NCTE Day #4

As many of you all know, I am very interested in multiliteracies, specifically involving the “visual” element. Thus, it was only appropriate that I make my way to a session about using visuals!

Some of the important things I walked away with include the following:

  • struggling readers can still “read” books through images –> then the words fall into place
  • teachers need to help their students take time to read images (think: picture book, graphic novel, advertisements, signs)

Furthermore, if you don’t think that the visual can be beneficial in your classroom, think about these ideas:

  • image arrangement and what that tells the reader
  • materials that make up the images and how they can help tell the story
  • movement across the page
  • art and typeface

We need to use and develop a language of pictures to help students decode and understand (again, think: powerful consumption = powerful production) what they are looking at. [Note: the presentors offerred an example of a “picture walk,” suggesting having students answer questions about the images they look at. We are actually working on a similar idea for our DigHum class; perhaps, with my colleagues permission, I can post once we have fine-tuned so you can get a better idea of how a “teacher in your pocket” can work for a “picture walk.”]

This session made me think about Hugo, and if you don’t know Hugo yet, go to the nearest bookstore and read this book! Hugo is such a powerful novel and a great example of what the visual is all about…

To round out the day, I visited a session on technology in the UK. Quick notes from this session:

  • The UK refers to what we call “IT” as “ICT” with the “C” representing communication. Now I mentioned before that in my opinion, there are still a lot of people out there missing the “so what?” purpose of evolving pedagogies/multiliteracies. With that said, think about the “C” for communication here…I think they are onto something over there…
  • Make sure you check out the British Library. They are talking about making some very interesting changes that could benefit people all over. Lots of neat ideas associated with their interactive “library” (think: we now have other “experts” in our classroom if we have an Internet connection).
  • When people are researching these evolving skills/multiliteracies, too often, they aren’t focusing on the people who are actually doing the texting, blogging, etc.
  • Society stays students are “tech savvy,” yet linguistically/morally wrong –> how does this affect our classrooms?
  • Check out Teachit. Many UK English teachers use this site at some time or another.
  • Also, on a more random note, Brit Lit in the U.S. is apparently completely different in the U.K. I don’t know what this really means, but I thought it was an interesting and noteworthy point…
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