DEC Scan Journal : February 2012
communication and an extensive range of digital affordances to access, read, create and publish interactive texts for new audiences who could access these texts through technology and could, in turn, respond and create their own. 4T model We refer to the four groups of traditional, transferred, transitional and transformative reading practices as the 4T model. This 4T model is illustrated in the diagram in Figure 4. The horizontal axis shows a continuum from the use of print based texts to the use of more sophisti- cated digital texts in terms of technology. The vertical axis illustrates students' engagement in less complex reading practices (e.g. literal comprehension) to more complex reading practices (e.g. nferential, evaluative or critical comprehension). The four quadrants represent how the four groups of reading practices clustered after the data sets were plotted on each axis. For example, the lower left quadrant represents less complex reading and technology demands while the upper right quadrant represents more complex reading and technology demands. What have we discovered? There are two main implications that can be drawn from our creation of the 4T model. First, it illustrates the synthesis of the relationship between the demands of reading and the demands of the technological features of digital communica- tion. That is, as the research question was seeking to discover how a balance was achieved between the teaching of reading and the use of digital resources, the model provides a visible representation of that balance. It reminds us of the integrative and participatory nature of multimodal communication. This kind of modeling helps us to recognise the relationship between the way an individual reads and makes meaning with a digital text and the simultaneous processing of visual, textual, physical or other semiotic systems. There is dynamic potential in the multiplicative (Lemke, 1998) processing of modes for communication, as in the example of the wiki that is created, read and built on with photographs, video and music; or through a podcast with detailed editing of sound and music with images and text. The integral relationship between processing texts and modes, whether image, sound or movement, means that we need new approaches to both teaching and assessing reading that are appro- priate to the learning context and aligned with what has been taught. A second implication is that the model showed us the range of practices that teachers from these particular classrooms were using and how these could be designed, and more equally balanced, for more effective use of the affordances of the technology. The clustering of tasks revealed that there were very few instances where students were engaged in the dynamic reading and literacy learning that is possible with digital texts. For example, as shown in the fourth quadrant in Figure 4, there were not many examples of learning episodes where we could confirm that students were engaged in trans- formative tasks. There were a few more that we could categorise as transitional. In fact the majority of tasks were categorised as requiring either traditional or transferred reading practices. There were two main reasons for this: access to reliable technology and, more importantly, the way teachers were able to change their pedagogy to adapt to new modes of communication. The literature suggested that change in pedagogy would take time, as curriculum revisions usually follow in the wake of technological development (Brown, Bryan and Brown, 2005). Our results show that there has been a shift for some teachers as we predicted there would be but that there is a large proportion of old pedagogy being used with new technologies. Whilst we acknowledge that teaching with print text cannot and should not be replaced entirely, there is cause for concern if traditional teaching is merely transferred to digital media. Where evidence of the considered explicit teaching of reading with digital texts that Leu (2004) called for? Indeed, how can there be evidenced based practice when the evidence has not yet been collected? As the pace of digital affordances continues to evolve through the fast release of apps for nearly every need, the theoretical basis on which we pin our planning is 38 Figure 4 The 4T model ... there is a large proportion of old pedagogy being used with new technologies.