Houghton College associate professor of education, Dr. Sunshine Sullivan, in collaboration with Dr. David Bruce and the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), has begun a project to instruct local educators about digital literacies. This endeavor will begin with three seminar events between November, 2015, and July, 2016.
In a culture in which computer and internet proficiency is becoming increasingly essential for life and work, digital literacy training is in high demand for the traditional classroom.
Sullivan says, “Most teachers are experts in their content areas but have been given little access to professional development that helps them purposefully and authentically integrate the technology with their content. If we do not do that, we are educating students for the 20th century, not the 21st.”
Through the first three seminar events, Sullivan and her partners in this project will be assisting local teachers in digital literacy exploration and pedagogies. The first event, “Reading Video: Using Film in the Classroom,” took place on Nov. 5.
“David and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the teachers from different districts come together and envision how they would use film in innovative ways with their curriculum and their students,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan hopes this project will result in the creation of a Writing with Video: Rural Voices in Professional Learning Community group. This group will closely resemble City Voices, City Visions, a program based out of Buffalo State University that provides educators and students with digital video resources to augment classroom learning.
“Not only will this provide incredible professional development opportunities for our local schools and our education students, but it will provide a peek into the world of professional learning communities around digital literacies in a rural context, a gap in educational research and practice.”
The two additional seminar events will be “Digital Composition” and “Writing with Video: Rural Voices Summer Institute.” They will be in February and July of 2016, respectively.