Connecting In and out of school writing through the use of digital tools- Emily Howell and David Reinking
This article written by Emily Howell and David Reinking deals with various case studies that were conducted that involved the use of digital tools in the classroom to help connect students with the writing they do at home with the writing assigned to them in school. Some of the digital tools used during the case studies included online blogging and journaling, social networks, and document sharing. Some case studies had positive reactions from the students, but others felt that these forms of digital literacy should be kept out of the classroom. For example, the first case study conducted by Witte dealt with grade school students blogging about the novel they had read and shared their responses digitally through a classroom blog the teacher had set up. The students were so passionate about this blog that when an administrator tried to shut down the blog because of privacy issues, the students protested and petitioned for the blog to stay. The next case study discussed in the article referred to online journaling and a study conducted by Guzzetti and Gamboa that featured two high school AP students. They observed how their audience (blog followers) reacted to their posts and in turn the two students formed a strong bond with their readers. However, Guzzetti and Gamboa concluded that the two students chose not to blog about their classroom assignments, but rather their own personal thoughts about a particular topic that interested them. The final case study that really stood out to me was one conducted by Buck that had to do with the social networking site of Facebook, and how it could be seen as a form of digital literacy through audience interaction. Buck had students create a multitude of fake Facebook profiles and had them post with each profile daily about the same topic. What he found was that depending on the demographic of the person posting, the audience that responded usually consisted of that same demographic. I believe this article is a good start in terms of what I want to accomplish through my focal topic project. It does a good job showing how various form of literacy can affect students in a positive way in terms of education, and it also explores the negative effects of utilizing digital tools in the classroom.
Tablets vs. Textboks
The next article I found had to do with the pros and cons of using tablets or textbooks in the classroom and at home for school-related assignments. The article contains a variety of reasons why tablets or textbooks should be used in school, including higher grade point averages, health factors, cost, and preparation for the future. Some of the statistics seem a little far-fetched, but most of the information presented caught my eye as to why more students prefer tablets over textbooks and vice versa. This article gives me a basic understanding as to how large the push for more technology in the classroom is, more specially in regards to the tablet taking the place of the textbook.