Presenter: Richard Beach and Jill Castek
Location: Minneapolis, MN, US/Portland, OR, US
Twitter: @rbeach @jillcastek
Presentation Description: This presentation describes students’ uses of iOS app affordances to foster collaborative reading, writing, and speaking/listening literacy practices in the classroom given the need to determine how apps can be used to foster literacy practices. By app affordances, we mean those literacies fostered through how apps are employed in activities. These affordances are not “in” apps, but rather are fostered through creating engaging activities.
We illustrate how these affordances are fostered through activities with specific examples of how California 5th and 7th graders students’ to engage in certain literacy practices. Students used the Popplet Lite concept-mapping app to identify and elaborate on relationship between concepts to address the question, what is gold? The used the Diigo and DocAS annotation apps for highlighting sections of essays about the positive and negative aspects of using wind turbines for energy use and then adding annotations posing questions about essays, annotations used for later summary writing. They used the VoiceThread app for creating presentations arguing their case for whether volcanoes, an asteroid, or a supernova led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. And, they used the ShowMe app for creating screencast presentations illustrating Mendel’s genetics theory.
One key affordance in use of these apps is the multimodal integration reading, writing, and speaking/listening. For example, they used the ShowMe app to create doodle drawings serve as visual illustrations of their voice-over talk about genetics, illustrations that, in turn, served to focus and foster elaboration of their talk.
Another key affordance is that the mediate collaborative construction of ideas and presentations. For example, in using the VoiceThread app, pairs of students would take turns in responding to the same images, as well as share their presentations with other students for their comments.
All of this suggests the importance of teachers creating activities that exploit the affordances of iOS apps in the classroom to foster literacy learning.
Link to presentation’s supporting documents:
Blog: Apps For Learning Literacy
Wiki resource site for using apps to foster literacy learning http://usingipads.pbworks.com