Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Publisher Offers FREE- Media Literacy Graphic Novel

Orca Books, the publisher of MEDIA MELTDOWN, wants you to know that starting tomorrow (October 1) you can download their new graphic novel for free. This is a great way to consider introducing media literacy to your students. And it comes from Canada, which has produced some of the best media literacy materials in North America. Details are on this blog post.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

English Companion NING Supports & Connects

Education Week profiles Jim Burke's English Companion NING: if you don't know what a NING is, or what it can do to support your teaching, you must read this.

Comics Can Draw Kids Into Reading

On the occasion of the Disney takeover of Marvel comics, this Utica NY reporter reflects on the power of comics as literacy. He says: "Comics or graphic novels can be used to entice the reluctant reader to the pleasure of a good story."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Digital books replacing texts in schools

PRI (public radio) report on why a prep school in Massachusetts replaced its library books with digital versions, and colleges are moving to electronic textbooks.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Afterimage: Special Issue of Media Literacy

Afterimage, a journal of media, media arts, reviews and criticism, has a new issue devoted to media literacy and related issues.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Training is key to schools' digital media use

eSchool News reports: Panelists at Capitol Hill briefing said teachers need adequate staff development to leverage digital media's potential for education

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Media in the New Core Standards Curriculum

The draft of the Core (common) Standards for Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening has been posted, and elements of media can be found in the document. Look at page 18 (4-b) and a reference that says:
"At the core of media mastery are the same fundamental capacities as are required offline in traditional print forms: an ability to access, understand, and evaluate complex materials and messages and to produce clear, effective communications. Media mastery does, however, call upon students to apply these core skills in new ways and contexts. Media enable students to communicate quickly with a large, often unknown, and broadly diverse audience. Whereas in the past, students may have had days or weeks to digest new information and formulate a response, the online environment pushes students to exercise judgment and present their responses in a matter of minutes."

Literacy Accountability in a New Media Age

A middle school teacher's commentary in the current issue of Education Week urges his fellow educators (and test producers) to consider the kinds of texts young people attend to today. "Reading video, images and other multimodal texts," he says, "demands just as much critical thinking and analysis as a challenging excerpt from Moby Dick."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Report: Technology may be a distraction for young people

From BBC News: The results of a study by British researchers suggests that the excessive use of technology is disrupting students' learning. The study looked at the habits of 267 pupils ages 11 to 18. Of the respondents, 39% felt that texting had damaged their writing and spelling skills; 84% said that they had copied content from the Internet to complete schoolwork

Friday, September 11, 2009

The 21st Century Skills Movement (ASCD)

Since 2002, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills ahs been the leading advocacy organization in the US, focused on infusing 21st-centruy skills into education. The Framework for 21st Century Learning, the result of a concensus among hundreds of stakeholders, describing the skills, knowledge and expertise students need to succeed in work and life. P21 Chairwoman Paige Johnson, writing in the September issue of Educational Leadership, covers the four framework components and describes the types of skills and knowledge for student success in the 21st century.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Media Literacy: Eight Guidelines for Teachers

Jason Ohler's excellent recommendations to teachers are reprinted here from Literacy 2.0 "Orchestrating the Media Collage." NOTE: Ohler is also author of the Corwin Press text: Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Researcher believes games and Facebook can build memory

According to this BBC News report, Sudoku and Facebook may improve your ability to recall and use pertinent information, while texting and Twitter may dull your wits. University of Stirling psychologist Dr. Tracy Alloway has studied "working memory" and advocates mental exercises that form connections between pieces of information. A complex war game, for example, forces the brain to remember and plan ahead. On YouTube or Twitter, however, "your attention span is being reduced," Alloway says.

New recommended books: teaching in the 21st century

21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times: This important resource introduces a framework for 21st Century learning that maps out the skills needed to survive and thrive in a complex and connected world. 21st Century content includes the basic core subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic-but also emphasizes global awareness, financial/economic literacy, and health issues. The skills fall into three categories: learning and innovations skills; digital literacy skills; and life and career skills. This book is filled with vignettes, international examples, and classroom samples that help illustrate the framework and provide an exciting view of what twenty-first century teaching and learning can achieve.

The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching In The New Media Age demonstrates how pioneering teachers have successfully integrated screen-based literacies into their instruction. This book includes:
-Real-world activities and lesson examples with assignment sheets, assessments, and rubrics
-Ideas on fostering collaborative learning using blogs, wikis, nings, and other interactive media.
-Tips on Internet safety, blogging etiquette, protected blogging sites, and more
-Blog entries from classroom teachers

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Has The P21 Movement Succeeded?

The National Journal's education blog poses this question. Read what some experts and others are saying and post your own reactions here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Graphic novels; reading, but in a different way

The cultural critic for the Chicago Tribune defends graphic novels especially after reading the latest one: a version of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama TV Speech Controversy & Media Literacy

It seems to me---whether your students watch or not---here is a great media literacy/teachable moment opportunity. Here are a few questions that might be considered--by both teachers and students:

1. Where did you first hear about the President's speech?
2. What have you read or heard about what he is planning to say?
3. Who is his primary audience? (Might there also be a secondary audience ?)
4. Where in the curriculum might you discuss the importance of American education?
5. What technique/word(s) did the President use in his speech that might be persuasive, influential?
6. What does the President hope to gain by giving this speech? (or how about the networks broadcasting the speech?)
7. What does the President hope students will do after hearing, reading, viewing the speech?
8. Survey your classmates: what did they "take away" from the speech?
9. What line or slogan might be memorable?
10. How did the news media cover it? Compare and contrast two or more versions (newspaper, radio, magazine,online news source, TV, etc.) Did they leave anything out?
11. Where might you go to read the entire transcript?

Frank Baker,
Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Teachers need to educate students on how to use social media

Students are using Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook for "informal learning," according to Larry Magid, an Internet safety advocate who encourages teachers to build on that interest by using social-networking sites in their formal classroom lessons. In this blog post, he writes that it's also important to teach students how to behave properly on those sites and be good digital citizens.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Does the future of schooling lie with video games?

From the current issue of The Economist: Since the beginning of mass education, schools have relied on what is known in educational circles as “chalk and talk”. Chalk and blackboard may sometimes be replaced by felt-tip pens and a whiteboard, and electronics in the form of computers may sometimes be bolted on, but the idea of a pedagogue leading his pupils more or less willingly through a day based on periods of study of recognisable academic disciplines, such as mathematics, physics, history, geography and whatever the local language happens to be, has rarely been abandoned.

Abandoning it, though, is what Katie Salen hopes to do. Ms Salen is a games designer and a professor of design and technology at Parsons The New School for Design, in New York. She is also the moving spirit behind Quest to Learn, a new, taxpayer-funded school in that city which is about to open its doors to pupils who will never suffer the indignity of snoring through double French but will, rather, spend their entire days playing games.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advice on Downloading Videos to Support Instruction

Edutopia's latest column (October 2009) on incorporating those web streamed videos into instruction: "Teachers all across the country are finding that judiciously chosen videos help students engage more deeply with the subject matter, and recall the information they've learned longer." (NOTE: I have created a database of streaming videos related to the teaching of media literacy. Take a look at these too.)

Ad Literacy 101: What Parents, Educators and Kids Need to Know

The writer, who has expertise in understanding children and advertising, says new skills are required of young people in a world where advertising continues to permeate their radar. He asks: So what are these skills? And how do you teach them? Well, they're collectively referred to as Advertising Literacy, and they're intended to make your child a more informed and empowered "reader" of, and critical thinker about, consumer messages. I'll take you through five key Ad Lit skills, make suggestions for helping your kid to understand them, and provide some resources for continuing from there.