Literacy & Technology Research:

“Allington has found that as early as 1st grade, the highest-achieving classrooms spend as much as 70% of class time reading or responding to what they read”. (Schmoker, M, 2006, Results Now p. 97)

"New literacies such as digital books, websites, and blogs are also motiving activities for children as they naturally engage in these literacy practices outside of school". (Sheridan-Rabideau & Roswell, 2010)

“When students are involved in literacy tasks and activities that are purposeful and authentic, they are more motivated to learn and come to view reading and writing as relevant, dynamic, interactive processes that involve decision making and problem solving” (Gambrell & Mazzoni, 1999)

Lorenz comments, “It’s very important to us that other educators understand how creative and innovative teaching in combination with technology can change the common classroom into a worldwide university of shared experiences.” (Basett & Thorn, 2004)

“Literacy is socially constructed and rooted.” (Zemelman, Daniels & Hyde, 1998)

“Children grow better amid rich and regular interaction, in classrooms where expression and collaboration are the norm, where there are many chances to read and write and talk with other readers.” (Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde, 1998).

“Writing should not be delayed while reading or grammar is developed first; rather, experimenting with the ingredients of written language is one of the prime ways of advancing reading achievement and mastering the conventions of language”.(Zemelman, Daniels & Hyde, 1998).

“The old idea that the teacher is the only legitimate audience robs students of the rich and diverse response from audiences that is needed to nurture a writer’s skills and motivation”. (Zemelman, Daniels & Hyde, 1998).

“Within the classroom itself, building a supportive context for working collaboratively and sharing writing is perhaps the most important step a teacher can take to promote writing growth. In fact, if the students don’t experience their classroom as a constructive place where it is safe to try new approaches and say what they really believe, then even the most sophisticated, up-to-date “writing-process” techniques are likely to fall flat”. (Zemelman, Daniels & Hyde, 1998).

“We believe that, if computers are to adequately support both the conventional and electronic literacy development of children, the computer-related activities must be woven into the fabric of daily classroom routines through planned activities in such areas as (1) teacher-interactive demonstration and (2) diverse collaboration among students and teachers”. (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011)

Lewis and Fabos (2005) suggest using instant messaging and other socially mediated technologies, such as blogging, to heighten students’ analytical thinking skills, which are crucial for critically navigating the vast assortment of online materials (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011).

“In these and other instances, the integration of various communicative symbol systems (e.g., print, sound, clip art, animations, video) and digital tools (e.g., word processing, art, e-mail, social networking) support children’s development of the language arts of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. However, the convergence of these digital functionalities also fosters cognitive activities, strategic decision making, and affective engagement that challenge and motivate children” (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011).

“Moving class discussions and literature circles online to a wiki, Google doc, discussion board, or blog can alleviate some of the challenges presented in face-to-face interactions, while also developing students’ writing fluency”. (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011).

Others have found the online discussions build a sense of community, with students helping each other clarify answers, make connections, and identify literary elements (e.g.,Alfassi, 2000; Chamberlain, 2005; English, 2007; Grisham & Wosley, 2006; Jewell, 2005; Tharp, 2010; Witte, 2007; Zawilinski, 2009)

In addition students who received online feedback about their writing did better than students receiving traditional feedback (Carmichael & Alden, 2006).

Furthermore, electronic keypals, connected via e-mail or social media, can link students and classrooms around the globe (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011).

“To reap the benefits of technology and, indeed, to prepare children to use the tools of contemporary writing, word processing must be integrated into all phases of the writing process” (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011).

“Literacy in the digital age functions in a different way; new literacies rely on participation structures, remix, collaboration, an design” (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Kress, 2003; Sheridan & Rowell, 2010) (Morrow & Gabrell, 2011).

“Specifically, collaborative learning refers to individuals who actively and substantively engage in an exchange of ideas that result in co-constructed understanding” (Gambrell & Mazzoni, 1999)

“Collaborative learning contexts have been found to result in greater student achievement and more positive social, motivational, and attitudinal outcomes for all age levels, genders, ethnicities, and social classes than are achieved by individualized or competitive learning structures”. (Gambrell & Mazzoni, 1999)

“Children learn new words more easily when they occur in a personally meaningful context”. (Gambrell & Mazzoni, 1999)