As a high school English teacher, I occasionally used films in the classroom. My thinking was always to approach a film as though it were a text. I would guide students through the analysis of a film using the tools they had developed through analysis of print literature. Wasn't film just a story told in a different way? I realize now that my approach to analyzing film in the English classroom was too narrow. My understanding of the genre was incomplete. Because film is multi-media, it requires an additional set of tools and utilizes a different vocabulary than text-only literature. Teaching new media literacy using the tools of traditional media literacy is not sufficient.
I'm a former teacher of adult English learners and high school students in Kansas City (on both sides of the state line). I will forever claim the Greater Kansas City Writing Project as my professional home, though I now live and work in Oakland, California. My work keeps me focused on digital media and learning. I currently review apps for Common Sense Media and YogiPlay, with an emphasis on apps for learning.
Writing Project Site
As educators, we are in a unique position of both witnessing and influencing how young people come into their adult identities. Popular media portrays the rural United States as a hostile environment for the exploration of identity by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. If we understand identity as a collective creation, influenced by the individual as well as by society, then we can see how the experience of LGBTQ-identifying youth can vary greatly depending on the individual's community. However, new media and digital technology are changing what many of us consider our local community. How do these changes affect the experience of LGBTQ youth in rural areas of the United States?
The Participatory Culture Suite from CoSN is a set of resources designed to support administrators and other school leaders as they work to transform their schools into Web 2.0-enabled participatory learning environments. The resources provide school leaders with several tools for reflecting on their own and their school's use of Web 2.0. There are role-specific action plans for superintendents, administratiors, chief technology officers, and chief academic officers. The suite also includes audience-specific handouts and a slide presentation for school leaders to use with parents, teachers, and other staff in building support for the transformation to participatory learning with Web 2.0.