Friday, May 29, 2009

US Senate bill supports 21st-century skills

eSchool News story excerpt: If passed, the bill would appropriate $100 million a year for the U.S. Department of Education to pass on to states that have developed a comprehensive plan for implementing a statewide 21st-century skills initiative and are able to supply matching funds for their initiative.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reframing Literacy: Justifying The Use of Moving Images In The Classroom

Reframing Literacy is the name of a UK document, produced recently by the highly respected British Film Institute (bfi). For those of us who believe in the power and relevance of moving image education (film, television), this is one important document. I hope you will take time to read it. While I'm at it, if you don't already know about the excellent bfi-produced curricula material, now might be a good time to take a look and consider purchasing some.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Video Game: The New Book Report?

The Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune newspaper reports on one local teacher who is using video games to teach middle schoolers a variety of skills. And while they're playing they're also taking notes, collaborating to write explanations of how the game is played, and preparing a multi-media presentation about the game.

Two Week Long CyberSummit on 21st Century Skills Announced

From Education Week: Is this the new face of policy gatherings in the nation's capital? The Partnership for 21st Century Skills will stage a "Cyber Summit" on 21st-century skills, to be held entirely online from June 1-12. The summit will offer a series of live video presentations, online forums, and webinars on examining 21st-century skills and knowledge (see my colleague Stephen Sawchuck's recent exploration of the issue, as well his follow-up article examining some of the criticism of the movement). Several state schools chiefs, including Steven Paine of West Virginia and Tom Horne of Arizona, are scheduled to participate. The forum will include discussions of professional development, standards, assessments and curriculum, as well as an exploration of state and local practices aimed at promoting those skills.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Critical analysis of advertising needs to be taught to children

Interesting story out of Australia, where a professor argues that most educators are waiting too late to begin helping children understand the powerful influence and persuasion of advertising. I have posted the story on my website, and hyperlinked to a referenced study on using media literacy to address body image.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

70+ Videos for Tech. & Media Literacy

A blogger offers his long list of recommended videos. For some time now, I have been scouring the video streaming websites and continue to build this database of my own list of web videos to help teachers teach about media literacy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Newspaper Uses Social Media To Reach Young Readers

In reporting on a case of a police informant who’d been murdered, the Tallahassee Democrat relied on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and text messages to get its reporting to young readers. Details here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graphic Novels in the Classroom

NCTE member and high school English teacher Greg Van Nest is interviewed on how he uses graphic novels in the classroom to motivate students and improve literacy. Teacher Magazine, May 4, 2008

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why Should Middle Schoolers Blog?

Popular edublogger Wesley Fryer shares his well-supported answer to this question at The Speed of Creativity. He includes "the importance of helping students take proactive control over their /digital footprints' and "the importance of teaching digital citizenship at school." Be sure to read the thoughtful comments that follow Fryer's brief but on-target explication.

Social Media Taught in Schools

An actual course entitled "Internet Famous" is currently being taught at Parsons New School for Design in NYC and is based on the premise that just because you are involved in social media doesn’t make you special. Another professor teaches it at Oklahoma State University. Details here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Educators use gaming systems to engage, reward students

Schools in Indiana and Florida are using gaming devices to help students learn and stay fit. Indiana elementary-school teachers have won national accolades for their use of Sony PlayStation Portables to engage students in learning. A Florida elementary school is rewarding its students for good behavior by letting them play with Nintendo Wiis, which also may help them get fit and improve sports skills.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Technology's Impact on Learning Outcomes: Can It Be Measured?

The ongoing debate on the effectiveness of technology use for student learning outcomes still seems to have no clear answers. Some will say technology is highly effective for students; others will say technology has had no measurable impact on outcomes. Why is this, and what can be done about it? More from THE's SmartClassroom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

District Administrators See Advantages of Web 2.0 in School

THE Journal reports: While K-12 district administrators are "overwhelmingly positive" about the value of Web 2.0 in schools, the use of Web 2.0 tools in actual learning environments is "quite limited," according to the results of a new study from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a professional association for district technology leaders.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kindle for Textbooks

According to the Wall Street Journal: starting this fall, some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed. The university plans to compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Could New Web Tool Make Google Obsolete?

BBC News reports: A new web tool that some experts say "could be as important as Google" has been shown off to the public.  The tool is due to be released later this month, May 2009.

Engaging The Digital Natives

Three schools are profiled in the May 2009 issue of Tech & Learning Magazine.

How the News Uses Fear To Get Our Attention

Susan Moeller's latest Media Literacy 101 column (in the Huffington Post blog) examines the news media's use of fear, especially regarding its reporting of the "swine flu." She previously wrote about this subject: see Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War and Death (pp. 54-95). You can also read it via Google books here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Using Urban Legends As A Starting Point to Teach Info/Media Literacy

The May 2009 issue of ISTE's Learning & Learning with Technology includes an essay (pages 28-30--"Alligators in The Sewers? Really?) which provides an excellent backgrounder on what media literacy is and how it can be applied to instruction, especially for the English language learner (ELL).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Schools embrace txt msg

According to this story in The Salt Lake Tribune, a number of Utah schools are using cell phone text messaging as a tool rather than seeing it as a menacing distraction. See also this previous post on cell phone use in education.