Friday, July 20, 2012

What is an ed-tech leader? | SmartBlogs SmartBlogs

What is an ed-tech leader? | SmartBlogs SmartBlogs

Remember what  Nicholas Provenzano reminds us:

"Every person has what it takes to be an ed-tech leader. Having passion for education and technology gets a person two-thirds of the way there. Take those leadership qualities that we all possess and focus them on your passions, and you can be a leader in ed tech for your school, district, state or beyond."

His advice includes:

1. Explore the flux of emerging technologies with your "teaching and learning" eyes.

2. Evaluate honestly for classroom use: what will work and what won't. I think a good example of this type of evaluation is Teachers First -- spot on classroom applications and work-arounds.

3. Choose what works for your school, your curriculum, your students. I remind new users: what is your TAP: topic, audience, and purpose. The tool you need will flow from that. That's why reviews from places like  Teachers First are helpful.

4. Connect with the flow of leaders for new ideas and strategies as well as new tools. Mr. Provenzano mentions my favorites: Twitter, Zite, and Google Reader. I would also add Google Alerts and Diigo for Education (social bookmarking).

5. Learn along with your colleagues. Remind them that in today's information-blasting world, that we learn better together, and no one knows everything. "I don't know, but let's find out" is the mantra for all of us. As Mr. Provenano says, "Real leaders let the world know they do not know everything but will do their best to learn as much as possible with the help of peers." 

And I say, "Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...Reflect curiosity and wonder."  Let the leader within you shine! You can do it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

P2PU | July 12: Writing in the "Real" World

Peer 2 Peer University: Making Writing and Literacy Learning Connections is a reflective group I have joined to become a better teacher of digital literacies.

This group of educators has been discussing Digital Literacy in terms of a transition of the teaching and learning of reading and writing in today's classrooms.

I highlighted in Diigo the words from our second task and considered why they resonate as powerful possibilities.

1. Goals

"collaboration, shared writing, community building, and relevant and clear communication"
    These ideas we have discussed as important to digital literacies, and are goals on which we can continually improve both our process and product. When we embark into digital literacies, we have the opportunity to build a better world, a world where diverse voices are heard and recognized, where they can come together in an online space and build a community of learners and citizens to solve problems anywhere. We could.

      These fourth grade students grew into a community that provided lessons within their school and without:

      Fourth Grade Service Learning Project:

      2. Purpose

      "help students to understand the ways in which the choices they make regarding when, how, and why they use writing to communicate to particular audiences can have a profound social impact"

        When we communicate and collaborate, when we work together, we build a community. What we think, say, and write impacts ourselves, our communities. Our purpose is to help students find a voice, join voices, and act with those voices to impact their world -- choosing the most effective words and presentation to convey that voice, their purpose. Using audio, sound, text, images, video, diagrams, interactives, and more, students constantly consider TAP: topic, audience, and purpose. We've just expanded the repertoire of choices in "how" we share; critical thinking and planning in creative ways will be the norm, if we help students understand their choices in "digital writing" (multi-media) and in reading those choices by others. We guide them to see the impacts of media on their lives and how their media can impact the lives of others.  Now more than ever, we help students "touch the future" and build that better world.

        These students show how that power of choice through critical and creative revisions of their vision do just that.

        Literacy in our Lives:

        3. Impacts

        "student choice, online responsibility and ethics, social justice, and real world change through communication"

        By expanding the choices in how students read and write, we encourage more engagement, and therefore more learning. The internet is filled with questionable content as well as the enormous wealth of helpful information. Through our classrooms with more choice and engagement, we promote the online responsibility and ethics of good citizens and encourage students to work for social justice. These are real world issues students can now become the powerful voice of change.

        The example below transformed a traditional unit on Shakespeare into a message of understanding and clarification of identity that transcended their own classroom and reached out to build that understanding for others.

        Redefining Romeo and Juliet: Reclaiming the “Ghetto”:

        4. Implications

        "teaching and learning practices and writing in the real world"
          "use Digital Is to help focus, enrich, and complicate our interest in authentic writing/writing in the real world"
            Do you see how projects such build a local and global community with reciprocation of sharing? Do you see how  students and teachers applied these skills: creative and critical thinking with reading, writing, and producing strategies?

            Do you see the need to find the ways to build the foundation in pedagogy, curriculum, and infrastructure to implement projects?

            How do we start?

            A good example that also started with the traditional history curriculum, but built a community of help and history is:

            Students Doing History with Voicethread Technology:

            Now more than ever, digital literacy bridges the schools and the "real world."

            What projects have you considered or implemented that also demonstrate the need for more projects like this?

            How about joining the conversation at P2PU  and Digital Is?

            Cross-posted at: Pause2Play

            "Literacies are..." Bridging Generations of Literacies Through Media Production | NWP Digital Is

            "Literacies are..." Bridging Generations of Literacies Through Media Production | NWP Digital Is

            Read about this amazing project to bring media literacy alive for teachers and students. Reading and writing are now connected in today's multi-media interface. I agree with the authors:

            " If teachers hope to reach students and motivate them to engage with material, using multiple, non-traditional forms of literacy may help."

            Watch and enjoy:

            What do you think? How will you approach media literacy in your classrooms?

            Zoo Atlanta - Ivan is King

            The Real Ivan... now in a safe and social place.

            On Becoming Change Writers

            On Becoming Change Writers

            Click the link above for an amazing journey with students learning about identity and genocide.