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Name: Shaun Niyo-Ramdas

LSUID: 967388
shaunmnramdas@gmail.com / sniy388@lasierra.edu / a0097631@u.nus.edu
Article Summary and Reflection Due week 6 for EDCI 516 Computers in Curriculum

In the article Uses of Digital Tools and Literacies in the English Language Arts
Classroom, author Richard Beach discusses the use of digital tools in the classroom, focusing
specifically on their impact on the reading, writing, and use in English language lessons. Beach
main argument is that through the use of digital literacy, both on the part of teachers and on
students, greater more effective learning can take place in the classroom. Beach begins his
argument by laying out common problems and misconceptions educators and parents have about
using technology in the classroom. Beach builds upon the quantitative research of others in the
field of educational technology to justify his claims that the use of technology in teaching
pedagogy is essential moving forward because of the benefits it brings to students learning,
especially in the English language classroom. He blames negative research outcomes on bad
research parameters, arguing that the factors and methodologies that go into research on the
impact of educational technologies need to be more dynamic to reflect the actual learning that is
taking place.
He briefly touches on some of the difficulties of implementing the use of digital tools,
many which seem rehashed from other research papers on the topic, such as problems in
implementing technology in low socio-economic communities and summative assessments
driving teaching pedagogies in schools. Beach goes on to outline methods and broad measures to
implement educational technology tools in the classroom, using case studies to support his
argument of the necessity of changing the functionality and usage of technology in classrooms.
Beach carries on providing several resources for educators looking for ways and means of using
such methodologies in their classroom, with the end goal of improving digital literacy. He even
devotes an entire paragraph to the possibility of using computer games as a medium for
education, and spends a significant amount of time explaining how technology can be useful as a
way to gauge students learning through e-portfolios and other yardsticks of measurement.
Beach ends his argument by summarizing it in three major arcs; asking educators to primarily
identify and acknowledge the difficulties of using technology in education, realizing their
importance as enablers and educators of these new educational technologies and their role in its
use, and lastly how much of an impact technology can have in changing and improving their
students learning in the classroom.
I found this article both refreshing and worrying simultaneously because while the author
was refreshingly optimistic about the use of technology in the classroom, the degree to which he

was adamant about his argument was worrying. He used a variety of studies and statistics to
support his claims about the impact of technology in education but was highly dismissive of the
negative research results in the field, chalking them up to an issue with the parameters of the
research, criticizing them as being not dynamic enough. I would even go as far as saying the
article reflected the authors distain of the current summative assessment system in the general
education system, and that he sees very little value in keeping with old non-technology based
pedagogies. Setting my initial reaction of how one-sided this article was, I did find myself being
impressed at the practical strategies Beach proposed in the implementation of these educational
technologies in the English language classroom. The case studies he provided made them
relatable to teachers like me, and I could see myself implementing several of the digital lessons
and resources he suggested in my own teaching.
Moving forward, my main take-away from this article would be the use of technology in
students personal reflection, as well as using technology as a form of assessment on students
learning. Using digital portfolios is already something that is used extensively in the collegiate
level, and I have seen it slowly trickle down to the K-12 classrooms, especially at the high school
level. I would want to not only encourage the use of an e-portfolio as a form of reflection on the
students learning and progress, but also as something parents can look at to see their childs
progress. I would also want to move towards using these online tools as a form of formative and
summative assessment, especially at the lower grade levels where I teach because of the lack of
major state-wide assessments that often make it difficult to implement such digital assessment
strategies.

References:
Beach R (2012), Uses of digital tools and literacies in the English language arts classroom,
Research in the Schools, 19 (1), 45-59.