The paper “ Challenges of Embracing ICT Tools in Literacy for Teachers Emerging from the Traditional Pedagogy ” is a worthy variant of a research paper on education. There are a number of challenges associated with tools in the learning and teaching of literacy, particularly for teachers with considerable expertise in the traditional mode of instruction. Anstey and Bull (2010) indicate that the adoption of ICT becomes even more challenging when the traditional teacher is required to handle the technology-savvy learners of our times. It is therefore the aim of this paper to examine how seasoned teachers are coping with the challenges of adopting the use of ICT tools in classroom instruction.
The report draws largely from the teachers’ perceptions of the changing pedagogies in literacy education when viewed against the fast-tracked technology. The key focus of this report is therefore to explore how these teachers are transiting their practice in order to meet the new demands of literacy teaching (Williams, 2011) as well as identify the strategies open for them in shifting from the traditional role of being knowledge-disseminators to mere facilitators.
It is through this kind of analysis that I intend to theorize the benefits accruable to literacy teachers after they fully embrace the use of ICT tools in their pedagogic practices. INTRODUCTIONTechnologies have emerged in specific historical contexts to rule over every other aspect of our lives, including social and economic. The educational aspect of our lives has not been spared this onslaught, probably because literacy learning as explained by Waycott and associates (2005) hinges upon effective communication and interpersonal relationships. Zevenbergen and Lerman (2006) contend that when ICT technology is embraced in classroom instruction, learners are availed abundant opportunities of social networking with peers as well as being able to undertake collaborative learning.
As observed by Walsh (2010), technological exploitations largely excite students’ cognitive, affective, and social interactions. Research has variously shown that the use of digital tools in literacy dissemination is a powerful motivator in learners’ engagement, although the teacher’ s positive support is more fundamental. Unfortunately, long-serving teachers who started working long before the advent of ICT are finding it quite challenging to guide students’ learning within today’ s environments that are endowed with a lot of intricate information (Kress, 2003).
But because teachers cannot be locked into traditional print-based pedagogies forever, it is the reason why this project is being undertaken. The findings of the present project are deemed to be instrumental in encouraging the use of ICT tools in all forms of literacy. LITERATURE REVIEWBackgroundThe use of ICT tools in the learning and teaching of literacy is gaining a lot of popularity in recent times. A number of governments in many states are showing a large presence in the support of the use of ICT tools in schools and workplaces alike.
Beauchamp (2004) for example reports that most schools in the United Kingdom have received commendable government assistance in adopting the use of interactive whiteboards (IWBs). Armstrong and colleagues (2005) concur with this by claiming that large sums of money have been disbursed to finance the integration of IWBs in all levels of education. On the contrary, schools in Australia do not seem to be attracting any substantial financial assistance from the central government to implement the use of IWBs in the teaching and learning of literacy as underpinned by extant literature.
Instead, the majority of schools are employing orthodox strategies to ensure that the implementation of these tools is achieved in one way or the other. In this way therefore, the implementation of ICT tools has turned out to be ‘ school projects’ where specific schools have opted to source for funds without government support (Williams, 2011). Based on this realization therefore, the implementation of ICT tools is lope-sided because it is guided by the availability of resources in the particular school.
It also depends much on the teaching staff’ s perception of the changing technology (Burnett and Myers, 2006). Drawing from this therefore, Robyn and partner (2007) claim that the adoption and integration of ICT tools across the majority of Australian institutions of learning has not been very uniform.
Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2010). Evolving pedagogies: Reading and writing in a multimodal world. Curriculum Press: Education Services Australia Ltd.
Armstrong, V., Barnes, S., Sutherland, R., Curran, S., Mills, S., & Thompson, I. (2005).
Collaborative research methodology for investigating teaching and learning: The use of the interactive whiteboard. Educational Review, 57(4), 457-469.
Beauchamp, G. (2004). Teacher use of the interactive whiteboard in primary schools: Towards an effective transition framework. Technology, Pedagogy, and Education, 13(3), 337-348.
Burnett, C. & Myers, J. (2006). From observing children writing on screen: Exploring the process of multi-modal composition. Journal of language and literacy in education 8 (2) 1-30.
Gore, J., M., Griffiths, T., & Ladwig, J., G. (2004). Towards better teaching: productive pedagogy as a framework for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, 375–387.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in a new media age. London: Routledge.
Makin, L., Diaz, C.J., & McLachlan, C. (2007). Literacies in childhood: Changing views, challenging practice. Victoria: Elsevier.
Nelson, C & Miguel, C. (2007). Key writing challenges of practice-based doctorates. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 6; 71–86
Robyn, Z & Steve, L. (2007). Pedagogy and Interactive Whiteboards: Using an Activity Theory Approach to Understand Tensions in Practice. Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice – Volume 2; pp 853-861
Thorne, S. L. (2008). Mediating technologies and second language learning. Handbook of Research on New Literacies. USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Walsh, M. (2010). Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice? Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33 (3), 211-239.
Watson, J & Beswick, K. (2007). Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (1st Edition). Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice – Volume 2, pp 853-861
Waycott, J., Jones, A., & Scanlon, E. (2005). PDAs as lifelong learning tools: An activity theory-based analysis. Learning, Media & Technology, 30(2), 107 - 130.
Williams, M. (2011). A teacher’s voice: Embracing change to make a difference. Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning Teaching Technology. Vol 23, No. 1: pp 33-53.
Zevenbergen, R & Lerman, S. (2006). Numeracy, equity, and ICTs: Final Report. Brisbane: Griffith University.