Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Multiple-modal literacy

A new term for me... Learned at a conference at Nipissing University in an inspiring keynote by Susan Elliott Johns.
On the surface, this was not such a big deal. I simply got a new name for what I have been trying to do this past year, to elevate and integrate the role that technology plays in all aspects of the curriculum and to offer a variety of ways in which students can "show what they know."
But looking ahead to the coming academic year I have a new opportunity and challenge. If I am a literacy coach, how can I come into a classroom as an outsider with the tools to introduce multiple-modal literacy opportunities that can become integral to the students' learning in the long term?
This really puts the emphasis on program and pedagogy, not on the tools themselves. The role of literacy coach also implies some gains to be made in students' literacy skill levels, and thus should be built in as part of any coaching goals that I would set.
Some of the following words that I am focusing on in list form, I hope will come together in a meaningful way to begin to plan out ideas and responses to colleagues who may invite me into their classroom.
As an aside, I would like to see the data gathering tool for the CASI test altered so that the column just says "technology" not "assistive technology." If we want to know who has a IEP involving tech, that information is available. But unless we are going to prohibit students without an IEP from using laptops and netbooks to complete the CASI, the column is going to fill in quite quickly.
Here is my initial brainstorming list.
Oral communication
Creative commons
Word cue
Smart notebook
School or class blog

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