DEC Scan Journal : February 2012
they framed up a study that took them into classrooms to observe teachers, they would find good examples of thoughtful practice. They were keen to collect evidence to frame up a broader picture of the impact of technology on reading practices. As concepts of literacy are continually in flux due to constant shifts in learning design, it was considered timely to assess the flexibility of teachers' pedagogy to see how they dealt with this complex reality in the every day demands of working with their students. The research based evidence could then inform further large scale studies that could support future decision making processes at a school or system wide level. Thus, the research project grew out of a concern that all the added ICT extras with bonus buzz sounded wonderful, but there was a risk that teachers could become so focused on incorporating technology that the balance between new literacies and the explicit teaching of core literacy practices would be lost. The research question became: How do teachers plan and implement the teaching of reading in balance with the use of digital resources? Technology4learning Since ICT has been introduced en masse into class- rooms, various studies have pointed to two important issues. The first issue is the gap between acquisition of technology and the establishment of suitable pedagogy (for example Dwyer, Ringstaff, & Sandholtz, 1991; Lankshear & Knobel, 2003; Jewitt et al, 2004). Initially, in the early days of computer use, as Brown, Bryan and Brown stated, Although technology changed the classroom environment to some degree, curriculum and instruction did not change (2005, p. 2). As time has gone by, teachers have employed more open ended tasks which encouraged students to explore the affordances of the internet to problem solve. This has often led to students designing multi- modal texts, as active participants in the communica- tion dialogue rather than passive receptors. Now, many teachers are beginning to integrate the use of technology into cross disciplinary teaching to allow students opportunities for learning through socially networked projects. For these teachers, classrooms have become flexible learning spaces where local and global communities of literates (Heath, 1991) can meet as students connect across time and distance. The recent Scan article by Lee showcased one partic- ular model of a learning community at Broulee Public School that connects, not only students but also, parents and others into the learning process (Lee, 2011). For students lucky enough to be taught by innovative teachers like these, technology has brought about pedagogic change. This is not the case in all classrooms but research is continuing to determine the impact of technology on pedagogic development. The second issue addressed in this review is the speed with which change in technology leads to changes in literacy practices. Research has encouraged teachers to be dynamic in their response to both challenge and change and to adapt their practices as new definitions of literacy shift beneath their feet and students learn to deal with digital metacognitive knowledge (Leu, et al, 2008). Initially, the term new literacies introduced a paradigm of understanding devised to alert educators to the potential of a metalanguage that describes meaning in various realms. These include the textual and the visual, as well as the multi-modal relations between the different meaning- making processes that are now so critical in media texts and texts of electronic multimedia (The New London Group, 2000, p. 24). However, in 2011, the term new is needed to refer to currently evolving ideas that now must be included in any conceptualisation of literacy as it continues to evolve. Digital texts and reading Alongside changes in technology, teachers recognise that texts have become more complicated as the potential for communication has become more inter- active. These developments mean that students need to learn how to read, write, view and create across a range of semiotic systems (Kress, 2003; Coiro et al, 2008). The skills that students need to develop as they use multimodal digital texts is broader than what is needed for print based texts, yet models of learning to read have traditionally dealt with concepts of print (Clay, 1972). A significant guide for teachers that pointed out the complexity of reading practices is Luke and Freebody's (1999) model that set out four reading roles which encompass all aspects of reading that need to be considered when reading print text, such as decoding, comprehending and critical reading within the social context and purpose of texts. However, now when we examine what is happening in classrooms in terms of ICT, we must also be aware that there is a need for new pedagogic models for teaching reading on screen. Although some work has been done to consider how reading on screen is different to reading print (for example Labbo, 1996; Turbill, 2001; Bearne et al, 2007; Lawless & Shrader, 2008; Walsh, 2011), a systematic approach to the teaching of reading with digital texts has not yet been developed. As we have observed teachers in classrooms and students interacting with texts, we have seen that they are dealing with challenges placed on them Volume 31, February 2012 35 ... change in technology leads to changes in literacy practices.