News

The Unlocking the World community is the perfect place to ask questions, discuss ideas and exchange information with other teachers and our program consultants.

Literacy and Numeracy Rewards Funding

June 30, 2011

News

School Education Minister Peter Garrett announced today that "Australian students will benefit from over $138 million in Commonwealth reward funding for meeting targets under the Smarter Schools National Partnership for Literacy and Numeracy". Up to $540 million in funding will be provided "over four years under the National Partnership for Literacy and Numeracy, including up to $350 million in reward payments in 2010-11 and 2011-12".

"The Partnership focuses on improving literacy and numeracy, building stronger school leadership, and using performance information to identify where students need support.  Schools have used the Partnership funding to invest in a range of innovative teaching programs, such as employing literacy and numeracy coaches, delivering personalised learning plans for disadvantaged and Indigenous students, and targeted home reading programs".

To read the full release go to http://www.deewr.gov.au/Ministers/Garrett/Media/Releases/Pages/Article_110628_094804.aspx

 

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Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice?

June 28, 2011

News

Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice?

 Maureen Walsh

Australian Catholic University

 Changes to literacy pedagogy are gradually occurring in classrooms in response to

contemporary communication and learning contexts. These changes are diverse as

teachers and educational researchers attempt to design new pedagogy to respond

to the potential of digital technologies within existing curriculum and assessment

policies. This paper discusses evidence from recent classroom research where 16

teachers worked in teams in nine primary school classrooms to develop new ways

of embedding technology for literacy learning. Data from the nine case studies

provides evidence that teachers can combine the teaching of print-based literacy

with digital communications technology across a range of curriculum areas.

Findings from this research confirm that literacy needs to be redefined within

current curriculum contexts, particularly in light of the emergence of a national

curriculum. New descriptors of language and literacy criteria are proposed within

the framework of multimodal literacy, the literacy that is needed in contemporary

times for reading, viewing, responding to and producing multimodal and digital

texts.

Read more at

http://alea.edu.au/site-content/publications/Multimodal%20literacy%20(Walsh)%20AJLL%20Oct%202010.pdf

 

 

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Systemic Functional Grammar

June 27, 2011

News

If you read our previous news item or are just interested in Systemic Functional Grammar the link below will provide you with links to other very useful sites.

http://folk.uio.no/hhasselg/systemic/

 

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Kineikonic Texts in the Literacy Classroom

June 28, 2011

News

 'Now I know their secrets': kineikonic texts in the literacy classroom

Australian Journal of Language and Literacy

Volume 34 Number 1, February 2011; Pages 24-37

Kathy Mills

The importance of the moving image as a form of media continues to grow, and they are studied increasingly within the literacy curriculum. They are sometimes known as 'kineikonic' texts. The article explores the nature of these texts, and the educational issues related to them, through the example of a 'claymation' film created by year 6 students. To investigate these issues the author applies multiliteracies theory and concepts derived from Halliday's concept of functional grammar. Functional grammar brings out the ways in which different genres can be used to convey meaning. However, genres themselves do not exist in static form: they change in response to social contexts and technologies. Halliday's functional grammar uses three categories of text organisation. The representational category refers to the way in which a text presents the external world. The interactive category refers to the way in which the text positions the viewer or reader in relation to what is being presented. One example, in relation to film, is the use of camera angle. The compositional category refers to the relative emphasis of each element of the text; for example, the relative importance of actors' gestures and musical accompaniment in a silent film. In some respects, the conventions of kineikonic texts parallel written ones; for example, in the way that an article or a film might both convey cooking instructions. However, other aspects of kineikonic texts refer specifically to film. They include sets and props, characters' costumes, screen layout, animation techniques and lighting. The article describes film-specific techniques, considerations and issues related to meaning-making, as they emerged in the students' creation of a claymation film.

For more of this article go to http://eprints.qut.edu.au/38994/1/38994.pdf

KLA

Key Learning Areas

English


Subject Heading

Subject Headings

Films
Grammar
Communication

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Committing to the toughest teaching gig in the country

June 23, 2011

News

And it was the day only one child turned up. While the eager student sat alone in the classroom, the half-dozen teachers at the school sat in the staffroom, chatting and drinking cups of tea. Why didn't at least one of them teach the only student? "We didn't see the point," was the attitude.

So why would that child bother coming to school the following day, or ever again?

The teachers have since left, and an overhaul of the selection process in the past year means fewer teachers with that mindset remain in the system.

Gone are the days when the Territory government tried to entice teachers to remote schools by promising a great lifestyle, an adventure fit for a series of Survivor or a working holiday. One of the first reforms made by Education Department chief executive Gary Barnes when he arrived in Darwin about two years ago was to change the way the department recruits teachers for its 86 very remote communities.

Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/committing-to-the-toughest-teaching-gig-in-the-country/story-fn59niix-1226077317246

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CALL TO ACTION: Making Gifted Education Relevant Today

June 22, 2011

News

This title is actually the title of a blog post by Deborah Mersino from the USA. Her post looks at what she feels is the current state of gifted education in the US. She suggests that a new push is needed to get things rolling again, to provide better resources and training for all educators. It needs to be for all.

Deborah sets out her 'top five suggestions for making gifted education relevant in today's world. Take a look at these straightforward, yet radical ideas and tell me what you think. Comment, argue, debate and/or agree. The time to crowdsource is upon us.'

 Her thoughts make fascinating reading, whether you agree or not. Check out this article at http://www.ingeniosus.net/archives/call-to-action-making-gifted-education-relevant-today

 

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Dates set for 'How language works: Success in literacy & learning' tutor training course in the UK

June 22, 2011

News

The first dates for a venue to run our new course, 'How language works: Success in literacy & learning',in the UK, have been set. The course will be hosted by the Haringey Professional Development Centre in London from 2 to 8 November, 2011, with no sessions on the Saturday and Sunday.

For more details, or to enrol, go to http://www.unlockingtheworld.com/training_venues and scroll down to the venue.

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Digital Literacies Blog

June 10, 2011

News

On 20th May, 2011 there was a one day conference on Digital Literacies in the UK. One of the outcomes was that the attendees agreed that a blog, where they could further develop the rich discussions that took place on the day, was needed.  To that end a blog has been set up. An overview of the day is now on the site and makes excellent reading for anyone with an interest or need to learn how to integrate literacy in the digital age.

A new app called 'Our Story' was shown. This app allows young children to produce personalised icards and stories. Another session had a presenter delivering his presentation from Bangladesh via Skype. He discussed a gameplay model for teaching and professional development that supports students in the aquisition of traditional and multimodal literacies.

There is a lot more to intrigue and motivate educators on this blog so please visit to read and consider what is presented.

Go to http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/literacy-in-a-digital-age

 

 

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