Tag: literacy

Who’s Telling Your Story If You’re Not?

storytellStorytelling is as important today as years past – perhaps more so. There are many competing forces and it is challenging to capture audience’s attention.  Questions to consider might be “What is your story? Who is telling your story? How are you telling it? Is it getting to the audience you wish?” Answers will differ depending on who you ask – teachers, students, administrators, community.

Social media is an easy way to get the word out. These include blogs, wikis, Twitter or even various online magazines. Even QR Codes placed on class windows and bulletin boards lend to a sharing of story. (It becomes easy for parents to use their smartphones to capture and take home little snapshots of information.)

Using multiple platforms can be wieldy. A blog is a good starting point— it offers many ways to bring out your creative genius as well as a place to share what is happening in the school or class. The platform allows for inclusion of images, audio, video and text (something for everyone). Posts can be short or long, ‘newsletter-ish’, or just capture the ‘moment-ish’. It offers students a chance to flex their voice and create a positive digital footprint. Especially when the commenting function is being used to teach communication to ‘lift and clarify’ thoughts.

So how is your story being told?

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Dialogue With A Twist

google_storybuilderlogoHow would you create opportunities for students to practice dialogue? Perhaps it’s talk between two people or two characters in a book or a conversation between you and yourself? MMhh…now that would be interesting. A bit of reflective action produced in video format. And practicing a host of literacy elements to boot.

The tool you ask? It’s Google Story Builder —just hot off the presses in April. Check out this online tool to create dialogue, monologue…the possibilities are endless.

google_storybuilder

Type in the names of characters; enter in dialogue. Add some music in the background and capture the weblink to share your conversation online.  I’ve created one on Questions (yes my favourite topic). Here’s the link:  http://goo.gl/mB5bXf

Sometimes you just have to have a conversation with yourself and sometimes it’s just about plain fun. Imagine if this was used as a documentation reflection piece in the classroom?

I would love to hear how you’re using this new tool?

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iPad Apps that Enhance your Language Arts Program

Pete the CatJoined by a group of enthusiastic K-12 teachers and principals, we explored a number of apps at our District Pro-D session on February 21st. The feature story was Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin. After listening to the story and the oh-so catchy song, we used a strategy called Milling to Music to move around the classroom to share connections with different partners. Great energizing strategy to use across the curriculum!

Hover over the circle icons and you will get additional information.

This image was created using Thinglink, which takes images and embeds interactivity.  For more on using this in your class, click here.

Click here for a copy of the handout.

Click here for ideas on how to use Popplet.

We would love to hear how your students are using some of these apps.


Digital Learning Day – Feb 5

The days of January have been whizzing by, partly due to the start of another term and partly due to our wonderful west coast weather.  Having some sun certainly invites a bit more energy in the steps as well as some hopeful signs of spring just around the corner.

We are hearing about so many projects in flight or in the planning stages of inquiry wonder.  Many have chosen to invite the technologies allowing entry points for learners.  Did you know that February 5th is  “Digital Learning Day“?  Although we know that many of you already use technologies in seamless ways, this is a day designed to invite you to further participate in a little something special.  Maybe it’s a connection with another class across the way through your blogs.  Perhaps it’s an encounter with creating a podcast or using QR codes to showcase/share your work with books.  Maybe it’s questions you post out on Twitter about things you wonder. How about creating a found poem and building it into a wordart piece to post?  This month’s Learning Technologies newsletter is full of ideas for you to ponder and put into action.  Consider celebrating the day with a little something special.  Drop us a line and share your story.

Since I’m a huge fan of Peter Reynold‘s work, I love how he captured the ideas for digital learning. It just looks so inclusive!

digilearningday_peterreynolds

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Digital Citizenship

2014_ribbonHappy new year. Like all new years, it is a time of  anticipation and new beginnings. Especially with all the technological changes that our students have at their fingertips. While they may be really comfortable at texting and bouncing from one interchange to another, there is a significant difference when using technologies for organized multiple purposes. Powerful research skills, understanding bias in published content, online communication and decision making all need practice to be proficient. Questions such as how do we teach internet safety, what happens to our digital footprint, how do we engage in dialogue on cyberbullying,  what about copyright as we consume and create online, what about privacy, are all front and center in our lives. These topics can all fit under the larger umbrella of Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship.

Digital Citizenship might be described as the ability to integrate technologies to fully engage in  an increasingly global and digital world. These skills or competencies reflect the need to analyze, learn and explore a world, that for the most part has not yet been conceived. A bit daunting, yet each topic area can be broken down. The key is to purposefully embed these into your everyday curriculum from early elementary upwards.

Over the next months and year, we will be actively delving into this area with practical ways that support the classroom.  You can start by joining us at our District Pro-D on February 21th.   Come and be a part of the developing journey as it unfolds. More information and registration will be in the District Pro-D calendar.


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