The goal of this assignment is to identify an instructional problem that I hope to solve by finding and integrating appropriate technology tools.
Statement of problem
One of my favourite units to teach in my English classrooms is novel study. In recent years, I’ve been using influence from Kyla Hadden and Adrienne Gear’s (2016) Powerful Readers: Thinking Strategies to Guide Literacy Instruction in Secondary Classrooms to construct a literature circle unit that can be easily adapted for whatever novel we are learning from. The unit is taught from a booklet where students can write their reflections and journaling in as we progress. A few of the problems I face every year is students losing their booklet (and with it all their journaling), student copying their analysis from online tools like SparkNotes, and students disengaging from group discussions because of their absence. I feel that I’m missing out on some great opportunities to integrate educational technology.
What I Hope to Accomplish Through the Use of Technology
There are a few areas with my literature circle unit that I would like to address using technology. I would like to find an alternative platform for students to record their reflections other than their paper booklet. I would like this tool accessible for other students in their circle group so that they can read what their group members wrote even if they are away for discussion dates. I would like an online tool to help students practice close reading without always turning to SparkNotes for answers. And I would like a tool to help students learn to effectively paraphrase or quote sources in MLA formatting.
Topics I Plan to Cover
I would like to cover how to use a digital platform to journal or blog about a novel effectively. I would also like to cover the topic of direct and indirect plagiarism, and how to avoid it when using strategies to analyze novels.
Learner activities that I would like to try are setting up a platform for students to write their reflections, giving students tools on how to make an “interesting” blog post for their peers while using Hadden’s literacy strategies, finding a way to share information from their in-person discussions for students who are absent that day, teaching digital literacy skills to find reliable information about novel context and the author, and teaching how to paraphrase and cite in a way that is useful and memorable.
In sum, I hope to find useful and accessible technologies that meet my expectations and needs using Bate’s (2015) SECTIONS Evaluation tool. I’ve received positive student feedback at the way I approach teaching novel studies, and not I’d like to be able to amplify its effectiveness and engagement by incorporating relevant and helpful technology.
Bates, A. W. (2015). Chapter 8: Choosing and using media in education: The SECTIONS model. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Vancouver, BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/part/9-pedagogical-differences-between-media/
Hadden, K. & Gear, A. (2016) Powerful readers: Thinking strategies to guide literacy instruction in secondary classrooms. Pembroke Publishers Ltd.
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/books-literature-closeup-read-4208228/