Saturday, April 20, 2013

Strengthening Newspaper Literacy

Why are social studies texts so difficult to read? Five pages into Building Literacy in Social Studies: Strategies for Improving Comprehension and Critical Thinking by ASCD authors Donna Ogle, Ron Klemp, and Bill McBride, I came across several answers to this question. Among them was: students have poor attitudes about the study of “old events and dead people,” especially when no connection is made to present-day events. And that can seriously affect engagement and retention. Excerpted here is a teaching strategy you can employ to help students learn how to better dissect and understand newspaper articles. And the subject of the accompanying newspaper clipping, linked to here for your use, is on a topic quite relevant today.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Help for Teaching Web Evaluation Skills To Students

Looking for an easy-to-use, robust evaluation instrument that you or your classroom teachers can use to evaluate sites for teaching and learning?
Looking for a great way to teach Web evaluation skills to students?
The Center for Digital Literacy at Syracuse University, with funding from an IMLS SPARKS! Ignite grant, has developed a series of automated evaluation instruments ("WebCHECK") to evaluate the quality of Web sites. The evaluator completes the instrument online and a full report with graphs is automatically generated and sent to the evaluator. There is also an option for using the instrument with a group of students and compiling results.
There are four versions of WebCHECK:
WebCHECK Professional(c)(for librarians, classroom teachers, Web site designers)
WebCHECK Senior(c) (for high school students)
WebCHECK Middle(c) (for middle school students)
WebCHECK Junior(c) (for elementary school students)
All instruments will be freely available on the Center for Digital Literacy Web site. Our projected national launch date is fall 2013.
These instruments are currently in beta testing (with a national launch scheduled for fall 2013). We have completed testing of WebCHECK Professional and are now looking for 50 school librarians nationwide to pilot test one of the three student instruments by developing and implementing a lesson plan with a group of students and then providing feedback on the experience, for which we will provide each pilot tester with a $100 stipend.
It is estimated that it will take about 2-3 hours total of your time. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Ruth Small, Project Director at . We will accept the first 50 volunteers to whom we will send out detailed directions for participation.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ohio Educators Invited to: Media Literacy Meets New Literacies

"Media Literacy Meets New Literacies"  is a full-day workshop, designed for school library media specialists as well as ELA educators. It will occur on June 19, 2013 at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, presented by William Kist and Frank Baker. Details including how to register can be found here.