Thursday, 25 September 2008

IWBs in Ireland

I am in Dublin for the Reading Association Ireland Conference - and although it is a short visit, as I have to return to teach on our MA Early Childhood Education, I have already learned so much about the current use of technologies in the Irish literacy curriculum. Teachers I have spoken to are looking forward to acquiring interactive whiteboards in the years ahead, as they are not yet widespread, and so I recommend reading this report in order that lessons learned from their introduction in England can be taken on board.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Social gaming

Another useful report has been published by Pew Internet and American Life, this time on young people’s use of computer games. It contains some interesting statistics that rebuke the usual hype about children, gaming and social isolation. Instead, we find that only 24% of teens in the survey reported playing games alone and the rest play games with others at least some of the time. 65% reported playing games with other people who are in the room with them. I have found this in my research on young children’s use of virtual worlds – many of the children I interviewed reported playing in ‘Club Penguin’ with their siblings, either in the same room or in a nearby room in the same house. Maybe we are getting sufficient data now from across a number of projects to ensure that media reports will be a little more balanced in the future? Unfortunately, I guess it isn't that easy...but certainly today's report should get wide coverage.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Reframing Literacy

I am busy at the moment preparing for this exciting conference which is a liaison between UKLA and the BFI. Oscar Stringer is one of the speakers and his blog contains a number of 'tips and tricks' for teachers interested in animation. Tim Rylands is another speaker, on his work with computer games. If you are interested in attending then I would urge you to apply soon as numbers are limited on each of the days.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Club Penguin Times

Thanks to Izzy Neiss for the link to the piece on newspaper reading in Club Penguin. I have been observing children reading and writing in Club Penguin this summer and they do find the newspaper, the 'Club Penguin Times', an interesting read. However, they report feeling a little dispirited that the poems and stories they submit to the paper don’t get published. No wonder if there are 30,000 submissions a day. And people bemoan the apparent lack of interest children have in writing and reading outside of school…As long as people continue to equate reading solely with extended printed texts on paper, we will continue to read scare stories such as this. Maybe the 'Club Penguin Times' could publish a different kind of report about children's engagement in reading?