Tag Archives: Twitter

Course Three

The Story of Power

For the final project for the visual literacy class, we were tasked with creating a digital story. This should have come easy to me, but a great idea seemed to elude me. My class already does digital stories, though I want to improve some things when teaching them this skill next year. I wanted to create a worthwhile project that I could actually use; this is easier than it sounds with an already packed curriculum. Inspiration finally hit and I think I have created something worthwhile.

Task Sheet

Digital Story Treatment and Outline

COETAIL Course Two -EDC 601

More Copyright! This time for kids.

At the start of the start of this course, I never would have thought that copyright would have been the most interesting or informative part. As it turns out, I found it to be both and very applicable to what I am doing in the classroom. At the bottom of this post is a UBD “unit” that strives to teach students about copyright and fair use.

I really thought about how my views changed on the subject while in class. I think one of the hardest things about teaching is that you never remember how hard something was to learn once you actually learn it – because then it is easy. So when planning this unit about copyright and fair use, I really looked back to some of the things we did in COETAIL class.

I wanted to include some videos for several reasons. First, they are funny and catchy. I still sing that stupid “Copyright, What’s Copyright” song at random times during the day. One of main takeaways I want for students is that they are AWARE of these issues. Look no further than my post Teaching About Copyright to see how unaware my students are. Second is that they do a good job of getting some basic ideas out there. The videos are good discussion starters.

Another trick I borrowed from COETAIL is to have students use CC images and give attribution in their blog posts. I was kind of doing this before, but only because I had seen some COETAIL discussion on Twitter and professional blogs before taking the course.

Although I plan to run this mini-unit in the first semester next year, I am hoping to sneak in some of the ideas with my classes this year too. If I really believe it to be valuable (and I do), then I should be able to find the time. These issues are important.

COETAIL Course Two -EDC 601

Collaboration: More Than a Buzz Word

I challenge anyone to read an article, or listen to a talk, or watch a video on 21st century learning without hearing how important collaboration is as a skill for students. It is so important, it even gets its own NETS standard! So do you really want to read another blog about why collaboration is so important? Lets both agree that it’s a biggie.

Technology can help our kids collaborate. We use it all the time, most often in the form of Google Apps, or Prezi, or Wallwisher or a number of other online tools. Technology though, shouldn’t become the sole method for collaboration. I get to see a class full students everyday and I would hate to have a class full of students collaborating together everyday without saying a word. There are, of course exceptions to this.

I Am Collaboration (And So Can You!)

Twitter might be the coolest tool for teachers since chalk. This past weekend, at the one-to-one technology conference, ASBUnplugged, I heard some version of, “If there is one thing you get from this conference, join Twitter” about ten times. If you are not on yet, I am guessing that you have been “resisting.” I heard that quite a few times too. I’ll let you in on a secret, you are going to join sooner or later, so you might as well get started.

Teachers on Twitter are always sharing. And asking for help. And giving help. I have seen Google Docs sent out where teachers could go in and add what they were doing regarding the topic. I have personally shared and used linked information that has directly help shape my understanding or instruction. It is a powerful tool.

The Web Is Brainy

Image: Flickr John & Mel Kots

Written text is like driving in America; you stay in your line. Web text is like driving in India; you can go in any direction at anytime. Everything is linked. Even the stuff that isn’t linked is now linked. On certain websites, or with the right browser app, any word you highlight is instantly searchable or defined or both.

One great tool that could really help kids to understand how concepts and words are interconnected is Tag Galaxy. Here, you can plug in a word (tag), or multiple words and it instantly connects other words. If you click on one of those, it takes you to a new level. And if you click on the center inside any of those levels, photos from flickr with that tag are displayed.

The non-linear nature of the web should be an easy conversation to have. In Humanities, I don’t let kids get away with linear thinking, because in my subject, that is simple thinking. As we use these web tools, the conversation needs to happen there. Teachers must take the time to make sure students are not just clicking links. They need to know why they are clicking them.