27 Aug 2020
Why do literacy and numeracy matter? They are critical for successful learning and are needed to learn other skills, as well as for participation in everyday life. Literacy and numeracy skills are a foundation for workforce participation, productivity and the broader economy, and can also impact on social and health outcomes.
Technology underpins a portion of the NSW Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2017-2020, with an intent to support teachers through better, faster diagnostic assessments enabled by data-driven technology. Quality online literacy and numeracy assessments linked to learning progressions are available to all NSW schools, to help teachers identify and target the support students need.
There is potential for increased technology support for teaching literacy and numeracy in Australia:
- Online editors, readers, annotators and translators can share explanatory notes and sound out words for students.
- Presentation software can support both teaching content creation and student skills development through flipped learning and differentiated approaches to literacy and numeracy across all KLAs.
- Video creation software can empower students to create a narrative and develop visual literacy.
- Diverse STEM tools can also facilitate literacy and numeracy teaching by engaging students in authoring and creation.
- Digital worksheets and scanners can enable literacy and numeracy sharing and assessment in the paperless digital classroom.
Technology to support literacy and numeracy teaching
There are a number of platforms and tools available for literacy and numeracy problem-solving in technology-rich environments. Here is a selection available for teachers in NSW public schools:
Supporting literacy and numeracy with Microsoft technologies
Microsoft Editor, Immersive Reader and Translator in Word can facilitate literacy teaching. OneNote Maths tools can assist students to understand numeracy as they can revise concepts by embedding Forms.
Apple tools for literacy and numeracy
Pages supports the creation of teaching content to support authentic technology integration in literacy and numeracy. Keynote can be used to engage students in differentiated approaches to literacy and numeracy across all KLAs. Clips can be used as a powerful tool to enhance student skills, knowledge and creation.
Empowering literacy with Adobe
Adobe Acrobat is part of the Adobe set of creativity applications. Acrobat Reader and Portable Document Format (PDF) can be used for literacy and numeracy digital worksheets. Adobe Scan can be used to digitise and share literacy and numeracy teaching materials and student work.
STEM tools can be used for simple but effective approaches to literacy and numeracy with tangible outcomes: Tinkercad as a 3D authoring and creation tool, and CoSpaces Edu as a tool for creating 360-degree virtual spaces.
NSW Department of Education literacy and numeracy resources
NSW public school teachers can access a range of resources on the NSW Department of Education literacy and numeracy websites:
Everyone’s an Author digital creative writing program features on-demand videos of ten Australian authors sharing their personal writing tips. Students learn to explore storytelling and expand their vocabulary by working through digital learning journals. This original T4L English program is designed to work with Apple Pages, Keynote, GarageBand and Sketches.
T4L Kids TV includes short videos designed to be used by teachers in the classroom to enhance student engagement with literacy and numeracy through technology. Topics covered include Microsoft Immersive Reader, voice typing and the ‘Explore’ tool in G Suite and literacy-powered animation with Apple tools.
Teachers can access NSW Department of Education literacy and numeracy related professional learning. New eLearning courses are now available.
Literacy and numeracy resources for schools demonstrate the practices NSW public schools have developed to support literacy and numeracy learning.
NSW Department of Education classroom resources supports the teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy in schools.
A suite of NSW Department of Education assessment tools can be used to assess student's literacy and numeracy skills at different stages throughout schooling.
Literacy and numeracy studies provide evidence-based practices for improving student outcomes. This CESE publication outlines how schools can improve literacy and numeracy performance and why it (still) matters.