On the connectedlearning.tv webinar series last week, Kylie Peppler, assistant professor in the learning sciences program at Indiana University, Bloomington, led a discussion about e-textiles and her current work on creativity, systems thinking, and media arts in youth comminities. For this September 20, 2012 webinar, Peppler was joined by moderator Craig Watkins and participants Christina Cantrill, Michele Knobel, Sam Dyson, and Yasmin Kafai.
From the Community
I’ve long been a huge fan of Will Richardson. One of his earlier books — Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom — helped shape my own thinking about the practicality, practice and the pedagogy of integrating technology into my classroom in meaningful ways. I’ve passed that book along to many a teaching friend, and I continue to read with interest any of the blog posts and magazine columns that Richardson puts out. So, I was intrigued by his newest ebook, Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere.
I find myself consistently surprised? irked? awestruck? at the number of educational meetings I attend where the focus of the discussions deal with what we need to do to educate our students for the 21st century as though the 21st isn't here yet. Newsflash: It has been here for almost 15 years. Where is the disconnect and why are the wheels turning so slowly? Schools have been steeped in traditional text-based literacy and that has been the dynamic since the days of preparing students for industrial revolution type jobs has existed. Training students to be workers in an antiquated, linear thinking model is a time that has come and gone. That ship, my friends, has sailed. So how are we going to get our schools on track? We need to get into warp speed now. Schools that are living and breathing the reality of multiliteracies and the importance of embracing this changing architecture of literacy should be the rule, not the exception. Let's get going.
I distinctly remember my high school's Industrial Arts shop for its antiquated printing press. Looking back, the school print shop seems quaint. But I was completely taken by this massive hand-run machine that required you to choose individual metallic letters (and the letters were backwards!), set them into spaces on a giant machine to create words, make sure the design of the words looked right during test printing, load up the ink as carefully as possible and make your own signs and posters by yanking on the handle.
Popular culture has changed. No longer just television and movie franchises created by large Hollywood conglomerates, popular culture can be formed by the students in our classrooms. Our students are now both consumers and producers. Sure, they watch the latest blockbuster, but they also spend time making Youtube videos and mashups. This shift is an important one for educators to recognize when incorporating popular culture into their pedagogical practice. Adolescents and young adults are producing increasingly sophisticated forms of multimodal “text,” which include remixing dominant narratives of marginalized populations. Examples include re-messaging popular songs and video games for social change. The following four resources from the Digital Is site highlight how teachers can effectively support the critical media development of youth in their classrooms.
On September 13, 2012, Dell hosted a social think tank and town hall meeting focused on innovation in education on the campus of MIT. The gathering featured a forum of 20+ leaders and thinkers including students, school administrators, and representatives from educational organizations and businesses. The 3-hour+ conversation, which you can watch in the 2-part Livestream below, is organized into three main topics: 1) data-driven innovation and student-driven transparency, 2) the future of innovation in a non-textbook world, and 3) closing the learning gap.
Bill Ferriter, the only K-12 classroom teacher participating in the think tank, wrote a reflection on the conversations at his blog, The Tempered Radical.
"Relax, Chad. It's only a prototype." - an 8th grader
That was, perhaps, the best thing I heard all week*. Using recycled cardboard, my kids are building their own workspaces off the surfaces in our classroom. I had stopped by a workspace-in-progres to ask a few questions of its builder. What's with the rough edges? Are those flaps supposed to go all the way down?" I was clearly getting ahead of myself in a way that my 8th grade colleague - the designer of the workspace - was not. Three weeks in and he had internalized more of the design process and its pacing than I had.
(This is reposted from my blog)
This comic captures an interesting and engaging series of discussions I had with my sixth graders yesterday, as I probed them about the kind of “text” they most prefer. I suppose the results are not surprising to any of who work with young people, but the conversations themselves were wonderful — articulate kids talking about their strengths as readers across mediums. It was pretty fascinating.
Peace (in the text),
In a recent installment of the connectedlearning.tv webinar series, Bud Hunt and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen facilitated a conversation about teacher inquiry as a method of professional development and questioned whether teacher inquiry practices align with the connected learning model. The webinar, titled Teacher Research is Connective Learning: Practitioner Inquiry as Professional Development, included moderator Howard Rheingold and participants Pam Brown, Bob Fecho, and ...
Early September is a time I often associate with the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the promise of new friendships. It marks a time of new beginnings, and a general re-commitment to our common pursuit of knowledge. In the spirit of “back to school” time I share with you this short video, which I think captures the essence of what education should be. True education inspires us to turn information into knowledge – for it is knowledge that can change our world for the better. To quote Zack: “Information is powerful. ….But it is how we use it that will define us.”
Posted by Mia Zamora, Ph.D.
The New York City Writing Project published its 'Back to School' Stay Connected Newsletter and shared this video which "invites readers to a common space in remembering their many first days of school."
Originally published on August 21, 2012 at Democratizing Composition.
To really flip a classroom, we have to go past the idea that letting kids shuffle the cards we give them somehow disadvantages the house. Instead, we have to trust kids with significant amounts of power and control over their learning across media, and we have to invite them to take up that power as often as they can.
Towards that end – and, more specifically, towards enabling kids to take power in the writing classroom – here are five ways to flip composition.
I have never written a book review and it almost seems pretentious of me to even try. What could I say about any book that hasn’t already been said 100 times by others—more eloquently than I could ever say, for sure? But this review isn’t necessarily for anyone but me I guess. It’s a chance for me to process what I’ve read and by sharing it, maybe it helps someone else too, who knows? So let’s get to it.
On November 5th 2010, twenty rural school teachers from southern Oregon embarked on a virtual journey that has forever changed the way they socialize, share ideas and learn. In Ashlan Oregon, the group came together to hear about Project DIRECT and how this would revolutionize their relationship with technology and education and also the way in which they could network with fellow teachers. The workshop moved to Medford Oregon the next day and it was here that the teacher began their journey into the 3D immersive environment known as Second Life.
We’ve updated the resource creation guidelines, because we wanted them to be more accessible. It is one of the many ways you can participate in this website. As a teaching-focused knowledge base exploring the field of digital writing and learning, the aim of the Digital Is website is to ensure a friendly and collegial writing, publishing, and discussion/response space. Therefore we want you to participate and invite you to do so in these ways:
My resource is about to go public and I'm really looking forward to the conversation I hope it initiates with my fellow colleagues!!! I'm specifically interested in seeing who delves into "The Mess Behind the Resource". That thinking, which came as a result of ongoing conversations (both digital and in person) with my colleagues helped me in the final phases of what ended up on the Digital Is site.
Why do you write? Digital Is folks spend a lot of time thinking about what writing can look like in the digital world, but does the digital world change the why of writing?
Writers of all kinds are contributing to the #WhyIWrite thread. Celebrate writing with us and post this week in honor of the National Day on Writing, October 20th. This could be a great opportunity to try out the new blog feature here on Digital Is. Tag your writing, wherever you post it, with #WhyIWrite and share it!
Need inspiration? Follow the thread on Twitter.
Or watch this - just one of many videos collected in the Why I Write playlist on YouTube.
Earlier this week, John Seely Brown gave the opening keynote talk at the fifteenth annual 2011 Internet Librarian Conference. What a great choice of speakers! John Seely Brown is one of those visionary folks who seems to have been able to see for some time what the rest of us are still realizing and trying to integrate into our professional lives: That the digital shift is closely tied to trying-and-failing, to playing and tinkering, to making.
In his opening address, Brown said that the half-life of a given skill has shrunk to only 5 years. If that is the case, how can teachers and librarians help prepare students for the world?
We hope the new look will better support content viewing and user navigation. There are also some new ways to add content to the site, which we hope further support your participation and sharing.
New features include:
Digital Is now has a blog feature available for every member. Blogs are a way to share less formal content in the site that you think might be of interest to the larger community. The posts will display with other blog posts on the News and Blog Post page. They will also show up as an individual series of posts on your profile.
Digital Is now has a way for site members to send a message to another community member. You can access your own messages by clicking on “Read and Send Messages” from your Member Home.
Since there has been so much discussion and resource creation
recently on the theme of games and learning, I thought I would just
share this resource that came to my attention when I was visiting the You Media in Chicago:
This library is a blog created by youth at You Media along with their
mentor Taylor Bayless. It is one example of several youth created
content that is supported in its creation and then public dissemination
by mentors at the You Media center. in Chicago Other examples include:
Can a person survive in this day and age without a Facebook page? Can I call myself truly savvy without one? I recently disengaged with FB and I deactivated my account. I haven't been on for a couple of weeks.
Here is my fear. Have people come to expect that I should know what is going on in their lives because it was posted on FB? Do they see it as an affront because I don't know something about them that they shared with the world?
One friend of mine asked me how I will continue to communicate without Facebook. I said that I would talk to people. She laughed at the absurdity of her question, but is that what FB has become?
Is there a Post-Facebook world, or are we all caught up in the idea of Social Networking to the point that everything else is obsolete? Right now I belong to several social networks online, but no one seems to use them nearly as much as FB.
Anyway... just wanted to share.
Interesting and thought provoking discussions and resources continue to be added to Digital Is everyday! We wanted to make you aware of two new group projects that are happening now too – the first one connected to Indiana University’s work on Designing for Participation and, the second, by the teacher inquiry community at the UNC Charlotte Writing Project who are exploring Digital Narratives in Urban Classrooms.
Keep an eye out for several new resources to come live from these projects soon and we also encourage you to jump in to participate.
NWP Digital Is has also been featured recently at DML Central by Digital Is community member and UCLA writing project teacher Antero Garcia.
Digital Is was recently featured in this post, Hacking the Digital Classroom with ‘Digital Is’, on the GradHacker blog by Andrea Zellner of the Red Cedar Writing Project and a PhD student at Michigan State University. Andrea writes, “If you want to hack your classroom with the best guidance out there, set aside an hour and point your browser to http://digitalis.nwp.org.”
The new Speak Up 2010 survey has just been released with interesting results for educators curious about the adoption of digital technologies in schools. The project surveyed almost 300,000 students (as well as 43,000 parents, 35,000 teachers, 2000 librarians and 3500 administrators) from a sample of over 6500 private and public schools. the results show the continued adoption of digital tools and devices by youth at ever younger ages. They also show the challenges that students and teachers experience in school settings. In the survey youth identify two major barriers to tech use at school: 1) filters, and 2) bans on mobile devices.
This past week, Digital Is was featured in the post Share, Grow, Do: The Potential of Digital Age Learning posted by Barry Joseph of Global Kids, http://www.globalkids.org/, in the MacArthur DML Central weblog, http://dmlcentral.net/blog/barry-joseph/share-grow-do-potential-digital-age-learning.
Digital Is was also featured on Future of Education on June 9th by Troy Hicks, co-author of Because Digital Writing Matters and The Digital Writing Workshop. An archive of
the discussion is available here: http://www.stevehargadon.com/2011/06/thursday-june-9th-live-with-troy-hicks.html.
If you’ve been waiting for the chance to try out that new design activity with your students, this just might be your shot. The ARIS Global Game Jam on April 18-20 invites you to make new augmented reality games for mobile phones from scratch in just 50 hours. Sound impossible?
Short for Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling, ARIS is a new tool that enables users to create place-based or narrative gaming activities designed for teaching and learning. The platform is available as both an iPhone application and as an open-source authoring platform.
The ARIS design team is inviting experts and novices alike to join the session. Their goal is 50 games in 50 hours.
Digital Is: Interdisciplinary Writing Resources, was recently featured in a Chronicle of Higher Education piece written by guest blogger Chad Sansing, a teacher consultant of the Central Virgina Writing Project, on the Prof Hacker blog.
Teachers associated with the University of Maine Writing Project participated in a course titled "Inquiry into Digital Literacy in the Classroom," and you will see many results of their work posted recently under Resources here in Digital Is (along with many others).
New Collections have been posted by Digital Is Curators too.
Finally, follow @writingproject on Twitter for regular Digital Is and other writing project updates.