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Technology and Critical Literacy in Early Childhood Hardcover – Aug 1 2012
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"What a thrill to find a smart and accessible text written for teachers, teacher educators, and teacher education students that not only shows how technology integrates in early childhood literacy curriculum but does so in a way that recognizes children as active, productive, and critical literacy users. Unique in providing theorization and examples embedded within critical literacy and social justice aims and approaches, this is the kind of resource that teachers and teacher education students need as support and encouragement to use technology with young children and to expand their notions of literacy."
Karen Wohlwend, Indiana University, USA
About the Author
Vivian Maria Vasquez is Professor in the School of Education, Teaching and Health at American University, USA.
Carol Branigan Felderman is Adjunct Professor and Student Teacher Supervisor in the School of Education, Teaching and Health at American University, USA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My favorite example is one that involved podcasts, dual language learners, non-English speaking family members, map reading, research, and Antarctica (yes, Antarctica). In another example, a simple project with six-year-olds growing tomato plants ended up encompassing ad analysis, scientific experimentation to test the claims of an ad, Internet research, comparison of websites using Word Clouds, a lesson on gender stereotyping, and lots of opportunities to practice language, reasoning, and observation skills.
What these authors describe is teaching at its finest. Lessons are multifaceted, constructivist, and developmentally appropriate. Media technologies are integrated in a natural but intentional way, taking advantage of the strengths of the various tools as well as the strengths of the children and their teachers. And most of the ideas would be fairly easy to replicate once you understand the basic pedagogy of their approach.
Without ever referencing the Key Questions or core competencies of media literacy education (see, for example, The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy, pp. 19-20, 39), the activities in this book exemplify the field's goals. Instead of counting the minutes that kids spend in front of a screen, they design lessons that focus on deep learning, including asking standard media literacy questions like "Who benefits?" and "Who is left out?"
The result of Vasquez's and Felderman's critical literacy approach is students who reflect on the media they encounter and create, and who routinely ask questions and are already somewhat skilled at knowing how to find answers. Most importantly, these young children come to believe in their own power to learn and make a difference in the world. Every now and then I had to remind myself that I was reading about six-year-olds!
For anyone involved in a professional learning community, but especially early childhood and primary level teachers and administrators, this title would be a perfect choice for discussion.