We are excited to share our international collaboration publications, published with the Literacies and Second Languages Project. The LSLP is led by Raúl A. Mora, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín (Colombia).
Pinterest and 21st century literacies by Katie Rybakova and Charise Kollar: http://www.literaciesinl2project.org/uploads/3/8/9/7/38976989/lslp-micro-paper-9-pinterest-and-21st-century-literacies.pdf
Participatory Literacies by Rikki Rocanti: http://www.literaciesinl2project.org/uploads/3/8/9/7/38976989/lslp-micro-paper-10-participatory-literacies.pdf
Livescribe and Second Language Learning by Amy Piotrowski: http://www.literaciesinl2project.org/uploads/3/8/9/7/38976989/lslp-micro-paper-13-livescribe-and-second-language-learning.pdf
You can view other Micro-Papers at http://www.literaciesinl2project.org/lslp-micro-papers.html
Ekaterina Rybakova and Shelbie Witte
As much as we want to teach a majority of young adult literature in the 6-12th English/Language arts classroom, the reality of teaching a canonical text, whether by choice, by district or school requirement, or by curriculum, isa challenge for many of us who strive to engage our students in text as mirrors experiences. We make this clear as we challenged our pre-service teachers taking a class on adolescent young adult literature to create reading ladders culminating in a complex, canonical text. Ideally, a teacher wouldn’t jump directly into Romeo and Juliet in the 9th grade without scaffold. The idea of reading ladders, stemming from Lesesne’s (2010) research on the concept, allows gradual development of reading strategies and motivation that closes a theme with a complex text.
Lesesne’s (2010) book Reading Ladders highlights issues with incorporating young adult literature in the English classroom, and focuses on how to do so in a way that doesn’t overwhelm students. There is a misconception, she says, that YAL is less literary than canonical texts taught in the classroom (Lesesne, 2010). We need to incorporate books that are not written by “dead white guys” (Wolk, 2010) and instead that speak to today’s students, to real life (Lesesne, 2010).
We challenge our pre-service teachers, then, to create a ladder, or a series of books or materials that relate to a specific theme, time period, or even author, with the end text being a different canonical text for every student. The caveat is to utilize such text that both prepares students for the complex canonical text while still engaging students and motivating them to engage in the text they provide. As Lattimer (2010) suggests, texts that motivate students are first and foremost an authentic experience, an experience that connects the text to the real lives of students. Authentic texts, Lattimer (2010) suggests, include everything from scientific research articles to ads to websites to poems to media to song lyrics.
After suggesting ways of tying in texts from different avenues into their reading ladders, the pre-service teachers in our class embarked on the journey to make sometimes dry texts more engaging, and the experience with them both useful and informational. We are pleased to share our students work, of course with their permission, with you, and hope that these can be useful tools for all teachers trying to break the mold, scaffold and motivate, and continue to find ways to engage their students to become lifelong readers.
To see the Reading Ladders, look under the Theory to Practice Connections section of this site.
Lattimer, H. (2010). Reading for learning: Using discipline-based texts to build content knowledge. Urbana, Illinois: NCTE.
Lesesne, T. (2010). Reading ladders: Leading students from where they are to where we’d like them to be. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Wolk, S. (2010). What should students read? Phi Delta Kappan, 91(7), 8-16.
by Katie Rybakova
Teachers often scoff when they hear the term Wikipedia. It’s a term that is connected with many opinions, some of which are as hard hitting as bias, falsity, and even plagiarism, while others a softer idea of laziness, a “cope out” from “actual” research. When I present on Wikipedia, I ask, after the usual grumbles about Wikipedia, if the audience members use Wikipedia themselves. A resounding yes—they won’t use it in the classroom, they won’t teach it, they go so far as to nix it from any research-driven classroom activity, and yet, often use it as one of the first sources for their own research. These are researchers, professors, secondary school teachers; I remember how my own teachers would swear against us using Wikipedia as a source (of course, we did anyway), but to continue to have this opinion in the 21st century?
I wanted to look into this problem. I spent countless hours Googling Wikipedia, but often was left surprised at how little attention current educational research was giving this very well known website. I decided then to conduct a review of research on Wikipedia—I would collect what I could find on the site, then analyze the general consensus—are we for, in the 21st century classroom, or against, Wikipedia?
A little background—Wikipedia, a combination of “Wiki,” or a source on the Internet that can be edited by anyone on it, and encyclopedia, an area for an immense coverage of different concepts and things, went live in 2001. Within the first year of being a live site, Wikipedia went from 1,000 articles to 20,000 at the end of 2001, and by the second year, hosted 100,000 articles just in its English version (Rosenweig, 2006). The growth of the site sparked the growth of students in the classroom using it as a source for research. In 2006, the Alexa traffic rankings placed Wikipedia at number eighteen out of all sources on the web, above New York Times Online, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the Library of Congress (Rosenweig). It continues to be the lead hit on most Google searches on various concepts.
It is clear how this connects to the classroom—should we, as teachers, or should we not, allow students to use it as a source? Could it be used for other activities? In addition to the practical usage of Wikipedia, there is also an underlying political one—digital texts and digitalization of information in general has been the topic of mandates continuously since No Child Left Behind (Department of Education, 2013). The Race to the Top Initiative continues to emphasize the uses of technology inside the classroom and the professional development of teachers to do so in its statues as well (Department of Education, 2013). Essentially, though, or, if you will, on a societal level, it is clear that the shape and functioning of texts differs from the traditional sense of composition, and the distribution of writing no longer rests in the hands of a press (Wysocki, 2009). The most important variable, especially for educators in the classroom today, is the growing need for fine-tuning information literacy and research skills, helping students become critical consumers (Kniffel, 2008).
What, then, is the issue? Of course, because any registered user of Wikipedia can edit the site, many educators see Wikipedia as an unreliable source of information that students use. Scholarship shows the continuing argument amongst academia regarding Wikipedia as a research tool (Eijkman, 2010).
What I did was find 55 articles on Wikipedia. I used JSTOR, ERIC, and Google Scholar using the keyword Wikipedia. All of the articles that are included in this review of research (34) were published at the earliest in 2005, and at the latest in 2012. This gap in research from 2001 to 2005 can be explained, perhaps, by the growth of Wikipedia as an online research source.
Essentially, the majority of articles that accepted Wikipedia as a source in the classroom were from the field of humanities and social science, namely education related articles (33% of education articles accepted Wikipedia into the classroom). 33% of the articles that wrote a scathing prohibition of Wikipedia were education articles, while the resounding majority were articles from the hard sciences. In general, 24 out of the 34 articles were in favor of using Wikipedia in the classroom.
Statistics aside, what was most interesting to me was the reasoning behind the choices of acceptance versus prohibition. The negative reactions to Wikipedia stemmed from the obvious—Wikipedia is unreliable because it is being updated by Joe Shmo, Wikipedia has caused negative experiences with students plagiarizing or submitting poor work, and a general “easy way out” for students, a general consensus across all of the articles that prohibited Wikipedia from the classroom. It was interesting, though to see what the articles that suggested teachers utilize Wikipedia in the classroom suggested. Generally speaking, there was an overall positive experience with using Wikipedia. Because of its popularity, most teachers and authors acknowledged that students would, whether prohibited or not, use Wikipedia as a source when researching. Some articles even justified the accuracy and completeness of Wikipedia sources. Most suggested Wikipedia be allowed as a starting point for research; a use of explaining critical consumerism to students in this digital age. Research skills and information literacy skills were used to identify specific concepts that could be taught using Wikipedia in the classroom.
The research I did boils down to this—if we do want to use, as teachers, Wikipedia in our classrooms, or teach pre-service teachers to use Wikipedia in their classrooms, we need to expose them to it just like we would want to expose our students to it. Yes, it’s not the only source that students should go to for information. But, it shouldn’t be something that is prohibited outright, because, if you know anything about 6th to 12th grade kids, a rule isn’t going to stop them from using it. It’s better to expose students to Wikipedia—it’s positives AND negatives—rather than keeping kids out of the loop when it comes to an important skill—critical consumerism and information literacy skills.
Aycock, J., & Aycock, A. (2008). Why I love/hate Wikipedia: Reflections upon subjugated knowledges. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(2); 91-101.
Bennington, A., & Baur, J. (2008). Dissecting the web through Wikipedia. American Libraries, 39(7); 46-49.
Biddle, L., Donovan, J., Hawton, K., Kapur, N. (2008). Suicide and the Internet. British Medical Journal, 336(7648); 800-802.
Bohannon, J. (2011). Google books, Wikipedia, and the future of culturnomics. Science, 331; 1.
Bravo, V., & Young, M. (2011). The impact of a collaborative Wikipedia assignment on teaching, learning, and student perceptions in a teacher education program. Canadian Journal of Learning & Technology, 37(3); 2-25.
Brown, A. (2011). Wikipedia as a data source for political scientists: Accuracy and completeness of coverage. PS, 339-343. Doi: 10.1017/S1049096511000199.
Brown, J. (2009). Essjay’s ethos: Rethinking textual origins and intellectual property. CCC, 61(1); 238- 258.
Calkins, S., & Kelley, M. (2009). Who writes the past? Student perceptions of Wikipedia knowledge and credibility in a World History classroom. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 20(3); 123-143.
Campbell, C. (2009). Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia (review). The Drama Review, 53(4); 185-187.
Chandler, C., & Gregory, A. (2010). Sleeping with the enemy: Wikipedia in the college classroom. The History Teacher, 43(2); 247-257.
Coiro, J. (2011). Talking about reading as thinking: Modeling the hidden complexities of online reading comprehension. Theory into Practice, 50(2); 107-115.
Coiro, J. and Dobler, E. (2007). Exploring the online reading comprehension strategies used by sixth-grade skilled readers to search for and locate information on the Internet. Reading Research Quarterly, 42; 214–257. doi: 10.1598/RRQ.42.2.2
Crovitz, D., & Smoot, W.S. (2009). Wikipedia: Friend, not foe. English Journal, 98(3); 91-97.
Davidson, C. (2009). Young children’s engagement with digital texts and literatices in the home: Pressing matters for the teaching of English in the early years of schooling. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 8(3); 36-54.
Denning, P., Horning, J., Parnas, D., Weinstein, L. (2005). Wikipedia risks. Communications of the ACM, 48(12); 152.
Department of Education. (2013). Improve student performance. Retrieved 16 Nov 2013 from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg34.html.
Elder, D., Westbrook, R., & Reilly, M. (2012). Wikipedia lover, not a hater: Harnessing Wikipedia to increase the discoverability of library resources. Journal of Web Librarianship, 6(1); 32-44
Eijkman, H. (2010). Emerald article: Academics and Wikipedia: Reframing web 2.0+ as a disruptor of traditional academic power-knowledge arrangements. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 27(3); 173-185.
ERIC. (2012). About the ERIC program. Retrieved 1 Nov 2012 from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/resources/html/about/about_eric.html.
Fontichiaro, K., & Harvey, C. (2010). How elementary is Wikipedia? School Library Monthly, 27(2); 22-23.
Forte, A., Bruckman, A. (2006). From Wikipedia to the classroom: Exploring online publication and learning. ICLS; 182-188
Google. (2012). About Google Scholar. Retrieved 1 Nov 2012 from http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html.
Hardy, M. (2007). Wiki goes to war. Australian Quarterly, 79(4); 17-22.
Harouni, H. (2009). High School research and critical literacy: Social Studies with and despite Wikipedia. Harvard Educational Review, 79(3); 473-493.
Jancarik, A., & Jancarikova, K. (2010). Wiki tools in the preparation and support of e-Learning courses. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 8(2); 123-132.
JSTOR. (2012). Using JSTOR. Retrieved 1 Nov 2012 from http://about.jstor.org/content/using-jstor-0#JSTOR-Content.
Kittur, A., Chi, E., Pendleton, B., Suh, & B., Mytkowicz, T. (2007). Power of the few vs. wisdom of the crowd: Wikipedia and the rise of the bourgeoisie. WWW; 1- 9.
Kniffel, L. (2008). Authority and Wikipedia. American Libraries, 39(7); 4.
Konieczny, P. (2009). Governance, organization, and democracy on the Internet: The iron law and the evolution of Wikipedia. Sociological forum, 24(1); 169-192.
LaFrance, J., & Calhoun, D. (2012). Student perceptions of Wikipedia as a learning tool for educational leaders. National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, 1-15.
Maehre, J. (2009). What it means to ban Wikipedia: An exploration of the pedagogical principles at stake. College Teaching, 57(4); 229-236.
Oblinger, D. (2007). Becoming net savvy. Educause Quarterly, 3: 11-13.
Pollard, E. (2008). Raising the stakes: Writing about Witchcraft on Wikipedia. The History Teacher, 42(1); 9-24.
Porter, A., McMaken, J., Hwang, J., Yang, R. (2011). Common core standards: The new US intended curriculum. Educational Researcher, 40(3); 103-116.
Purdy, J. (2009). When the tenets of composition go public: A study of writing in Wikipedia. CCC, 61(2); 351-372.
Rozenweig, R. (2006). Can history be open source? Wikipedia and the future of the past. Organization of American Historians, 93(1);117-146.
Schweitzer, N.J. (2008). Wikipedia and Psychology: Coverage of concepts and its use by undergraduate students. Teaching of Psychology, 35(2); 81-85.
Shareski, D., & Winkler, C. (2005). Are Wikis worth the time? International Society of Technology in Education, 1.
Viegas, F., Wattenberg, M., Kriss, J., & Ham, F. (2007). Talk before you type: Coordination in Wikipedia. IEEE; 1-10.
Wysocki, A. (2009). Seeing the screen: Research into visual and digital writing practices. In C. Bazerman (Ed), Handbook of research and writing: History, society, school , individual, text (599-611). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis group.