Posts Tagged 'digital literacy'

What skills do kids need to be “successful” today?

While reading EdTech Digest, I came across an interesting page of videos that reflect on what it means to be a 21st Century learner. While I had seen most of the clips before, I had not yet seen the one above.

As you watch, think about:

  • What skills and opportunities do kids need to participate effectively in modern day society?
  • To lead happy, healthy and learning-filled lives?
  • Now, how can you help?!

Anna

@bon_education

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Tips for Teachers that Want to Become EdTech Leaders and Champions

anna batchelder, literacy blog, edtech, education technology, ICT

I was recently asked to put together a one page document titled, “Tips for Teachers that Want to Become Education Technology Leaders and Champions in their Schools”. I thought readers of Literacy is Priceless might enjoy reading the tips as well. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section of this post!

Anna

@bon_education

1) Always keep learning!

Technology changes rapidly! Therefore it is important to stay on top of the latest news, trends and research. Here are a few recommended resources to start with:

  • International Society for Technology in Education – articles, advocacy kits and conferences about education technology
  • Edutopia – videos and articles about education best-practices
  • eSchoolNews – K-20 technology news
  • Mashable – Learn about the latest applications and trends in social media
  • A mentor – Find someone that knows a lot about education technology. Meet and share ideas and feedback regularly.

2) Share your knowledge.

  • Help other teachers in your building learn how to use and teach effectively with technology by hosting workshops, coaching and mentorship sessions.
  • Keep a classroom blog. Make sure to tell other teachers and students about it!
  • Post your technology-infused lesson plans on open education resource sites like Curriki and OER Commons. Or, on sites like BetterLesson and the Ras al Khaimah Teachers Network.

3) Don’t be afraid to experiment.

See a new technology that could be effective in your classroom?! Try it! Remember, it is okay if the students know how to use the technologies better than you do! As teachers, we learn so much from our students and they from us. By trying new things, practice and an open mind, we can learn and do many great things in the classroom, for and with our students.

4) Start an education technology passion project with your students!

5) Stay connected.

6) Reflect!

  • Keep a teaching journal. Document what went well in your lessons and what you would like to improve in the future.
  • Solicit feedback from your students! What do they enjoy doing in your class? What are their challenges? How can technology be used to address some of these challenges and to inspire enthusiasm towards learning?
  • Create an education technology professional development plan for yourself. Do it! Have fun!

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(Image CC by Brian Hathcock)

A WebQuest about WebQuests (for Teachers)

WebQuest, Bon Education, Digital Literacy, Critical ThinkingThe Web is filled with fabulous teaching and learning content. How do you get students to use the Web to effectively ask questions, find information, evaluate information and create digital content?

Why not try a WebQuest?! “A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the Web” (WebQuest.org).

WebQuests have been around for about 15 years, so in Web history they are tried and true! Over the course of last year, several educators across the Middle East asked me about WebQuests. So, I’ve prepared a WebQuest about WebQuests (for Teachers) to share with participants in an upcoming 21st Century Teaching course I am leading this fall. If you are curious about WebQuests or are about to lead a training on WebQuests, I welcome you to share it!

To exploring the Web with many students this fall!

Anna

@bon_education

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This summer take time to explore these awesome websites!

If you are anything like me, summer is the time to kick back, relax, and explore all of the websites I’ve bookmarked throughout the year. So, when I came across Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools, I immediately grabbed a pot full of tea and started playing!

Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools is a wiki filled with hundreds of links and short descriptions of online tools for video editing and presenting, collaborating, building student creativity and problem-solving skills and more!

Some of my favorite featured tools include Prezi (a fabulous brainstorming and alternative presentation tool to PowerPoint), Animoto (a website that turns your favorite photos and music into a perfectly orchestrated masterpiece/slideshow), Make Beliefs Comix (a free tool that enables students to make their own comic strips), Teachers TV (a website filled with videos of model classrooms and videos about the things we all think about as teachers – integrating ICT, assessment, differentiated instruction, teaching to every student…).

Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools is going to keep me busy for a long time. What a wonderful reference!

Thanks Levna for organizing such a useful wiki!

Anna

@bon_education

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(Image by supagroova. Available under CC license.)

Teaching educators and students to be critical consumers of the web

Recently while leading a workshop on digital citizenship and safety in Ras al Khaimah, we did an exercise where teachers had to evaluate several websites to determine the trustworthiness and validity of the sites’ information. In particular we spent a long time comparing two websites (website 1 and website 2) on Martin Luther King and discussing why website 1 is a terrible source of information and why website 2 is more reliable (based on clues like content, images, references, URLs, webmasters, etc.).

After the workshop, one of the ICT teachers in the class shared with me some of the websites she asks younger students to evaluate as part of their unit on digital citizenship and safety. Ask your students to take a look at the video above and this website on the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. What aspects of the video and website are giveaways that the information may not be true?!

Anna

@bon_education

P.S. Once your students are good at evaluating website validity and trustworthiness, try this unit on Digital Image Manipulation in the Mass Media. Your students will be amazed at the amount of digital editing that goes into creating advertisements like the one below.

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If 12-year-olds ruled the world, what would school be like?

I spent the weekend imagining I was twelve again. Or rather, I spent the weekend with 30 other teachers from across the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah pretending to be twelve again. The immediate goal – to feel what it is like to be 24 hours in the life of a Digital Native. The grander goal – to understand how students think and pass time in order to translate our lessons into the language that 21st Century learners speak.

Imagine: If twelve-year-olds ruled the world, what would “schools” be like today?

Having a hard time being back in middle school?! I mean it – braces, hormones, big dreams and all! Well, thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, understanding what it is like to be twelve through the brain of a 30, 40 or 50+ year old educator, just got a wee bit easier!

Watch the video above to learn what MacArthur grantees are doing to Re-Imagine Learning in the 21st Century. Then check out:

  • Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (Mimi Ito, et. al.) to see what teens really do online. Download book summary here.
  • YouMediaa 5,500-square- foot room on the first floor of the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, buzzes with teens hanging out with friends, remixing their own rock videos, tapping into the library’s large collection of youth literature, and using the Internet to dive deeply into issues of interest. Learn more here.
  • Quest to Learn – “a school based on Kid Culture” all about inquiry-based learning, game-like learning and new learning environments.

I don’t know about you, but being 12 seems pretty good now!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

PS Thanks to international education consultant Kevin Simpson from Know.Do.Serve.Learn for sending me a link to the video above!

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Transforming Lives and Communities through Technology

A little hope, a helping hand, education and an Internet connection can go a long way towards building individuals and communities. Watch and be inspired!

Thank you CDI!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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Why the Social Web Can’t Be Ignored

more about “Garys Social Media Count“, posted with vodpod
Recently I came across the above “Living Statistics” flash app on Personalize Media. If you are studying the impact of social media on society in your classroom, this is a wonderful chart to explore and discuss. Make sure to click on the “now,” “+1 day,” “+1 week,” etc. buttons to see how many new blog posts, Facebook members, and tweets have been created around the world in 2010 alone! Thanks to Gary Hayes for sharing such a wonderful app/classroom discussion piece!
For more ideas on how to discuss social media and digital literacy in your classroom or home, take a look at, “MySpace in Democracy” – a wonderful free unit on Curriki by educator Samuel Reed. As the unit description points out:

This 6-8 week unit draws upon social studies, media literacy and inquiry to explore how social networks and media technologies promote and disrupt democratic practices. It is intended for middle grade students (grades 6th-8th).

The unit is organized in 3 major sections: Communication Timeline Inquiry (Week 1-2), First Amendment and Cyber Rights Inquiry / Webquest (Week 3-4) and Free Cyber Speech and Internet Safety Public Service Productions (Week 5-8)

One more blog post to add to the chart above!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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Why Digital Literacy is Imperative!

Thanks to Thomas Boito for bringing the above video to my attention via a comment on my last post, “A Vision of Students Today“.

The stats in the video above will blow you and your students away and are a great starting point for a conversation about the importance of digital literacy–the ability to ask questions, research and locate information online, validate and interpret that information, and contribute meaningfully and responsibly to online conversations and content.

Thinking about Did You Know 4.0!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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UAE Education Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

The education scene in the UAE is very vibrant and in an amazing period of growth and productivity. I feel so fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from and contribute to the important education initiatives in Dubai and beyond.

For UAE educators and enthusiasts that are looking for fun and educational events to attend, here are a few to add to your calendars:

11/21/09 My Letter to President Barack Obama Book Reading and Signing Event.

  • Location: Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, 4-6pm.
  • Join children’s author Lana Dajani as she discusses her latest book, the environment and more! Illustrator Emanuela Corti will also discuss the delightful book illustrations. Download invite here.

11/22/09 Curriki on Nightline with James Piecowye.

  • Tune your UAE radio to 103.8 (or listen online here) at 8pm.
  • Learn about www.Curriki.org–a non-profit that provides free and open source curricula collaboration tools to educators across the world!

11/23/09 Empowering Teachers to Change Teaching and Learning: The Disruptive Innovation of Curricula 2.0 by Dr. Barbara Kurshan (Executive Director, Curriki)

  • Location: British University in Dubai, 10am-12:30pm.
  • Download details and invite here.

11/24/09 Mom 2.0: Blogging 101

  • Learn about blogging, how blogs can be used with children, make a blog and meet other UAE moms to boot!
  • Location: Magrudy’s Education Resource Center in Dubai, 9am-12pm.
  • Read workshop details and register here.

12/06/09 Mom 2.0: Digital Tools for Homework Help

  • Learn how to breeze through future school projects and avoid homework time stress!
  • Location: Magrudy’s Education Resource Center in Dubai, 9am-12pm.
  • Read workshop details and register here.

12/08/09 Mom 2.0: Digital Literacy and Cyber Safety: What Kids and Parents Need to Know!

  • Learn how to help your kids interact safely and productively online!
  • Location: Magrudy’s Education Resource Center in Dubai, 9am-12pm.
  • Read workshop details and register here.

Can’t wait to see UAE educators and parents at the events above!

Anna

@bon_education

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Transliteracy: Do you have it?

Thanks to tools like the WordPress analytics tool, Google Analytics and HootSuite I can gauge how many people visit my blog, website and Twitter feed, which sites refer the most readers, most popular posts, etc.

When it comes to referrals, I am eternally grateful to sites like  Web English Teacher, FreeReading, Reading Rockets and the Reading Tub (amongst many others) for continuing to send large amounts of traffic to this blog and for sharing so many wonderful posts and literacy resources themselves. It is so wonderful that from Dubai, I can connect with literacy-lovers from around the world!

Yesterday, I noticed two new referral sites that I thought I would share simply because their content was so useful to me!

The transliteracy sideshow above by librarian Bobbi Newman and featured on library professional Gena Hasket’s post on BlogHer is an excellent presentation to share with educators, learners, librarians and parents on the importance of transliteracythe ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media. Thanks Gena for recommending that readers think about and promote transliteracy. And, thank you for sending readers here to this blog!

I would also like to give a shout out to the American Association of School Librarians for including a link to this blog in the School Library Media Specialist’s Roll in Reading Toolkit. If you are looking for toolkits and advocacy materials for helping parents, teachers and others understand the importance of transliteracy, digital literacy, information literacy, etc., make sure to view all of the toolkits on the American Association of School Librarians’ site.

Thinking about transliteracy…

Anna

@bon_education

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Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology

Transformation

This morning I read, “The Digital Promise: Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology” by Jeanne Wellings and Michael H. Levine–a white paper that I highly recommend reading if you are looking for rationale to support the integration of technology and edtech PD within your school.

To summarize, the article points out that when technology is skillfully integrated into school curricula, the benefits are many:

  • Technology supports student achievement. (ISTE 2008)
  • Technology builds 21st century skills. (ISTE 2008)
  • Technology engages students in learning and content creation. (America’s Digital Schools, 2006)
  • Technology increases access to education, virtual communities, and expertise. (ISTE 2008)
  • Technology fosters inclusion. (Apple Inc. 2009)
  • Technology helps prevent dropouts. (Smink & Reimer, 2005)
  • Technology facilitates differentiated instruction. (Apple Inc. 2009)
  • Technology empowers learning and research in critical STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. (CEO Forum, 2001)
  • Technology strengthens career and technical education. (Apple Inc. 2009)

And, if that is not enough to make you want to brush up your school technology plan, think about this and ask yourself how comfortable you are with media:

A Kaiser Family Foundation study, “Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds,” confirms the immersion of American children in contemporary media. The average child spends over six and a half hours per day engaged with various types of media,  television, movies, music, electronic games, and computers. Over one week this equates to a full-time job with a few hours of overtime (Rideout, Roberts, and Foehr, 2005).

Wow! To find specific examples of resources and innovative things you can do as an educator to promote student learning via creative and engaging uses of technology, check out the blue call-out boxes throughout the report!

For more practical and easy-to-read research on the impact of technology and digital media on children’s learning, visit the Joan Ganz Conney Center. You won’t be disappointed!

Anna

@bon_education

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New Media Literacies: What Parents, Educators and Students Need to Know

I am in the process of planning a number of digital literacy workshops for parents across the UAE. In preparation for this, I am gathering a number of resources that parents can read and watch to gain a better understanding of the digital knowledge and skills students must have “to deal with our culture today,” “to function in the current media environment–with the Internet, with cellphones,” to be a responsible consumers and producers of media, to interact safely online, etc.

The video above (by Project New Media Literacies, MIT) is a nice one to pass along to parents, along with the International for Society for Technology in Education National Education Technology Standards for Students–A document that clearly bullets “What students should know and be able to do to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world.”

When it comes to digital literacy, it is the collaborative responsibility of parents, educators and students to have a clear understanding of the amazing educational potential of the Internet and the associated responsibilities of being a digital citizen in the 21st century… As some might say, it takes a Digital Village!

Feel free to pass the above resources along and to share additional ones in the comments section of this post.

Sincerely,

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

Twitter: @bon_education


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Finding and Adding High Quality LEGAL Images to Your Blog or Website

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 14: Nelly Furtado reads a book to a group of children during the Jumpstart Read for The Record 2009 launch event at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on September 14, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Jumpstart)


Today while reviewing the WordPress.com blog for the latest and greatest updates, I came across a post titled, “Free Access to Premium Images“… Wow! What a find!

Finding free high quality legal images for blog posts and websites can be a challenge, especially if you live in a part of the world where websites like Flickr are many times not available. That is why I often rely on my own images, free stock photos or WikiMedia Commons for images to spice up my writing and online blog reports.

Thanks to an update on the WordPress.com blog, I now have another source to rely on for high quality free and legal photos: PicApp. As the site About page states:

We have over 20 million premium images, editorial and creative, covering any imaginable category—from news, sports, to celebrity, travel fashion and more.

Our content partners include Getty Images, Corbis, Splash News, Pacific Coast News, Newscom, Image Source and more. We support the largest blog platforms: WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and more.

Eager to see what PicApp has to offer, this morning I created an account (which took only 10 seconds!) and started exploring for pictures of my favorite actors, topics and more. A quick search for “reading” revealed loads of photos of famous and not-so-famous people doing what we know is so important to do–reading!

Next time you are need of images that are legal to post on your blog/website, stop by PicApp! To see how to use site, watch the video below! To learn what you can and cannot do with the images, click here.

Anna

Twitter: @bon_education

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Digital Storytelling in a Nutshell

I just published a blog on Curriki that I think Literacy is Priceless readers will find useful. To see the original post, click here. Or, continue reading below. -Anna

If you are looking for a project to build your students’ communication and digital literacy skills, why not have them participate in a digital storytelling project?! As this excellent introduction to digital storytelling by Curriki member Robin Surland points out:

Digital storytelling consists of a series of still images or video images, combined with a narrated soundtrack to tell a story. Many times an additional music track is added to invoke emotions.

Once, you’ve reviewed Robin’s excellent backgrounder, you’ll be ready to take a look at the link Curriki member Anne Leftwich posted here that provides in-depth information on how to create a digital story. Thanks Anne!

Need help visualizing the process before you get started? Here’s “How to make a Digital Story” in a nutshell:

  • Determine what personal experience you wish to present in your story. If you need a bit of help selecting a topic, try filling out this worksheet on the seven basic elements of a digital story by Indiana University.
  • Select images that you wish to display in your story. Beyond your own digital photos, Flickr (creative commons licensed images) and OpenStockPhotography are useful places to find images to accompany your narration. Indiana University has a nice template that will help you storyboard your ideas.
  • Draft a 3-5 minute script to accompany your images.
  • Select music (optional). ccMixer and Open Source Audio are two places where you can find large quantities of open music. Make sure that the track you select allows you to share and remix the original music. For example, click on the cc box featured on the left hand side of this audio. You should be directed to this page that tells you exactly what you can and cannot do with the track.
  • Note: If you find this whole copyright thing confusing (i.e., What images and music from the Internet are you allowed to use legally in your digital story?), the Creative Commons website has lots of great advise. The Wanna Work Together video is particularly helpful.
  • Pull it all together! Create a final storyboard that clearly shows how your images, script and music will all fit together. Indiana University has provided a useful template for this.
  • Select which software you are going to use to create your digital story. Here is a list of possibilies. Voicethread is another nice tool for this. To learn how to use Voicethread, watch this YouTube tutorial.
  • Produce your digital story!
  • Share it with others! (The fun part!)
  • Create a digital storytelling assignment for your students and share your lesson plan with others in the Curriki community here.

For more detailed information on digital storytelling, take a look at the Digital Storytelling Cookbook from the Center for Digital Storytelling. Or, take a moment to watch the YouTube video above (created by Stanford’s Teacher Education Program).

Have fun and feel free to share additional digital storytelling resources in the comments section of this post.

Anna

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