Saturday, October 31, 2009

Parents and Students Believe K-12 Schools Must Do More to Prepare Students for the 21st Century

While parents, K-12 students and educators agree that using technology is essential to learning and student success, parents are dissatisfied with the technology skills their children are learning in schools according to a survey report released October 29th by ProjectTomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, and Blackboard Inc. a global leader in education technology.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Classroom blogging projects provide a forum for continued discussion

A North Carolina language arts teacher is offering tips for teachers interested in incorporating blogs into their classroom lessons. In this blog post, Bill Ferriter writes that it is best to create one classroom blog that is updated at least twice each week. The blog should become an interactive forum where students read, post information on a topic and comment on the blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Media literacy: book recommendations

Due to upcoming travel and other commitments, I am sending this early. Each year, around this time, I create a list of books about media and media literacy that might make great additions to your library, personal collection, or as a gift. The list can be found on the home page of my web site under NEW RESOURCES. Happy holidays. Frank Baker

Some teachers say texting might be good for teens

The Charlotte Observer reports: Texting, a favorite and seemingly instinctive activity for teens, has loomed over education and parenthood for several years. Many adults felt like it would mash proper English into the ground and was a distraction from serious learning. The average number of texts by U.S. teens 13-17 has reached 2,900 a month, according to Nielsen, the media and marketing information company. And The New York Times reported in May that physicians and psychiatrists fear texting is taking a toll on teens' sleep patterns and ability to think for themselves. But now some teachers in Charlotte and nationwide are seeking to harness its power and making peace with it. Researchers back this new approach with new evidence that texting teaches some positive language skills, and pragmatists argue that a war on texting is unwinnable.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Twitter entries satirize works of literature

From Reuters news service: Deciphering William Shakespeare plays in school essays apparently was not enough for two university students who have written a book of Twitter entries that summarize and satirize works of literature. "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter," which Penguin releases next month in the United Kingdom, is an irreverent, profane and sometimes brilliant collection of 20 comments on the ideas and themes in 60-some classics.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More teachers use Twitter as a collaborative tool in the classroom

Education Week and Teacher Magazine both feature stories about teachers use of twitter. Education Week reports: Teachers at one private school in Virginia are using the short-form social-networking tool Twitter in the classroom to distribute assignments and to encourage students to work together. Teacher Magazine reports that some educators are finding that helpful ideas and advice can come in 140 characters or fewer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Educators Use Online Wikis as Classroom Tools

The Sun Newspaper (Baltimore MD) reports that some classroom discussions are taking place through online wikis, which allow students to respond to questions in real time and view responses from their classmates. Teachers also are using the Web sites in classwork, homework, special projects and professional collaboration.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Study: Games, Video Improve Preschooler Literacy

T.H.E. Journal reports: A new study has shown that educational videos and interactive games can have a positive impact on preschooler literacy when incorporated into the curriculum in a classroom setting. Meantime, the Boston Globe reports despite some concerns about children playing video games, researchers said study data show there may also be benefits, including a potential boost in brain function. They said the games are difficult and involve a large number of mental tasks, forcing players to expand their thinking horizons.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kids, Homework & Multi-tasking: What do we know?

The New York Times chimes in with this news story: "18 and Under- Texting, Surfing, Studying?" in which NCTE Commission on Media member Renee Hobbs is quoted.

High school allows social networking for educational uses

A North Dakota high school has lifted its ban on social media at school, allowing teachers to use YouTube and Facebook, and giving Twitter access to students and educators. The decision, say teachers and school officials at Century High School in Bismarck, was prompted by the pervasiveness of the media and its usefulness in some classroom applications. "I think we have to adapt to technology," one teacher said. "People are able to connect to it."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making The Call on Web 'Facts'/ New Software Sorts Out The Consensus From The Contentious

NOTE: this story is not yet on the Christian Science Monitor's web site, but will be posted later this week) Excerpt: Journalism has become less black and white today. From healthcare reform to progress in Afghanistan, commentators on cable news and blogs have refracted "the truth" into many shades of gray. So when someone throws out a statistic, how do you know it's true?To help readers, Rob Ennals a research scientist at Intel Labs in Berkeley, Calif, developed an online veracity alert system for news. The software, called Dispute Finder, sniffs through what you are reading online. If anything smells fishy--perhaps questionable poll results or references to 'death panels'-- his code blows a whistle and says, 'This is disputed, Here's the evidence.'

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How Technology Changes the Way Kids Communicate

From the October issue of Parenting Magazine: " Scientists are just starting to study the social effects of these new types of communication, and much of their research focuses on adults and teens, not kids. By poking through those studies, though, it is possible to glean a few likely answers -- and, it turns out, there's much to be hopeful about."

Monday, October 5, 2009

6 Ways K-12 Librarians Can Teach Social Media

Joyce Valenza has advice for her fellow media specialists, in the current issue of Tech & Learning magazine: "there are many retooled learning strategies that teacher-librarians should be sharing with classroom teachers and learners in the 2009–2010 school year."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beyond Books: What is literacy in a digital world?

According to this cover story in the current neatoday magazine: "....educators across the country are employing an array of digital tools—blogs, wikis, videos, and social media—to tap into their passion for collaborating, creating, and sharing."