Friday, 9 March 2007

REFLECTION

I enjoyed creating this blog as apposed to creating a journal because it allows for so much more creativity. Choosing colours, adding photos and hypertext gives the writer and the reader more possibilities to explore a subject. I imagine this is because of the non-linear nature of the WWW.

I have used bloggar before, so wasn't concerned with the technical aspects of this part of the assignment. I really enjoyed using the medium to create the message though, as it's relevant to the theory we are learning.

I found it very useful to critique the website I chose to use in the classroom, as it made me relate the multiliteracies and multimodal texts theory back to the practical, the real. I noticed that by doing the assignment in this way, I was far more engaged, as it was related to my own experiences. I will take this lesson into my own classroom in the future.

CHECK OUT THE SUN HERALD CLASS SCOOP WEBSITE!


The Sun Hearald Class Scoop is a website set up by The Sun Herald to educate students in how to navigate a newspaper and critically analyse the content. This website is a great resource to use in the classroom as it’s relevant to students lives right now, making learning and engaging and enriching experience. The site is a companion to the hardcopy newspaper and allows students to interact, publish, research and complete up to date news quizzes online. It can be used for both individual and group project work and because it’s directly related to the hard copy newspaper it makes it more ‘real’, in that students get an understanding of both mediums at the same time.

The site is specifically targeted at primary aged students, stage 2-3, to develop media literacy. Even though this site uses English as its focus KLA, it is relevant to all KLAs across the curriculum due to the broad subject area of a newspaper. This is particularly useful for planning lessons that incorporate more than one KLA.

The written text on the site is well structured under appropriate ‘headlines’, giving the site a newspaper look and feel. The vocabulary is correctly targeted to stage 2-3 and is both catchy and well written. There is a page devoted to ‘newspaper terminology’ which provides clear, easy to understand explanations of journalistic terms that students may not be familiar with. Another section called “Roving Reporter” encourages students to submit writing using a variety of text types for publishing online. Students can submit a 300 word article using recount, review, report, discussion, narrative or poetry.

The navigation bar on the left hand side of the site has a link to the weekly assignment. The content of this page encourages students to critique a broad range of text types for example students are asked to deconstruct a photograph by describing its graphic elements which teaches students to develop and use a metalanguage.
The Scoop website is not full of multimedia elements; in fact it’s a very plain, clean design that focuses on written text to connect with its audience. This is consistent with the newspaper genre. The site contains quite a few chances for students to interact including an online quiz and chances to submit a story to be published on line. The content is framed using bright red and green graphical elements and each section has a fun cartoon style graphic to connect with the page subject. Even though this site does not contain many different multimedia elements, its content is mostly focused on the critique of multimodal texts and is quite effective in doing so.

There are many possibilities to use this website in the classroom as part of a unit or theme as it covers such a broad area. I would find it particularly useful when teaching the HSIE subject matter of Environments. Because environmental issues are so topical, the newspaper is a great place to start researching. Students could get into groups and use the newspapers from the last couple of weeks to locate an environmental issue of interest to them. They could then do further research on the WWW or at the library to gather relevant information for their own news story. Once they have all their information together each group would share the information they collected with other group members. Each group would then work as a team to create a news story using a video camera, from story board to editing the story on the computer.

A second example of how I would use this website in the classroom is ask students to pick a story they are interested in from the newspaper and then write it in a different context using either, recount, review, report, discussion, narrative or poetry. This could be a restaurant or movie review, a report on an issue within their school or a recount of anything that interests them in their own lives. Students would then submit and publish their writing onto the Scoop website.