Do Your Students Know How To Search? The Connected Student Series: There is a new digital divide on the horizon. It is not based around who has devices and who does not, but instead the new digital divide will be based around students who know how to effectively find and curate information and those who do not. The New Digital Divide: In an age of information abundance learning to effectively search is one of the most important skills most teachers are NOT teaching. Teachers – especially in the elementary grades -need to develop a shared vocabulary around the skill of searching. Here are some of the searching skills and vocabulary we should be teaching students : Quotation Marks: Students should always use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words. Example: “The Great Chicago Fire” Dashes (or minus sign): Use this symbol directly before a word to help exclude unwanted information from your search Example: Great Chicago Fire -soccer Two Periods: Use this to help you find information between those two numbers. Site Search:
Google Earth Lit Trip Template Literacy ShopTalk 7 Tips for Citing an App in MLA Format Clay Shirky famously pointed out that the problem in the information landscape today isn’t necessarily that there is too much information but that our filters aren’t any good. Students feel this problem acutely due to their perpetual crunch for time and lack of nuanced Google skills. So where does a responsible student go for reliable information she can use in an academic context? That was the question I asked my students this fall and the answer I got surprised me. Students increasingly aren’t going to the premium information services we’ve set up for them through our school library.They might not even be inclined to go elsewhere on the Web.Instead they often turn to Apps for their information. From The Elements to NASA, from National Geographic to the National Science Foundation there is a wealth of credible content in the App Store, but if students are using this information in an academic setting how do we help them correctly document and cite these sources? What do you think?
Digital Storyteller Digital Storytelling in Language Arts Authors: Glen Bull & Sara Kajder Introduction This introduction to digital storytelling in language arts is adapted from an article published in Learning and Leading with Technology. The PDF of the original article can also be downloaded: Digital Storytelling in Language Arts (pdf) A digital story consists of a series of still images that are combined with a narrated soundtrack to tell a story. The Wellsprings of Digital Stories Digital storytelling as we practice and teach it grew out of the work of Joe Lambert and Dana Atchley at the Center for Digital Storytelling at U.C. We have adapted their work for school settings. The second technical advance is the ubiquitous presence of digital cameras and digital images. While technical advances have made digital storytelling practical in today’s schools, connections to the language arts classroom are grounded in the curriculum. Seven Elements of Effective Digital Stories 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Summary Authors
Ditch the paper and call in assignments with Google Voice If I really want to “ditch that textbook” and teach with less reliance on it, I need to ditch my traditional paper assignments, too. At least from time to time. In the past, as a high school Spanish teacher, I have assigned all sorts of writing assignments. They range from the straightforward “write 10 sentences that …” to simple stories to personal descriptions and anything in between. I’m aspiring to better writing activities, and I think Google Voice has helped me do that. I saw the potential greatness of Google Voice and wrote a series of three articles on it: Now that I’ve assigned, collected and graded multiple assignments through Google Voice, here’s why I’m impressed with it more than I ever was: Assignments don’t feel like homework. Options are endless for the audio files it creates. Essays make my students groan. Give Google Voice a shot. Related Ditch That Textbook on hiatus until August Congratulations on arriving at the end of another school year! With 1 comment
iMovie Movie Trailers across the content areas I have finally had time to work with iMovie movie trailers on the iPad, and it is so much fun! A movie trailer is a perfect summarizing activity. It can also act as a “teaser” as an introduction to a presentation or student paper. A movie trailer can readily showcase the acquisition of knowledge of a lesson or unit. A movie trailer includes many of the literacy areas. The movie trailer component of the iMovie app for the iPad includes several themes to pick from. The first step in making an iMovie movie trailer is taking a look at the script and storyboard pages. One great site by Timothy Jefferson includes PDFs of all of the theme scripts so students can work things out on paper first, as they are going through the development process. Some ideas for using movie trailers across the curriculum include: You can also find many tutorials which include instructions on the process of using iMovie movie trailers on the iPad I then simply sent the completed movie trailer up to YouTube!
5 Amazing Ways To Collaborate With Another Class “Ms. Clark, when are we going to do that again?” Nothing makes me happier as an educator than hearing those words – and lately, I have been hearing them a lot! It is not the question, as much as the look on the faces of my students, that I enjoy the most. As we began our journey, some of our classes had 1:1 iPads, but others did not. If collaboration is something that interests you – and it should - here are five easy and highly engaging ways you can begin (or even improve) your journey. 1. If you have not heard of a Mystery Skype yet – stop what you are doing and read this amazing blog post by a really innovative educator Craig Badura ( @mrbadura ) from Nebraska. In this scenario, kids get to apply and use geographical knowledge, critical thinking, and the skill of deduction. Tip: The world is your oyster with this type of project. 2. I think most educators see the value in having students within their own class collaborate on a Google Doc – but it is time to think bigger! 3. 4. 5.
Subtext X Custom ePub While there will never be a replacement for a paper book with dog-eared pages, hand written notes in the margins, a broken spine and a proudly worn cover with a hint of dirt and stains, there is an exciting new option to transform the practice of reading to make it more social and collaborative. Subtext is an intriguing iPad application that allows users to read books collaboratively. While reading, participants can insert text, emotions, questions, links and thoughts into the margins of the book. When other readers jump into the text they can see the notations and reply to the existing thoughts in a discussion thread that is neatly tucked away into the margins of the text. Subtext Promotional Video Technical Setup for Classroom Applications: Subtext allows readers to connect to their Google bookshelf and in fact they login with either Google or Facebook credentials. Custom ePub files & collaborative reading: Why use Subtext?
Teaching Students To Respond To Digital Media A medium is simply a vehicle for communicating an idea. From cave paintings to single-media texts and paintings, to dynamic multimedia pages and complex data visualizations, these media are dependent on prevailing local technology. As the technology evolves, the media evolve in parallel. This makes the concept of digital literacy critical, something the Common Core standards in the United States hint at but never seem to flesh out. Literacy is the ability to make sense of something, and can be reduced to decoding (e.g, through phonics) and reading comprehension (e.g., through thinking strategies) at its most fundamental level. Digital literacy is indeed about decoding and comprehension, and it’s be difficult to argue that media are increasing in complexity. But that doesn’t mean that modern digital media don’t place unique demands on “readers” that consume them. Argument Analysis Below is an image I used in my English classroom. What would it make sense to think about or read next?
Future Imperfect | A tryst of teaching, technology, and language learning. I can’t justify buying every cool tech toy I see, but darn it, so many things look like they’d be fun to use in the classroom. This Amazon Gold Box deal of the day caught my eye: At a bit over $100, it’s far beyond what I could justify spending on a whim, but a powerful, pocket-sized bluetooth speaker would be a great substitute for the boomboxes we still occasionally lug around at my institution– assuming, of course, that the audio recordings you need are loaded onto a phone, tablet, or laptop rather than stuck on a CD or cassette tape! And this showed up as a recommended item recently: Also very, very cool. Personally, I have one of those two-port USB chargers with the “A” and “NA” ports for manual optimization of charging rates, but a charger that actually automatically detects what your device needs would make things so much more simple.
Beyond the Book Report: Ten Alternatives In my last post I described 10 ways to cultivate a love of reading in kids. I want to expand on that theme by suggesting 10 alternatives to the book report. I'm not a fan of book reports; I don't think they are an effective way for a student to demonstrate understanding of a book and I don't think they help students enjoy or appreciate reading. Let's consider some activities that allow a student to show understanding of a book and that might be enjoyable. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. This is by no means an exhaustive list of alternatives to book reports, but I hope it's spurred some thinking about how to get students to respond to books they read. What alternatives to book reports have you offered students?
redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slj Milton Meltzer’s Never to Forget (HarperCollins, 1976) was one of the first children’s books to explain the history of hatred that led to the Holocaust, the resultant process of destruction, and the courageous spirit of resistance. In Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust (HarperCollins, 1988), Meltzer explains how he came “to realize the great importance of recording not just the evidence of evil, but also the evidence of human nobility.” Students are exposed to this “human nobility” by reading about Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. A study of this never-to-be-forgotten time in history calls for the deeper learning characterized by the Common Core State Standards. Most importantly, these stories of resistance, rescue, courage, ingenuity, and survival are a beacon of light amid the dark horrors of the Holocaust. Righteous Gentiles Fiction BARTOLETTI, Susan Campbell. CLARK, Kathy. DEEDY, Carmen Agra. Nonfiction
Clarity Through Brevity: Integrating Six-Word Memoirs At its core, the six-word memoir teaches us to be concise but also introspective. Try describing yourself in six words. Not easy, right? I first learned about the six word memoir from a post by Paul Oh on Digital Is, a part of the National Writing Project. So how does the six-word memoir make sense in a history class? My students had just finished a unit on the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution, so I thought it would be easy to twist the traditional autobiographical six-word memoir to other people's biographies. My students produced beautiful memoirs that showed an ability to use the English language creatively and effectively, a basic understanding of webmaking, and knowledge of a historical time period. What can your students do with the six-word memoir? see more see less