Language Arts and The New Media Digitized Writings By Lauren Vohs
INTRODUCTION English teachers are interested in defining how students learn to write with and for the new media, and how they learn to read and interpret the kinds of texts to which they now have access via the new technologies.
New language arts standards mention the inclusion of media and technology as part of literary education. The New York City Curriculum Frameworks for language arts suggests that by grade 7, that students will read, listen, view and evaluate information from a variety of sources including literature, media and technology. By grade 8, students will access, interpret and evaluate print and nonprint sources in a variety of formats.
It is up to the English teachers tohelp investigate which literary ideas can be applied to these new kinds of multimedia and where new ones have to be invented to help students learn to distinguish between polemic and scholarship and between advertising and poetry.
This chapter takes a critical look at the kinds of resources brought into the English class by the new media. The two types that it focuses on are digitized writings and digital writing. It focuses on the ways in which the media can be used to its best advantage.
Digitized writings are literary resources that are increasingly available as digitized text.
Some examples of digitized writings: On-Line Books E-Zines Expanded Books 3D Comics Interactive Narratives
On-Line Books These give students and teachers access to a library on the computer. Teachers can copy and paste sections or excerpts of texts into handouts for the students. Students can copy and paste long quotations into their own reports.
On-Line Books Cont. An example that everyone is familiar with is the Internet. The texts on the Internet can easily be manipulated (copied, paste, etc.) so it offers a range of new opportunities for constructive engagement.
Expanded books puts a central work of print, film or video into a wider context. An expanded books for a film can include the full script. For a book, it might include interactive illustrations and clips. Expanded books are usually found on CD-ROMS for a particular book, film or video.
Cyber guides A digital lesson that guides students through the analysis of literary texts by linking them directly to relevant web sites. (EXAMPLE: A Web Quests)
Cyber guides cont. Supplementary units of instruction based on core works of literature, designed for students to use the World Wide Web.
Each cyber guide contains: *a student and teacher edition, *a statement of objectives, *a task and process by which it may be completed, *a rubric for assessing the quality of the product.