What is 21st century literacy and how do we help students become better communicators?
Rebecca Alber says:
"In today's world, being literate requires much, much more than the traditional literacy of yesterday. According to the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), twenty-first century readers and writers need to:
Gain proficiency with tools of technology
Develop relationships with others and confront 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 multimedia texts
Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments"
There are now books with the most compelling infographics. INfographics are being recognized as compelling, moving media and catalysts for change. Organizations that need support and use social media should develop their ability to use infographics with finesse and students should know not only how to create them but how to interpret them.
Booktrack gives you a way to read a book while listening to a soundtrack. I mentioned the research study in a previous bookmark / link. This is something librarians and literacy leaders should test and try out for themselves as it is a fascinating tool and potential. There are a thousand questions I have about this but plan to try it for myself.
On another note, you can also upload your own personal music and keep it private -- to play as you read.
Scholastic Book Fairs now have a mobile app that lets you scan the covers and get reading levels and other interesting information about the book. What a useful, cool way to introduce the concept of "augmented reality" to kids. You can put the app on their ipads if you're 1:1 and let them use it to pick out books.
I noticed that Wikispaces included Dogo books under a new "Education" category in the widget menu. (This looks like a television on the edit bar when you click to Edit a wiki.) So, Dogobooks is a place where kids ar writing book reviews about everything. Very cool. You can see the most popular books and ti also has book clubs and other ways for kids to connect. This is a very cool site for helping kids love learning and may also augment Accelerated Reader programs nicely.
There are some new apps in Chrome. I've installed the "pocket" app. These are basically apps that stand alone but sort of have chrome running in the background. Here's information on these handy tools to help you get more done. I do recommend Pocket (and have the app for my ipad as well) for offline reading. There are times I find a great article that I know I want to read, when I click "add to pocket" it puts it into pocket and then, when I sit down to read at night, there's the personal magazine assembled from the day's interests.
The recent Kindle updates over the past few months have quite a few teachers. In particular, if you have a textbook on Kindle, you can collate notes by color, which is a major enhancement. This article does a nice job of summarizing the features important to educators.
"The update also brings some changes that should be especially helpful for students and teachers, like the ability to highlight long passages that span multiple pages.
In addition, the Notebook feature for textbooks has new filtering options, which should help you more quickly and easily find all your notes, bookmarks, and highlights by colour"
Interesting approach. These "Common Core" bags have selecting things on a particular topic and only count as one thing when checked out. If well selected, this would be interesting. I'd love to know more. I also wonder how librarians are creating "packages" of ebooks and materials with the proliferation of BYOD - it seems that free books, etc. could be somehow packaged and distributed.
"Each bag contains 10 books on a subject, “carefully chosen by grade level,” Shaver said. “We selected books that present the topic in a variety of formats, making it accessible to many different learners. For instance, many of the new bags include graphic novels and hands-on science guides, in addition to traditional research resources. For the younger grades, there is an equal mix of fiction and non-fiction; for older grades, the bags contain mainly non-fiction materials.”
The bags can be checked out from the library for three weeks at a time. Although they contain multiple books, they count only as one checked-out item. One check-out renewal can be requested unless someone else has expressed interest in getting the same bag.
Google image search is being redesigned. I hope that one of the big changes that the quote below means is that we'll have more transparency with copyright. So many times, when I ask a source, students say "Google Images." No. No. No. Google images isn't a source, it is a search engine. You must quote the original source!! Hopefully this will make it easier.
From Google Webmaster central...
"We now display detailed information about the image (the metadata) right underneath the image in the search results, instead of redirecting users to a separate landing page.
We’re featuring some key information much more prominently next to the image: the title of the page hosting the image, the domain name it comes from, and the image size."
This fantastic article from Harvard links to research on why leaders read. This is an example, in my opinion, of how the modern scholarly article should look. It is convincing about the topic but also has hours of reading and research behind it. I think that such articles should be required writing for college and high school students and are entirely different from traditional academic papers. Hyperlinks are the modern footnote but are different in how they are used. Great article to share for two reasons: he who reads leads, and he who can write this way can disseminate scholarly writing effectively. Hats off to the author, John Coleman on a very well written, convincing piece.
Organizations in Colorado are working on legislation called the Early LIteracy Act. I applaud efforts to understand and support reading at the early levels. We have to also include reasons students want to come to school in the later years - this is how programs like the Arkansas EAST program thrive.
"At the current rate, each class of dropouts costs Colorado $4.5 billion in lost wages over the course of their lifetimes. This compounds each year and the lost opportunities are devastating to both the individual dropout and the state’s fiscal condition.
Imagine a manufacturer losing one-quarter of its product between the beginning and the end of its own manufacturing line. In business, that would qualify as a crisis, and that is the condition of Colorado’s education system.
Because of the far-reaching implications for our state’s economy, Colorado Succeeds and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce are working to educate the business community on the urgency and importance of improving early literacy. Together, these organizations are leveraging the voices of business leaders across the state—those that recognize that the best long term economic development tool is a more productive K-12 education system.
Great lesson that turns writing students into music producers to improve writing. Designed for the middle school classroom.
Topicmarks is a useful way to summarize and read. It takes some getting used to but is a great service for taking a long paper and extracting meaning. It is like an indexing engine. It is a bit tricky to learn how to drill down but once you do, you can use it to read everything from your google reader to your evernote and google docs. It is definitely a handy tool for researchers.
The hungry caterpillar ebook (in a powerpoint) that uses sound effects and animations. You could use this on your board to retell the story.
If you want to help tomorrow be better than today, put financial literacy into your school's program. In fact, I would venture to say that your community will reap the benefits in the years to come as students learn how to manage their money and balance their checkbook. I teach accounting and wish that every student knew how to balance a checkbook. They also need to know the difference between secured and unsecured debt. Spend less than you make, period.
"You may not realize it, but these three events are part—and an excellent illustration—of the global financial literacy crisis, one of the overriding problems of the modern financial world."
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