Interactive Apps and Narrative Writing

Interactive Apps and Narrative Writing – 2023

In a recent Briefing Paper entitled ‘Education across the island of Ireland: comparing systems and outcomes’, Roulston (2021) argues that the curriculum, pedagogic approaches and assessment in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are markedly different and he asserts that there is a need for both jurisdictions to learn from other systems and to move towards systems of education which meet the needs of all, and not just a privileged few. From its establishment in 2003, as a safe space for teacher educators to come together and discuss issues of common interest and from its deep rooted commitment to quality teaching and learning for all (Standing Conference on Teacher Education, North and South[SCoTENS], n.d.) the SCoTENS Seed Funding Scheme is ideally situated to allow this learning about specific issues in education to take place.
One such issue in education is the teaching of writing in the primary classroom. Good writing is not only essential to students’ success in school it is pervasive in the world of work (Graham et al., 2015). This prevalence of writing in everyday life exacts a toll on those who do not learn to write well and can limit personal attainment (Graham, 2006). The complexity of writing means that teachers face many challenges in teaching it, yet supporting children to generate and share their thoughts in authentic writing experiences is crucial (Gerde et al., 2019). It has been suggested that there is far less research on the teaching of writing than on the other elements of the 3 Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) (Slavin et al., 2019). Given the influx of new technologies in everyday life and also within the classroom, there has been a growing body of research which is beginning to identify some of the affordances of digital technology within literacy (Kucirkova and Sakr, 2015). Dunn and Sweeney (2018) argue for thoughtful and intentional use of technology to allow for children to be engaged in learning in ways that are meaningful, creative and allow children agency in developing texts which resonate with their everyday technoliteracy practices.