Do you consider yourself a passionate person? What are the things about which you are passionate? Are you passionate about kids and helping kids learn? Are you passionate about opening up new vistas of experiences and understanding for others which – absent your intervention – they might never experience? Are you passionate about creating moments of unforgettable learning? Learning that is SO engaging, so motivating, so interesting, and so fun – that those fortunate enough to experience it will NEVER forget it? Nevada elementary teacher Brian Crosby is this kind of person, and this kind of educational leader. Brian gave the world a seventeen minute glimpse into his 4th grade classroom a few weeks ago in Denver at the TEDx event. I strongly encourage you to set aside seventeen minutes of your day and listen to what Brian had to say.
Last week, I hunted around the web, searching for a site where someone had gathered the terms of service for all the web’s most popular sites. Sadly (and surprisingly for the internet) I could not find what I sought. I decided to do it myself and created the Terms of Service blog: http://termsofservice.posterous.com/
It’s not the answer but it’s a start, and if it leads to a school or two pausing to discuss how they can use such sites, maybe it will be time well spent.
What do you think? Is there a need for something like this?
Click on the links below to see some helpful videos. The user interface in these videos differs somewhat from the standard Word Press interface on many blogs, but the principles remain the same,
Apart from using Hero Factory to depict the cool Genie they are using Wordle to put together a blissful food order. How much can they get onto the screen in ten short minutes?
Meanwhile news teams are headed out to the school and you will find some of their reports when they make Voki’s.
The discussion about keeping blogs open and teaching students to use the internet safely is a vital one. This post about Why I Think Blogs Should Be Open will provide some discussion about why it is better to have an open door policy when it comes to blogging in schools.
This school blog is an example of the work that can be done when you fearlessly apply technology in the classroom.
Rather than fail our students by not realizing the full potential of social networking we need to remember the old line of being alert and not alarmed.
Knowledge is power. If we don’t teach students how to travel safely in the cyber world who is going too?
If we live in fear we miss life and opportunity. Students need to be taught to think, to be alert so they don’t get hurt.
A very thoughtful blog about the whys and wherefores about using a range of technologies for learning and teaching. Tania raises issues and shares her thoughts and discoveries about how to work with teachers to deliver some of the best opportunities to students
In the past school doors seemed almost impenetrable. New Age Technology has changed all of this and today you can wander into classrooms all over the state. I visited Malmsbury Primary School recently and found that all the grades there are using blogs to showcase their work, share ideas and communicate important information.
Malmsbury Primary is welcoming visitors and asking visitors to leave comments. You can begin by visiting the Little Room and then wander into other rooms and see just how students are using their netbooks and applying Web 2.0 tools.
Having blogged for more than three years, I am as passionate about blogging as ever and see it as one of the few online tools that can embrace the both the emerging and establishing digital literacies. Over this time, I am convinced that blogging is the “door” to digital literacy. Digital literacy is defined as “the skills, knowledge and understanding required to use new technology and media to create and share meaning”. It is a true 21st century language.
Although there are times when it could be argued that blogging should be a private space or kept within a ‘walled garden’ of the classroom, blogging should also be ‘out there’ for a global audience to reach. This has been written for an educational setting, but is equally true for all those people who wish to survive and excel in the 21st century.
Blogging is a crucial 21st literacy skill. Why? In the following, I have listed what I personally see as some of the key digital literacy skills and how good blogging can display these skills.
- It creates a personal identity/digital brand/footprint. Blogging puts on view, who we are, what we have been involved in, how we think, what we like, our skills, what we have created, it is our online advertising etc . Opens the door to employment, scholarships, networks etc
- Digital text literacy can clearly be used:- hypertextand hyperlinked language should be visible in blog posts. Using blogs and reading blogs teaches important digital navigation techniques.
- Ethical issues: Cyber safety, plagiarism, digital citizenship, digital commerce, netiquette, reuse ethically are all skills that should be taught, or could be incorporated into blogging. Evidence of avatars, vokis, appropriate usernames, language, original images/media etc
- Base for digital connections – blogs provide the base for virtual contacts to discover, maintain communication, provide base for discovery and continue connections over a long term basis. They are essential when, in an educational setting, firm and lasting connections are to be made with another/other global classroom(s).
- Multi- literacies – Blogs can provide a ‘doorway’ or platform for exhibiting digital media including images, visual data, animations, podcasts, digital movies, music, digital storytelling, podcasting, screen casting. These can be embedded within a post or page or linked to.
- Networking literacy – impact of networking, making friends, what does it mean to comment and be commented on, blog rolls , how to promote blogs and posts etc
- Organisational literacy: Use of tags, categories, blogrolls, #tags, links to commonly used resources, timetable page, embed online calendar
- Global literacies: use of translators, common txt language, multi-media to convey messages etc
- Authenticity – Spam/phish detection in regard to comments and links
- Communication literacy: – blog can and should show evidence of other forms of communication eg video conferencing, global, immersive environments
- Empowerment – empower our students to work on a constructive online presence, give them a positive use of the internet, empower self confidence to overcome any form of cyber bullying.
It is vital to have a good, online presence where others can connect to, communicate and create with, and continue an ongoing, readily contactable network. Blogging provides all this and more! Digital literacies must be taught – let’s blog!
What do you think? What are the key digital literacies? What further digital literacies are there? How does blogging support them?