Dr. Judith M. Newman


Creating Technology-Supported Classrooms


Open Learning
Mount Saint Vincent University

July 5 - 16 1999

Course Description

Opening Letter to Participants

Welcome to Creating Technology-Supported Literacy Classrooms. Our enterprise should be an interesting one. The course will be organized as a collaborative investigation of various beliefs about learning and curriculum. It will help you bring what you have learned about language and literacy to the implementation of curriculum in your classroom/school. We will create a classroom community, negotiate curriculum, discover the multiple roles of language in learning, and explore how literacy (particularly writing) plays out in various disciplines.

We will use an investigation of Our Community as a focus for developing and enacting a collaborative curriculum inquiry--we will use current local issues to explore a number of facets of community life. The course will begin by identifying several topics of current interest to you. We will become investigative reporters, use a range of electronic resources for research purposes, and explore current issues as the basis for curriculum development.

We will, at the same time, also engage in a reflective examination of literacy and learning. We will focus on common myths about reading and writing, learning to read and write and literacy instruction. Our collaborative investigation should help us become more aware of our own literacy and learning strategies and consider what implications this has for teaching. This hands on learning experience will be backed by reading in curriculum as inquiry to help us think about negotiated curriculum and other major issues in learning and literacy. It will raise questions about what we can learn from carefully observing students' responses to literacy instruction. And we will explore the role of technology in developing and implementing curriculum. This course, then, is really about learning and teaching. It's about becoming aware of our learning and considering what implications this has for us as teachers.

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