The use of online communities to encourage struggling readers and writers is a strategy that has gained some attention. Those who are not engaged readers respond to technology in a way that is completely different from their relationship to text. Using e-learning gadgets such as a “Wiki” to share writing, and “Blabberize” and media software such as “ Microsoft Photo Story,” students attain the literacy skills required for the twenty-first century. The writing skills acquired in these applications help to enlarge vocabulary, develop fluency, and build comprehension.
What we know about young children’s development is that they need opportunities to learn language through interacting (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000, Vygotsky, 1986). Technology use can promote social interaction, peer teaching, and collaboration (Clements & Nastasi, 1993). There is general agreement that technology applications that are meaningful and integrated into classroom activities have the most potential to stimulate student enthusiasm and learning. (Van Scoter & Boss, 2002).
What follows is a description of how shared Wiki space can be used to create an online community in which children may discuss their writing and video creations with each other. While engaged in this way, students who are usually struggling readers and writers begin to change the way they approach literacy activities.
|Keywords:||Wikis, e-Learning, Literacy, Struggling Readers and Writers|
Associate Professor in Education, Department of Teacher Education, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
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