12 ICT Tools for the Literacy Classroom

Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer

With the 'new literacies' comes new ICT skills as literacy is no longer limited to reading paper books and texts. Today, new literacies brings the learning of new technologies which are essential for students to master if they are to be literate for the 21st century. New technologies can be used to do traditional things in a different, more motivating way. As a consequence, teachers are challenged not only to integrate technology into traditional aspects of literacy instruction but also to engage students in emerging technological literacies.

As technology increasingly becomes an integral part of what we understand to be literacy and in the light of what research recommends (Fawcett & Synder, 1998, as cited in Wattes-Taffe & Gwinn, 2007), our teacher professional development related to technology integration in literacy focuses on “capacity building, where capacity is defined as the ability to continuously learn”.

In each of the following ICT tools and resources, you will learn:

  • About its role in developing literacy alongside of ICT capability;
  • The techniques that you as a teacher are expected to know;
  • The best practices for classroom integration;
  • What techniques the students are expected to learn.

Want to learn more? Here is our selection of the best ICT tools and resources to use today that will enhance literacy AND develop student ICT capability at the same time!

  • Word processing has close links to literacy and language development. Being proficient in word processing skills is something which students will continually use and build on throughout their school career.
  • Blogs are an excellent way for students to collaborate and communicate using an online word processor. 
  • Wikis ('What I Know Is'): These can be a repository of knowledge for students and like blogs, the possibilities for wikis are wide open. There can be research projects, writing projects and library projects just to name a few.
  • Emails;
  • Web creation and design: These are really online word processors and so the possibilities in literacy lessons are endless but can be limited to the teacher's own capabilities in ICT.
  • Web searching (Information literacy skills): The ability to find information is a vital skill to have in the 21st century. What strategies are available to navigate electronic texts and the internet? Where are the signposts and clues?
  • Drawing and graphics programs: Visual literacy is equally important today than ever before. Imagine demonstrating to your students how to use one of these drawing or graphics program so that they can use it creatively in order to add an image to a newspaper article, to understand how pictures can sometimes tells a thousand words just by the colour, expressions or medium used;

  • Digital video: Harness the power of video to help students develop their language skills. 
  • Spreadsheets and Databases: Who said that these can't be used in English lessons? What about opportunities for the teaching and reinforcement of a range of higher-order language skills, such as keyword selection and the skimming and scanning of text?
  • Audio recording programs;
  • Presentation/multimedia programs;
  • Publishing programs.

Our studies have also highlighted that teacher professional development in the area of literacy-technology integration should focus on more than just the ICT tools themselves, but "on strategies for learning about new technologies as they become available and strategies for making decisions about whether and how these technologies might enhance literacy learning for students" (Wattes-Taffe & Gwinn, 2007, p.18). 

So we have also included software specific teaching strategies to help you do so. We provide meaningful experiences for you as a teacher, so that you can provide meaningful technology-related experiences for all children.

 

literacy ICT teaching strategies

8 Hours of PD Addressing 2.5.2, 2.6.2 and 3.4.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Audience: Pre-service and In-service teachers

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