Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What research says about.....media literacy

Media literacy (according to this author) is making a comeback, spurred by students' access to unlimited information on the Internet. Can schools provide the skills students need to become media literate in a digital world? An article in the March issue of Educational Leadership examines the changes in digital media literacy, the realities of incorporating media literacy into the curriculum and the research on this topic. (Two previous blogposts: one on plagiarism and one on digital technology's impact on literacy were also published in this special issue of Ed Leadership,)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

News literacy project aims to bring journalists into classrooms

Teacher Magazine reports: "The News Literacy Project aims to teach middle and high school students to distinguish between news, analysis, and opinion in order to be smarter media consumers and, in turn, become more engaged citizens. Active and retired journalists from major news organizations are volunteering their time to make presentations to students and work in conjunction with teachers in social studies, history, and English classrooms. Participating teachers and journalists use original curriculum materials ..." See also this previous blog post about news literacy.

Digital Media, Literacy Instruction And The Linchpin: Well-Trained Teachers

A recent article about the 4th grade reading slump, in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, features a blueprint for change built on a provocative premise. The authors argue that instead of banning, disdaining or simply ignoring digital media in the classroom, educators should be emboldened -- and supported -- to use as much of it as they can. The article, "TV Guidance," was written by James Paul Gee, a literacy professor at Arizona State University and Michael Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and a senior associate at Yale University's Zigler Center. Further details here.

Call for Proposals: Media Literacy in / and the Arts: a special double issue of Afterimage

Call for Proposals: Media Literacy in / and the Arts: a special double issue of Afterimage (to be published September/October 2009). Afterimage is seeking unpublished scholarly research, pedagogy, experiential narratives and coverage of all media literacy practices and applications in any media and in relation to all educational, artistic, and professional disciplines. Submit proposals for the following: feature articles (3,000-4,000 words); essays and narratives (1,500-2,500 words); artist portfolios (to fit a page spread); reviews (850-1,500 words) of exhibitions, books, films, videos, and educational materials. Include cv/resume with all submissions. **Extended deadline for proposals: April 3, 2009 at 5pm EST (via email). Notification by April 8, 2009. Final copy deadline: June 2, 2009. Authors reserve all future reprint rights. Email Karen vanMeenen, Editor, at afterimageeditor@yahoo.com with proposals and questions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Plagiarism in the Internet Age (ASCD)

Many teachers see plagiarism as a simple, black-and-white issue. Teachers often bring up the topic at the beginning of a research paper unit, discuss it in one classroom period and never say the word plagiarism again unless students are caught copying, at which time this term is dragged out once more to accuse and punish the guilty. An article in the latest issue of ASCD's "Educational Leadership" examines how online resources have affected the way students do research and how educators can prevent plagiarism by devoting extensive instruction to the component tasks of writing from sources.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reading Across A Dozen Literacies

Jamie McKenzie writes on his blog : "We need a broadened conception of reading to capture the many different types of reading that occur when considering information in different formats across different media. As mentioned in the companion piece to this article ("Reading Between the Lines"), students must now be able to "read a face" as well as a page, must be able to read a photograph or a chart or a situation. Reading as understanding applies to many aspects of life."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New York Times Now Tracks Best Selling Graphic Novels

The Times has actually introduced three separate lists of the best-selling graphic books in the US: hardcover, paperback, and manga. Details here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Schools Attempt to Redefine the iPod War

The prevalence of MP3 players has made it hard for teachers to keep them out of the classroom, but some schools embrace them. Details here. In a related story, a Colorado elementary school is experimenting with iPods as tools to help kindergarteners learn letters and sounds.

Social Networks Are the R&D Teams of the Future

During the ASCD annual conference session "Professional Learning Networks Using Web 2.0 Tools," presenter Meg Ormiston shared networking tools and big ideas. She covered a variety of professional learning networks and emphasized that harnessing the wisdom of crowds is the future of improving educational practices. An ASCD blog post highlights some of her ideas as well as the session's Wikispace. The post also asks readers how they are using Web 2.0 to network with colleagues, and what benefits, resistance or challenges have they witnessed among educators.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are Digital Media Changing Language?

From the current "Literacy 2.0" themed issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership: Are instant messaging and text messaging killing language? To hear what the popular media say, a handful of OMGs (oh my god) and smiley faces, along with a paucity of capital letters and punctuation marks, might be bringing English to its knees.

Mobile Devices: Facing Challenges and Opportunities for Learning

According to this essay online at THE Journal: the issue is two pronged: that of administrators charged with overall school safety of our children and that of the educators who desire some degree of academic freedom to wisely select whatever it takes to prepare every student in their charge with 21st century skills within a safe environment. Which side do we take? Can we make both sides happy? What are potential challenges and opportunities for learning via mobile devices?

Virtual Conference (April 23): 21st Century Skills

The Florida Ed Tech Conference (FETC) and THE Journal offer this free, online virtual conference, Thursday April 23, 11am-7pm ET. The program features a total of 7 "web-sessions." See the agenda and register here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two New Media Literacy Essays

David Considine (Appalachian State University) has contributed two new essays in two curriculum journals. In "Teaching and Reaching The Millennial Generation Through Media Literacy," (in March issue of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy), he argues "that because of the availability of digital technologies, today's teenagers bring to school a rich and different set of literacy practices and background that is often unacknowledged or underused by educators.....it is the(ir) responsibility to build a bridge between the knowledge students already have and the content they need to learn to be successful inside and outside of school." In "From Guttenberg to Gates: Media Matters" (Social Studies, March/April 2009) he says both media consolidation and convergence have increasingly changed the way individuals as both consumers and citizens access, process, and communicate information at the local, national, and global levels. He discusses how media literacy is also compatible with several of the major strands identified by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and can be facilitated by the growing range of resources available to teachers.(Neither is currently online, but may be available via library/subscription databases.)

A Nation (Still) At Risk: An Old Literacy Crisis with a New Media Solution?

This blogger summarizes Henry Jenkins' ideas advocating for educational reform policies that are rooted in media convergence or on the idea of bridging the gap between skills honed outside of the classroom on digital tools and those presented by teachers in an academic context.

Minnesota school's film course teaches media literacy

The course at Northfield School of Arts and Technology teaches students both the technical and artistic sides of filmmaking, as students learn how to make and edit their own movies and work in crucial production roles on professional projects. But the heart of the course is media literacy — the ability to critically navigate and engage television and other forms of visual media, rather than passively absorbing it. Details here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Call for Papers: Journal of Media Literacy Education

Call for Papers Journal of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) Inaugural issue to be entitled “Media Literacy Education: Past, Present and Future.” Journal will be free and online.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Update on News Literacy

NOTE: News Literacy will be a session at NCTE 2009 in Philadelphia. We have invited teachers who are in the pilot phase of two projects to come and share their experiences. Please look for it in the conference program. Frank Baker

Stony Brook University (Long Island, NY) hosted a three-day meeting comprised of journalists, educators and funders. The dean of the school of journalism brought them all together to urge for the expansion of "news literacy" initiatives in both higher education and high schools. The event was attended by some of the
biggest names in print and broadcast journalism. Of interest to readers here is the News Literacy Summer High School Teachers Institute. It's a two-week course in July: Stony Brook pays for housing and food- you just have to fund your own travel. At the close of the three-day event, the dean announced that 10-million dollars is now being sought to hire 50 laid-off journalists who would be deployed in colleges and universities to teach news literacy there and at local schools.

Related story:
With the future of print journalism looking bleak, high-school journalists increasingly are publishing podcasts and making use of social networks as they fold online components into their curriculum. School newspapers need to follow their audience, says Patrick Stoddardt, the Web site editor of his high school's journalism lab.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reposting Call for Proposals: Web 2.0 Lessons Sought

As you may be aware, NCTE members Scott Sullivan and Mary Christel are embarking on editing a volume of Web 2.0 lessons as a followup to the "Lesson Plans for Creating Media-Rich Classrooms" volume that they published in 2007. They are still seeking proposals for certain 2.0 applications. The revised call and the proposal form can be found here. Note that certain applications are highlighted in bold face type on the call. Those are the lessons that they need to round out the TOC. They will continue to accept proposals through Monday, March 23. Please pass this information along to other potential contributors.

Hitting the (Comic) Books

As comics become more mainstream, Harvard professors begin to use them in the classroom. Details here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kids' Informal Learning With Digital Media (MacArthur Foundation)

T.H.E. Journal reports: A major study on the impact of digital technologies on learning argues that students' online pursuits are productive and edifying, and should be exploited by teachers for educational gain.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Visual Literacy: Engaging the Eye Generation

Stenhouse Publishers recently invited readers of the blog Technology in the Middle to participate in a book blog tour for Johanna Riddle’s Engaging the Eye Generation: Visual Literacy Strategies for the K-5 Classroom. The entire book is free to browse online and offers practical suggestions, based on Johanna’s extensive classroom experience, for incorporating visual literacy into the curriculum.

Educators study research habits of Generation Y

From the UK: One result of the study: it revealed that these kids were not as web-literate or search-expert as they were usually made out to be. It also suggested that they preferred to view information rather than read it, and so tended to choose information that was graphically represented rather than just text-based.

Media Literacy Conference Registration Opens

Registration is now open for this summer's National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) bi-annual conference. Discounted registration is available for a limited time. Details about some of the speakers has already been posted. Hope to see you in Detroit!

Monday, March 9, 2009

What are storyboards and how can they help our students?

Here is an excerpt (courtesy of Scholastic) from a relatively new book: "Visual Tools for Differentiating Reading & Writing Instruction: Strategies to Help Students Make Abstract Ideas Concrete and Accessible." Storyboards are one of several tools recommended when working with students for whom the visual and the concrete are helpful elements in absorbing abstract ideas. Our authors have found that this technique is especially helpful in reading and writing instruction.

Social Media Explodes Past Email

Nielsen Online's "Global Faces and Networked Places" report shows that by the end of 2008, 66.8% of internet users across the globe accessed “member communities” last year, compared to 65.1% percent for email. The most popular online activities remain search and Web portals (with around 85% reach) and the websites of software manufacturers. News story here. Full report here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Value of Blogging In The Classroom

From the current ASCD newsletter: Students who blog for class may build confidence in their writing, and the blogs encourage more reflection that can really cement student learning, educators say. "Before I started this class, writing was my enemy, but now I like writing," one middle-school student wrote in her blog. "Writing all this makes me feel that I know more." Read more in this story from Edutopia (the publication of the George Lucas Educational Foundation).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Teaching With 21st Century Skills: Profiles Work of William Kist

NCTE Commission on Media chair Bill Kist is one of the professors profiled in this story: "Professors incorporate new teaching methods." Meanwhile, Education Week offers this discussion between two well-known educators: a talk about 21st Century Skills and what really matters in public education. Ed Week also reports on a backlash against the 21C movement. USA Today recently weighed in with:
What to learn: 'core knowledge' or '21st-century skills'?