English 659

ENGL 659: Digital Electronics in English Language Arts

Prerequisites: None

Credits: (3)

This course examines the nature of language arts in an increasingly paperless world of electronic texts.  Topics will include issues related to copyright in the digital realm, art and expression in digital spaces, plagiarism, and classroom management in classroom spaces with competing wireless devices a potentially constant distraction.  A key element of the learning activities will involve designing instructional activities based on digital electronic devices as classroom resources.


Detailed Description of Course

ENGL 659 explores how contemporary teachers may enhance the instructional setting, whether in an online environment or a traditional classroom, through the use of digital electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, camcorders, e-readers, social media and content-based websites and journals.  Topical coverage ranges from basic use of such devices as digital tools with Internet connectivity and essentially unlimited storage capacity to managing that use to prevent mis-use or essentially frivolous activities.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

ENGL 659 offers a variety of learning opportunities through student involvement that may include but are not limited to whole-class threaded discussions, small-group projects carried out through online collaboration, independent and collaborative research, individual reading responses to selections taken from reference texts (responses typically posted as journal entries for further discussion), individualized instructional planning activities for online and traditional delivery, peer editing and review work in threaded discussion spaces, and video and open publishing projects (blog, glog, wiki, vimeo, etc.).  Additional work may include traditional essays with researched content.  The intent is to encourage a pragmatic understanding of the burgeoning role of digital electronic devices in English Language Arts classrooms at all levels, for all audiences.  Both the possibilities and potential problems associated with such devices, including cost, fragility, connectivity, and copyright and plagiarism issues, will be considered.


Goals and Objectives of this Course

Upon completion of this course, students will:

1. Be able to identify a wide variety of contemporary, digital devices typically found in home and educational settings (e.g., e-readers, smart phones, tablets, etc.).

2. Be able to describe multiple media channels accessible through the use of a variety of digital electronic devices (e.g., social media, content-based web sources, collaborative source sites, open access content sites, etc.).

3. Be able to distinguish between potential Universal Design for Learning (UDL) applications and Assistive Technology (AT) applications for digital electronic devices.

4. List contemporary sites through which many users of such devices connect and communicate (e.g., Twitter, SnapChat, etc.).

5. Be able to describe multiple learning activities appropriate to the use of digital electronic devices.

6. Be competent to independently research and evaluate research findings related to the use of digital electronic devices in instructional settings.


Assessment Measures

ENGL 659 may use a variety of assessment measures, which may include but is not limited to a number of the following:

• writing activities such as readers’ logs, journals and threaded discussions

• examinations on assigned readings

• essays on assigned topics and on student selected topics

• formal, researched essays on assigned or student selected topics

• digital media-based presentations and open publishing products such as blog entries and videos

• short instructional plans designed to address specific topic and audiences in language arts

• longer instructional plans designed to address multiple topics in language arts with an identifiable, shared theme


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

May 15, 2013