-why-copyright-counts

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