Navigating 21st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital Literacy

Navigating 21st Century Multimodal Textual Environments: A Case Study of Digital Literacy

Muriel Wells (Deakin University, Australia) and Damien Lyons (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9948-9.ch003
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In the 21st century young people live and learn in a technological world that is fast paced and in a constant state of change. As technology becomes more and more accessible outside of the classroom, educators are challenged to re-consider the literacy skills required to be successfully literate. Enacting literacy teaching and learning in and for the 21st century requires teachers to update their pedagogical knowledge, skills and contextual understanding of the world children live and learn in. This chapter offers a brief overview of the Australian Curriculum, locating it within a 21st century learning discourse. The authors interpret and analyse one young student's creation of a digital text in a movie modality. Attention is paid to how the case study teacher created meaningful digital literacy learning experiences and opportunities for children to create and interact in social, multimodal textual environments, both within and beyond the school.
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Locating Curriculum Within A 21St Century Context

The development of the Australian Curriculum was guided by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, adopted by the Ministerial Council in December 2008. The Melbourne Declaration emphasised the importance of knowledge, skills and understandings of learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities as forming the basis for a curriculum designed to support 21st century learning (Ministerial Council on Education, 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Framework: An organising structure of interlinked items which supports a particular approach to a specific objective; in our case our framework is a structure with items that can be used by teachers who which to analyse digital texts.

Feedback: A process in which advice is provided or fed-back to modify future actions or behaviour of a learner.

Digital Texts: books that are created and presented with and through digital/electronic publishing; created on computers, tablets or in other digital/electronic ways; as distinct from traditional print based texts that are published in paper forms. They can be multimodal and interactive.

Visual Literacy: The ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an images and other information presented in a visual form. This extends the meaning of literacy beyond the common interpretation as only written or printed text.

Melbourne Declaration: All Australian Education Ministers released a national declaration on 12 December 2008 of the educational goals for young Australians.

Australian Curriculum: The National Curriculum that all Australian states and territories are expected to implement.

ICT: Information and Communication Technologies.

Pedagogy: The discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education.

Multimodal Texts: Texts that incorporate elements of audio, visual and/or animations along with written language (words, sentences in a variety of segments and formats).

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