In the past I’ve used twitter for personal use, but had never thought of it as a useful teaching resource. I prefer the layout of twitter. With ease I can read through various posts that give a brief description of the attached article or idea without having to leave the main page. If I do find something that catches my interest I can open it up right away or retweet it to help me find it with greater ease later.
Because twitter can be open through its app on the Iphone I can read articles or watch videos anytime. When I have those few minutes of down time I didn’t expect to have I can pull out my phone and read about something new. I also have the ability to share what I’ve read with my followers by retweeting or give feedback to others by tweeting at them or sending a direct message.
I find the shortness of a tweet very helpful. While other may think that you can’t get enough across in 140 characters, I think that it makes the author of the tweet become more creative and direct with the message they are trying to share. Theres no room for fluffy. Because of this I know what the meat of the topic is and don’t end up wasting my time trying to figure out what a blog, article, or other post is about just to realize it something I already know about or am not interested in.
While watching PBS’s Digital Media* New Learners of the 21st Century, the Digital Youth Network program caught my attention. This after-school program allows students to utilize different forms of media to increase their knowledge and and pursue their interests. Before watching this video I thought of video and music production as a hobby. I didn’t see how it can be use as another way of building on top of more traditional learning.
Its not possible to produce a song or video without the ability to read, write, problem-solve, or interact with others. There are many steps to producing media, which enable a student to pursue their interests while incorporating what they have learned and potentially adding on to that. If a student wants to create a video or song about a piece of knowledge they wish to share, they first need to be educated themselves on the material.
Bloom’s taxonomy (above) shows the steps to mastering content. Through creating games, videos, music, and other forms of media students must go through each of the steps in order to reach the top of the pyramid and create their own media sharing the information. A student has truly mastered a topic not only when they can past a test, but when they are able to teach the material again to other.
PBS’s documentary really opened my eyes to viewing media as less of a way for students to brainlessly waste their time and more as a useful resource in the classroom. Before I thought too much technology would create anti-social/anti-community members out of students, but when used correctly students learn that they have to depend on others in order to create solutions and begin to use media as a way to impact their community.
The SOL standard I’m going to focus on for the semester is 4th grade English standard:
4.9 The student will demonstrate comprehension of information resources to research a topic.
- Construct questions about a topic.
- Collect information from multiple resources including online, print, and media.
- Use technology as a tool to organize, evaluate, and communicate information.
- Give credit to sources used in research.
- Understand the difference between plagiarism and using own words.
A research project seems one-dimensional as to how to accomplish and teach it, but I believe that I can adopt lesson plans for how to teach it which will incorporate different learning styles. I can differentiate this standard for students by:
- Allowing students to pick their own topic of interest
- Demonstrating different media to use as research
- Allowing students to use different forms of media (digital storytelling, posters, papers, etc.) to present their findings.
iLearn Technology is a useful tool for educators looking to incorporate more technology into their classrooms. The website was created by Kelly Tenkely. Kelly has worked both as a classroom teacher and a technology specialist.
On her blog she provides various websites which provide technological ways of learning. Kelly begins each post with describing what each program is. She goes on to provide options as to how to integrate these websites into the classroom settling.
I found this very helpful. If I had any confusion as to how to incorporate a website or app into a lesson plan Kelly gave her own opinion as to how to include it into a lesson. Her blog is clean and very easy to navigate. She follows the same outline for each post making it easy to search for the information you need.
Kelly also provides visual and examples of how she used different programs/apps. This allows the reader to get a quick preview of the finished project without having to open up different windows or go through the program themselves and end up not liking the finished outcome.