Media Education/Digital educational content and textbooks
For some years, a research project has been running within the scope of the Idea “CDD/Textbook Integration”, touching on the subjects of digital reading and writing in the broad sense we have attempted to convey (Anichini, 2010). Investigating the way in which the leading Educational Avant-garde schools approached the self-production of textbooks and digital teaching resources was an opportunity to learn more about the subject of digital writing, placing it in the context of reflections supported by Media Education (which means, in brief, giving value to the knowledge of the language of new media, with all it entails, with the idea that the direct production of texts is functional to the genuine understanding of readers).
In connection with the general objectives of Structure 7, such as “To support and promote didactic-disciplinary innovation processes in didactic practices in the various school levels and grades”, and “To support teaching professionalism with research and reflection practices”, the research project presents the following specific objectives:
OB1: To analyse digital writing and reading practices, viewed as a substantial part of the curriculum.
OB2: To analyse the processes of self-producing textbooks or digital teaching content, identifying their didactic qualities.
The project has three main lines of investigation. The first aims to investigate the connection between digital writing and languages. For this line of investigation, collaboration was initiated with the University of Turin (Prof. Alberto Parola) and with Treccani Scuola (to be formalised), and work was done with the “Digital Curricula” network coordinated by the “IC Govone” of Govone (CN). The second and third lines aim to investigate the connection between self-production and curriculum review, following the self-production of textbooks from two disciplines, Geography and Art History, in a school that has been engaged in this activity for some time (the “Amaldi” of the “IC di Cadeo e Pontenure” in Roveleto di Cadeo, PC). In this case, teaching practices are observed more closely and teachers’ reflections are collected. This work is in line with another research project in progress within the Educational Avant-garde Movement, precisely “Knowledge Workshops”. It analyses the impact of the subject in the workshop programmes implemented at school.
There are three research questions:
Q1: What impact can a creative writing programme, which involves the use of different technologies and the design and production of texts, have on preparing students? In other words, does digital writing somehow conflict with traditional writing or does it enhance it?
Q2: What impact can design programmes and the production of digital educational content have on the curriculum?
Q3: What relationship is established between the self-production of textbooks and the epistemology of the subject matter?