Thursday, February 21, 2008
Adopted by the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Executive Committee
February 15, 2008
Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to
• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
• Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
For a long time I've had a love affair with Adobe Photoshop and for that matter most Adobe products
Today I found two other free programs that look and feel like Adobe Photoshop, offer the basic features that I use Photoshop for, and are more user friendly than most. First is Paint.net. According to their website this program was originally developed by an undergraduate student with the help of Microsoft. It was at one time slated to replace Paint as the free image editing software to come with the Windows OS. Why they did not go with it I am not sure. Now it is in open source. This program looks and feels like Paint but has the functionality of an early version of Adobe Photoshop.
The only real problem I see with this program is it is only currently available on Windows.
The other program I found is Splashup. Splashup is a flash based image editing program that looks almost exactly like Adobe Photoshop in your browser. It does all the basic things you need a good photo editor to do. Since it is web based you don't have to download anything. If you have an internet connection you can edit your photos. You also do not need to sign up for an account with Splashup the way you do with other online image editing tools. Since it is flash based it is then also cross platform. The only downside to this application is that it cannot be downloaded.
One cool feature that I like in Splashup is the webcam capture feature. The only big problem I found with Splashup is the inability to copy and paste between programs. I tried pasting this screen capture of Splashup in Splashup but it would not let me. I had to use Paint.net to save this final screen cap.
Friday, February 15, 2008
If you think that iPods are used just for listening to music, you obviously haven't been keeping up with the latest technology. The Apple-developed music player now features all kinds of accessories to help you study better, and now other companies are in a rush to get their designs in sync with the iPod. Pre-teens, college kids and even adults are taking advantage of the educational benefits an iPod affords them. From downloadable podcasts to just-for-iPod study guides and applications, learning on the go has never been easier.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
- What it is
- How it works
- Where it is going
- Why it matters to teaching and learning
Use ELI's 7 Things You Should Know About... briefs to:
- Enhance professional development activities
- Open a dialogue with your colleagues about emerging technologies and their implications for your school
- Stay up-to-date on emerging technologies
7 Things You Should Know About...pieces provide quick, no-jargon overviews of emerging technologies and related practices that have demonstrated or may demonstrate positive learning impacts. Any time you need to explain a new learning technology or practice quickly and clearly, look for a 7 Things You Should Know About... brief from ELI.
7 Things You Should Know About Series
- Lulu (January 2008)
- Skype (December 2007)
- Citizen Journalism (November 2007)
- Data Visualization (October 2007)
- Haptics (September 2007)
- Cyberinfrastructure (August 2007)
- Twitter (July 2007)
- Wikipedia (June 2007)
- Facebook II (May 2007)
- RSS (April 2007)
- Creative Commons (March 2007)
- Open Journaling (February 2007)
- Digital Storytelling (January 2007)
- E-Books (November 2006)
- Google Earth (October 2006)
- YouTube (September 2006)
- Facebook I (August 2006)
- Mapping Mashups (July 2006)
- Virtual Worlds (June 2006)
- Google Jockeying (May 2006)
- Remote Instrumentation (April 2006)
- Screencasting (March 2006)
- Virtual Meetings (February 2006)
- Grid Computing (January 2006)
- Collaborative Editing (December 2005)
- Instant Messaging (November 2005)
- Augmented Reality (September 2005)
- Blogs (August 2005)
- Video Blogging (August 2005)
- Wikis (July 2005)
- Podcasting (June 2005)
- Clickers (May 2005)
- Social Bookmarking (May 2005)
Monday, February 11, 2008
Online social networking is now so deeply embedded in the lifestyles of tweens and teens that it rivals television for their attention... Nine- to 17-year-olds report spending almost as much time using social networking services and Web sites as they spend watching television. Among teens, that amounts to about 9 hours a week on social networking activities,compared to about 10 hours a week watching TV. Students are hardly passive couch potatoes online. Beyond basic communications, many students engage in highly creative activities on social networking sites...Overall, an astonishing 96 percent of students with online access report that they have ever used any social networking technologies, such as chatting, text messaging, blogging and visiting online communities, such as Facebook, MySpace and services designed specifically for younger children, such as Webkins and the chat sections of Nick.com. Eighty-one percent say they have visited a social networking Web site within the past three months and 71 percent say they use social networking tools at least weekly.
Students report that one of the most common topics of conversation on the social networking scene is education. Almost 60 percent of students who use social networking talk about education topics online and, surprisingly, more than 50 percent talk specifically about schoolwork.The full report is available here.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
The 1001 Flat World Tales Writing Project is a creative writing workshop made up of schools around the world, connected by one wiki. This blog will be the home to the award-winning stories from each group of schools that participate in the workshop, different topics, different grade-levels, different cultures, brought together by the power of stories. So, enjoy the tales, click around, meet the authors — and check out their blogs!
There are four schools participating from the US and Canada so it should be lots of fun as well as creative, and not to mention giving the students practice in collaborating and writing. The wiki says it well:
- This project takes the traditional language arts "Writing Workshop" into the 21st Century in three easy (but radical) ways:
- It replaces pencil and paper (or MS Word) drafting, revising, and peer editing with a better (and simpler) writing tool: a wiki;
- It expands the options for peer response and peer editing beyond the walls of your classroom--and your clock, city, nation, and culture--by enabling peer feedback, editing, and connection with students from around the world;
- It replaces the "authentic" publishing of the 20th century classroom--hallways, newsletters, literary journals, etc--with authentic publishing in the 1001 Flat World Tales "blook": a potentially endless series of stories from students around the world, inter-linked on individual student blogs.
There is information on online safety and digital etiquette, as well as a hall of fame to recognise great writing. It is a well thought out project with potentially great educational benefits. It is a privilege to be able to be involved.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Among her well thought out characteristics of VPD are notions that we learn to use the technology largely on our own and with support from each other as the enthusiasm spreads through our colleagues and peers. It is this idea of connection with a group of learners both in our schools and in our wider educational community that supports, challenges and drives our innovation.
As Jennifer says,
Open. Open. Open. Expect to share everything. Plan to blog, podcast, tag, post and push out useful tips you learn from your personal network. Invite outsiders to participate in your network. Collaborate!