Thursday, December 31, 2009

New text: Curriculum 21

ASCD has just published "Curriculum 21- Essential Education for A Changing World." I think this new text should be on the desk of every principal. (In fact, many ASCD members will be receiving it during the month of January.) It was edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs. (Full disclosure: the book includes a chapter I wrote on media literacy). Happy New Year and happy reading. Frank Baker

Can Games Change Education?

eSchool News reports: As video games continue to permeate our culture, schools and students are increasingly interested in using video games for learning. This interest has prompted universities and neurologists to explore what makes a successful educational game, what the current barriers to adoption are, and how gaming as a whole affects the brain.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Schools Shouldn't Block Social Network Sites

From Slate: Educators should stop thinking about how to repress the huge amounts of intellectual and social energy kids devote to social media and start thinking about how to channel that energy away from causing trouble and toward getting more out of their classes. After all, it's not as if most kids are investing commensurate energy into, say, their math homework. Why not try to start bridging the worlds of Facebook, YouTube, and the classroom?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Visual Literacy: 2009 Photos of the Year

On my website, the Media Literacy Clearinghouse, I annually post links to news organizations' "Photos of the Year." This year is no exception. I like to incorporate many of these images in my workshops in order to explore visual literacy. Since today's students are exposed to more images than ever, and because our world is so visual, I like to include this element in all of my work with both teachers and students. You might also be interested in my visual literacy web site.

Teaching New Media Literacy Can Help Youth Stay Safe Online

Anne Collier of NetFamilyNews is interviewed about the myths and realities of online safety.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Helping Children Find What They Need on The Internet

Excerpt from NY Times story: Sponsored by Google and developed by the University of Maryland and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the research was aimed at discerning the differences between how children and adults search and identify the barriers children face when trying to retrieve information.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How Media Literacy Will Transform Education (JML)

The latest issue of The Journal of Media Literacy (produced by the National Telemedia Council) is one worth reading. The issue explores "School 2.0: Transforming 21st Century Education Through New Media Literacies". How will schools need to change to keep up with the growth of new media? We now have Web 2.0 - what will School 2.0 look like?

The cover features Ken Burns, recognizing the release of his PBS series, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." With today's technology, students have the ability to produce and distribute their own videos worldwide. Like Ken Burns, their productions will have a point of view, no matter how benign. Media literacy enables viewers to be more aware and responsible in their use of media. To acquire this issue, click on the NTC link above.

HS Teacher Creates New Film Textbook

The book, "Moving Images: Making Movies, Understanding Media," by Carl M. Casinghino, is slated to be released in February. Details in this news story.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Texting, tweeting ought to be viewed as GR8 teaching tools, scholar says

Carol L. Tilley, a professor of libary and information science at Illinois, says that critics who equate texting with literary degradation are wrong, and that they also overlook the bigger role that texting and its distant cousin, "tweeting," could play in education and research. Details here.

Interest in Videogames grows

From eSchool News. Many researchers say video games can be effective teaching tools to promote student learning, and interest in developing educational games is growing. One researcher found that video games enhance cognitive skills like monitoring several objects at the same time and multitasking or task-switching. "The next step should be [to] take the violence out of action video games and use the same brain-building characteristics in these action video games to make [high]-quality education games," said Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive sciences professor at the University of Rochester.

"Educational Networking: the Important Role that Web 2.0 Will Play in Education."

The author invites readers to download his whitepaper, referenced recently on the Classroom 2.0 blog.

Teaching Students, Not Just Standards, With Visual Literacy

from ASCD: author Lynell Burmark (Visual Literacy: Learn to See, See to Learn) blogs about the importance of the visual world of students in this blog post.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Classroom wikis are collaborative tools for young writers

The Boston Globe reports that young writers at a Massachusetts middle school are using online wikis, or collaborative Web sites, to share and revise written work in a group setting. A recent class wiki project featured fall poems written by sixth-grade students who collaborated on revisions to each other's work. Even shy students are empowered to participate, language-arts teacher Neil Kulick said. "The wiki is an equalizer in classroom participation," he said.