Project-based learning is an instructional approach that promotes authentic learning activities among students to improve their motivation. It is the right for children in schools to have access to information. Particularly, in today's classrooms, students are culturally diverse. The issue brings about problems in reading, writing, and other communication skills. The reason students have problems is that students are unable to separate their reading, writing, and other communication skills separate from their culturally assumed knowledge. Literacy is an important educational issue since students who struggle with it are found in every K-12 classroom. In most schools, there is a deficiency of project-based learning that engages students through learning considering the fact that most teachers do not know how to integrate it into their curriculum while taking into account their different cultures. Technology, for example, which will be discussed in the paper, is a challenge for teachers to integrate it in literacy instruction. The U.S Department of Education (2017) indicates that technology helps teachers to become more collaborative as it extends learning beyond the classroom. Many students who struggle with literacy do not have access to technology. For that reason, a project-based activity that incorporates technology is needed in an inclusive classroom setting to support pluralism and linguistic diversity. This project provides information on the way project-based learning with the use of technology can improve literacy instruction.
A Description of the Developmentally Appropriate Project-Based Learning Experience
The technological project-based learning approach will create student-centered activities in an elementary classroom. The developmentally appropriate project incorporates technology for teaching literacy to culturally diverse elementary students. The correct implementation of the project in association with pre and post-literacy assessments will facilitate knowing the cultural literacy skills of students. The project will incorporate children's literature that will help to facilitate pluralism and linguistic diversity. In the project-learning experience, videos through the use of projectors and computers are necessary to ensure that the children learn together.
A Summary of the Children's Literature that Support Pluralism and Linguistic Diversity
For the project, three culturally diverse books from different genres will be used in an effort to encourage cultural literacy. A checklist was developed to ensure that the correct books that involve cultural groups and contain literacy quality. The main focus of the books was quality in both children's books and multi-cultural literature. The books include the following,
Amazing grace - the book is about a little girl who is interested in stories. The book shows children that they can be anything they want to.
Fly Eagle Fly - the children's literature is about a fulfillment story of the way an eagle is reared by the chicken.
Over the Hills and Far Away - the book contains a myriad of rhymes from Native American, Inuit, Maori, and first nation cultures.
An Explanation of the Children's Literature
All these books are culturally diverse. All three books are from different genres and will help to explore the concept of diversity among elementary children. Amazing grace, for example, is a fictional story. The book talks about diversity in a way that talks about the true identity of characters. Fly eagle fly is folklore, which promotes linguistic diversity among children. Over the hills and far away is a nursery rhyme that takes children through different rhymes from different countries. The incorporation of technology to help students to study this literature would help to improve their cultural literacy.
A Rationale of the Project-Based Instruction
Many elementary students do not always receive the help they need. The U.S Department of Education (2017) notes that teachers need to access technology to facilitate learning. Due to the wide variety of cultures, teachers struggle to incorporate an inclusive literacy learning experience. These students are unable to succeed in school because of the assumed knowledge they have about their culture. Cook (2016) asserts that there are evident gaps in early literacy and language skills even before skill entry. Cultural literacy is an important component because it would help in promoting academic achievement. The lack of literacy can result in school dropouts. Taylor (n.d.) affirms that teachers should get guidance on project-based learning approaches. Incorporating project-based learning with technology promotes effective learning. For elementary students to be competent in literacy, they have to have access to technological project-based learning. In fact, most schools have limited funding that makes them unable to provide classrooms with the appropriate resources they require to support cultural literacy and the overall diversity. Students should have all the help they need especially in their beginning stages so when they go up to the upper levels of education, their linguistic diversity would have improved. Teachers ought to provide this essential technological project-based learning experience.
Project-based learning is important because it enables students to engage in learning as they interact with their peers. The technological project-based learning experience described in the article focused on the quality of children's books and multicultural literature to improve literacy and promote diversity. The major goal of this project is to improve children's literacy by using books that support pluralism and linguistic diversity. In elementary schools, there is a need for technological project-based learning activities. Furthermore, because of the increased diversity in the educational system, a project-based learning approach with the incorporation of technology will increase children's motivation to learn cultural literacy. Overall, educators need to incorporate project-based learning into their children's curriculum to facilitate literacy.
Cook, S. (2016). Integrating Technology in Early Literacy - a Snapshot of community Innovation in Family Engagement. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED570877.pdf
Taylor, J. (n.d.). Study on the Best Uses of Technology in Support of Project-Based Learning. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1712/1712.06034.pdf
U.S Department of Education. (2017). Reimaging the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Update. Office of Educational Technology. Retrieved from https://tech.ed.gov/files/2017/01/NETP17.pdf
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