Thursday, April 30, 2009

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

Steven Johnson (author of "Everything Bad is Good For You") writes in this recent WSJ essay: "I knew then that the book's migration to the digital realm would not be a simple matter of trading ink for pixels, but would likely change the way we read, write and sell books in profound ways. It will make it easier for us to buy books, but at the same time make it easier to stop reading them."

Class To Focus on Facebook

West Virginia University is one of a growing number of universities to offer classes on Facebook and other social networking sites. This summer, the university will offer "Facebook: Friend or Foe?" - a class that will, of course, be taught online. Details here. See also this previous post on Facebook and Wikis in instruction.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Call for Nominations: Media Literacy Award

During the 2009 NCTE Annual Convention in Philadelphia, the NCTE Commission on Media will present its fourth annual Media Literacy Award to an individual, team, or department that has implemented and refined exemplary media literacy practices in their school environment. June 15 is the application deadline.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Student film-makers are stars in C-SPAN competition

The Miami Herald profiles students whose videos made it to the finals of a national C-SPAN competition.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

High-Achieving African American Students Use Active Reasoning When Responding to Favorite Media

High achieving African American children are better at active reasoning when it comes to their television use than regular students, according to the findings of a recent study conducted by Renee Hobbs and the Media Education Lab team at Temple University. The findings were to be presented at the Broadcast Education Association national conference in Las Vegas this week.

ASCD Recommends EdWeek's Digital Ed Blog

ASCD says: Education Week is blog-happy; it keeps adding to its stable of entertaining and edifying blogs. One of the latest and most useful additions is Digital Education, by Katie Ash and Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, which covers the intersection of technology and education from all angles. What will you find at Digital Education? One post describes a high school's use of Google Earth, a free online service, to explore ancient Rome. Another post takes a broader view, asking, "How Effective Is Ed. Software, Really?" After discussing recent research, Ash states, "As I hear over and over from people in all areas of ed-tech: it's not the technology, but what you do with the technology that counts." This breadth of content makes Digital Education a must-read.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Skills for Surviving the 21st Century: Media Literacy Is Absolutely Essential

Canadian media educators Barry Duncan and Carol Arcus, writing in this Ontario teacher's publication, position media literacy education as essential in light of Web 2.0 and young people's fascination with new media tools and technology. But at the same time that Canada has made advancements in media education, much work remains to be done. Are American educators listening? In this related op-ed, Howard Rheingold says: "What we know and what we teach our children about how to critically consume and collaboratively create online media matters."

Facebook and Wikis In Instruction (T.H.E. JOURNAL)

Facebook Training Wheels A secured social networking site allows schools to incorporate the technology into academics while preparing students for the perils of online communities.

Why Wikis? Most Web 2.0 tools are discussed at length in terms of their application to the learning process. While there is much that can be learned from using these tools in instruction, there are also principles upon which that use rests that have long been the goals of instruction at various levels. In other words, while the tools may change, the goals of teaching and learning remain much the same.

New Media Education Publication

The Alliance of Civilizations in collaboration with UNESCO and the support of Grupo Comunicar and the European Commission has published Mapping Media Education Policies in the World: Visions, Programmes and Challenges. DOWNLOAD THE BOOK HERE

Thursday, April 16, 2009

'Mystery Science Theater' meets Twitter in new development for movie screenings

Normally, rampant texting in a movie theater is grounds for ejection. But in St. Charles, Ill., it's encouraged, reports the Chicago Tribune -- thanks to a new development that could make its way soon to college campuses.

Making filmmakers out of the digital generation

A New York City program is allowing students to learn not only how to tell stories and challenge stereotypes, but also learn the value of film making and media literacy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Registration Is Open: "Bridging Literacies: Critical Connections In A Digital World"

The National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) reminds NCTE members (and others) of its annual national media literacy conference August 1-4, 2009 in Detroit Michigan. For a limited time, registration is only $199. Details on the conference web site.

Reaching and inspiring tech-savvy kids

From a New York State teachers newsletter: Engaging students, igniting their imaginations and encouraging them to learn are challenges teachers have always faced. The ever-shortening student attention span exacerbates the task. But these teachers are harnessing today's technology to facilitate the learning process for students in a meaningful way. Related stories: Akron teacher sees grades improve after audio, video lessons and Canandaigua teacher embraces technology and inspires students

Monday, April 13, 2009

Florida Teachers use iPods to supplement classroom lessons

ASCD reports: Some Florida elementary-school teachers are using iPods to enhance student learning. In some cases, students listen to podcasts that contain their assignments, allowing them to rewind and work at their own pace. Teachers say they have more time to work individually with students, who say the iPods help them retain the information and make learning fun.

Might Facebook Users Have Lower GPAs ?

Media reports tend to exaggerate this study's findings, according to this story in the Chronicle of Higher Education. One of those media may be CNET who reports that researchers at Ohio State University have delved deep into the habit that is Facebook and concluded that those who express their membership regularly do worse in school tests. The Wall Street Journal chimes in too.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Portable-media players acting as teaching tools

The "One Media Player Per Teacher" project (OMPT) is described in this CNET post. The MP3 players are loaded with curriculum and are donated to schools in remote areas of the world.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Survey Says: Students See Schools Inhibiting Their Use of New Technologies

Students are using personal technology tools more readily to study subject matter, collaborate with classmates, and complete assigments than they were several years ago, but they are generally asked to “power down” at school and abandon the electronic resources they rely on for learning outside of class, according to findings from a national survey released in early April. Details in this Education Week story. In a related story from THE Journal, a new survey shows Web 2.0 tools are now in use at most schools, and teachers have been largely responsible for making this happen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

NCSS Policy Statement on Media Literacy

Media educator Jeff Share, a past member of the NCTE Commission on Media, has asked me to share this: The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has recently published a new position statement on media literacy. It is a very important move that NCSS has both recognized and recommended media literacy be taught as part of social studies instruction. The statement, which Jeff helped write, can be found here. Please consider sharing this message with those you know who would be interested.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

An Essay on The Necessity of Media/News Literacy

From The Huffington Post: "We call our children digital natives. But a digital generation is made, not born. Certainly middle-class teens are "tech-savvy." But opening up the cell phone or the MP3 player or game controller is only like opening up a door to a larger world. Children must learn not just how to surf, link, load and click, but how to ask, judge and think to understand our world. In world of infinite information, there's a difference between being tech savvy and life savvy? Why is one piece accurate and another one wrong? Why is this news and that advertising? Why is this fair and that unfair? How does context change a story's truthfulness? Why show that photo and not this one? Those are not tech questions. Those are life questions. That's why we believe that students today -- not just students, actually, but everyone -- need to become news literate."

Friday, April 3, 2009

the Impact of New Digital Formats and Technologies on Publishing

As the recession trudges on, you may have noticed that the bookstore you pass every morning on your way to work has hung the dreaded “Going Out of Business” sign in the front window. Even larger book-selling chains, such as Borders and Barnes & Noble, have reported declining sales, despite their large inventories, events and in-store caf├ęs. Sales are moving online, and e-books and e-readers are growing increasingly popular. What does this mean for the future of traditional book publishers and the print books they produce? To answer this question, Book Business Extra spoke with Danny O. Snow, senior fellow of The Society for New Communications Research—a nonprofit think tank dedicated to the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications—to talk about the impact that new technologies are having on the publishing industry.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Study Connects Student Achievement to Tech Integration

Technology adoption is on the rise in America's K-12 schools, and it's having a positive impact on learning outcomes. That's one of the findings from a new national trends report released April 2 by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). The report, Focus on Technology Integration in America's Schools, examined programs in all 50 states in which technology was being effectively integrated into the curriculum, focusing on content, curricula, professional development, and assessments, with a particular emphasis on programs benefitting from Title II, Part D ("Enhancing Education Through Technology" or "EETT") funds. THE Journal has other details.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

University/High School Collaboration on Digital Media Curriculum

NCTE Commission on Media member and author Richard Beach is part of a team from the University of Minnesota who have partnered with a local high school to create a new curriculum which "gives students a chance to work with the kind of audio, video, and computer technologies that are shaping society." The curriculum "emphasizes critical thinking and hands-on technical skills in numerous subjects." Read more here. The project also has its own wiki.