Assistant Professor in Literacy Education
Iowa State University School of Education
Students become more engaged when their lessons in school align with their interests outside of school.
That’s why Emily Howell, a new assistant professor of literacy education in the Iowa State University School of Education, is exploring how the use of technology can assist in students’ learning.
“I really enjoy helping students become more engaged in their learning and making their learning more authentic to their interests,” she said. “I don’t think there should be this huge dichotomy between in-school and out-of-school literacies. I’m looking to merge those — to ask students, what are you doing outside of school that you might tap into in school? I’m interested in helping them use those interests to further their academic learning.”
Howell explores the use of design in writing, rather than just text, with digital tools ranging from iPads to laptops and apps.
The technology helps to make the composing of ideas relevant to what students will eventually do when they go out in the world, Howell said. For example, businesses often convey information with PowerPoint presentations and infographics rather than with research papers.