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Is there an app for that? Looking at possibilities and challenges of digital tools for literacy education

Laidlaw, Linda, O’Mara, Joanne, Makovichuk, Lee, Dockendorf, Maureen, Wong, Suzanna and Ellul, Rita 2012, Is there an app for that? Looking at possibilities and challenges of digital tools for literacy education, in AARE 2012 : Regional and global cooperation in educational research : Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2012 annual conference, Australian Association for Research in Education, Canberra, A. C. T., pp. 1-1.

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Title Is there an app for that? Looking at possibilities and challenges of digital tools for literacy education
Author(s) Laidlaw, Linda
O’Mara, JoanneORCID iD for O’Mara, Joanne orcid.org/0000-0003-3511-1125
Makovichuk, Lee
Dockendorf, Maureen
Wong, Suzanna
Ellul, Rita
Conference name Australian Association for Research in Education. Annual Conference (42nd : 2012 : Sydney, N. S. W.)
Conference location Sydney, N. S. .W
Conference dates 2 - 6 Dec. 2012
Title of proceedings AARE 2012 : Regional and global cooperation in educational research : Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2012 annual conference
Editor(s) Wright, Jan
Publication date 2012
Conference series Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference
Start page 1
End page 1
Total pages 1
Publisher Australian Association for Research in Education
Place of publication Canberra, A. C. T.
Keyword(s) digital tools
apps
literacy education
Summary  Portable electronic devices such as the iPad are increasingly taking a place in contemporary childhood experiences including those of schooling (O'Mara & Laidlaw, 2011). As digital media theorists suggest, such new tools invite both "hope and fear" (Gee and Hayes, 2011, p.4), consistent with literacy innovations across history. In both Canada and Australia, educational stakeholders are looking to touch screen devices as having much promise, particularly within literacy education. This paper presentation examines the possibilities as well as the challenges and imagines the future of such digital tools within literacy education, looking at experiences and perspectives in Canada and Australia.
We take a qualitative ecological mode of inquiry approach to our data collection and analysis, drawing on complexity thinking (Davis & Sumara, 2006) to bring our multiple points of view together as diversely positioned educators. Within our individual sites, each author has collected data as a part of longer-term research projects. In this paper presentation we compare and contrast these data sets, attending to significant intersections and juxtaposing issues of culture and globalization. Within this mode of inquiry we value the particularity of the individual contexts, and locate them alongside one another in a larger bricolage (Johnson, 2010).
We examined observational data, documents and artifacts using Freebody and Luke's (1990) four resources model and the further adaptions of this model (see e.g. Luke & Freebody, 1999) to understand how touch screen devices are being used and positioned as literacy tools. We have engaged in collaborative data analysis, often working 'together' using digital tools ourselves to enable collective conversations. For example, we have used Facetime on iPads and laptops, Skype and email to facilitate collective analyses. We applied iterative and recursive analyses to uncover reoccurring themes both within and across sites and artifacts.
As our paper will elaborate, mobile touch screen devices such as iPads are widely being taken up in educational settings, and regarded as having the possibility to shift teaching and learning in new directions, as "paradigm breakers" (p. 4, Gov't of AB, 2011). As personal, mobile devices, these tools present challenges that require educators to think differently about learning and teaching. Our paper also addresses the opportunities and affordances that iPads might offer to learners, as having the potential for students to engage in playful exploration, and in the role of designers, creators, and producers, rather than as passive recipients.
Notes Concurrent Paper and Symposium Session 4; Session: D113 (p35 program)
Language eng
Field of Research 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category E2.1 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30065478

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Created: Thu, 28 Aug 2014, 12:08:45 EST by Joanne O'Mara

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