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International Literacy Day at ihub


10 months ago

On September 7th, the Educational Research & Innovation Hub (ihub) kicked off the first event of the school year in celebration of International Literacy Day. This networking event provided an opportunity for attendees to engage with specialized edtech companies, local libraries, teacher and other professional educators in the study of literacy practices from early childhood through adolescence.

International Literacy Day was declared on September 8th by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1965 to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. This year, the theme of “Literacy in a Digital World” aimed to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate themselves in an increasingly digitally-mediated society.

Among this year’s participants at the event were Brock University Faculty of Education Instructional Resource Centre (IRC), EBSCO, Niagara Falls Public Library, QWILL Media & Education Inc., as well as Tiny Woman Workshop.

Brock University IRC highlighted Blackout Poetry” as their literacy and technology feature. This activity focuses on isolating words in previously written text (i.e. newspaper articles, documents etc.) to write your own lines of poetry. This literacy activity can be taken one step further, as cross-curricular connections can be made when connected to programming and coding. Students are encouraged to make their own poetry interactive by utilizing digital programs like Scratch and Makey Makey.

Joining us, EBSCO who is a provider of research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions and e-books is also the secret to finding a great read. They featured NoveList Plus which includes expert read-alike and listen-alike recommendations, series information, award winners and reviews available through libraries around the world. In addition, FLIPSTER provides access to leading digital magazines on your mobile device as a digital magazine newsstand with selections from over 1,500 popular magazines and no hidden fees.

Further, the Niagara Falls Public Library featured “Story Walks” which is a blend of physical fitness and literacy. The library has deconstructed picture books so that children (& parents) can walk and explore the text. They currently feature 12 titles (3 in French) for booking. In addition, the library also has a variety of technology programs available for children including coding and robotics.

Lois Burdett’s rendition of Shakespeare “Mid Summers Night Dream” has been transformed into a literacy program by QWILL Media & Education Inc. for students and educators. With over 2000 pieces of cross- curricular lessons and writing samples, the program also includes assessments and evaluation documents. By the end of the program students will learn essential life skills such as how to think critically, develop empathy, problem solve and become good communications and global citizens.

Furthermore, Tiny Woman Wordshop developed a production of resources available in English and French that focus on literary narratives & compositions for Grades 1-6. Teachers are able to learn as they implement new ideas and concepts for students in their teaching practice. Digital interactive lessons & activities, a literacy board game and two up and coming workshops are available.

Overall, the International Literacy Day Event provided opportunities for educators to network and gain access to innovative resources that combine literacy and technology from specialized edtech companies and local libraries. We are looking forward to hosting this event again next year!