By Hook or by Crook: Engaging Reluctant Readers and Writers through the Use of Technology and Virtual Field Trips
Grounded in the assumption that reading is an integral and inseparable component of the broader concept of literacy, which involves the six language arts of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and representing (Parr & Campbell, 2006), this presentation provides an overview of a holistic approach to engaging reluctant, or students often considered to be “at risk” in the reading and writing processes. Recent advances in technology and internet access has opened up multitude of resources never before available to teachers and students. Many of these, including Virtual Field Trips can be used to stimulate interest and motivate students to select their own topics of interest and self direct their own research, reading, and learning (Fine, 1999). This presentation will explore the use of Virtual Field Trips as a means of engaging students in researching, writing, and sharing with others their developing knowledge on topics of individual interest. A variety of engaging report formats will be presented with connections made to reading, writing, viewing, and representing through alternative modes of delivery. The role of the educator in setting the stage, building background knowledge, providing access to technology with connections made to reading, writing, viewing, and representing in alternative methods and formats will be highlighted
The goal of this session is to provide elementary educators with an awareness of Virtual Field Trips as well as how to effectively use technology and related resources to engage reluctant readers and “at risk” students in meaningful and productive reading and writing activities. Throughout this session, participants will develop an awareness of and comfort with a variety of Virtual Field Trips including museums, zoos, animal viewing in the wilds, and space exploration. as well as software applications including Smart Ideas, KidPix and SMART technology that are available to assist students/teachers with research, reading and writing.
Keywords: At Risk, Reluctant Reader/Writer, Disengaged Readers/Writers, Virtual Field Trips, Technology, Student Motivation
Dr. Jeff Scott
Professor, Curriculum Studies: Primary/Junior Science
Prof. Michael Parr
Professor, Education and Schooling
Dr. Warnie James Richardson
Professor, Special Education
teacher/educational assessor for sixteen years, all in very hard to serve educational environments, both in Canada and the Caribbean. His doctoral work, and most of his writing to date, have focused on the life experiences of
juvenile delinquents and the incredible resiliency of at-risk or marginalized adolescents.