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Connecting digital literacy practices with families and school to support children's literacy Jung, Eva 2018-05

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	CONNECTING DIGITAL LITERACY PRACTICES  WITH FAMILIES AND SCHOOL TO SUPPORT CHILDREN’S LITERACY By EVA JUNG Diploma (EPSE) The University of British Columbia, 2003 B. Ed (Elem.) The University of British Columbia, 2002 B.A. (Psychology) The University of British Columbia, 1998  A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF EDUCATION In THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Early Childhood Education We accept this major paper as confirming to the required standard ……………………………………………………………………………………………… Dr. Marianne McTavish (Graduate Advisor) ……………………………………………………………………………………………… Dr. Iris Berger THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 2018 EVA JUNG, 2018 	 2	Abstract      The topic of this capstone graduating project is building digital literacy between families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills.  The connections between digital literacy practices amongst families and school will be based on Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development, as well as on Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) concept of Funds of Knowledge.      The three guiding questions are: What does the literature say about how parents use technology with their children to enhance their children’s literacy skills?  How do teachers use technology in their primary classrooms to support children’s literacy skills? How might families and teachers share technology practices between families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills?      The literature review revealed that various technologies were used within the family and school environments for educational purposes. Yet, there has not been consistent effort to connect families and school digital literacies practices.  This capstone suggests that through professional development, collaboration, and mentoring, educators can broaden their practices with digital literacies and engage students in creative, multimodal technologies (e.g. creating e-books) that can be shared with families.  Schools can share digital literacy practices with families through face-to-face conferences, print or DVD multilingual newsletters, teacher blogs, digital portfolios (e.g. Fresh Grade) and parent training. By inviting parents to classrooms or school wide events, such as Family Digital Literacy Night, parents can also share with teachers their Funds of Knowledge including their family digital literacy practices. The capstone concludes with recommendations for practice, research, and policy. 	 3	TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………2  Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………...…..3  List of Figures……………………………………………………………………...……...4  Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………..5  Chapter One: Introduction……………………………………………………………..….7 Rationale…………………………………………………………………………..9 Theoretical Orientation…………………………………………………………..10 Guiding Questions……………………………………………………………….11 Connections to Practice………………………………………………………….11 Significance……………………………………………………………………...12 Summary………………………………………………………………………....12  Chapter Two: Literature Review…………………………………………………...……13 Theoretical Framework………………………………………………………......13 Family Digital Literacy…………………………………………………………..15 Digital Literacy in Family and School Contexts…..……………………………..26 Summary………………………………………………………………………....30  Chapter Three: Connections to Practice………………………..………………………..32 Digital Literacy at School………………………………………..……………....33 Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with Family………………………………….36 Families Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with School………………………..37 Summary…………………………………………………………………………38 Ways for School to Use iPads……………………………………………38 Ways for School to Share Digital Literacy Practices with Families……..39 Ways for Families to Share Digital Literacy Practices with School……..40  Chapter Four: Conclusion………………………………………………………...……...41 Recommendations……………………………………………………………......42 Limitations……………………………………………………………………….43 Final Thoughts…………………………………………………………………...43  REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………..45APPENDIX……………………………………………………………………………....49        	 4	List of Figures  Figure 1: Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) Bioecological Model of Human Development                                           	 5	Acknowledgements       First of all, I would like to thank my graduate supervisor Marianne McTavish for your support and guidance over the last two and a half years. From the beginning you made me believe that I could do my Master’s Degree and capstone while teaching full-time. I took your advice to heart and carefully chose courses and wrote literature reviews that would help me write my capstone project.      Thank you to Iris Berger for guiding me while I wrote my capstone project and always providing constructive feedback to help improve my capstone.  You were instrumental in helping me finish my capstone project early.      Thank you to Margot Filipenko for sharing your love of picture books and early childhood education; Kerry Renwick for your love of qualitative studies and sound professional advice about doing what you love; and Jim Anderson for your knowledge about family and community literacy and helping me get started with a first draft for my capstone.      Second of all, I would like to thank my current and former administrators and colleagues in the Delta School District for your support of my graduate education and my work.  I would also like to thank my current and former kindergarten and grade one classroom teachers and education assistants at Gibson Elementary School.  I am grateful and have been especially blessed to work with early primary colleagues that make collaboration effortless, people that are not only my friends but also my family.  Thank you for appreciating my efforts as your learning support teacher and always supporting me personally and professionally. There is no place I would rather be than in my kindergarten and grade one home. 	 6	     Finally, I would like to thank my parents for instilling the importance of education and financially supporting my undergraduate education.  I am fortunate to have been born and raised in Vancouver and had the opportunity to spend my entire post secondary education at the University of British Columbia over the last twenty-five years studying psychology, elementary education, special education, early childhood education, and language and literacy education.      Tuum Est (It is yours).                 	 7	Chapter One: Introduction      I learned how to type on a real typewriter in a typing class in high school, and I started using dial up Internet when I was an undergraduate university student.  Now I use my MacBook to take notes and write academic papers for my university graduate program, and I use various technologies such as my iPhone, school iPads, and MacBook with students and teachers when I am teaching kindergarten and grade one children.  With the advent of technology, we see the proliferation of the use of digital technology in family and school environments.  That is why organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have made recommendations for families, and to a lesser extent, educators, regarding the amount of screen time children at various ages should have (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016).      In the past, literacy learning was thought of as learning to read and, focused largely on print-based materials.  Literacy is no longer solely about reading a hard covered book or printing words on a piece of paper; it is now largely acknowledged as a social practice (Barton & Hamilton, 2000) and the definition of literacy as a social practice has evolved to incorporate digital forms.  Although there is no universal definition of digital literacy, Hoeschmann and deWaard (2015) define digital literacy as “the skills and ability to use digital tools and applications; the capacity to critically understand digital media tools and content; and the knowledge and expertise to create and communicate with digital technology” (p.4).      Researchers have been studying the influence of technology on children’s literacy development for years (see, for example, Kim & Anderson, 2008; McNab & Fielding-Barnsley, 2013). There is increasingly more research on this topic since the introduction 	 8	of iPads in 2010.  Nevertheless, there are differing viewpoints about whether technology should be used with young children within families and/or school environments, and when technology is used with families and/or school, there are questions about how technology can be used to support literacy. Thus, the topic of this capstone graduating project is examining connections between digital literacy practices between families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills. Rationale      I am the kindergarten and grade one learning support teacher in a large school situated in a multicultural working class neighbourhood in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia.  I work with English Language Learners (ELLs) and other students to help improve their oral language, reading, and writing skills.  For the past eight years, my teaching assignment consisted of providing reading intervention for individuals and small groups. Due to budget cuts, time allocated for reading intervention and assistance has decreased so this year I have turned some of my attention to supporting the following: children’s reading achievement in classrooms, teachers’ instructional strategies, and families’ support of their children out of school.      Against this backdrop, I have recently started a SET-BC (Special Education Technology-BC) classroom-based solutions project with a colleague.  SET-BC is a British Columbia Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program that helps educators use technology to meet the diverse needs of students. My colleague and I are providing regular student access to iPads in the classroom to see if this can improve oral language, reading, writing, and numeracy skills and, at the same time, help with student self-assessment by using the iPads to document student learning and progress.  We are 	 9	using the app Explain Everything during Story Workshop (using loose parts, or diverse materials, in the environment to tell a story orally or in written form with or without technology).  We are also using Fresh Grade (an assessment and reporting platform) apps for students, teachers, and parents to share student learning.  Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard app that children are using to take pictures of their story (made with interactive materials) and audio record their story with a beginning, middle, and end.  Multiple pages can be produced/written over time to create a digital story.  With the help of a teacher, students can digitally show their parents their story through accessing the Fresh Grade student and parent apps from home.  While Fresh Grade is used in some districts as an assessment and reporting platform, it is used as an optional tool for teachers in my school district to create a student work portfolio.  Not only can parents see how their child is engaging in literacy learning at school, but parents can also take pictures, and audio and video of family literacy events and share those family literacy practices with school (e.g. with the child’s teacher and classmates) through Fresh Grade parent app.  In this way, it is hoped the family and school support each other to provide a rich digital literacy environment and ultimately, to help improve children’s literacy. Theoretical Orientation      My examination of the connections between digital literacy practices with families and school are based on Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development as well as Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) concept of Funds of Knowledge.  Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development underpins the various systems that affect a child’s development, including the microsystem, or family and school contexts; the mesosystem, or the relations between 	 10	the two contexts of family and school, the exosystem, or links between a social setting in which the child does not have an active role in the child’s immediate context such as the provincial digital literacy curriculum in British Columbia, and the macrosystem, or the social and cultural values of technology.  Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) Funds of Knowledge helps to examine how the contexts of family and school can work together to support children’s construction of digital literacy knowledge.      To gain a broad scope of the scholarly literature on this topic, I review family and school based digital literacy studies with children ages two to eleven (e.g. Flewitt, Messer, & Kucirkova, 2015; Kim & Anderson, 2008; Lu, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, & Glazewski, 2017; McTavish, 2009; Teichert, 2017). Guiding Questions      The guiding questions for this capstone project are: What does the literature say about how parents use technology with their children to enhance their children’s literacy skills?  How do teachers use technology in their primary classrooms to support children’s literacy skills?  How might families and teachers share technology practices from families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills? Connections to Practice      The information from this capstone project is practically applied on my teacher blog at: https://deltalearns.ca/ejung (See Appendix) where I share my kindergarten/grade one digital early literacy program.  This program consists of both teacher-directed, skills-based apps for literacy for primary aged children as well as creative apps that educators can use with kindergarten/grade one students. 	 11	     I incorporated my three guiding questions into my blog so that educators and parents can go to the sections that are most relevant for them.  Under the main tab Digital Literacy at School, I have included five blog postings I have written over the past five years including a couple of technology newsletters I have written to parents this year.  I have included a portion of the literature review from the capstone under the tabs Family Digital Literacy and Connecting Family and School Digital Literacies. Significance      School districts and parents are spending significant amounts of money to purchase advanced technological tools.  In this paper, I build connections between the scholarly literature on digital literacy with young children to what I am doing in my learning support centre with what teachers are doing in their classroom, and with what families are doing at home.  First, this project builds on the potential created with digital technology for children to share with their parents what they are doing at school. Second, this project gives an opportunity for parents and children to share with the school what they are doing in the family context in order to build rich and meaningful digital literacy practices for children with their families and school.  By having schools and families working together, school districts can maximize limited school budgets by providing educators with professional development and parent education on how best to utilize technology for supporting children’s literacy. Summary      In Chapter One, I discussed the purpose of my capstone and my personal and professional rationale for inquiring about connecting digital literacy practices between families and school in order to support children’s literacy.  I briefly introduced the 	 12	conceptual framework, the guiding questions, and the significance of the capstone paper. In Chapter Two, I review the extant literature on the topic of family and school based digital literacy.  In Chapter Three, I present connections between research to practice and in Chapter Four, I make recommendations for future practice, research, and policy.                     	 13	Chapter Two: Literature Review      In this chapter, I begin by explaining the theory of Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development and Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) concept of Funds of Knowledge that together frame my inquiry on the topic of connecting family and school digital literacies.  The literature is then reviewed according to three themes: family digital literacy, digital literacy use at school, and connecting family and school digital literacies. Theoretical Framework      Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development aims at explaining development as a contextual and interactive process.  The model is often represented as concentric circles with the child at the centre.  The child’s development is most immediately and directly impacted by the child’s microsystem, including family and school.  The mesosystem refers to the interconnections between the microsystems or contexts in a child’s life, such as family and school and vice versa.  As we move beyond the microsystem and mesosystem, the exosystem involves links between a social setting which the child neither has an active role nor is in the child’s immediate environment, such as the digital literacy curriculum in British Columbia.  Lastly, the macrosystem describes the culture the child lives in as found in social, linguistic, and cultural values of families and schools, such as cultural views regarding technology, which can change over time. 	 14		Figure 1 Bronfenbrenner and Ceci's bioecological model of human development.  I have adapted Bronfenbrenner and Ceci's (1994) concentric circles to reflect the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystems that I will be discussing in my capstone paper. 					I chose Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development because it helps explain how reciprocal interactions between the two main locations of digital literacy use that I am focussing on (i.e. family and school) may affect the development of children’s literacy (see Figure 1).      According to Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez (1992), Funds of Knowledge refers “to the historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being” (p. 133). Funds of knowledge provides a possible strategy for building connections between family and school digital literacies in order to improve children’s literacy by stressing the importance of teachers knowing the family literacy practices (as well as their cultural significance) of children to connect to and to support literacy taught in schools.  This is especially The	Individual	Child	Microsystem	• Family	• School	Mesosytem	Exosystem	• Provincial	digital	literacy	curriculum	in	British	Columbia	Macrosystem	• Attitudes	and	ideoogies	of	the	culutre		 15	important at my school where languages other than English are spoken at home, and where reading English storybooks with family is not a common family literacy practice. Review of the Literature Family Digital Literacy      The literature review begins with review of studies that explore the use of family digital literacy.  These studies generally focus on benefits of technology for learning and entertainment, issues that families face around technology (e.g. accessibility, economics, and cultural and linguistic factors affecting use of technology), family contexts that can affect children’s engagement with technology at home, parental attitudes about technology use in early childhood settings, and parental digital literacy practices and behaviour at home.      Time limits.  There are differing opinions about children’s access to and time spent using technology.  In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics made the following recommendations: video-chatting is acceptable for children under eighteen months; “high-quality” digital media is acceptable for children between eighteen to twenty-four months if the parents watch with their children to help them understand what they are viewing; one hour of digital media is allowed per day for children between the ages of two and five years if parents co-view with them and help children apply technology to the real world; for children over six years of age, parents should place limits on time and types of media used so that sleep, physical, and mental health are not affected; and, parents should set limits on time and places such as no technology at the dinner table or bedrooms (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016, paragraph 10). 	 16	     Educational influences.  Teichert’s (2017) study of three to five year olds from three different homes in British Columbia and Ontario describes some benefits of and challenges with technology.  The author found that the purposes of using technology by children in families were for education, entertainment, and documenting children’s lives.  One of the drawbacks to technology use was spending too much time using technology instead of playing outdoors and getting exercise (Teichert, 2017).  The parents in this study limited their child’s screen time when technology was being used for entertainment purposes in order to promote physical activity.      The educational and entertainment benefits of technology mentioned by Teichert (2017) are consistent with Wong’s (2016) earlier qualitative study that examined eleven preschool children with their families.  Four children were from Australia (two from rural and two from urban settings) and seven children from Western Canada (three from rural and four from urban settings). Wong described how “[five-year old] Andrew used his iPad for entertainment and often to seek information in connection to his deep interest in LEGO construction, searching for, viewing, and creating videos on this topic” (p.34).  While in this example, Andrew used the iPad directly for entertainment purposes with his family, the indirect educational benefits of using the iPad were learning how to search, view, and create videos on the iPad on topics that were interesting to him.      Kim and Anderson (2008) studied two brothers ages three and seven, neither of whom had received any formal schooling in Canada, as they were a newly immigrated Korean family, living in a middle class multicultural city in western Canada.  The mother presented three different storybooks to each of her sons: a traditional print book, an electronic book that was similar to a CD-ROM story, and an electronic book that 	 17	contained video-clips.  The researchers found that there were more mother-child interactions with the print versus the electronic books.  There were more mother-child interactions with the younger son, as he needed more support because he could not read yet.  Although there were more mother-child interactions and more children’s interactions with print, the mother used more non-immediate talk; namely, used more abstract and higher level thinking language when sharing the electronic books with each son and both boys used more non-immediate talk with their mother when sharing the electronic books.  The significance of this study is that it shows the importance and need of adult-child interaction and child-adult interaction when using technology.  It also shows that parents can make a significant contribution to their children’s literacy learning at home if they use higher level, non-immediate talk when using electronic books with their children.      Economic, cultural, and linguistic influences.  A more recent study from the United Kingdom about cultural and linguistic influences on technology is March, Hannon, Lewis, and Ritchie’s (2015) one-month case study of two girls and two boys between the ages of two and four from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including Punjabi, Urdu, and English.  The children were involved in a variety of multimodal digital practices using visual, aural, textual, linguistic, and spatial modes with different family members in various languages; for example, children were video-calling relatives in other countries and using electronic toys to learn their family’s language.  The study’s findings suggest that we should be changing our focus from the traditional view of  “family literacy” to “family digital literacy” that incorporates technology with a variety of visual, aural, textual, linguistic, and spatial modes allowing children to access    literacy in the mode that works best for them and their families. 	 18	     Friedrich, Teichert, and Devadas’ (2017) ethnographic case studies in western Canada of three Karen refugee families (an ethnic group in Southeast Asia), and two white middle-class families, found that Karen families had older technology, such as desktop and laptop computers and televisions in their homes, while the white middle-class families had a greater range of technology including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and electronic keyboards.  Friedrich et al. (2017) concluded that, “[through] their interactions with digital texts within the cultural and economic landscapes of their home, young children develop operational competencies that facilitate their accessing digital texts to support their learning” (p.31).  Regardless of socioeconomic status, the mothers in both studies had concerns about their children’s screen time and therefore limited their use.  While children initiated technology use, parents provided help when needed.      Another study that examined educational, economic, cultural, and linguistic influences of technology is Palaiologou’s (2016) mixed method study of children under five years of age.  The study was conducted between 2010 and 2012 in England and Greece, (as these countries have high numbers of users of technology) and Malta and Luxembourg (as these countries have low number of users of technology).  Ten families with various educational and socioeconomic backgrounds from each country were surveyed.  Children were asked to complete a pictographic questionnaire with the help of their parents asking what types of digital technologies they were using with their family.  In this study, “[access] to Digital Technologies” meant that children were able to use the technology with their family, which was different from Friedrich, Teichert, and Devadas’ (2017) study that defined access as the mere presence of technology in the household but did not address children’s accessibility to using technology.  Children in all four countries had 	 19	access to television, computer, and Internet for entertainment and educational purposes.  In their family study, children from birth to three years of age watched more television-based activities and started using more computer and Internet-based activities from three to five years of age.  Television-based activities included sitting and watching television programs while playing with other toys, interacting with the programme by talking to the television, watching something and then stopping to engage in role play based on what they had watched, and playing with Wii/Kinnect boxes (Palaiologou, 2016, p. 14).      Similarly to Marsh, Hannon, Lewis, and Ritchie’s (2015) proposition about changing the terminology from “family literacy” to “family digital literacy,” the following quote from Palaiologou (2016) also reflects the changing view parents have of what it means to be digitally literate:  “[Parents] felt that their definition of an illiterate person no longer corresponded to the traditional view of someone who cannot learn, unlearn, relearn and use digital technologies as part of their everyday lives” (p.5).  If families and schools share similar definitions of what it means to be digitally literate in our technologically advanced world, then we will be able to better support children’s literacy learning with their family and school.      Another strong opinion held by many parents in Palaiologou’s (2016) study was “that media, research and education should be worried about how digital technologies can be used for children’s learning and advise them of the interactions that will benefit children, rather than pointing out advantages and disadvantages” (p.16).      There are other factors that influence the use of technology at home such as family context.  In Stephen, Stevenson, and Adey’s (2013) case study, four to five year olds (two girls and two boys) were given Wii games for entertainment and physical activity 	 20	purposes, a LeapFrog Tag reading system for educational purposes, and a technological pet for entertainment.  The families were from a small, socially diverse urban town in Scotland where some of the parents had guarded attitudes towards technology while others were enthusiastic about it.      The children in Stephen et al.’s (2013) study were not from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.  Stephen and colleagues found that regardless of socioeconomic status, the families used “the same repertoire of direct pedagogical actions” (p. 150) such as physical gestures, verbal praise, nonverbal gestures, and facial expressions in varying degrees in order to support their children’s use of technology.      While parental pedagogical action was not affected by socioeconomic status, children’s experiences were affected by four factors with relation to family context.  These four factors that affected the children’s engagement with technological toys and resources with their family were: parental support of educational benefits of technology, ways for families to support young children’s learning, demands on parents’ time such as other siblings, and individual children’s preferences and personal characteristics (Stephen et al., 2013).      Parental influences.  Parental attitudes is another factor in the potential benefits or disadvantages of digital literacy use with families and school.  Mikelic Preradovic, Lesin, and Sagud’s (2016) study with one hundred and fifty-two parents from one of the largest public kindergartens in the capital city of Croatia found that although families had digital devices at home, parents were cautious about allowing their children to use technology. In combination with the absence of a digital technology curriculum in Croatian schools, 	 21	Croatian children did not develop digital literacy skills even though they had access to digital technology with their family and school.      While parents have some safety concerns about their child’s use of mobile phones and technology, Terras and Ramsay (2016) reported in their literature review that “parents themselves often engage in a number of unsafe Internet behaviours and excess phone use in the home environment and seem relatively unaware of the potential influence of their behaviour in implicitly setting standards and validating practices” (Terras & Ramsay, 2016, p.6).  Vincent’s (2015) study (as cited in Terras & Ramsay, 2016, p. 5) identified that children perceive smartphones for mobility, social, educational, entertainment, self-identity, protection and/or privacy purposes.  Children are more likely to engage in “unsafe internet behaviors and excess phone use” (Terras & Ramsay, 2016, p. 6) if they see their parents engaging in this behavior.  Conversely, children are more likely to use Internet and mobile phone for safe, social, educational, and entertainment purposes if they see positive technological behaviors exhibited by their parents. Digital Literacy at School      In the second part of this review, I discuss Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s bioecological systems model, particularly in terms of how the exosystem, which in this case, includes the provincial digital literacy curriculum in British Columbia, as well as the model’s microsystem, as it pertains to digital literacy as it is used in formal schooling; and finally, I engage with the model’s mesosystem, in this case, the connections between contexts such as family and school and vice versa.   	 22	BC’s provincial curriculum (the exosystem)      Digital literacy can start with the family at home but digital literacy practices can occur in preschool/daycares and in kindergartens and primary grades once children start formal schooling.  Although some countries have mandated provincial digital literacy curricula, teachers face issues when using technology in the classroom, particularly when replacing traditional print based activities with multimodal literacy activities due to varying comfort levels and attitudes about the use of technology in the early primary years (Lynch & Redpath, 2014).  While learning to read and write is still paramount in the BC New Curriculum (Province of BC, 2018), the kindergarten and grade one English Language Arts curricular competencies include specific outcomes related to digital literacy: • Using oral, written, visual, and digital texts, students are expected individually and collaboratively be able to: • Comprehend and connect (reading, listening, viewing) • Use personal experience and knowledge to connect to stories and other texts (including digital) to make meaning • Create and communicate (writing, speaking, representing) • Create stories and other texts (including digital) for different purposes and audiences. • Plan and create stories and other texts (including digital) for different purposes and audiences (Province of British Columbia, 2018, English Language Arts Grade One, p.1). 	 23	     Our Story app (Open University, 2015) fits with the grade one English Language Arts curriculum that states that students “create stories and other texts (including digital) to deepen awareness of self, family, and community” (Province of British Columbia, 2018, English Language Arts Grade One, p.1).      While there is no specific digital literacy curriculum, the big idea in the Applied, Design, Skills, and Technology curriculum for kindergarten to grade three students is that technologies are tools that extend human capabilities and students are expected to do some of the following: • Use materials, tools, and technologies in a safe manner in both physical and digital environments • Explore the use of simple, available tools and technologies to extend their capabilities (Province of British Columbia, 2018, Applied, Design, Skills, Technology Grade One, p.1).      Educational app use in formal schooling (the microsystem).  In addition to policy changes with regard to promoting the use of digital media in early schooling, MediaSmarts, a Canadian Centre for Digital Media and Literacy, provides resources and information for parents and teachers to support children’s use of digital technologies.  According to MediaSmarts (2015) there are three different ways teachers can utilize technology to “use, understand, and create” (p.1).      The beginning level is “using” technology for entertainment with families to watch videos and/or to use skill and drill phonics apps at school as an independent activity or reward.  While there may be some value in using technology to entertain or to practice with basic phonics apps, there are other ways to use technology for literacy learning. 	 24	     The middle level is “understanding” the problems of technology such as “privacy, ethics, safety and verifying information” (MediaSmarts, 2015, p.1) which is not the area of focus of my capstone nor is it a big part of my daily interactions with kindergarten and grade one students.      The higher level is using technology to “create” something.  For example, students using an app such as Book Creator or Our Story to create digital storybooks through which students can practice and illustrate their understanding of concepts in English or in their first language.      In their case study of four experienced kindergarten and grade one teachers in a suburban midwestern elementary school, Lu, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, and Glazewski (2017) found that the teachers used skill based iPad apps in teacher-directed literacy learning stations in order to differentiate instruction for students working at their own instructional level.   Lu et al. (2017) also found that these experienced teachers used higher-level apps during developmentally appropriate practices, which are child-centered activities where the students used different features of the iPad to create a digital product to demonstrate their knowledge of a particular area they were studying.  While we can encourage educators and families to use higher level apps at school and at home, Lu et al. (2017) demonstrate when there is time and willing adults it is beneficial for educators to use skills based apps with students, (e.g. phonics apps) and it is also beneficial for parents to be using these skill based apps with their children too.      Even though the main focus of Lu et al.’s (2017) qualitative study “was on teacher instructional practice rather than student learning,” (p.13) other studies support the use of teacher directed apps by measuring student performance on certain literacy measures.  	 25	For example, in Chai, Vail, and Ayres (2015) study, a small sample of kindergarten and first graders with disabilities received ten-minute intervention sessions twice a day using the teacher directed app Touch Sound.  The authors found that not only did all of the students learn their target phonemes (individual sounds) during the study, they were able to maintain and generalize their learning after the study.  Another benefit of the Touch Sound app is that the app provides feedback if a child does not answer or has selected the incorrect phoneme.      Similarly, in D’Agostino, Rodgers, Harmey, and Brownfield’s (2016) study, the teacher directed app LetterWorks was used with the first grade students receiving one-on-one Reading Recovery (RR) intervention instead of using magnetic letters, commonly used during RR lessons.  Students in the experimental group scored higher on letter identification, hearing and recording sounds in words, and letter name fluency.  While the LetterWorks app helped with student learning, the majority of the newly trained RR teachers were opposed to using the iPad app in future lessons as it goes against their RR training where the emphasis is placed on using 3-D tactile magnetic letters that allow for more kinaesthetic movement.        Musti-Rao, Lo, and Plati (2015) sampled a group of first graders in a suburban neighbourhood in the northeastern part of the United States.  They found that students who received teacher-directed iPad instruction on the Sight Words: Kids Learn app scored higher on sight word recognition and made limited gains in oral reading fluency versus students who had self-directed instruction on the iPad.  The researchers also noted higher levels of engagement during iPad time with the multimodal Sight Words: Kids Learn app that incorporated various activities rather than independent reading time. 	 26	     In their study of three to four year olds in a nursery school, four to five year olds in a primary reception class in the outskirts of the city, and a special needs school for seven to thirteen year olds in a nearby town in central England, Flewitt, Messer, and Kucirkova (2015) found that iPads increased student motivation and concentration, and iPads allowed opportunities for communication, collaborative interactions, independent learning, and accomplishment.  The authors discuss the differences between closed and open-ended apps such as Our Story that allows young children to start engaging in early story writing through the use of photos, videos, audio, and text.      While the experienced midwestern educators in Lu, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, and Glazewski’s (2017) study were able to use skills based and creative apps, other educators struggle with the use of different types of apps.  For example, in Lynch and Redpath’s (2014) study, the new teacher, in a small, rural public school in Australia, faced a dilemma between being a consumer of gamified skill based apps and print-based activities that were used during independent literacy centre time, versus being a producer of iPad apps that were more in line with her developing teaching philosophy that was consistent with the evolving curriculum in Australia.  Lynch and Redpath’s (2014) study shows that not only is important for educators to have professional development on how to use technology, there also needs to be discussions at the school, district, and provincial levels on how technology should be used as educators have differing philosophies about the use of technology.       In addition, since there are so many e-books and apps available, educators need to know how to select apps that can be used with families and school to help develop literacy skills.  Bates, Klein, Schubert, McGee, Anderson, Dorn…, Ross (2017) discuss 	 27	several features that educators should consider when selecting e-books (electronic books on the Internet, CD-ROM’s, hyperlinks) and e-book apps (which require a tablet or smartphone).  For example teachers could ask: Does the e-book match the emergent or early phase that a student is reading at?  Other e-book features educators should consider are narration, hot spots (for instance, links to a game), auditory, and visual features.   Digital Literacy in Family and School Contexts (the mesosystem)      Using mixed methods, McNab and Fielding-Barnsley (2013) investigated the digital literacy practices of families of their four to seven year old children in a school located in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community in Tasmania, Australia.  Prior to the study, parents completed a demographic survey.  Four digital texts were put on the iPads and no training on the reading intervention was provided as researchers wanted to obtain baseline data on how parents interacted with their child when reading digital text.  In this study, the researchers decided to video the families at the end of the six weeks instead of relying on parent questionnaires as the latter can be subject to bias.  The school provided iPads to the families participating in the study.  The researchers found that parents “were not always exploiting the unique features of digital texts to support their children’s literacy development” (McNab & Field-Barnsley, 2013, p. 53).  For instance, some parents used the read aloud option while others did not use this feature.  The parents in this study later participated in a shared reading intervention called dialogic reading in which they learned how to interact when reading on an iPad with their child.  They learned strategies such as how to ask questions about their child’s prior knowledge and experiences and how to provide feedback to their child.  Following their study, McNab and Field-Barnsley (2013) recommended that “[schools] investing in digital home-school 	 28	shared reading initiatives should consider providing parent training for parents” (McNab & Field-Barnsley, 2013, p. 59) ideally by teachers at the school.  Fox’s (2006) study (as cited in McNab & Field-Barnsley, 2013, p. 59) also “[suggest] that a parent resource centre could provide on-line, and in-person assistance for families wishing to access information regarding the implementation of the technology in the child’s literacy learning.”  These recommendations are important as the Ministry of Education, school districts, and individual schools decide how to allocate funds and personnel to improve literacy in schools.      While most of the studies reviewed so far in this capstone paper have looked solely at the family context, McTavish’s (2009) case study examined digital literacy practices equally at family and school contexts.  A three-month case study was conducted with one Indo-Canadian boy named Rajan attending third grade in a multicultural elementary school in a middle-class neighbourhood in a large urban city in British Columbia.  At school, Rajan had little access to the Internet as the class computer did not work and he did not visit the school computer lab.  While the school library did not have books on cultural holidays and religious icons he was interested in, he took out information and picture books from the school library.  At home, Rajan had access to a working computer that he was allowed to use in order to find information on topics he was interested on the Internet and for playing computer games.  Rajan’s home consisted of a variety of bilingual materials such as Punjabi newspapers, adult religious books, bilingual news on television and radio, and sports win/loss flow charts.  Rajan also used MSN messenger to text friends and relatives.   	 29	     While the findings cannot be generalized because of the small sample size, the case study emphasized the importance of learning about and valuing family informational literacy practices and using that knowledge to enhance informational literacy practices of minority students in school.  For instance, Rajan used the Internet at home to do research on religious gurus.  Had Rajan’s teacher used funds of knowledge in her class so that all students could choose research topics of interest to them using available resources at home and school, the teacher would have discovered that some of her students had digital literacy practices that she was not able to observe at school.  McTavish (2009) states that there needs to be equal importance and value placed on ideas and resources generated from the family and that passion projects from home should not play a secondary role to work assigned at school by the teacher.      In St. Clair, Jackson, and Zweiback’s (2006) original study, family involvement training was provided to parents of kindergarten students in rural midwestern USA.  St. Clair et al. (2006) found that children whose parents participated in parent training programs during kindergarten scored higher in letter-word identification than the control group at the end of grade one.  Six years later, the remaining families in the study were given print and digital resources such as Play Station, Light Span Achieve Now software, Leap Pads (talking books), Leap Desks (letter and word identification), as well as training by parent educators for improving language skills of migrant children.  The researchers assessed these remaining students and found that in grade five or six, the children of parents who participated in the parent training not only performed better than the control group, but also, the gap between the experimental and the control group widened.  While these findings are intriguing, the main limitations of St. Clair et al.’s (2012) study was the 	 30	small sample size and that there was 34% attrition from grade one to grades five or six with more attrition in the intervention group.  While the purpose of the follow up to St. Clair et al.’s quasi-experimental (2006) study was to see if the kindergarten students whose parents received family literacy training maintained their literacy gains six years later, the 2012 follow up study only measured student achievement and there was no measurement on the benefits for parents.  Furthermore, the Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey (WMLS) was administered in grade one and a state reading assessment was administered in grade five or six.  In addition, it is not known from this study if culturally and linguistically relevant books were used during the family literacy training.      In Walsh and Cromer’s (2014) exploratory study, bilingual DVD classroom newsletters were used with prekindergarten students from mainly Spanish speaking families “as a way to create an opportunity to empower children, strengthen digital literacy, extend the learning environment and provide opportunities for meaningful conversations in the classroom and home” (p. 1142).  Walsh and Cromer (2014) argue that the “importance of strong home-school connections can be understood within Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory” (p. 1143).  While this study was exploratory, Walsh and Cromer’s (2014) study pointed out the potential benefits of using DVD classroom newsletters as a way of creating school-to-family connections and for strengthening digital literacy skills as children repeatedly watched the DVD newsletter at home with parents and other relatives. Summary      In this chapter, I reviewed the literature on the benefits and challenges of using digital literacy practices with families and school as well as possibilities of connecting digital 	 31	literacy practices between family and school.  Overall, the research emphasized the educational benefits of using technology with family and school.  More specifically, educators can provide multimodal skill based apps and higher level apps where children can create and not only “use” digital technology.  In addition, educators can learn about the digital literacy practices of culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse families that they work with in order to strengthen family-school connection and support contemporary literacy practices for students and their families.  Finally, provision of training for parents on how to use technology with families to support literacy practices was found to be highly effective.      While it is important to be aware of the affordances and challenges of technology, I do agree with Palaiologou (2016) that we need to move beyond debating the advantages and disadvantages of technology and focus on how technology can support children’s literacy with their family and at school.  Therefore, in the next chapter, I make connections between the scholarly literature and my own practice.  I examine digital literacy practices at my school, examine how teachers can share digital literacy practices with families, and address how families can share family digital literacy practices with school.        	 32	Chapter Three: Connections to Practice      From the review of literature, three important points have been made regarding the promotion of children’s digital literacy with family and at school: 1) provide children with multimodal, high quality digital literacy apps and websites; 2) learn about students’ family digital literacy practices; and 3) provide training and knowledge for parents on how to use technology to support digital literacy with young families. I use the main findings from the literature review laced with my own experience as a learning support teacher to discuss recommendations for practice in the following areas: 1) teaching digital literacy at school; 2) sharing school digital literacy with families; and 3) enabling families to share their digital literacy practices with school. Digital Literacy at School      Applications.  In this section, I describe a number of apps that can be used to support diverse kindergarten and primary grade students’ digital literacy.        Unite for literacy.  One of the multimodal, linguistic, and culturally relevant website and apps recommended by Bates, Klein, Schubert, McGee, Anderson, Dorn…, Ross’ (2017) study is Unite for Literacy which provides free primary levelled books in thirty-five languages (http://www.uniteforliteracy.com).  Last year, I introduced this app to my grade one students on the iPads.  In January, three Syrian refugee students started in kindergarten, grade two, and grade three.  I showed the youngest child how to listen to English and Arabic audio books on Unite for Literacy using the new iPads in his classroom.  I also provided this information to our Arabic settlement worker as she mentioned that the family had an iPad at home.  At the time, the student had only been in Canada for a month.  From my observations, the multilingual Unite for Literacy app has 	 33	helped this student feel more comfortable in his new classroom and that his teacher valued his family’s language.  The digital app helped with family literacy too as his older siblings and parents are learning English through technology at home using this app.  Additionally, it helped his family feel connected to the school because they saw that the school valued their family’s language and at the same time, is teaching them the English language and Canadian culture.      Raz-kids.  Another multimodal app recommended by Bates et al. (2017) that can be used at school and with families is called Raz-kids (LAZEL, Inc., 2018) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os6r2n6wraY).  Raz-kids is a subscription based levelled reading system that I have been using for many years.  At first, the subscription enabled membership spaces for 36 students for the entire school, but last year we purchased two extra subscriptions and now we have 108 spaces for all the grade one and two students.  Two grade one classroom teachers and I use the app as a literacy centre when one group listens to e-books, answers comprehension questions, and records themselves reading the story independently while the teachers work with another group during guiding reading.  Raz-kids is highly regarded by educators as it is a multimodal website and/or app that can be used with families and at school (Bates et al., 2017).  During our recent student-led conferences in February, I asked the parents that came to visit me if their child uses Raz-kids at home and the majority of the parents said that their child was using it on their mobile phone, iPad, or computer.  It is important for students to practice reading with their family whether it is a hard cover book or a digital e-book as students improve their reading with familiar text. 	 34	     Sight Words: Kids Learn.  I noticed that many of my grade one students have poor sight word knowledge so in February I introduced them to the Sight Words: Kids Learn app used in Musti-Rao, Lo, and Plati’s (2015) quantitative study as it combines visual, tactile, and auditory modes to help children learn common sight words in a fun and engaging way.  In the study, the grade one students increased their sight word fluency.  While the quantitative effects of the Sight Words: Kids Learn app has yet to be seen as it was recently introduced to my grade one students, the students are using it independently when they have free time on the iPad indicating they enjoy using this app.  Enjoyment is important as children are more likely to be engaged and focused with an app if they like it.      Our Story.  After reading about a creative book app called Our Story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z76jcP-np60) in Flewitt, Messer, and Kucirkova’s (2015) study, I used it with some of my students.  I first created a Halloween book with a group of kindergarten boys.  I then invited students from a grade one class to individually tell me what they did on their Halloween weekend.  I took a picture of them and then scribed what they said into their class e-book.  The most successful e-book story was with a very reluctant first grade writer with behaviour challenges.  He took pictures around the school, had me scribe what was in his pictures, and then audio recorded what was happening in most of his pictures.  This is an example of how schools can use technology to improve children’s oral, reading, writing, and engagement at school.  I subsequently printed the e-book for him to share with his family.  While I did not have the chance last year to teach his parents how to use Our Story to record digital literacy practices with his 	 35	family, this is an example of an opportunity where schools could encourage families to share their family digital literacy practices with the school.        School Resources.  While digital literacy is part of the BC English Language Arts and Applied, Design, Skills, and Technology curriculum, application of multimodal practices can vary from schools and districts based on available resources and teacher experience and comfort with technology (Lynch & Redpath, 2014).  I have been using gamified apps with grade one students during independent literacy centre time when we are doing guided reading.  I work with two wonderful grade one classroom teachers but they do have a tendency to use print-based activities for many reading and writing activities.      While one of the kindergarten teachers has a permanently located crate of seven iPads from SET-BC in her classroom for daily use and in my classroom I have my own crate of seven iPads on loan from the district for daily use, the other primary teachers at my school only have access to thirty student iPads two scheduled blocks of iPad time per week.  I believe teachers would teach differently if they had one iPad crate kept in their classroom at all times versus having access to iPads during scheduled blocks.  Impromptu teachable moments are lost and instructional time is wasted in picking up and returning iPad crates to the storage room or moved to another classroom.      Recommendations.  My recommendation to educators, administrators, and school districts is that while one-on-one iPads is not financially feasible or necessary, there should be an iPad crate between a couple of classrooms.  Another recommendation is that educators use multimodal literacy apps such as the ones mentioned above, Unite for Literacy, Raz-kids, and Sight Words: Kids Learn app.  It is a common practice for students to use simple literacy apps while their teacher is working with a small group; 	 36	however, educators need more professional development and mentoring to use technology in more advanced ways such as creating e-books.  Glazer and Hannafin’s (2008) study (as cited in Lu-Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, & Glazewski, 2017) posited that “teachers need teacher-leaders’ modeling and supports to help them make effective technology integration decisions” (p.21).  D’Agostino, Rodgers, Harmey, and Brownfield (2016) also noted that in order for educators to integrate technology into their practice, they need professional development in not only how to use technology but also discuss the pedagogy behind using technology in their teaching. Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with Families      As an educator, over the last few years, my use of technology in the classroom has slowly changed.  Due to the loss of time for specified reading intervention, I have started thinking about how to have a greater impact on improving children’s literacy through building connections between families and school.  McNab and Field-Barnsley (2013) recommend having parent training sessions to give parents strategies on how to point out features of digital texts in order to support their child’s literacy development such as using the recording feature on iPads to play back their child’s reading of the story.  Over the past year, I have: shared with a student’s family a hard copy of a digital e-book the student and I had co-created; shared websites and apps with parents at parent-teacher and student-led conferences; sent home technology newsletters; and, updated my teacher blog to include three main areas of teaching digital literacy at school, ways for the school to share digital literacy practices with the families, and ways for families to share digital literacy practices with the school. 	 37	     In the future, I have considered designating a part of my instructional time (e.g. first block or last teaching block of the day) to invite parents to work with their child on using technology to support literacy development.  This would provide an opportunity to not only share what we are doing at school with families but also provide opportunities for families to share what their family digital literacy practices are with the school.      Recommendation.  My recommendation is that educators provide a variety of ways to share digital literacy practices with families.  For example, this could be through traditional face-to-face parent/teacher and student-led conferences, or participation or visits in the classroom where family digital literacy practices can be shared.  Parent training with their child can be done during instructional time for parents that are available during school hours, or through more technological means such as podcasts or DVD newsletters for parents that are unable to come to school during the day.  Providing a variety of digital literacy practices with families will have the greatest impact because one method of sharing may not work for a particular family, classroom or school. Families Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with School      Asking parents or students about their family digital literacy practices can help teachers incorporate these practices at school, improve family/school connections, and help improve student achievement and motivation.  For example, in the first week of September, the kindergarten teachers I work with ask parents about their family literacy practices such as reading bedtime stories.  This question could be expanded to include questions about the use of digital technologies within the family context (e.g. use of mobile phones, iPods, iPads, and computers).  I asked all of my grade one students if they had access to an iPad, iPhone, and/or computer and the majority had access to an iPad.  	 38	Students can take pictures of literacy activities with their families (either on an iPad or mobile device), students of all ages can do an oral presentation about their family literacy practices, and older students can write about their family digital literacy practices.      Recommendation.  My recommendation is that educators invite families to the classroom or school to share their family digital literacy practices.  While St. Clair, Jackson, and Zweiback (2012) did not specifically recommend any particular strategy for parents to share their family digital literacy practices, they recommend that:  [schools] may want to consider ways to partner with parent education programs in  their communities…[linking] community resources (such as adult education programs or existing parenting programs) and schools has the potential of creating positive learning environments for both children and families (p. 17).      This could be on a small individual classroom basis or on a larger scale such as Family Digital Literacy event during the school day or after school. Summary      In this section, I summarize how I plan to share what I have learned from this capstone project with colleagues and families.      I created a teacher blog four years ago at: https://deltalearns.ca/ejung and I have added the following headings on the home page to reflect the three themes emerging from my capstone: ways for school to use iPads, ways for school to share digital literacy practices with families, and ways for families to share digital literacy practices with school.      Ways for school to use iPads.  I currently have five blog posts about ways for schools to use iPads.  My first blog entry titled “Technology Grant Means iPads in all Classrooms” was created in October 2013 when my school first purchased thirty student 	 39	iPads for the entire school.  My second blog entry, almost a year and a half later, in February 2015 is titled “Using iPads in the Primary Classroom.”  It described how I was using the iPad crate I have on loan from the school district in my practice.  My third blog entry, more than two years later, in May 2017 titled “iPad literacy apps and research” was a PDF document of an e-book I created using the app Our Story in which I described the apps LetterWorks, Sight Words: Kids learn, Our Story, and Raz-kids which are apps that were used in research studies reviewed in this capstone.  My most recent blogs, in February 2018, include a copy of the iPad newsletter I sent home with my grade one students before Christmas break and another blog about technology updates in which I describe a few new apps that the grade ones have been using this term such as the Sight Words: Kids learn app and the multilingual Unite for Literacy website.  In March 2018, I included a copy of the iPad newsletter I sent home before Spring break and included a copy of the kindergarten/grade one digital early literacy program document I created in June 2017 for a graduate course I was taking.      Ways for school to share digital literacy practices with families.        Finding time and money to share digital literacy with families or any school practice is challenging.  As we want parents to be partners in their child’s learning, my recommendation is that educators invite parents into the classroom during instructional time.        While my kindergarten colleague and I have been receiving external professional development on digital literacy through SET-BC and through our graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, our primary teaching team is also part of a professional learning community in which rich collaboration is occurring to find ways to improve our 	 40	literacy practices to help improve student literacy.  My recommendation is that school districts provide resources to individual schools or groups of schools to provide release time during the school day so educators can collaborate with others in an area they would like to work on such as family digital literacy.   Ways for families to share digital literacy practices with school      Parents can share their family digital literacy practices by sharing pictures or homemade digital e-book using apps such as Our Story or Book Creator with teachers and/or visiting their child’s classroom and sharing their family’s digital literacy story.  For parents who would like to visit the classroom but are unable to do this because of their work schedule, a digital platform such as Fresh Grade, would not only allow a parent to view what their child is doing at school but a parent would also be able to share their family digital literacy practices through the Fresh Grade parent app.  For example, families can take pictures of various types of literacy found in the home such as books, periodicals, and newspapers, or parents can take videos of siblings and grandparents reading with or to younger children in their home language.      Recommendation.  My recommendation is that parents be provided training at school on how to create e-books at home using apps such as Our Story or Book Creator and to be able to share family digital literacy practise through platforms such as Fresh Grade parent app if they are unable to share their family digital literacy story at school.       	 41	Chapter Four: Conclusion      In this final chapter, I reflect on how I responded to the questions guiding my capstone project, attend to the limitations of this project, and conclude with suggestions for enhancing the connections between digital literacy practices with families and school to support children’s literacy at the practice, research, and policy levels.      The three guiding questions for my capstone project were: What does the literature say about how parents use technology with their children to enhance their children’s literacy skills?  How do teachers use technology in their primary classrooms to support children’s literacy skills?  How might families and teachers share technology practices from home and school in order to support children’s literacy skills?      According to the literature review, parents use technology at home for education, entertainment, and documentation purposes.  From an educator’s perspective, it is important to learn that research indicates that parents are using technology at home for educational purposes.  Educators use a variety of digital tools from skill-based apps in teacher-directed lessons to higher-level apps that afford children’s creativity, communication, and collaboration.  Lastly, the research on connecting digital literacy practices between family and school emphasized the need to provide training for parents on how to use technology to support young learners’ literacy skills, using funds of knowledge to learn about family digital literacy practices, and providing connections to school by DVD bilingual classroom newsletters, and providing teacher blogs or apps such as Fresh Grade student, teacher, and parent apps where school and families can share what each other is doing.  	 42	     Recommendations      Due to the proliferation of iPads with families and schools because of the ease of use by young children and lower cost than laptop or desktop computers, I am making the following four recommendations to practice, research, and policy in the area of building digital literacy connections between family and school with a specific focus on iPads.            My first recommendation to educators, administrators, and school districts is that while one-on-one iPads is not financially feasible or necessary, there should be an iPad crate between a couple of classrooms.      My second recommendation is that educators receive more professional development and mentoring to use technologies and apps that require higher skills such as creating e-books.  On-going professional development through professional learning communities can help educators continue improving their practice in any area including family digital literacy.        My third recommendation is that school districts provide monetary resources where educators can provide parent training ideally during the school day on how school is using digital literacy and how families can share digital literacy practices with school; for instance, after getting written permission slips at student-led conferences in early February, we will be using the Fresh Grade student, teacher, and parent apps that will allow the teacher to create an e-portfolio of student progress over the year and be able to share these videos and pictures with parents via the Fresh Grade parent app or at future parent-teacher conferences.  Parents can also receive training on how they can post pictures and videos of family digital literacy practices so that educators can build funds of knowledge to help improve literacy skills in their classroom. 	 43	     My fourth recommendation is to create school-supported events where educators invite families to the classroom to share school digital literacy tools while parents share their family digital literacy practices.  This could be on a small individual classroom basis or on a larger scale such as a Family Digital Literacy event during the school day or after school. Limitations      In terms of my literature review, I reviewed four studies about connecting family and school digital literacies.  While it would have been beneficial to include more studies on connecting family digital literacy practices with that of the school, one of the reasons for this relatively small number is due to limited research in this area.  In addition, this project attends to the broader topic of family digital literacy practices as an avenue to learn about how to connect family digital literacy practices with that of the school. Final Thoughts      Overall, the majority of the studies in this literature review support the use of technology with children with their families and at school and connecting these practices to support young learners.  Future studies can use more diverse participants from various rural and urban centers, countries, socioeconomic, cultural, linguistic, and family backgrounds, children of smaller age ranges over an extended period of time to see changes over time and context such as family and school.  Many of the studies on digital literacy that were reviewed in this capstone were conducted in western Canada.  It will be interesting to see in the coming years if research studies in digital literacy will be conducted to see if the new BC curriculum is helping to improve student performance in literacy in general and/or specifically in digital literacy. 	 44	     While my school is fortunate to be part of a primary literacy community which includes funding for releasing teachers to collaborate during instructional time, my capstone project stresses the importance of the provincial government and school districts in providing instructional time and funds to support teacher professional development with regards to how to best utilize technology in the classroom.  In addition, it is important to provide training to parents on how to best utilize technology, while at the same time, provide opportunities for educators to learn about families’ Funds of Knowledge so that family literacy practices can be utilized at school.  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Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 9(1), 3-28. doi:10.1177/1468798408101104 MediaSmarts (2015) Use, understand and create:  A digital literacy framework for Canadian Ottawa, ON Retrieved from: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/use-understand-create-digital-literacy-framework-canadian-schools Mikelic Preradovic, N., Lesin, G., & Sagud, M. (2016). Investigating parents' attitudes towards digital technology use in early childhood: A case study from Croatia. Informatics in Education - an International Journal, 15(1), 127-146.             DOI: 10.15388/infedu.2016.07 Moll, L., Amanti, C., Gonzalez, N. (1992) Funds of knowledge: Using a qualititative approach to connect homes and classrooms.  Theory Into Practice, 92, 132-142. Musti-Rao, S., Lo, Y., & Plati, E. (2015). Using an iPad® app to improve sight word reading fluency for at-risk first graders. Remedial and Special Education, 36(3), 154-166.  doi: 10.1177/0741932514541485  Palaiologou, I. (2016). Children under five and digital technologies: Implications for early years pedagogy. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 24(1), 5-24. doi:10.1080/1350293X.2014.929876 	 48	Province of British Columbia (2018).  BC’s New Curriculum. Applied Design Skills Technology.  Victoria, BC Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/adst/k Province of British Columbia (2018).  BC’s New Curriculum. English Language Arts.  Victoria, BC Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/english-language-arts/k St. Clair, L., Jackson, B., & Zweiback, R. (2012). Six years later: Effect of family involvement training on the language skills of children from migrant families. School Community Journal, 22(1), 9-19. Stephen, C., Stevenson, O., & Adey, C. (2013). Young children engaging with technologies at home: The influence of family context. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(2), 149-164.     Teichert, L. (2017). To digital or not to digital: How mothers are navigating the digital world with their young children.  Language and Literacy, 19(1), 63-76. Terras, M. M., & Ramsay, J. (2016). Family digital literacy practices and children’s mobile phone use. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:1957. 	Walsh, B. A., Cromer, H., & Weigel, D. J. (2014). Classroom-to-home connections: Young children's experiences with a technology-based parent involvement tool. Early Education and Development, 25(8), 1142-1161. 10.1080/10409289.2014.904647     	CONNECTING DIGITAL LITERACY PRACTICES  WITH FAMILIES AND SCHOOL TO SUPPORT CHILDREN’S LITERACY By EVA JUNG Diploma (EPSE) The University of British Columbia, 2003 B. Ed (Elem.) The University of British Columbia, 2002 B.A. (Psychology) The University of British Columbia, 1998  A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF EDUCATION In THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Early Childhood Education We accept this major paper as confirming to the required standard ……………………………………………………………………………………………… Dr. Marianne McTavish (Graduate Advisor) ……………………………………………………………………………………………… Dr. Iris Berger THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 2018 EVA JUNG, 2018 	 2	Abstract      The topic of this capstone graduating project is building digital literacy between families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills.  The connections between digital literacy practices amongst families and school will be based on Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development, as well as on Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) concept of Funds of Knowledge.      The three guiding questions are: What does the literature say about how parents use technology with their children to enhance their children’s literacy skills?  How do teachers use technology in their primary classrooms to support children’s literacy skills? How might families and teachers share technology practices between families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills?      The literature review revealed that various technologies were used within the family and school environments for educational purposes. Yet, there has not been consistent effort to connect families and school digital literacies practices.  This capstone suggests that through professional development, collaboration, and mentoring, educators can broaden their practices with digital literacies and engage students in creative, multimodal technologies (e.g. creating e-books) that can be shared with families.  Schools can share digital literacy practices with families through face-to-face conferences, print or DVD multilingual newsletters, teacher blogs, digital portfolios (e.g. Fresh Grade) and parent training. By inviting parents to classrooms or school wide events, such as Family Digital Literacy Night, parents can also share with teachers their Funds of Knowledge including their family digital literacy practices. The capstone concludes with recommendations for practice, research, and policy. 	 3	TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………2  Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………...…..3  List of Figures……………………………………………………………………...……...4  Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………..5  Chapter One: Introduction……………………………………………………………..….7 Rationale…………………………………………………………………………..9 Theoretical Orientation…………………………………………………………..10 Guiding Questions……………………………………………………………….11 Connections to Practice………………………………………………………….11 Significance……………………………………………………………………...12 Summary………………………………………………………………………....12  Chapter Two: Literature Review…………………………………………………...……13 Theoretical Framework………………………………………………………......13 Family Digital Literacy…………………………………………………………..15 Digital Literacy in Family and School Contexts…..……………………………..26 Summary………………………………………………………………………....30  Chapter Three: Connections to Practice………………………..………………………..32 Digital Literacy at School………………………………………..……………....33 Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with Family………………………………….36 Families Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with School………………………..37 Summary…………………………………………………………………………38 Ways for School to Use iPads……………………………………………38 Ways for School to Share Digital Literacy Practices with Families……..39 Ways for Families to Share Digital Literacy Practices with School……..40  Chapter Four: Conclusion………………………………………………………...……...41 Recommendations……………………………………………………………......42 Limitations……………………………………………………………………….43 Final Thoughts…………………………………………………………………...43  REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………..45APPENDIX……………………………………………………………………………....49        	 4	List of Figures  Figure 1: Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) Bioecological Model of Human Development                                           	 5	Acknowledgements       First of all, I would like to thank my graduate supervisor Marianne McTavish for your support and guidance over the last two and a half years. From the beginning you made me believe that I could do my Master’s Degree and capstone while teaching full-time. I took your advice to heart and carefully chose courses and wrote literature reviews that would help me write my capstone project.      Thank you to Iris Berger for guiding me while I wrote my capstone project and always providing constructive feedback to help improve my capstone.  You were instrumental in helping me finish my capstone project early.      Thank you to Margot Filipenko for sharing your love of picture books and early childhood education; Kerry Renwick for your love of qualitative studies and sound professional advice about doing what you love; and Jim Anderson for your knowledge about family and community literacy and helping me get started with a first draft for my capstone.      Second of all, I would like to thank my current and former administrators and colleagues in the Delta School District for your support of my graduate education and my work.  I would also like to thank my current and former kindergarten and grade one classroom teachers and education assistants at Gibson Elementary School.  I am grateful and have been especially blessed to work with early primary colleagues that make collaboration effortless, people that are not only my friends but also my family.  Thank you for appreciating my efforts as your learning support teacher and always supporting me personally and professionally. There is no place I would rather be than in my kindergarten and grade one home. 	 6	     Finally, I would like to thank my parents for instilling the importance of education and financially supporting my undergraduate education.  I am fortunate to have been born and raised in Vancouver and had the opportunity to spend my entire post secondary education at the University of British Columbia over the last twenty-five years studying psychology, elementary education, special education, early childhood education, and language and literacy education.      Tuum Est (It is yours).                 	 7	Chapter One: Introduction      I learned how to type on a real typewriter in a typing class in high school, and I started using dial up Internet when I was an undergraduate university student.  Now I use my MacBook to take notes and write academic papers for my university graduate program, and I use various technologies such as my iPhone, school iPads, and MacBook with students and teachers when I am teaching kindergarten and grade one children.  With the advent of technology, we see the proliferation of the use of digital technology in family and school environments.  That is why organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have made recommendations for families, and to a lesser extent, educators, regarding the amount of screen time children at various ages should have (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016).      In the past, literacy learning was thought of as learning to read and, focused largely on print-based materials.  Literacy is no longer solely about reading a hard covered book or printing words on a piece of paper; it is now largely acknowledged as a social practice (Barton & Hamilton, 2000) and the definition of literacy as a social practice has evolved to incorporate digital forms.  Although there is no universal definition of digital literacy, Hoeschmann and deWaard (2015) define digital literacy as “the skills and ability to use digital tools and applications; the capacity to critically understand digital media tools and content; and the knowledge and expertise to create and communicate with digital technology” (p.4).      Researchers have been studying the influence of technology on children’s literacy development for years (see, for example, Kim & Anderson, 2008; McNab & Fielding-Barnsley, 2013). There is increasingly more research on this topic since the introduction 	 8	of iPads in 2010.  Nevertheless, there are differing viewpoints about whether technology should be used with young children within families and/or school environments, and when technology is used with families and/or school, there are questions about how technology can be used to support literacy. Thus, the topic of this capstone graduating project is examining connections between digital literacy practices between families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills. Rationale      I am the kindergarten and grade one learning support teacher in a large school situated in a multicultural working class neighbourhood in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia.  I work with English Language Learners (ELLs) and other students to help improve their oral language, reading, and writing skills.  For the past eight years, my teaching assignment consisted of providing reading intervention for individuals and small groups. Due to budget cuts, time allocated for reading intervention and assistance has decreased so this year I have turned some of my attention to supporting the following: children’s reading achievement in classrooms, teachers’ instructional strategies, and families’ support of their children out of school.      Against this backdrop, I have recently started a SET-BC (Special Education Technology-BC) classroom-based solutions project with a colleague.  SET-BC is a British Columbia Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program that helps educators use technology to meet the diverse needs of students. My colleague and I are providing regular student access to iPads in the classroom to see if this can improve oral language, reading, writing, and numeracy skills and, at the same time, help with student self-assessment by using the iPads to document student learning and progress.  We are 	 9	using the app Explain Everything during Story Workshop (using loose parts, or diverse materials, in the environment to tell a story orally or in written form with or without technology).  We are also using Fresh Grade (an assessment and reporting platform) apps for students, teachers, and parents to share student learning.  Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard app that children are using to take pictures of their story (made with interactive materials) and audio record their story with a beginning, middle, and end.  Multiple pages can be produced/written over time to create a digital story.  With the help of a teacher, students can digitally show their parents their story through accessing the Fresh Grade student and parent apps from home.  While Fresh Grade is used in some districts as an assessment and reporting platform, it is used as an optional tool for teachers in my school district to create a student work portfolio.  Not only can parents see how their child is engaging in literacy learning at school, but parents can also take pictures, and audio and video of family literacy events and share those family literacy practices with school (e.g. with the child’s teacher and classmates) through Fresh Grade parent app.  In this way, it is hoped the family and school support each other to provide a rich digital literacy environment and ultimately, to help improve children’s literacy. Theoretical Orientation      My examination of the connections between digital literacy practices with families and school are based on Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development as well as Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) concept of Funds of Knowledge.  Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development underpins the various systems that affect a child’s development, including the microsystem, or family and school contexts; the mesosystem, or the relations between 	 10	the two contexts of family and school, the exosystem, or links between a social setting in which the child does not have an active role in the child’s immediate context such as the provincial digital literacy curriculum in British Columbia, and the macrosystem, or the social and cultural values of technology.  Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) Funds of Knowledge helps to examine how the contexts of family and school can work together to support children’s construction of digital literacy knowledge.      To gain a broad scope of the scholarly literature on this topic, I review family and school based digital literacy studies with children ages two to eleven (e.g. Flewitt, Messer, & Kucirkova, 2015; Kim & Anderson, 2008; Lu, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, & Glazewski, 2017; McTavish, 2009; Teichert, 2017). Guiding Questions      The guiding questions for this capstone project are: What does the literature say about how parents use technology with their children to enhance their children’s literacy skills?  How do teachers use technology in their primary classrooms to support children’s literacy skills?  How might families and teachers share technology practices from families and school in order to support children’s literacy skills? Connections to Practice      The information from this capstone project is practically applied on my teacher blog at: https://deltalearns.ca/ejung (See Appendix) where I share my kindergarten/grade one digital early literacy program.  This program consists of both teacher-directed, skills-based apps for literacy for primary aged children as well as creative apps that educators can use with kindergarten/grade one students. 	 11	     I incorporated my three guiding questions into my blog so that educators and parents can go to the sections that are most relevant for them.  Under the main tab Digital Literacy at School, I have included five blog postings I have written over the past five years including a couple of technology newsletters I have written to parents this year.  I have included a portion of the literature review from the capstone under the tabs Family Digital Literacy and Connecting Family and School Digital Literacies. Significance      School districts and parents are spending significant amounts of money to purchase advanced technological tools.  In this paper, I build connections between the scholarly literature on digital literacy with young children to what I am doing in my learning support centre with what teachers are doing in their classroom, and with what families are doing at home.  First, this project builds on the potential created with digital technology for children to share with their parents what they are doing at school. Second, this project gives an opportunity for parents and children to share with the school what they are doing in the family context in order to build rich and meaningful digital literacy practices for children with their families and school.  By having schools and families working together, school districts can maximize limited school budgets by providing educators with professional development and parent education on how best to utilize technology for supporting children’s literacy. Summary      In Chapter One, I discussed the purpose of my capstone and my personal and professional rationale for inquiring about connecting digital literacy practices between families and school in order to support children’s literacy.  I briefly introduced the 	 12	conceptual framework, the guiding questions, and the significance of the capstone paper. In Chapter Two, I review the extant literature on the topic of family and school based digital literacy.  In Chapter Three, I present connections between research to practice and in Chapter Four, I make recommendations for future practice, research, and policy.                     	 13	Chapter Two: Literature Review      In this chapter, I begin by explaining the theory of Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development and Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez’s (1992) concept of Funds of Knowledge that together frame my inquiry on the topic of connecting family and school digital literacies.  The literature is then reviewed according to three themes: family digital literacy, digital literacy use at school, and connecting family and school digital literacies. Theoretical Framework      Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development aims at explaining development as a contextual and interactive process.  The model is often represented as concentric circles with the child at the centre.  The child’s development is most immediately and directly impacted by the child’s microsystem, including family and school.  The mesosystem refers to the interconnections between the microsystems or contexts in a child’s life, such as family and school and vice versa.  As we move beyond the microsystem and mesosystem, the exosystem involves links between a social setting which the child neither has an active role nor is in the child’s immediate environment, such as the digital literacy curriculum in British Columbia.  Lastly, the macrosystem describes the culture the child lives in as found in social, linguistic, and cultural values of families and schools, such as cultural views regarding technology, which can change over time. 	 14		Figure 1 Bronfenbrenner and Ceci's bioecological model of human development.  I have adapted Bronfenbrenner and Ceci's (1994) concentric circles to reflect the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystems that I will be discussing in my capstone paper. 					I chose Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s (1994) bioecological model of human development because it helps explain how reciprocal interactions between the two main locations of digital literacy use that I am focussing on (i.e. family and school) may affect the development of children’s literacy (see Figure 1).      According to Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez (1992), Funds of Knowledge refers “to the historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being” (p. 133). Funds of knowledge provides a possible strategy for building connections between family and school digital literacies in order to improve children’s literacy by stressing the importance of teachers knowing the family literacy practices (as well as their cultural significance) of children to connect to and to support literacy taught in schools.  This is especially The	Individual	Child	Microsystem	• Family	• School	Mesosytem	Exosystem	• Provincial	digital	literacy	curriculum	in	British	Columbia	Macrosystem	• Attitudes	and	ideoogies	of	the	culutre		 15	important at my school where languages other than English are spoken at home, and where reading English storybooks with family is not a common family literacy practice. Review of the Literature Family Digital Literacy      The literature review begins with review of studies that explore the use of family digital literacy.  These studies generally focus on benefits of technology for learning and entertainment, issues that families face around technology (e.g. accessibility, economics, and cultural and linguistic factors affecting use of technology), family contexts that can affect children’s engagement with technology at home, parental attitudes about technology use in early childhood settings, and parental digital literacy practices and behaviour at home.      Time limits.  There are differing opinions about children’s access to and time spent using technology.  In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics made the following recommendations: video-chatting is acceptable for children under eighteen months; “high-quality” digital media is acceptable for children between eighteen to twenty-four months if the parents watch with their children to help them understand what they are viewing; one hour of digital media is allowed per day for children between the ages of two and five years if parents co-view with them and help children apply technology to the real world; for children over six years of age, parents should place limits on time and types of media used so that sleep, physical, and mental health are not affected; and, parents should set limits on time and places such as no technology at the dinner table or bedrooms (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016, paragraph 10). 	 16	     Educational influences.  Teichert’s (2017) study of three to five year olds from three different homes in British Columbia and Ontario describes some benefits of and challenges with technology.  The author found that the purposes of using technology by children in families were for education, entertainment, and documenting children’s lives.  One of the drawbacks to technology use was spending too much time using technology instead of playing outdoors and getting exercise (Teichert, 2017).  The parents in this study limited their child’s screen time when technology was being used for entertainment purposes in order to promote physical activity.      The educational and entertainment benefits of technology mentioned by Teichert (2017) are consistent with Wong’s (2016) earlier qualitative study that examined eleven preschool children with their families.  Four children were from Australia (two from rural and two from urban settings) and seven children from Western Canada (three from rural and four from urban settings). Wong described how “[five-year old] Andrew used his iPad for entertainment and often to seek information in connection to his deep interest in LEGO construction, searching for, viewing, and creating videos on this topic” (p.34).  While in this example, Andrew used the iPad directly for entertainment purposes with his family, the indirect educational benefits of using the iPad were learning how to search, view, and create videos on the iPad on topics that were interesting to him.      Kim and Anderson (2008) studied two brothers ages three and seven, neither of whom had received any formal schooling in Canada, as they were a newly immigrated Korean family, living in a middle class multicultural city in western Canada.  The mother presented three different storybooks to each of her sons: a traditional print book, an electronic book that was similar to a CD-ROM story, and an electronic book that 	 17	contained video-clips.  The researchers found that there were more mother-child interactions with the print versus the electronic books.  There were more mother-child interactions with the younger son, as he needed more support because he could not read yet.  Although there were more mother-child interactions and more children’s interactions with print, the mother used more non-immediate talk; namely, used more abstract and higher level thinking language when sharing the electronic books with each son and both boys used more non-immediate talk with their mother when sharing the electronic books.  The significance of this study is that it shows the importance and need of adult-child interaction and child-adult interaction when using technology.  It also shows that parents can make a significant contribution to their children’s literacy learning at home if they use higher level, non-immediate talk when using electronic books with their children.      Economic, cultural, and linguistic influences.  A more recent study from the United Kingdom about cultural and linguistic influences on technology is March, Hannon, Lewis, and Ritchie’s (2015) one-month case study of two girls and two boys between the ages of two and four from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including Punjabi, Urdu, and English.  The children were involved in a variety of multimodal digital practices using visual, aural, textual, linguistic, and spatial modes with different family members in various languages; for example, children were video-calling relatives in other countries and using electronic toys to learn their family’s language.  The study’s findings suggest that we should be changing our focus from the traditional view of  “family literacy” to “family digital literacy” that incorporates technology with a variety of visual, aural, textual, linguistic, and spatial modes allowing children to access    literacy in the mode that works best for them and their families. 	 18	     Friedrich, Teichert, and Devadas’ (2017) ethnographic case studies in western Canada of three Karen refugee families (an ethnic group in Southeast Asia), and two white middle-class families, found that Karen families had older technology, such as desktop and laptop computers and televisions in their homes, while the white middle-class families had a greater range of technology including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and electronic keyboards.  Friedrich et al. (2017) concluded that, “[through] their interactions with digital texts within the cultural and economic landscapes of their home, young children develop operational competencies that facilitate their accessing digital texts to support their learning” (p.31).  Regardless of socioeconomic status, the mothers in both studies had concerns about their children’s screen time and therefore limited their use.  While children initiated technology use, parents provided help when needed.      Another study that examined educational, economic, cultural, and linguistic influences of technology is Palaiologou’s (2016) mixed method study of children under five years of age.  The study was conducted between 2010 and 2012 in England and Greece, (as these countries have high numbers of users of technology) and Malta and Luxembourg (as these countries have low number of users of technology).  Ten families with various educational and socioeconomic backgrounds from each country were surveyed.  Children were asked to complete a pictographic questionnaire with the help of their parents asking what types of digital technologies they were using with their family.  In this study, “[access] to Digital Technologies” meant that children were able to use the technology with their family, which was different from Friedrich, Teichert, and Devadas’ (2017) study that defined access as the mere presence of technology in the household but did not address children’s accessibility to using technology.  Children in all four countries had 	 19	access to television, computer, and Internet for entertainment and educational purposes.  In their family study, children from birth to three years of age watched more television-based activities and started using more computer and Internet-based activities from three to five years of age.  Television-based activities included sitting and watching television programs while playing with other toys, interacting with the programme by talking to the television, watching something and then stopping to engage in role play based on what they had watched, and playing with Wii/Kinnect boxes (Palaiologou, 2016, p. 14).      Similarly to Marsh, Hannon, Lewis, and Ritchie’s (2015) proposition about changing the terminology from “family literacy” to “family digital literacy,” the following quote from Palaiologou (2016) also reflects the changing view parents have of what it means to be digitally literate:  “[Parents] felt that their definition of an illiterate person no longer corresponded to the traditional view of someone who cannot learn, unlearn, relearn and use digital technologies as part of their everyday lives” (p.5).  If families and schools share similar definitions of what it means to be digitally literate in our technologically advanced world, then we will be able to better support children’s literacy learning with their family and school.      Another strong opinion held by many parents in Palaiologou’s (2016) study was “that media, research and education should be worried about how digital technologies can be used for children’s learning and advise them of the interactions that will benefit children, rather than pointing out advantages and disadvantages” (p.16).      There are other factors that influence the use of technology at home such as family context.  In Stephen, Stevenson, and Adey’s (2013) case study, four to five year olds (two girls and two boys) were given Wii games for entertainment and physical activity 	 20	purposes, a LeapFrog Tag reading system for educational purposes, and a technological pet for entertainment.  The families were from a small, socially diverse urban town in Scotland where some of the parents had guarded attitudes towards technology while others were enthusiastic about it.      The children in Stephen et al.’s (2013) study were not from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.  Stephen and colleagues found that regardless of socioeconomic status, the families used “the same repertoire of direct pedagogical actions” (p. 150) such as physical gestures, verbal praise, nonverbal gestures, and facial expressions in varying degrees in order to support their children’s use of technology.      While parental pedagogical action was not affected by socioeconomic status, children’s experiences were affected by four factors with relation to family context.  These four factors that affected the children’s engagement with technological toys and resources with their family were: parental support of educational benefits of technology, ways for families to support young children’s learning, demands on parents’ time such as other siblings, and individual children’s preferences and personal characteristics (Stephen et al., 2013).      Parental influences.  Parental attitudes is another factor in the potential benefits or disadvantages of digital literacy use with families and school.  Mikelic Preradovic, Lesin, and Sagud’s (2016) study with one hundred and fifty-two parents from one of the largest public kindergartens in the capital city of Croatia found that although families had digital devices at home, parents were cautious about allowing their children to use technology. In combination with the absence of a digital technology curriculum in Croatian schools, 	 21	Croatian children did not develop digital literacy skills even though they had access to digital technology with their family and school.      While parents have some safety concerns about their child’s use of mobile phones and technology, Terras and Ramsay (2016) reported in their literature review that “parents themselves often engage in a number of unsafe Internet behaviours and excess phone use in the home environment and seem relatively unaware of the potential influence of their behaviour in implicitly setting standards and validating practices” (Terras & Ramsay, 2016, p.6).  Vincent’s (2015) study (as cited in Terras & Ramsay, 2016, p. 5) identified that children perceive smartphones for mobility, social, educational, entertainment, self-identity, protection and/or privacy purposes.  Children are more likely to engage in “unsafe internet behaviors and excess phone use” (Terras & Ramsay, 2016, p. 6) if they see their parents engaging in this behavior.  Conversely, children are more likely to use Internet and mobile phone for safe, social, educational, and entertainment purposes if they see positive technological behaviors exhibited by their parents. Digital Literacy at School      In the second part of this review, I discuss Bronfenbrenner and Ceci’s bioecological systems model, particularly in terms of how the exosystem, which in this case, includes the provincial digital literacy curriculum in British Columbia, as well as the model’s microsystem, as it pertains to digital literacy as it is used in formal schooling; and finally, I engage with the model’s mesosystem, in this case, the connections between contexts such as family and school and vice versa.   	 22	BC’s provincial curriculum (the exosystem)      Digital literacy can start with the family at home but digital literacy practices can occur in preschool/daycares and in kindergartens and primary grades once children start formal schooling.  Although some countries have mandated provincial digital literacy curricula, teachers face issues when using technology in the classroom, particularly when replacing traditional print based activities with multimodal literacy activities due to varying comfort levels and attitudes about the use of technology in the early primary years (Lynch & Redpath, 2014).  While learning to read and write is still paramount in the BC New Curriculum (Province of BC, 2018), the kindergarten and grade one English Language Arts curricular competencies include specific outcomes related to digital literacy: • Using oral, written, visual, and digital texts, students are expected individually and collaboratively be able to: • Comprehend and connect (reading, listening, viewing) • Use personal experience and knowledge to connect to stories and other texts (including digital) to make meaning • Create and communicate (writing, speaking, representing) • Create stories and other texts (including digital) for different purposes and audiences. • Plan and create stories and other texts (including digital) for different purposes and audiences (Province of British Columbia, 2018, English Language Arts Grade One, p.1). 	 23	     Our Story app (Open University, 2015) fits with the grade one English Language Arts curriculum that states that students “create stories and other texts (including digital) to deepen awareness of self, family, and community” (Province of British Columbia, 2018, English Language Arts Grade One, p.1).      While there is no specific digital literacy curriculum, the big idea in the Applied, Design, Skills, and Technology curriculum for kindergarten to grade three students is that technologies are tools that extend human capabilities and students are expected to do some of the following: • Use materials, tools, and technologies in a safe manner in both physical and digital environments • Explore the use of simple, available tools and technologies to extend their capabilities (Province of British Columbia, 2018, Applied, Design, Skills, Technology Grade One, p.1).      Educational app use in formal schooling (the microsystem).  In addition to policy changes with regard to promoting the use of digital media in early schooling, MediaSmarts, a Canadian Centre for Digital Media and Literacy, provides resources and information for parents and teachers to support children’s use of digital technologies.  According to MediaSmarts (2015) there are three different ways teachers can utilize technology to “use, understand, and create” (p.1).      The beginning level is “using” technology for entertainment with families to watch videos and/or to use skill and drill phonics apps at school as an independent activity or reward.  While there may be some value in using technology to entertain or to practice with basic phonics apps, there are other ways to use technology for literacy learning. 	 24	     The middle level is “understanding” the problems of technology such as “privacy, ethics, safety and verifying information” (MediaSmarts, 2015, p.1) which is not the area of focus of my capstone nor is it a big part of my daily interactions with kindergarten and grade one students.      The higher level is using technology to “create” something.  For example, students using an app such as Book Creator or Our Story to create digital storybooks through which students can practice and illustrate their understanding of concepts in English or in their first language.      In their case study of four experienced kindergarten and grade one teachers in a suburban midwestern elementary school, Lu, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, and Glazewski (2017) found that the teachers used skill based iPad apps in teacher-directed literacy learning stations in order to differentiate instruction for students working at their own instructional level.   Lu et al. (2017) also found that these experienced teachers used higher-level apps during developmentally appropriate practices, which are child-centered activities where the students used different features of the iPad to create a digital product to demonstrate their knowledge of a particular area they were studying.  While we can encourage educators and families to use higher level apps at school and at home, Lu et al. (2017) demonstrate when there is time and willing adults it is beneficial for educators to use skills based apps with students, (e.g. phonics apps) and it is also beneficial for parents to be using these skill based apps with their children too.      Even though the main focus of Lu et al.’s (2017) qualitative study “was on teacher instructional practice rather than student learning,” (p.13) other studies support the use of teacher directed apps by measuring student performance on certain literacy measures.  	 25	For example, in Chai, Vail, and Ayres (2015) study, a small sample of kindergarten and first graders with disabilities received ten-minute intervention sessions twice a day using the teacher directed app Touch Sound.  The authors found that not only did all of the students learn their target phonemes (individual sounds) during the study, they were able to maintain and generalize their learning after the study.  Another benefit of the Touch Sound app is that the app provides feedback if a child does not answer or has selected the incorrect phoneme.      Similarly, in D’Agostino, Rodgers, Harmey, and Brownfield’s (2016) study, the teacher directed app LetterWorks was used with the first grade students receiving one-on-one Reading Recovery (RR) intervention instead of using magnetic letters, commonly used during RR lessons.  Students in the experimental group scored higher on letter identification, hearing and recording sounds in words, and letter name fluency.  While the LetterWorks app helped with student learning, the majority of the newly trained RR teachers were opposed to using the iPad app in future lessons as it goes against their RR training where the emphasis is placed on using 3-D tactile magnetic letters that allow for more kinaesthetic movement.        Musti-Rao, Lo, and Plati (2015) sampled a group of first graders in a suburban neighbourhood in the northeastern part of the United States.  They found that students who received teacher-directed iPad instruction on the Sight Words: Kids Learn app scored higher on sight word recognition and made limited gains in oral reading fluency versus students who had self-directed instruction on the iPad.  The researchers also noted higher levels of engagement during iPad time with the multimodal Sight Words: Kids Learn app that incorporated various activities rather than independent reading time. 	 26	     In their study of three to four year olds in a nursery school, four to five year olds in a primary reception class in the outskirts of the city, and a special needs school for seven to thirteen year olds in a nearby town in central England, Flewitt, Messer, and Kucirkova (2015) found that iPads increased student motivation and concentration, and iPads allowed opportunities for communication, collaborative interactions, independent learning, and accomplishment.  The authors discuss the differences between closed and open-ended apps such as Our Story that allows young children to start engaging in early story writing through the use of photos, videos, audio, and text.      While the experienced midwestern educators in Lu, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, and Glazewski’s (2017) study were able to use skills based and creative apps, other educators struggle with the use of different types of apps.  For example, in Lynch and Redpath’s (2014) study, the new teacher, in a small, rural public school in Australia, faced a dilemma between being a consumer of gamified skill based apps and print-based activities that were used during independent literacy centre time, versus being a producer of iPad apps that were more in line with her developing teaching philosophy that was consistent with the evolving curriculum in Australia.  Lynch and Redpath’s (2014) study shows that not only is important for educators to have professional development on how to use technology, there also needs to be discussions at the school, district, and provincial levels on how technology should be used as educators have differing philosophies about the use of technology.       In addition, since there are so many e-books and apps available, educators need to know how to select apps that can be used with families and school to help develop literacy skills.  Bates, Klein, Schubert, McGee, Anderson, Dorn…, Ross (2017) discuss 	 27	several features that educators should consider when selecting e-books (electronic books on the Internet, CD-ROM’s, hyperlinks) and e-book apps (which require a tablet or smartphone).  For example teachers could ask: Does the e-book match the emergent or early phase that a student is reading at?  Other e-book features educators should consider are narration, hot spots (for instance, links to a game), auditory, and visual features.   Digital Literacy in Family and School Contexts (the mesosystem)      Using mixed methods, McNab and Fielding-Barnsley (2013) investigated the digital literacy practices of families of their four to seven year old children in a school located in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community in Tasmania, Australia.  Prior to the study, parents completed a demographic survey.  Four digital texts were put on the iPads and no training on the reading intervention was provided as researchers wanted to obtain baseline data on how parents interacted with their child when reading digital text.  In this study, the researchers decided to video the families at the end of the six weeks instead of relying on parent questionnaires as the latter can be subject to bias.  The school provided iPads to the families participating in the study.  The researchers found that parents “were not always exploiting the unique features of digital texts to support their children’s literacy development” (McNab & Field-Barnsley, 2013, p. 53).  For instance, some parents used the read aloud option while others did not use this feature.  The parents in this study later participated in a shared reading intervention called dialogic reading in which they learned how to interact when reading on an iPad with their child.  They learned strategies such as how to ask questions about their child’s prior knowledge and experiences and how to provide feedback to their child.  Following their study, McNab and Field-Barnsley (2013) recommended that “[schools] investing in digital home-school 	 28	shared reading initiatives should consider providing parent training for parents” (McNab & Field-Barnsley, 2013, p. 59) ideally by teachers at the school.  Fox’s (2006) study (as cited in McNab & Field-Barnsley, 2013, p. 59) also “[suggest] that a parent resource centre could provide on-line, and in-person assistance for families wishing to access information regarding the implementation of the technology in the child’s literacy learning.”  These recommendations are important as the Ministry of Education, school districts, and individual schools decide how to allocate funds and personnel to improve literacy in schools.      While most of the studies reviewed so far in this capstone paper have looked solely at the family context, McTavish’s (2009) case study examined digital literacy practices equally at family and school contexts.  A three-month case study was conducted with one Indo-Canadian boy named Rajan attending third grade in a multicultural elementary school in a middle-class neighbourhood in a large urban city in British Columbia.  At school, Rajan had little access to the Internet as the class computer did not work and he did not visit the school computer lab.  While the school library did not have books on cultural holidays and religious icons he was interested in, he took out information and picture books from the school library.  At home, Rajan had access to a working computer that he was allowed to use in order to find information on topics he was interested on the Internet and for playing computer games.  Rajan’s home consisted of a variety of bilingual materials such as Punjabi newspapers, adult religious books, bilingual news on television and radio, and sports win/loss flow charts.  Rajan also used MSN messenger to text friends and relatives.   	 29	     While the findings cannot be generalized because of the small sample size, the case study emphasized the importance of learning about and valuing family informational literacy practices and using that knowledge to enhance informational literacy practices of minority students in school.  For instance, Rajan used the Internet at home to do research on religious gurus.  Had Rajan’s teacher used funds of knowledge in her class so that all students could choose research topics of interest to them using available resources at home and school, the teacher would have discovered that some of her students had digital literacy practices that she was not able to observe at school.  McTavish (2009) states that there needs to be equal importance and value placed on ideas and resources generated from the family and that passion projects from home should not play a secondary role to work assigned at school by the teacher.      In St. Clair, Jackson, and Zweiback’s (2006) original study, family involvement training was provided to parents of kindergarten students in rural midwestern USA.  St. Clair et al. (2006) found that children whose parents participated in parent training programs during kindergarten scored higher in letter-word identification than the control group at the end of grade one.  Six years later, the remaining families in the study were given print and digital resources such as Play Station, Light Span Achieve Now software, Leap Pads (talking books), Leap Desks (letter and word identification), as well as training by parent educators for improving language skills of migrant children.  The researchers assessed these remaining students and found that in grade five or six, the children of parents who participated in the parent training not only performed better than the control group, but also, the gap between the experimental and the control group widened.  While these findings are intriguing, the main limitations of St. Clair et al.’s (2012) study was the 	 30	small sample size and that there was 34% attrition from grade one to grades five or six with more attrition in the intervention group.  While the purpose of the follow up to St. Clair et al.’s quasi-experimental (2006) study was to see if the kindergarten students whose parents received family literacy training maintained their literacy gains six years later, the 2012 follow up study only measured student achievement and there was no measurement on the benefits for parents.  Furthermore, the Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey (WMLS) was administered in grade one and a state reading assessment was administered in grade five or six.  In addition, it is not known from this study if culturally and linguistically relevant books were used during the family literacy training.      In Walsh and Cromer’s (2014) exploratory study, bilingual DVD classroom newsletters were used with prekindergarten students from mainly Spanish speaking families “as a way to create an opportunity to empower children, strengthen digital literacy, extend the learning environment and provide opportunities for meaningful conversations in the classroom and home” (p. 1142).  Walsh and Cromer (2014) argue that the “importance of strong home-school connections can be understood within Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory” (p. 1143).  While this study was exploratory, Walsh and Cromer’s (2014) study pointed out the potential benefits of using DVD classroom newsletters as a way of creating school-to-family connections and for strengthening digital literacy skills as children repeatedly watched the DVD newsletter at home with parents and other relatives. Summary      In this chapter, I reviewed the literature on the benefits and challenges of using digital literacy practices with families and school as well as possibilities of connecting digital 	 31	literacy practices between family and school.  Overall, the research emphasized the educational benefits of using technology with family and school.  More specifically, educators can provide multimodal skill based apps and higher level apps where children can create and not only “use” digital technology.  In addition, educators can learn about the digital literacy practices of culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse families that they work with in order to strengthen family-school connection and support contemporary literacy practices for students and their families.  Finally, provision of training for parents on how to use technology with families to support literacy practices was found to be highly effective.      While it is important to be aware of the affordances and challenges of technology, I do agree with Palaiologou (2016) that we need to move beyond debating the advantages and disadvantages of technology and focus on how technology can support children’s literacy with their family and at school.  Therefore, in the next chapter, I make connections between the scholarly literature and my own practice.  I examine digital literacy practices at my school, examine how teachers can share digital literacy practices with families, and address how families can share family digital literacy practices with school.        	 32	Chapter Three: Connections to Practice      From the review of literature, three important points have been made regarding the promotion of children’s digital literacy with family and at school: 1) provide children with multimodal, high quality digital literacy apps and websites; 2) learn about students’ family digital literacy practices; and 3) provide training and knowledge for parents on how to use technology to support digital literacy with young families. I use the main findings from the literature review laced with my own experience as a learning support teacher to discuss recommendations for practice in the following areas: 1) teaching digital literacy at school; 2) sharing school digital literacy with families; and 3) enabling families to share their digital literacy practices with school. Digital Literacy at School      Applications.  In this section, I describe a number of apps that can be used to support diverse kindergarten and primary grade students’ digital literacy.        Unite for literacy.  One of the multimodal, linguistic, and culturally relevant website and apps recommended by Bates, Klein, Schubert, McGee, Anderson, Dorn…, Ross’ (2017) study is Unite for Literacy which provides free primary levelled books in thirty-five languages (http://www.uniteforliteracy.com).  Last year, I introduced this app to my grade one students on the iPads.  In January, three Syrian refugee students started in kindergarten, grade two, and grade three.  I showed the youngest child how to listen to English and Arabic audio books on Unite for Literacy using the new iPads in his classroom.  I also provided this information to our Arabic settlement worker as she mentioned that the family had an iPad at home.  At the time, the student had only been in Canada for a month.  From my observations, the multilingual Unite for Literacy app has 	 33	helped this student feel more comfortable in his new classroom and that his teacher valued his family’s language.  The digital app helped with family literacy too as his older siblings and parents are learning English through technology at home using this app.  Additionally, it helped his family feel connected to the school because they saw that the school valued their family’s language and at the same time, is teaching them the English language and Canadian culture.      Raz-kids.  Another multimodal app recommended by Bates et al. (2017) that can be used at school and with families is called Raz-kids (LAZEL, Inc., 2018) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os6r2n6wraY).  Raz-kids is a subscription based levelled reading system that I have been using for many years.  At first, the subscription enabled membership spaces for 36 students for the entire school, but last year we purchased two extra subscriptions and now we have 108 spaces for all the grade one and two students.  Two grade one classroom teachers and I use the app as a literacy centre when one group listens to e-books, answers comprehension questions, and records themselves reading the story independently while the teachers work with another group during guiding reading.  Raz-kids is highly regarded by educators as it is a multimodal website and/or app that can be used with families and at school (Bates et al., 2017).  During our recent student-led conferences in February, I asked the parents that came to visit me if their child uses Raz-kids at home and the majority of the parents said that their child was using it on their mobile phone, iPad, or computer.  It is important for students to practice reading with their family whether it is a hard cover book or a digital e-book as students improve their reading with familiar text. 	 34	     Sight Words: Kids Learn.  I noticed that many of my grade one students have poor sight word knowledge so in February I introduced them to the Sight Words: Kids Learn app used in Musti-Rao, Lo, and Plati’s (2015) quantitative study as it combines visual, tactile, and auditory modes to help children learn common sight words in a fun and engaging way.  In the study, the grade one students increased their sight word fluency.  While the quantitative effects of the Sight Words: Kids Learn app has yet to be seen as it was recently introduced to my grade one students, the students are using it independently when they have free time on the iPad indicating they enjoy using this app.  Enjoyment is important as children are more likely to be engaged and focused with an app if they like it.      Our Story.  After reading about a creative book app called Our Story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z76jcP-np60) in Flewitt, Messer, and Kucirkova’s (2015) study, I used it with some of my students.  I first created a Halloween book with a group of kindergarten boys.  I then invited students from a grade one class to individually tell me what they did on their Halloween weekend.  I took a picture of them and then scribed what they said into their class e-book.  The most successful e-book story was with a very reluctant first grade writer with behaviour challenges.  He took pictures around the school, had me scribe what was in his pictures, and then audio recorded what was happening in most of his pictures.  This is an example of how schools can use technology to improve children’s oral, reading, writing, and engagement at school.  I subsequently printed the e-book for him to share with his family.  While I did not have the chance last year to teach his parents how to use Our Story to record digital literacy practices with his 	 35	family, this is an example of an opportunity where schools could encourage families to share their family digital literacy practices with the school.        School Resources.  While digital literacy is part of the BC English Language Arts and Applied, Design, Skills, and Technology curriculum, application of multimodal practices can vary from schools and districts based on available resources and teacher experience and comfort with technology (Lynch & Redpath, 2014).  I have been using gamified apps with grade one students during independent literacy centre time when we are doing guided reading.  I work with two wonderful grade one classroom teachers but they do have a tendency to use print-based activities for many reading and writing activities.      While one of the kindergarten teachers has a permanently located crate of seven iPads from SET-BC in her classroom for daily use and in my classroom I have my own crate of seven iPads on loan from the district for daily use, the other primary teachers at my school only have access to thirty student iPads two scheduled blocks of iPad time per week.  I believe teachers would teach differently if they had one iPad crate kept in their classroom at all times versus having access to iPads during scheduled blocks.  Impromptu teachable moments are lost and instructional time is wasted in picking up and returning iPad crates to the storage room or moved to another classroom.      Recommendations.  My recommendation to educators, administrators, and school districts is that while one-on-one iPads is not financially feasible or necessary, there should be an iPad crate between a couple of classrooms.  Another recommendation is that educators use multimodal literacy apps such as the ones mentioned above, Unite for Literacy, Raz-kids, and Sight Words: Kids Learn app.  It is a common practice for students to use simple literacy apps while their teacher is working with a small group; 	 36	however, educators need more professional development and mentoring to use technology in more advanced ways such as creating e-books.  Glazer and Hannafin’s (2008) study (as cited in Lu-Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Ding, & Glazewski, 2017) posited that “teachers need teacher-leaders’ modeling and supports to help them make effective technology integration decisions” (p.21).  D’Agostino, Rodgers, Harmey, and Brownfield (2016) also noted that in order for educators to integrate technology into their practice, they need professional development in not only how to use technology but also discuss the pedagogy behind using technology in their teaching. Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with Families      As an educator, over the last few years, my use of technology in the classroom has slowly changed.  Due to the loss of time for specified reading intervention, I have started thinking about how to have a greater impact on improving children’s literacy through building connections between families and school.  McNab and Field-Barnsley (2013) recommend having parent training sessions to give parents strategies on how to point out features of digital texts in order to support their child’s literacy development such as using the recording feature on iPads to play back their child’s reading of the story.  Over the past year, I have: shared with a student’s family a hard copy of a digital e-book the student and I had co-created; shared websites and apps with parents at parent-teacher and student-led conferences; sent home technology newsletters; and, updated my teacher blog to include three main areas of teaching digital literacy at school, ways for the school to share digital literacy practices with the families, and ways for families to share digital literacy practices with the school. 	 37	     In the future, I have considered designating a part of my instructional time (e.g. first block or last teaching block of the day) to invite parents to work with their child on using technology to support literacy development.  This would provide an opportunity to not only share what we are doing at school with families but also provide opportunities for families to share what their family digital literacy practices are with the school.      Recommendation.  My recommendation is that educators provide a variety of ways to share digital literacy practices with families.  For example, this could be through traditional face-to-face parent/teacher and student-led conferences, or participation or visits in the classroom where family digital literacy practices can be shared.  Parent training with their child can be done during instructional time for parents that are available during school hours, or through more technological means such as podcasts or DVD newsletters for parents that are unable to come to school during the day.  Providing a variety of digital literacy practices with families will have the greatest impact because one method of sharing may not work for a particular family, classroom or school. Families Sharing Digital Literacy Practices with School      Asking parents or students about their family digital literacy practices can help teachers incorporate these practices at school, improve family/school connections, and help improve student achievement and motivation.  For example, in the first week of September, the kindergarten teachers I work with ask parents about their family literacy practices such as reading bedtime stories.  This question could be expanded to include questions about the use of digital technologies within the family context (e.g. use of mobile phones, iPods, iPads, and computers).  I asked all of my grade one students if they had access to an iPad, iPhone, and/or computer and the majority had access to an iPad.  	 38	Students can take pictures of literacy activities with their families (either on an iPad or mobile device), students of all ages can do an oral presentation about their family literacy practices, and older students can write about their family digital literacy practices.      Recommendation.  My recommendation is that educators invite families to the classroom or school to share their family digital literacy practices.  While St. Clair, Jackson, and Zweiback (2012) did not specifically recommend any particular strategy for parents to share their family digital literacy practices, they recommend that:  [schools] may want to consider ways to partner with parent education programs in  their communities…[linking] community resources (such as adult education programs or existing parenting programs) and schools has the potential of creating positive learning environments for both children and families (p. 17).      This could be on a small individual classroom basis or on a larger scale such as Family Digital Literacy event during the school day or after school. Summary      In this section, I summarize how I plan to share what I have learned from this capstone project with colleagues and families.      I created a teacher blog four years ago at: https://deltalearns.ca/ejung and I have added the following headings on the home page to reflect the three themes emerging from my capstone: ways for school to use iPads, ways for school to share digital literacy practices with families, and ways for families to share digital literacy practices with school.      Ways for school to use iPads.  I currently have five blog posts about ways for schools to use iPads.  My first blog entry titled “Technology Grant Means iPads in all Classrooms” was created in October 2013 when my school first purchased thirty student 	 39	iPads for the entire school.  My second blog entry, almost a year and a half later, in February 2015 is titled “Using iPads in the Primary Classroom.”  It described how I was using the iPad crate I have on loan from the school district in my practice.  My third blog entry, more than two years later, in May 2017 titled “iPad literacy apps and research” was a PDF document of an e-book I created using the app Our Story in which I described the apps LetterWorks, Sight Words: Kids learn, Our Story, and Raz-kids which are apps that were used in research studies reviewed in this capstone.  My most recent blogs, in February 2018, include a copy of the iPad newsletter I sent home with my grade one students before Christmas break and another blog about technology updates in which I describe a few new apps that the grade ones have been using this term such as the Sight Words: Kids learn app and the multilingual Unite for Literacy website.  In March 2018, I included a copy of the iPad newsletter I sent home before Spring break and included a copy of the kindergarten/grade one digital early literacy program document I created in June 2017 for a graduate course I was taking.      Ways for school to share digital literacy practices with families.        Finding time and money to share digital literacy with families or any school practice is challenging.  As we want parents to be partners in their child’s learning, my recommendation is that educators invite parents into the classroom during instructional time.        While my kindergarten colleague and I have been receiving external professional development on digital literacy through SET-BC and through our graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, our primary teaching team is also part of a professional learning community in which rich collaboration is occurring to find ways to improve our 	 40	literacy practices to help improve student literacy.  My recommendation is that school districts provide resources to individual schools or groups of schools to provide release time during the school day so educators can collaborate with others in an area they would like to work on such as family digital literacy.   Ways for families to share digital literacy practices with school      Parents can share their family digital literacy practices by sharing pictures or homemade digital e-book using apps such as Our Story or Book Creator with teachers and/or visiting their child’s classroom and sharing their family’s digital literacy story.  For parents who would like to visit the classroom but are unable to do this because of their work schedule, a digital platform such as Fresh Grade, would not only allow a parent to view what their child is doing at school but a parent would also be able to share their family digital literacy practices through the Fresh Grade parent app.  For example, families can take pictures of various types of literacy found in the home such as books, periodicals, and newspapers, or parents can take videos of siblings and grandparents reading with or to younger children in their home language.      Recommendation.  My recommendation is that parents be provided training at school on how to create e-books at home using apps such as Our Story or Book Creator and to be able to share family digital literacy practise through platforms such as Fresh Grade parent app if they are unable to share their family digital literacy story at school.       	 41	Chapter Four: Conclusion      In this final chapter, I reflect on how I responded to the questions guiding my capstone project, attend to the limitations of this project, and conclude with suggestions for enhancing the connections between digital literacy practices with families and school to support children’s literacy at the practice, research, and policy levels.      The three guiding questions for my capstone project were: What does the literature say about how parents use technology with their children to enhance their children’s literacy skills?  How do teachers use technology in their primary classrooms to support children’s literacy skills?  How might families and teachers share technology practices from home and school in order to support children’s literacy skills?      According to the literature review, parents use technology at home for education, entertainment, and documentation purposes.  From an educator’s perspective, it is important to learn that research indicates that parents are using technology at home for educational purposes.  Educators use a variety of digital tools from skill-based apps in teacher-directed lessons to higher-level apps that afford children’s creativity, communication, and collaboration.  Lastly, the research on connecting digital literacy practices between family and school emphasized the need to provide training for parents on how to use technology to support young learners’ literacy skills, using funds of knowledge to learn about family digital literacy practices, and providing connections to school by DVD bilingual classroom newsletters, and providing teacher blogs or apps such as Fresh Grade student, teacher, and parent apps where school and families can share what each other is doing.  	 42	     Recommendations      Due to the proliferation of iPads with families and schools because of the ease of use by young children and lower cost than laptop or desktop computers, I am making the following four recommendations to practice, research, and policy in the area of building digital literacy connections between family and school with a specific focus on iPads.            My first recommendation to educators, administrators, and school districts is that while one-on-one iPads is not financially feasible or necessary, there should be an iPad crate between a couple of classrooms.      My second recommendation is that educators receive more professional development and mentoring to use technologies and apps that require higher skills such as creating e-books.  On-going professional development through professional learning communities can help educators continue improving their practice in any area including family digital literacy.        My third recommendation is that school districts provide monetary resources where educators can provide parent training ideally during the school day on how school is using digital literacy and how families can share digital literacy practices with school; for instance, after getting written permission slips at student-led conferences in early February, we will be using the Fresh Grade student, teacher, and parent apps that will allow the teacher to create an e-portfolio of student progress over the year and be able to share these videos and pictures with parents via the Fresh Grade parent app or at future parent-teacher conferences.  Parents can also receive training on how they can post pictures and videos of family digital literacy practices so that educators can build funds of knowledge to help improve literacy skills in their classroom. 	 43	     My fourth recommendation is to create school-supported events where educators invite families to the classroom to share school digital literacy tools while parents share their family digital literacy practices.  This could be on a small individual classroom basis or on a larger scale such as a Family Digital Literacy event during the school day or after school. Limitations      In terms of my literature review, I reviewed four studies about connecting family and school digital literacies.  While it would have been beneficial to include more studies on connecting family digital literacy practices with that of the school, one of the reasons for this relatively small number is due to limited research in this area.  In addition, this project attends to the broader topic of family digital literacy practices as an avenue to learn about how to connect family digital literacy practices with that of the school. Final Thoughts      Overall, the majority of the studies in this literature review support the use of technology with children with their families and at school and connecting these practices to support young learners.  Future studies can use more diverse participants from various rural and urban centers, countries, socioeconomic, cultural, linguistic, and family backgrounds, children of smaller age ranges over an extended period of time to see changes over time and context such as family and school.  Many of the studies on digital literacy that were reviewed in this capstone were conducted in western Canada.  It will be interesting to see in the coming years if research studies in digital literacy will be conducted to see if the new BC curriculum is helping to improve student performance in literacy in general and/or specifically in digital literacy. 	 44	     While my school is fortunate to be part of a primary literacy community which includes funding for releasing teachers to collaborate during instructional time, my capstone project stresses the importance of the provincial government and school districts in providing instructional time and funds to support teacher professional development with regards to how to best utilize technology in the classroom.  In addition, it is important to provide training to parents on how to best utilize technology, while at the same time, provide opportunities for educators to learn about families’ Funds of Knowledge so that family literacy practices can be utilized at school.  If we want students to “create stories and other texts (including digital) to deepen awareness of self, family, and community,” as stated in the BC New Curriculum (Province of British Columbia, 2018), and if we want our children to grow up to be digitally literate adults in an evolving technological world then we have to support this initiative.                          	 45	References American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use. (2016). Retrieved from: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/american-academy-of-pediatrics-announces-new-recommendations-for-childrens-media-use.aspx Barton, D., & Hamilton, M. (2000). Literacy practices. In D. Barton, M. Hamilton, & R. Ivanic (Eds.). Situated literacies. Reading and writing in practice. London: Routledge. Bates, C. C., Klein, A., Schubert, B., McGee, L., Anderson, N., Dorn, L., . . . Ross, R. H. (2017). E‐Books and E‐Book apps: Considerations for beginning readers. The Reading Teacher, 70(4), 401-411. doi:10.1002/trtr.1543 Bronfenbrenner, U., & Ceci, S. J. (1994). Nature-nuture reconceptualized in developmental perspective: A bioecological model. Psychological Review, 101(4), 568-586. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.101.4.568  Chai, Z., & Vail, C.O., & Ayres, K.M. (2015). Using an iPad application to promote early literacy development in young children with disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 48(4), 268-278. doi: 10.1177/0022466913517554 D’Agostino, J. V., Rodgers, E., Harmey, S., & Brownfield, K. (2016). Introducing an iPad app into literacy instruction for struggling readers: Teacher perceptions and student outcomes. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 16(4), 522-548. doi:10.1177/1468798415616853 Flewitt, R., Messer, D., & Kucirkova, N. (2015). New directions for early literacy in a 	 46	digital age: The iPad. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 15(3), 289-310. doi:10.1177/1468798414533560 Friedrich, N., Teichert, L., & Devadas, Z. (2017). The techno-literacy practices of young children from diverse backgrounds. Language and Literacy, 19(3), 21-34.  Hoeschmann, M. & deWaard, H. (2015). Mapping Digital Literacy Policy and Practice in the Canadian Landscape. Ottawa: Media Smarts. Retrieved from: http://mediasmarts.ca/sites/mediasmarts/files/publication-report/full/mapping-digital-literacy.pdf Kim, J. E., & Anderson, J. (2008). Mother-child shared reading with print and digital texts. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 8(2), 213-245. doi:10.1177/1468798408091855 Laidlaw, L., & Wong, S. S. (2016). Literacy and complexity: On using technology within emergent learning structures with young learners. Complicity, 13(1), 30-42.  Lu, Y., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A., Ding, A., & Glazewski, K. (2017). Experienced iPad-using early childhood teachers: Practices in the one-to-one iPad classroom. Computers in the Schools, 34(1), 9-23. doi:10.1080/07380569.2017.1287543 Lynch, J. & Redpath, T. (2014). ‘Smart’ technologies in early years literacy education: A meta-narrative of paradigmatic tensions in iPad use in an Australian preparatory classroom. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 14(2), 147-174.  Marsh, J., Hannon, P., Lewis, M., & Ritchie, L. (2017). Young children’s initiation into family literacy practices in the digital age. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 15(1), 47-60. doi:10.1177/1476718X15582095 	 47	McNab, K., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (2013). Digital texts, iPads, and families: An examination of families' shared reading behaviours. International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, 20: 53-62. 	McTavish, M. (2009). ‘I get my facts from the internet': A case study of the teaching and learning of information literacy in in-school and out-of-school contexts. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 9(1), 3-28. doi:10.1177/1468798408101104 MediaSmarts (2015) Use, understand and create:  A digital literacy framework for Canadian Ottawa, ON Retrieved from: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/use-understand-create-digital-literacy-framework-canadian-schools Mikelic Preradovic, N., Lesin, G., & Sagud, M. (2016). Investigating parents' attitudes towards digital technology use in early childhood: A case study from Croatia. Informatics in Education - an International Journal, 15(1), 127-146.             DOI: 10.15388/infedu.2016.07 Moll, L., Amanti, C., Gonzalez, N. (1992) Funds of knowledge: Using a qualititative approach to connect homes and classrooms.  Theory Into Practice, 92, 132-142. Musti-Rao, S., Lo, Y., & Plati, E. (2015). Using an iPad® app to improve sight word reading fluency for at-risk first graders. Remedial and Special Education, 36(3), 154-166.  doi: 10.1177/0741932514541485  Palaiologou, I. (2016). Children under five and digital technologies: Implications for early years pedagogy. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 24(1), 5-24. doi:10.1080/1350293X.2014.929876 	 48	Province of British Columbia (2018).  BC’s New Curriculum. Applied Design Skills Technology.  Victoria, BC Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/adst/k Province of British Columbia (2018).  BC’s New Curriculum. English Language Arts.  Victoria, BC Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/english-language-arts/k St. Clair, L., Jackson, B., & Zweiback, R. (2012). Six years later: Effect of family involvement training on the language skills of children from migrant families. School Community Journal, 22(1), 9-19. Stephen, C., Stevenson, O., & Adey, C. (2013). Young children engaging with technologies at home: The influence of family context. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(2), 149-164.     Teichert, L. (2017). To digital or not to digital: How mothers are navigating the digital world with their young children.  Language and Literacy, 19(1), 63-76. Terras, M. M., & Ramsay, J. (2016). Family digital literacy practices and children’s mobile phone use. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:1957. 	Walsh, B. A., Cromer, H., & Weigel, D. J. (2014). Classroom-to-home connections: Young children's experiences with a technology-based parent involvement tool. Early Education and Development, 25(8), 1142-1161. 10.1080/10409289.2014.904647     	Appendix (https://deltalearns.ca/ejung)  	 50	  	 51	 	 

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