Friday, February 26, 2010

Digital age challenges teachers to adapt to new storytelling styles

The components of good storytelling are changing, and educators should be asking themselves whether their lessons are reflecting the changes and reaching their students, language-arts teacher Bill Ferriter writes in this blog post. Today's teachers are now challenged to ensure that age-old storytelling skills are modeled and taught with an approach that reflects the digital age, Ferriter writes.

Professor surveys how students’ communication habits have changed in the new century

Gonzaga University Communications professor Dr. John Caputo recently conducted surveys on his students and how they communicate. The survey is based on his daily experiences with his students and family members, as well as a number of topics about media consumption. Excerpt: “What it means for this generation … Stay aware, [keep your] eyes open, question the source, the message and value of the media,” Wendy Tollefsen, a student in her fourth Masters in Communication and Leadership class, said.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can The Kindle Help College Students Study?

From USA Today: as several major universities finish analyzing data from pilot programs involving the latest version of the Amazon Kindle, officials are learning more about what students want out of their e-reader tablets. Generally, the colleges found that students missed some of the old-fashioned note-taking tools they enjoyed before.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lesson Plan: Analyzing Scenes in Film & Literature

What are the elements of a scene? How does deconstructing scenes reveal meaning? In this lesson, students start to think like film directors by storyboarding an experience in their lives. They then examine the New York Times Movies feature "Anatomy of a Scene" and develop their own analyses of scenes from film and literature. Go to the lesson plan.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can Social Media Cure Low Student Engagement?

eCampusNews reports: Keeping college students and their professors connected through social media outlets could be key in boosting graduation rates, education technology experts said during a panel discussion at Social Media Week in New York.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Novel As Screenplay

Two of Walter Dean Myers' books are written as screenplays, or film scripts, and both are perfect for formal or informal readers’ theater, in which students play the parts of the characters by reading their dialogue aloud. In this kind of dramatic, close reading, teachers can guide students through the complex themes and moral ideas the novels present.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Media Literacy: Critical Thinking for The Information Age

Frank Baker writes: "I found myself, once again, in the St. Louis area on Wednesday February 10, where I was one of the featured speakers at the 2010 Midwest Educational Technology Conference at the St. Charles Convention Center."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

High school students train tweets, blogs on Olympics

Thousands of professional journalists from across the globe are descending on Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but Adeleine Estrada suspects she'll provide a different perspective.

The 16-year-old is one of 23 B.C. students covering the Olympic and Paralympic Games using social media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter for a project called Students LIVE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Impact of Media Multitasking on Children's Learning

Media multitasking—using more than one media activity at a time—has become prevalent in children’s lives. What is the impact of media multitasking on children’s learning, development and health? To help advance understanding and research about media multitasking, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop just made available a seminar report, The Impacts of Media Multitasking on Children’s Learning & Development

This report describes the current state of knowledge on media multitasking highlighted by leading scholars and industry leaders as it relates to cognitive development and learning in children.

Does Digital Media Make Us Bad Writers?

An English professor and a linguist examine how digital media are transforming students’ writing and how writing itself is changing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beyond the textbook: film as text

Documentaries can be great learning tools for students – and sometimes, their teachers. In a society where film is often the new “text”, educators are harnessing docs in innovative ways. Read Point-of-View's special Education issue.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is blogging a slog? Some young people think so.

The AP reports: Could it be that blogs have become online fodder for the - gasp! - more mature reader? A new study has found that young people are losing interest in long-form blogging, as their communication habits have become increasingly brief, and mobile. Tech experts say it doesn't mean blogging is going away. Rather, it's gone the way of the telephone and e-mail - still useful, just not sexy. Link to the Pew study.

Should Schools Block Social Networking Websites?

I think every school can relate to this discussion. comments on a recent Slate essay. Excerpt: “Researchers have already enumerated the benefits that kids can get from traditional media. Watching Sesame Street or Blue’s Clues improves children’s problem-solving skills and school readiness. Teaching students how to use word-processing software, Web-design programs, and video-production tools is a proven way of refocusing at-risk teens on school, and, eventually, getting them jobs. Social networks can also pull in students who are otherwise disengaged, because they draw on kids’ often intense interest in finding new ways to communicate with one another.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is the iPad Better than The Kindle for Educators?

If the iPad doesn't succeed as a consumer electronics device--its initial target market--it may find a successful second career as an electronic textbook reader. Read a comparsion of the two devices from PC World.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Students Failing Because of Twitter, Texting

Little or no grammar teaching, cellphone texting, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, all are being blamed for an increasingly unacceptable number of post-secondary students who can't write properly. Details from this Canadian Press news story.

Digital Tools: Expanding Options for Personalized Learning

Education Week's Digital Directions features this story: Some of the latest technology tools for the classroom promise to ease the challenges of differentiating instruction more creatively and effectively, ed-tech experts say, even in an era of high-stakes federal and state testing mandates. New applications for defining and targeting students’ academic strengths and weaknesses can help teachers create a personal playlist of lessons, tools, and activities that deliver content in ways that align with individual needs and optimal learning methods.

Why Teachers (& Districts) Should Try Twitter

In his article in this month's Educational Leadership, educator Bill Ferriter confesses that, until recently, he wasn't convinced that differentiating learning opportunities for students really mattered. What changed his mind? His professional use of Twitter, believe it or not, where he has easy access to a stream of customized information and ideas that motivate him. Ferriter describes how the information and resources he's learned though Twitter have helped refine his practice and convinced him that digital tools can differentiate learning for students, too. Read a related blog post here. Education Week's Digital Directions also chimes in with this story about teachers using Twitter. In a related story, District Administration reports that districts are using social networking Web sites like Twitter and Facebook to tout their accomplishments and communicate with the public.