UBC Graduate Research

Teaching for digital literacy : hypermedia texts in the secondary English classroom Harris, Richard Adam


It has become clear that our understanding of literacy needs to change. "Hypermedia" is a term that this paper uses to describe texts that make use of multiple modalities, are created in a digital writing environment, and may be read in a non-linear manner. Today's secondary level students are extensively reading hypermedia texts (Luckin et al., 2009; Meneses and Momino, 2010), but they are not producing hypermedia texts themselves (Luckin et al.,2009). This paper identifies a gap between the literacy skills today's students require and those that are presently being taught in schools. The research review portion of the paper analyses digital literacy practices in schools, and, more specifically, the use of hypermedia by teachers and students. It is focused by the following question: What does the literature reveal about the use of hypermedia text reading and construction in secondary education? The application to practice section of this paper consists of a unit plan that answers the following focus question: How can hypermedia text be used for the construction and communication of literary analysis at the secondary level? This unit plan is designed for an enriched English classroom at the secondary level, but is easily adaptable for regular English classes. The major assessment piece is a student-constructed hypermedia text that demonstrates both conventional and digital literacy skills.

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