Monday, August 31, 2009

Wikipedia to color-code untrustworthy text

From Starting this fall, you'll have a new reason to trust the information you find on Wikipedia, Wired reports: An optional feature called "WikiTrust" will color-code every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its author and the length of time it has persisted on the page.

“Cool Tools for Schools” and “Getting Tricky with Wikis” - Two Recommended Resources

As an educator interested in creating engaging wikis, you’ll want to keep resources like “Cool Tools for Schools” and “Getting Tricky with Wikis” handy for your Web 2.0 needs.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Great Advice for Teachers: Media Literacy in the 21st Century

This Scholastic blog contains good advice for educators on the importance of media literacy in a 21st century- web 2.0 world. After stating the obvious ("Being a literate consumer of media in the 21st century will require significantly higher levels of discernment since the number of 'trusted sources,' and those that 'appear to be trustworthy,' have accelerated and are continuing to grow as more and more people learn how to manipulate and message through new media.") the writer goes onto to offer advice to students as both consumers and producers of media.

Friday, August 28, 2009

CSPAN Annonces 2010 StudentCam Competition

C-SPAN is pleased to launch our 2010 StudentCam competition. StudentCam is an annual video documentary competition for middle and high school students that asks them to think critically about national issues. This year, C-SPAN is giving students a choice. Students can select between one of two themes: 1) One of our country's greatest strengths; or -2) A challenge the country is facing. Rules and other information can be found here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teacher's Cartoon Part of National Program

When Adam Schwartz designed a cartoon for a class project while a student at the University of Alabama in 2007, he never expected it would become the new face of a program to help children at risk of behavioral problems. Details in this news story. Additional details on YouTube and at the Coping Power website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Graphic Novels: Great Way to Fight Illiteracy?

A former middle school writing teacher says it's past time for other educators to consider the power of the graphic novel to teach reading and writing. Tammy Horn says “Current educational theory suggests that learners are much better able to assimilate information when it’s in a visual form." Read more here.

Business Embraces New Media/Tech--Why Not Schools?

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, teacher/writer Jim Fabiano argues that Facebook, iPods and cell phones are not going away, and that schools must stop their continued opposition. Their actions, he says, deny teachers (and students) use of these new and other emerging tools.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Media Literacy & The Fog of War

Two professors at Teachers College, writing in an Education Week op-ed, make a compelling argument for media literacy education in the nation's schools. They write: ".. now, more than ever, we must teach students to read between the lines—to become media critics who understand who controls and shapes the information and images we see."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Virginia Middle School Explores Student Blogging as Teaching Tool

The Daily Press (VA) reports: Passage Middle School in Newport News, Va., will be maintaining class-related blogs written by students and teachers in every classroom. Principal Kipp Rogers hopes the blogs help educators assess student writing assignments. The blogs will be created with Edublog software, which includes content filters. Teachers will view every entry before it is posted and will control who is able to view the blogs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project LookSharp Releases New Media Literacy Curricula

Project Look Sharp announces two new curriculum kits are now available free online for educators (and with hard copies available at cost through the Ithaca College bookstore).

Creativity and Aging through the Lens of Film is designed for college level classes (in aging studies, lifespan development, music, film, or media literacy classes). 5 lessons (each containing 4 short clips from popular and documentary films) explore what it means to be creative and how older adults exhibit creativity in a wide range of ways. Weblink:

Critical Thinking and Health: Nutrition and TV Commercials is designed for early elementary grades, and consists of lessons that each about the purpose of advertising (and TV commercials in particular), the types of tricks used in ads, lessons about cereal commercials and real fruit and juice vs. "fruit" snacks and drinks. Incorporating many examples of TV commercials for analysis along with short clips from the Consumer Reports videos "Buy Me That," these lessons reflect current health standards for the elementary grades. Weblinks:

Visual Literacy: Comparing Obama Magazine Cover Images

As we all know, the news depends on visual images, as much as the written word, to communicate. With that in mind, I have gathered together three recent current events/news magazine covers, all of which represent President Obama as a doctor. I have created a simple one page handout that you might decide to use with your students. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Relationship between graphic novels and motion pictures

Why do movie sales not translate into comic book sales? (Part 1)

Why don't comic book movies impact comic book sales? (Part 2)

Comic book movies do impact comic book sales(Part 3 of 3)

10 Ideas for Engaging Learners with Cell Phones Even in Districts that Ban Them

Interesting blog post from The author says: "with the help of other innovative educational leaders (mentioned in the article), I’ve come up with ten ideas for beginning to incorporate these tools into teaching and learning in meaningful ways."

Using Social Network Tools In Class

From The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today released a new EdTechNext report for its members, titled "Social Networking: Personalized Content, Conversations & Communities." The report explores the educational potential of social networking tools and Web 2.0 applications. CoSN's Web 2.0 Leadership & Policy Initiative is designed to assist schools as they adapt to the new reality of the Web 2.0 world where collaborative online tools provide powerful learning resources for students inside the classroom and beyond.

Geeking Out With Digital Tools

From Kids these days: they spend a lot of time texting, twittering and instant-messaging. All that hanging out online can’t possibly be good for them.

But what if kids aren’t just hanging out, but “geeking out.” “Geeking out” is the term used by the Digital Youth Media Project, a $50 million study funded by the MacArthur Foundation that concluded that digital media actually can teach kids a lot: technical skills, how to get along with other people, and how to maintain an online public identity. Some kids, the study says, take those skills a step further by geeking out, which is a mode of learning that is peer-driven, but focused on gaining deep knowledge and expertise in specific areas of interest.

Monday, August 17, 2009

NCTE names 2009 Media Literacy Award Winner

The NCTE Commission on Media has announced that its fourth annual Media Literacy Award winner is Guofang Wan, Professor, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She says: "Since the mid-1990s, media literacy has been the focus of my research and teaching efforts. I have published three books and a dozen of journal articles on media literacy education, and designed a number of curricula that have integrated media literacy education in schools and colleges." She will be presented the award at the upcoming NCTE annual conference in Philadelphia.

Book explores how to reach students immersed in a sea of information

Today’s college students can tweet, text, listen to an iPod, and post photos on Facebook in a matter of seconds. To get through to these multitasking students, teachers must move beyond traditional teaching methods. Such is the motivation for Rutgers scholar Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic to co-edit the book, “Teaching Generation M: A Handbook for Librarians and Educators.” Details in this NJ newspaper story.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Using Visual Literacy to Help Adolescents Understand How Images Influence Their Lives

This article, from the July/August issue of "Teaching
Exceptional Children," provides educators a six-step strategy to teach adolescents about visual literacy, or how to read images and think critically about what they see. This strategy is designed for students both without and with physical disabilities.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Students gain access to textbooks via iPhone

CourseSmart has developed an iPhone application that lets college students review textbooks and digital notes as well as perform search functions via an iPhone or an iPod Touch. "Nobody is going to use their iPhone to do their homework, but this does provide real mobile learning. If you're in a study group and you have a question, you can immediately access your text," said Frank Lyman, executive vice president at CourseSmart. Details in The Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle newspapers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't Miss: New Media Gallery at NCTE 2009 Philadelphia

You’ve heard of blogs, wikis, and Nings, but you’re wondering how to use them in your classroom? NCTE's Annual Convention (Philadelphia PA) has some exciting possibilities on exhibit at the New Media Gallery, Friday, November 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Room 202A, sponsored by NCTE’s Commission on Media.
9:30am-10:45am Media Literacy Made Easy:Integrating Media and Technology into an English Classroom
11:00-12:15pm News Literacy: Helping Students Learn to Read Between The Lines
12:30-1:45pm The English Classroom at Science Leadership Academy
2:30-3:45pm 21st Century Literacy Education: Report from the Media Ed Lab
4:00-5:15pm The Deep End of Engagement: Teaching Media Literacy with Graphic Novels

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Henry Jenkins on Using New Media Tools to Study The Classics

Jenkins, the USC (formerly MIT) media professor describes the role of digital media in cultural transformation, in this video from Edutopia.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shakespeare & Texting

The Associated Press reports: "Most teenage girls today wouldn't go to the trouble of saying "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" It would be more like "Y R U Romeo?"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Website for NAMLE Conference Materials

For those who were unable to attend the National Assn. of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) conference ("Bridging Literacies") held in Detroit August 1-4, I have created a web page with links to resources, videos, and blog postings. As additional material is made available, I will post it to this site.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Eight Ways to Use School Wikis

Lisa Nielsen, who maintains this blog, writes about school uses of wikis in the current issue of Tech & Learning magazine.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

NAMLE unveils new Journal of Media Literacy Education

The National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) unveiled the premiere issue of its Journal of Media Literacy Education Sunday night, August 2, at the NAMLE conference in Detroit Michigan. Volume 1, Issue 1 can be found here. Each issue of the journal is divided into three sections: Articles; Voices from The Field; and Professional Resource (reviews). To access all of the journal, be sure to register (it's free). Follow the link "register" to set up your username and password. Contributions are encouraged. The deadline for submissions for the second issue is October 1, 2009

National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) Conference Convenes

I am sure there are many who wish they could be here, in Detroit, attending the National Association of Media Literacy Education's (NAMLE) annual conference. Saturday, I had the good fortune to be joined by Bill Kist, chair of the NCTE Commission on Media, for a day-long workshop on New Literacies and Media Literacy. Our agenda, and other materials can be found here. Last night, three
organizations were honored with Media Literacy Awards. A press release on those awards is due to be released soon. Renee Hobbs blogged about NAMLE president Sherri Hope Culver's welcome. David Kleeman also blogged about the talk.
I also presented Visual Literacy: Looking At Images In Journalism and Popular Culture.
I have posted the PowerPoint here.