Reflecting on the lecture based on ICT and English, and the topic of eBooks I realised that ICT in the K-6 classroom is not only restricted to content and themes in key learning areas such as HSIE, and Science.
As presented in the lecture material, and reflected in my discussion on eBooks, the major links between ICT and the English syllabus are the handwriting and computer technology sub strand. Another major link being witting and reading text types in which texts may be transmitted through different combinations of media. Of course eBooks are a good example here! View the following pdf document with the relevant English outcomes
However, other direct links between ICT and English also exist such as specific links to talking and listening, such as making oral presentations using technology. Reading and viewing texts in order to develop reading skills also link in with viewing a variety of multimedia available in digital form.
Another use of ICT which I believe is becoming more prominent today is the use of technology for the teaching of English, and literacy development. Networked literacy projects are an excellent example of this which I have come across many times during my teacher education, and when learning about web2.0 ICT topics. Other effective examples that tie in include digital storytelling activities, blogs, and online reading.
In addition to this, links and benefits of ICT in the context of English, can also be an effective tool when support ESL learners. Currently my studies in K-6 English are focused on literacy of ESL and new arrival students. Through the discussion on eBooks the multimodal nature ICT in literacy was identified, and is certainly beneficial for students as it provides them with the opportunity to use visual and auditory aids when reading.
There are many ESL and literacy resources available online that provide support such as games, audio and video material, and other online activities. In addition to this, the many ICT topics recently investigated in workshops, clearly show the types of multimedia resources that can be used as teaching aids. Such as creating eBooks to model and scaffold learning, or creating a variety of digital documents to support ESL learning.
However, how can ICT and Literacy lessons be achieved where ESL students benefit from having both language and English content learning occur from creating authentic ICT products ?
Scaffolding is possible in many ICT teaching and learning topics, and many resources are available to assist teachers in achieving this. The online Web Poster Wizard, as mentioned in the digital documents post is an excellent example of this, as well as the identification of the possibility of scaffolding eBooks. I believe such scaffolded ICT lessons are beneficial to the ESL learner, as they are able to focus on the specific learning content, with less of a literacy demand. I also believe this is beneficial as ESL learners require explicit learning tasks across the curriculum.
Creating and authoring multimedia such as eBooks, and digital stories are also what i believe to be beneficial in supporting ESL learners, creating direct links between talking, reading, and writing.
On reflecting on ESL learner phases, a notable characteristic is the students language abilities in social situations, and lack of ability in academic situations. Perhaps web 2.0 tools such as blogs, which allow more informal discussion on learning topics can be beneficial to learners.
In addition to this the opportunity for ESL learners to create ICT work in the classroom based on their various cultural backgrounds within learning topics can be beneficial for fostering cultural understanding and inclusivity.
Are there other positive ICT and English links for ESL learners?