Connecting to Reading: Inspiring Young Children to Read Through the Creation of Digital Artefacts and use of Social Media

Mark Childs, Vedrana Estatiev, Janet Hetherington, Gordana Jugo, Tina Richardson, Geoff Walton

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    The AMORES project brings together five schools from across Europe with the aim of identifying whether a love of literature can be encouraged through the creation of digital artefacts. School students make videos, card games, pictures and comics about the books they are reading, and share these with other children in the five schools through the use of social media and videoconferencing. The students’ attitudes towards books and reading are surveyed at the beginning and end of the intervention, their online interactions are observed and their reflections are gathered through artefacts such as videos and posts within the social media platform. The key pedagogical theories on which this project builds are that of constructionism, which contends that creating artefacts is itself a trigger for learning experiences, and also that creation is a social activity, and this social activity is also a basis for learning. The second theory is that of experiential learning, particularly encouraging metacognition through reflection and abstract conceptualisation as a result of the creation of objects. The third theory draws on the role of storytelling in motivating and empowering learners. The creation of artefacts has been demonstrated to be an effective means to encourage learning – and evidence shows that creating videos (the type of artefact identified by teachers as being the predominant one to focus on in the AMORES project) is particularly effective. Social media is more problematic, in that it normally facilitates superficial “likes” and “shares” and requires more sophisticated tools and support to create genuine co-creation and reflection within a community. The practice at the schools indicates that they are experienced at creating videos, but less so at maintaining social creation at a distance. The social aspects of learning at a distance may therefore be the most difficult area to encourage within the project, as it is both more problematic to conduct, and is less practised within the schools.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2015
    EventEuropean Conference on e-Learning (ECEL) - University of Hertfordshire Hatfield UK
    Duration: 1 Oct 2015 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceEuropean Conference on e-Learning (ECEL)
    Period1/10/15 → …

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