Integration of Digital Read-Alouds with Preservice Teachers

April Sanders
Department of Education, Spring Hill Community College

Defining terms such as reading and text has substantially changed within the realm of literacy in the past decade and is ever-changing as technology and multimodal options evolve. The expansion of literacy to include technologies is at the core of the new literacies.  Since the New Literacies are rapidly carving a place in literacy instruction, this study focused on digital read-alouds and investigated how pre-service teachers were able to effectively create digital read-alouds based on Lambert’s (2002) model of digital stories as well as examining the participants’ views on using a new literacy instead of a traditional option for read-alouds when doing clinical hours in the elementary classroom. This qualitative study took two approaches.  The first approach was a content study examining how Lambert’s (2002) seven elements of effective digital storytelling are used in the digital read-alouds created by the participants.  The second approach was a case study involving 15 participants; the study looked at how pre-service teachers were able to apply elements of the reader response theory through digital read-alouds and how they see application in an elementary classroom. Louise Rosenblatt’s transactional theory is one theoretical lens to use in viewing the reader’s response to various new literacies. The complement of the image to composition can add to the overall experience for the reader/viewer as Rosenblatt describes in this theory. This study highlights how a traditional practice can be transformed through digital literacies to engage students and create a quality product without weakening the integrity of the curriculum content of the course.