Ms Eppele's Blog

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What to Reflect on?

on August 17, 2011

Okay, so we just had our second day of class and I am already feeling overwhelmed and behind.  I know it is our learning journey, but many us put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think it is time to sit back and think exactly what I want to be learning this week and what it is I want to take away from this journey.

A key quote that has stuck out to me today was from the article we read last night,

Defining Literacy and New Literacies
Leu, et al. (2004) http://www.readingonline.org/newliteracies/lit_index.asp?HREF=leu/

   The quote really had me thinking about a lot of things that teachers struggle with. It also made me feel a little bitter when Leu made the comment that teachers do not have an incentive to learn the New Literacies, because we are too worried about the standardized testing. Of course that was the States, but  me I can see how some teachers, here in BC, get caught up in checking off the PLO’s as they teach them.

As Cammack (2003) points out in her review of Alvermann’s (2002) edited volume, “differences in technology use and perceptions of value between teachers and students can effectively act to block change in the integration and use of technology in literacy pedagogy.”

I agree with this quote from Cammack. I see it in classes in the school where I teach. My question is how can we change this? How can we provide more professional development for teacher? I have offered many informal training sessions for the staff I am on. Some teachers will join for a week or two, and but generally it usually is only one or two that keep it going. I do not think it is a lack of incentive or motivation,  I strongly believe it is a lack of time.

Just thinking about how I started today’s blog, I am overwhelmed and I have to admit frustrated. What do I do when I am feeling this way? I shut down and I simply can not do it. Sure, professional development is something we need to address when it comes to New Literacies, but we must also think of baby steps and time. We want teachers to feel excited about learning new things, in order for them to provide their own incentives for their own learning.  Like Leu said in is article; “The continuously changing technologies of literacy mean that we must help children “learn how to learn” new technologies of literacy. In fact, the ability to learn continuously changing technologies for literacy may be a more critical target than learning any particular technology of literacy itself.

Students not only need to “learn how to learn,” as educators we do too.


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