Posts Tagged ‘education’

Support for Kress and early literacy

October 17th, 2009 No comments

According to the National Institute for Literacy, “The building blocks of literacy develop beginning in infancy. Day-to-day activities expose babies and toddlers to sounds, words, speech, and print. Researchers have found strong evidence that children can learn reading and writing in their earliest years, long before they go to school. ” This provides strong support for Kress theory on sign-making in early childhood.

National Institute for Literacy

Categories: literacy Tags: ,

Lingua Fracta and Brooke’s view on research

October 9th, 2009 No comments

In the second half of Lingua Fracta, Brooke discussed many issues in composition. One that I found most compelling was his discussion about research.

In a portion of the Performance chapter titled “Delivery as Performance,” Brooke discusses sources of information, online sources in particular. He discusses how easy it for students to turn to the internet for information and how “… educators, even those of us who advocate for information technologies … have tried to get a handle on the proliferation of electronic sources and resources…” (Brooke, 2009, p. 182) I can well imagine how a professor might cringe when credible sources are not utilized. To enhance credibility, Brooke further discusses the importance of choosing internet resources that show the author’s name and he quotes one source as saying that the posted research shouldn’t be created by a group or person with a “vested interest.” (p. 184)

Part of Brooke’s discussion revolved around Wikipedia. Students have received some mixed messages regarding usage of Wikipedia. While some professors have not banned Wikipedia from being a utilized resource, others have banned it. Brooke says, “no particular expertise is required to contribute to Wikipedia, although inaccuracies and misinformation are not likely to last long…” (p. 188) Brooke, however, takes a generously balanced approach to Wikipedia. He says, “what many commentators on Wikipedia accuracy fail to acknowledge is that there are other forms of distributed credibility of work on the site. Each entry on Wikipedia is, in fact, the tip of a much larger iceberg of activity.” (Brooke, 2009, p. 190) He further says, “…credibility is not delivered prepackaged at Wikipedia, it is performed … the result sometimes can be messy. But it also can represent the kind of opportunity that traditional encyclopedias can never dream of providing.” (Brooke, 2009, p. 191). Though Brooke doesn’t necessarily advocate the use of Wikipedia in scholarly research, he does present a compelling discussion about how it may be credible.

Stuart Selber “Multiliteracies for a Digital Age”

September 18th, 2009 No comments

College professors are the expected audience for Selber’s book. He says, “This book was written to help teachers of writing and communication develop full-scale computer literacy programs that are both effective and professionally responsible.” (Selber, 2004, p. xi) Selber goes on to say that, “…too few teachers today are prepared to organize learning environments that integrate technology meaningfully and appropriately.” (p. 1) As we discussed in class, Selber also sees some resistance on the part of professors to learn and utilize technology.

Selber indicates that students are more apt to be prepared for the world of digital media than some professors are. He states, “…students will undoubtedly know a great deal.” (Selber, 2004, p. 19) He goes on to give students credit for a certain knowledge base with regard to computer programs and usage. Selber states, “In many instances, students will actually know more than their teachers about operating computers…” (p. 19) He also says the following, which I have found to be true to my own experience: “In academic settings, students tend to learn about computers on their own, with the help of their peers…” (Selber, 2004, p. 30) Further still, I see computers in the classrooms in elementary and secondary schools are playing a large role. My children are comfortable with any computer situation or program and are not fearful of the new technologies as they develop – a situation that is not all that common with older students and professors.

Selber concludes that his mission is to “…help teachers envision a full-fledged program that integrates and emphasizes functional literacy, critical literacy, and rhetorical literacy … even if some departments are rather fearful of technology.” (p. 183-184) Perhaps, if we raise the bar for muliliteracies, then our colleges and universities will become more literate in this growing and evolving computer age.