The Data Deluge

When we met this past Tuesday to talk about the readings, it made me think about preparing elementary school teachers who will be teaching their students to try and make sense of what has been called in research on literacy, “New Literacies”. My students will need to be teaching their students how to “read” in a whole new way. No longer is it words on the page. One assignment I added this past year to one of my language and literacy courses to address this issue is for my students to evaluate e-books. In an article I read last summer, it talked about the “seductive detail effects” of e-books for students – that is, they are more interested in playing with the different options that come with the e-books and miss the meaning of the book altogether. Therefore, we have to start teaching elementary-age students how to read these e-books, or at the very least, know what the “seductive details” are when students choose to read them. It is becoming a complex issue in teaching elementary school students how to read – to ensure they are understanding the content they are reading, and not just stuck in the “data deluge”.

One thought on “The Data Deluge

  1. It is amazing how much about digital literacy and learning parallel issues that have long existed with paper sources. What you are trying to get your students to learn to do–and it relates to something that I was not even aware of, i.e., that there are “different options that come with the e-books”–is something that I work on with traditional sources: monographs and journal articles (and films). My standard WI assignment is a one-page thesis abstract. Students must boil down the main argument of an article, a film, or a book into one page–with introduction, thesis statement, useful topic sentences, etc. Their most common problem is that they pick up details but not main argument. Interestingly, their class discussions indicate that they recognize the source’s thesis, but their papers indicate that they do not know that they do. As I get more familiar and comfortable with digital sources (perhaps I should say “if”?), I have been warned that I will see more of the same. And I will come to you for help!

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