Teaching Screenagers

Teaching Screenagers
My life in the fastlane

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shift Happens, and Other Classroom Media Issues

Today in my classroom I am bombarded with thoughts about using Social Media as a means of writing instruction. Not just with iPods, but using a multitude of different media options with my students. The iPods have opened the door to a new world of media literally at your fingertips. I shared this video on my own teacher webpage to explain to my families and students how our world is changing from the use of technology.

The second video has also been shared with my students and parents. It has been a difficult journey for me this year because teaching with technology demands not only knowledge of the tool, but creating a climate in which students see this tool as a way to communicate and interact in socially responsible ways. There have been issues with students still thinking this is a toy, a game, a portable music player. How do I inspire students to truly see this as an opportunity to communicate through a new and modern and immediate medium?

The answer is as simple and as difficult as lesson design. When working with this new tool I struggle to find meaningful ways for students to use iPods as ways to create and share ideas that they couldn't on pencil and paper. Is student engagement up when they write the letter to a multiple choice answer using the app Glowdraw? Absolutely, but I have to ask myself is that really any different than whiteboards or finger signals? No, not really, so I pushed forward.

When asking students to summarize notes in history, we used the app Storykit to create summary books on the geographical areas of India. In this case, I felt success in that students took the time to synthesize information, take photos and self edit their work. The struggle is how to publish this work for more than one student to see. There in lies the continuous evaluation of projects. Hopefully I will be able to put some samples on this site soon. My team is helping me figure out the logistics, oh the challenges of the pilot year!

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