Teachers and Technology: A Study of New Literacies Integration in Classroom Literacy Activities

By Francine Falk-Ross, Christine Clayton, David Babicz and Gerald Ardito.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Researchers document changes in our definitions of literacy (e.g., Coiro, Lankshear, Knoebel, & Leu, 2008; New London Group, 2000) that mandate teacher educators to model new informational and communication technologies in university classrooms to increase teachers' competencies (McPherson, Wang, Hsu, & Tsuei, 2007). Due to past findings that state the use of new literacies is underused in schools (e.g., Hagood, Provost, Skinner, & Egelson, 2008), research focused on the reasons for teachers’ underuse is necessary. The focus of this study was the extent to which teachers understand and use products and processes to integrate new literacies into their classroom instruction. Participants included 25 graduate-level teachers. Procedures included having teachers complete a 32-item survey on their knowledge of technology and its application in classroom literacy activities. Teachers were then introduced to new media resources through guided instruction. A post-intervention survey to compare teachers’ perceptions of their competencies in the integration of new technologies into literacy activities was completed along with reflection questions and videotaped focus groups meetings to evaluate the importance of the class instruction in use of new literacies. Qualitative analyses of the evaluative components included coding approaches to each element of data collection (Strauss & Corbin 1998). The results of this study reveal that the teachers, though familiar with technology in their own lives through social networking and Internet browsing, were not as familiar with the use of educational technology or new literacies instruction, and that explicit modeling for even short periods of time can have a positive effect on their perceptions and competencies. A more complete discussion of these results will indicate some conflicts that teachers were experiencing with their new competencies and frustrations with options for applications. The results underscore the need for consistent university-wide demonstration and use of technology tools in classrooms and in practicum experiences.

Keywords: New Literacies, Technology Integration, Qualitative Study, Teacher Perceptions

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp.37-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 686.301KB).

Dr. Francine Falk-Ross

Associate Professor of Literacy, School of Education, Pace University, Pleasantville, New York, USA

Christine Clayton

Co-Chair, School of Education, Pace University, Pleasantville, New York, USA

Gerald Ardito

Science Teacher, Middle School, Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School/Pace University, Croton-on Hudson, New York, USA

I am interested in middle-level math and science teaching, and I am a strong advocate for integrating technological applications into my instruction and assessment.