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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does Technology Require Different Literacy Strategies?

 I received the following article via ASCD Smart Brief recently and quickly reviewed it, thinking I would post it on the literacy and technology blog.  However, as I thought about it, I decided to post it here as well.

In the introduction to this article, the author equates the use of the cell phone to higher performance on  assessments.   Unfortunately, the focus is on the cell phone - the use of technology - rather than the difference in instructional strategies.  

From a strategic point of view, the cell phone assignment to read and summarize the main idea of each stanza and then text it to the teacher is a very different process than reading, reciting, and discussing.  The cognitive task of summarizing, requires comprehension of the content and the text structure as well as prioritizing the terms - usually key concepts - used, and then restating the main idea in ones own words.  This is a much higher level of thinking and students have traditionally struggled with this process.  

Technology does play a role.  While we all agree the cell phone provides engagement,  the medium of texting  requires short and limited - reinforcing the idea of summarizing.

However, many teachers are still uncomfortable with technology.  I suggest we look beyond the technology itself and think about the literacy strategies required in these various mediums and how it is slowly changing our idea of literacy.

Take a few minutes and read the following article.  Please post a comment and let us know what you think.

Remember to join us on May 6 from 3:15-4:15 to hear about the literacy  strategies developed through blogging.

Text messaging is used to help students learn poetry
Students in a New York state middle school who used cell phones and text messaging to learn about poetry outperformed their peers who learned through traditional methods. Students used the phones to text the main idea of poetry stanzas. Those who did got 80% of poetry questions correct on state exams, while those who were taught in traditional methods of using reading, reciting and discussing answered 40% of the questions correctly. The Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.)

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Monday, April 26, 2010

May 6 - Perspectives on Blogging by Hattie Deraps and Jake Bogar

Blogging is one of the most beneficial, but frequently overlooked uses of technology available to educators and students.  Used within a classroom framework focused on higher level thinking skills, blogs prepare students for the 21st century. 

This is not the same things as writing.   

               Two high school teachers, one Alt Ed English and one physics/engineering 
               teacher, share their experiences in using blogs with high school students. 
               The pros and cons, challenges and successes of blogging will be shared.  
               Student perspectives will be included. - Participants will be encouraged to                 offer suggestions and ideas.       Presenters: 

  Hattie Deraps,  alternative ed. English teacher

Jake Bogar, physics/engineering teacher

Date:  May 6, 2010 
Time: 3:15-4:15 PM
Telephone Number:  1-866-910-4857

Pass code:  985399

Blogging provides students with:
1.  Engagement: (Take a look at this data provided by a high school class at Mt. Blue.) Many students use their computer independently and have access to the internet at home.

2.  Aunthenticity of Task:  Students want to have an immediate audience and use technology (including their computers) for communicating with their peers.

3.  Collaboration: Communicating with their peers means sharing or collaborating when thoughtful comments are posted on blogs.  Teaming -  debriefing, sharing, summarizing - provides another level of collaboration.

4. Literacy Strategies are strengthened through the use of laptops

5.  Information Processing: can be taught through laptops.  This is extremely important in the age of information and is critical when we consider that most students dislike and can not read nonfiction on grade level by the time they reach high school.

 Following is a summary of comments from students on the pros and cons of laptops (metacognitive reflections).

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Announcing: Webinar Series on Literacy and Technology - Archived

I have received several inquiries regarding our previous webinars -

Technology Integration in a First Grade Classroom by Alison Prescott


Using Wordle in a Dynamic Way by Lynn Oullette 

     The webinars have been archived and are available on  our Literacy and Technology Pilot blog in the right hand navigation bar.  Simply click on the webinar you want to view and you will be taken to the webinar and automatically admitted. 

     If you have any other questions, please call me or e-mail me.  I have been out of the office the past week and am trying to catch up, so please be patient.   -   If you don't hear from me, please contact me again.  My grand daughter had access to my phone and has erased all of my messages:( 

     Thanks for your understanding.  Enjoy:)  Darlene

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