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Using Technology to Teach. Surfing the Possibilities. Presented by: Jennifer Pelkey. What is literacy?.

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Using Technology to Teach

Surfing the Possibilities

Presented by: Jennifer Pelkey


What is literacy?

"Being literate in contemporary society means being active, critical, and creative users not only of print and spoken language but also of the visual language of film and television, commercial and political advertising, photography, and more. Teaching students how to interpret and create visual texts such as illustrations, charts, graphs, electronic displays, photographs, film, and video is another essential component of the English language arts curriculum."




:What specific forms of technology affect literacy instruction the most?

What are the most beneficial and/or harmful uses of technology in literacy instruction?


Electronic Books

  • Provides a good reading role model for students
  • Students can control narration rate
  • Provides auditory representations of text
  • Incorporates various modes of instruction (reading, viewing, listening)

Programmed Reading Instruction

Multiple representations of information

Fosters metacognative awareness

Addresses culturally responsive instruction

Students can control narration rates


Word Processing

Facilitates the writing process, especially the revising and editing stages

Allows for collaboration

Drafts are legible and easily understood, focusing students on content rather than structure



Prepares students for a globalized world

Efficient way to collaborate

Provides opportunities for critical thinking and reflection

Enhances communication



  • Provides avenues for exploration, further analysis, and self-expression, and provides background knowledge and support for reading and writing
  • Can integrate reading, writing, viewing, listening and speaking easily
  • Allows access to areas not normally accessible


Digital portfolios, unlike the traditional paper portfolio, will become collections of data tracking students’progress

Provides a more consistent and dependable approach to assessment

Allows teachers to individualize instruction because of more accurate assessment



Technology provides motivation previously unseen with traditional methods.



Although further research needs to be conducted, it is evident that technology can provide beneficial, lasting effects on literacy instruction.