Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Media Literacy Embedded in New P21 Curriculum Maps

Media Literacy is embedded in the new Science & Geography curriculum maps released today by P21 at NECC. According to the press release: "The 21st Century Skills and Science and Geography Maps demonstrate how the integration of 21st century skills into science and geography classes support teaching and prepare students to become effective and productive citizens."

Note: the press release, surprisingly does not provide links to these documents, and finding them on the P21C website is like looking for a needle in a haystack. (I guess they don't care if anyone actually finds these documents) Here are the pertinent URLS:

http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/documents/21stcskillsmap_geog.pdf ; (media literacy on page 6)
http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/documents/21stcskillsmap_science.pdf ; (media literacy on page 8)

ISTE Unveils the Next Generation of Technology Standards for Administrators

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has launched the next generation of standards for administrators' use of technology.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why Schools Should Break the Web 2.0 Barrier

In the current issue of THRESHOLD, media/tech guru Will Richardson provides plenty of reasons to drop the firewall at schools.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Digital-literacy program encourages kids to remake social networking in the image of learning.

In the common conception, kids plus social networking equals an online popularity contest conducted in grammar-free instant-messaging lingo -- not exactly an educator's dream world. But the Chicago-based Digital Youth Network, a digital-literacy program funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has tapped into the networking phenomenon to encourage creativity and learning. Details from Edutopia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dueling curricula put copyright ed in spotlight

From eSchool News: A clash over education materials from two copyright awareness organizations has thrust copyright education in the national spotlight, while giving educators and students some new resources for understanding how copyrights work.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TWITTER: Telling a story -- in 140 characters or less

Inspired by the micro-blogging service Twitter, a growing number of authors are crafting stories and poems in 140 characters or less, aiming to take advantage of Twitter's potential as a distribution channel for their creative output, Agence France Presse service reports.
In related stories:
Two young college students write "Twitterature: Classic Literature in Twenty Tweets or Less" to recreate classic literature in a micro-novel format.
- Two "Ulysees" enthusiasts have come up with the idea of recreating a chapter from "Ulysses" on Twitter.
-In this Washington Post story, one professor says that using Twitter in the classroom teaches students to write concisely.

What should a 21st century classroom look like?

This headline caught my attention, on the cover of the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Education Week's Digital Directions. "The New Classroom Look" says for some schools, the future is now, at least when it comes to incorporating some of the features of 21st-century classrooms.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ALA, Syracuse University iSchool offer course on YouTube

The American Library Association (ALA) has partnered with the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) in an innovative experiment to teach a "Gaming In Libraries" course that is open to both students and the public via the online video platform YouTube. Details here.

Students, Technology & Cheating

It was bound to happen, sooner or later. Here is USA Today's version: One-fourth of teens' cellphone text messages are sent during class, a new survey finds, despite widespread classroom bans on cellphones. Meanwhile, eSchool News reports: Students says using tech to cheat isn't cheating. Get the full story from Common Sense Media--the non-profit that sponsored the survey. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper chimes in with: More high-tech cheating - and rationalizing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Using web sites to engage students in summer reading

A Memphis TN newspaper reports that some teachers say students are more enthusiastic about their summer reading lists now that blog posts, book-oriented Web sites and other online submissions have replaced traditional book reports and tests. One English teacher has created a wiki where students post their thoughts on an assigned book, as well as videos and photos.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Digital games in classroom teaching: how do teachers use them?

A groundbreaking new European study, released at a major EU conference hosted by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, sheds light on how teachers use digital games in the classroom for learning purposes. The conference was opened by the European Commissioner for Education and Culture, Jan Figel, underlining the importance of the study. It covers commercial as well as “serious” games. It was carried out by European Schoolnet, a network of 31 Ministries of Education, commissioned by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE). Read more Download the synthesis report and full study.

Should We Teach With & About Twitter?

This Australian web site reports that young people in the UK may soon be learning about twitter and other new and emerging technologies. A soon to be released report says it would require "children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain 'fluency' in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spell checker alongside how to spell". So the question is: do you have any plans to incorporate twitter (or other Web 2.0) tools into instruction? US News & World Report has this report (June 15): Tweeting Your Way To Better Grades--how some students and educators say Twitter actually can be a helpful study tool

Studies Explore Whether the Internet Makes Students Better Writers

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: "The rise of online media has helped raise a new generation of college students who write far more, and in more-diverse forms, than their predecessors did. But the implications of the shift are hotly debated, both for the future of students' writing and for the college curriculum. Some scholars say that this new writing is more engaged and more connected to an audience, and that colleges should encourage students to bring lessons from that writing into the classroom. Others argue that tweets and blog posts enforce bad writing habits and have little relevance to the kind of sustained, focused argument that academic work demands."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

In the June/July issue of the Atlantic Nicholas Carr poses a disturbing question: “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” More specifically, Carr wonders whether the modern tendency to consume information online, through a constant stream of headlines, e-mails, and blog posts has eroded our capacity for deep, measured thought.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

'Dumbest Generation'? Professor/author blames technology

From USA Today: Teens and young adults are more likely in their free time to check their Facebook page than read a book -- and they are dumber for it, says English professor Mark Bauerlein. That is Bauerlein's contention in The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30), which was recently released in paperback. Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University in Atlanta, says Generation Y, ages 16-29, has been shaped by exposure to computer technology since elementary school. The cost, he says, outweighs the convenience. Kids are writing more than ever online or in text messages, but it's not the kind of narrative skill needed as adults, he says. And social networking sites can give young users "the sense of them being the center of the universe."

How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live

Steven Johnson's essay in TIME Magazine online: "Put those three elements together - social networks, live searching and link-sharing - and you have a cocktail that poses what may amount to the most interesting alternative to Google's near monopoly in searching." You might also appreciate: 10 Things Teachers Should Know to Get Started with Twitter

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Computer Games Explore Social Issues

This online article is posted on the George Lucas Ed Foundation's Edutopia web site. See previous posts: Video Game: The New Book Report and Educators Use Games to Engage/Reward

Florida online school implements game-based course

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is set to pilot what it describes as the first complete online game-based course for high school students. School officials and the game's creators hope the course will help engage students who struggle in traditional classroom settings. Details here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How One Teacher Uses Twitter in the Classroom

Teachers are always trying to combat student apathy and University of Texas at Dallas History Professor, Monica Rankin, has found an interesting way to do it using Twitter in the classroom.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout My Digital Generation (Edutopia Magazine)

The June/July 2009 issue of Edutopia magazine offers educators a host of ideas and recommendations for incorporating media and technology into instruction. Start here and enjoy.

Social Networking As Pedagogy

For the life of me, I cannot understand why this essay is in AV Technology magazine (an industry trade pub aimed at those who install and use av equipment.) In any event, the author, a music/technology professor, raises some interesting issues: "To the extent that social networks like Facebook have become a de facto channel for communication between students and instructors, do these networks enhance the level of interaction between students and instructors, or are they simply another distraction? More specifically, are we increasing the level of student engagement by utilizing social networks or does this simply add more background noise, ultimately de-focusing students from the tasks at hand?"

Lights, Camera, Learning/From Watching Newsreels to Making Videos

The June/July 2009 issue of ISTE's Learning & Leading With Technology contains these two essays of interest....(neither of which is posted yet on the journal's web site). In "Lights, Camera, Learning!" the authors note that the professional organizations for science, social studies, math and English language arts are all "devoting extensive thought to ways digital video might be used to strengthen student learning." The Museum of the Moving Image's web site is highlighted in the second essay. Also contained in this issue: Science and Video; Rock N' Roll Video Teaches Math; Telling Stories With Video.