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2011 November Language Arts, v89.2

Non-Member Price: $12.50

NCTE Member Price: $4.25

Language Arts
Volume 89, Number 2, November 2011
Issue Theme: Beyond PowerPoints and Scavenger Hunts

Level(s): Elementary, Middle

ISBN/ISSN: 0360-9170


Language Arts
Volume 89, Number 2, November 2011
Issue Theme: Beyond PowerPoints and Scavenger Hunt

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Thoughts from the Editors: The Digital Frontier in Early Childhood Education
Abstract: This issue’s theme, “Beyond PowerPoints and Scavenger Hunts,” investigates what children know about the plethora of digital tools available and how they use them, as well as how teachers integrate media in creative and critical ways. Also included is an interview with Kathy Short, 2011 Outstanding Educator, as well as professional book reviews, a look at the Orbis Pictus Award winners, and a discussion between Julie Coiro and Sara Kajder about what digital tools are available and how they might transform classrooms and literacy learning.

Connected Kids? K–2 Children’s Use and Understanding of the Internet
Autumn M. Dodge, Nahid Husain, and Nell K. Duke
Abstract: In this article, we report on our own inquiry, and others', into young children's use of, understanding of, and skills related to the Internet. We found that the overwhelming majority of children at this age are already using the Internet, mostly for playing games, and already showing substantial gaps in Internet skill level. Most children we studied had little conceptual understanding of the Internet, were unaware of its potential dangers, and sometimes used the Internet without adult supervision. A parent questionnaire revealed that parents' knowledge of their children's overall Internet competence was sometimes inaccurate. Policies, standards, and pedagogy for and related to K–2 children's Internet use should be informed by research.

Empowering Fourth-Grade Researchers: Reaping the Rewards of Web 2.0 Student-Centered Learning
Terry S. Atkinson and Elizabeth A. Swaggerty
Abstract: NCTE’s Framework for 21st Century Literacies (2008) prompted collaboration between a university professor and classroom teacher resulting in a professional inquiry project utilizing a Web 2.0 tool, Scrapblog, with fourth-grade students. This article describes implementation of this project, including both challenges and positive outcomes. The authors found that the effort paid dividends in terms of student engagement (“Please, can I work on my Scrapblog?”), student empowerment (shift the responsibility for learning to the student), and collaboration (among university professor, classroom teacher, and students). Specific recommendations for moving beyond traditional literacy instruction practices and delving into 21st Century Web 2.0 learning experiences are included.

Writing for the Big Screen: Literacy Experiences in a Moviemaking Project
Carol Bedard and Charles Fuhrken
Abstract: An integrated language arts and technology program engaged students in reading and writing activities that funded an experience in moviemaking. With video cameras in hand, students, often working collaboratively, developed expanded views of the writing and revision processes as they created movies that mattered to them and found an audience beyond the school walls.

Inquiry as a Way of Life: Kathy G. Short, 2011 Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts
Andrea García
Abstract: This article honors Kathy G. Short, who has been awarded NCTE’s Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts award for 2011. Kathy’s scholarly achievements as a lifelong inquirer, teacher, and mentor are featured in this article, celebrating her national and international influence in the field of literacy education.

Professional Book Reviews Critique! Design! Engage! Opening New Spaces for Multimodal Experiences
Deidre Clary, Amy Johnson Lachuk, Andrew M. Corley, and Lucy Spence
Abstract: Professional books about digital tools entice us to Critique! Design! and Engage! Deidre Clary, Amy Johnson Lachuk, Andrew M. Corley, and Lucy Spence invite us to read A Web-Linked Guide to Resources and Activities (Beach, 2007), Artifactual Literacies (Pahl & Rowsell, 2010), and Making Meaning: Constructing Multimodal Perspectives of Language, Literacy, and Learning through Arts-based Early Childhood Education (Educating the Young Child) (Narey, 2009) to discover how we can improve our practice by integrating these exciting tools.

Children’s Literature Reviews 2011 Orbis Pictus Award Winners
Kim Ford, Jeffrey S. Kaplan, Diana Porter, Barbara Chatton, Jan Kristo, Deborah Thompson, and Lisa Morris-Wilkey
Abstract: The 2011 Orbis Pictus Awards celebrate the very best in children's nonfiction literature for this year. Kim Ford, Jeffrey S. Kaplan, Diana Porter, Barbara Chatton, Jan Kristo, Deborah Thompson, and Lisa Morris-Wilkey give us detailed descriptions of the stories worth celebrating.

Conversation Currents: Digital Footprints
Julie Coiro and Sara Kajder
Abstract: Julie Coiro and Sara Kajder converse about how they use digital tools with teachers and children. We are excited to share their experience and insights about how teachers can incorporate these options in the classroom.

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