Storify is a digital storytelling/curation tool that draws together web content to illustrate and tell a story. This site provides great insight into the way that the Storify tool is used in a number of contexts. The value is that social network data can be drawn in to provide contemporary commentary from across the web.
Storify can be used by our students to draw together the comments made on a Twit chat as an asynchronous interaction, and provide a range of perspectives on the opinions that were offered during the event.
sparks & honey produces regular reports tracking the pulse of trends throughout society. While primarily a public relations agency, their insights tend to be very current, impressive with regard to method, and uncommonly perceptive. This slide deck on the characteristics of Generation Z has much to interest educators.
Why wait for a formal workshop environment to start improving your teaching craft, when there are so many opportunities to build your network and learn new skills on your own? We've compiled a list of the best resources for do-it-yourself PD to get you started.
Sample Student's insight:
This might put me out of business... but it will keep me learning!
In this article I’ll present a framework that could help educators to make a shift from designing long, information based online courses to micro-learning, which is a result of content curation techniques and chunking information design strategy.
Stephen Downes presents some interesting ideas about autonomy, freedom and connected learning. Whilst he discusses the nature of MOOCs, there are messages for any online course. I will return to this. The concept of the blog post is the reality of the lived experience and context of the student. Singular. He discusses the actions of people creating their own learning communities and the tension between their engagement with these, and the formal course materials. He provides examples of participants requesting a clear and sequential road-map, who are unable to accept their own role in directing their learning through an assessment of their needs and goals.
I found this to be quite an interesting piece of research, detailing powerful findings about the efficacy of using graphic organizers. Followers of Robert Marzano or David Hyerle, and other proponents of using GOs, will not be surprised by this, of course.
This study was commissioned by Inspiration, publishers of Inspiration and Kidspiration software -- two early favorites of mine. Although published in 2003, this work is useful, I think, because it gathers together results from a rather large number of studies that meet the USDOE's requirements for being scientifically based (29).
In my opinion, educators looking for ways to boost student achievement, as assessed using formative or summative measures, would do very well to pay close attention to the effective use of GOs.
"Dr. Ruben Puentedura developed the SAMR model as a way for teachers to evaluate how they are incorporating technology into their instructional practice. You can use SAMR to reflect upon how you are integrating technology into your classroom."
"Reading Rockets shares that "A concept map is a visual organizer that can enrich students' understanding of a new concept. Using a graphic organizer, students think about the concept in several ways. Most concept map organizers engage students in answering questions such as, "What is it? What is it like? What are some examples?" Concept maps deepen understanding and comprehension."Cast reports: "There is solid evidence for the effectiveness of graphic organizers in facilitating learning." A summary of this finding is that, "When looking across 23 different studies they found a consistent effect on comprehension."
What is curation anyway, and how can it be used as a tool for student and teacher learning? This essay will investigate what curation is and the different contexts it is used in. Why is it important; who are the curators, what motivates them and what makes a great curator? What processes and tools are used for curation and what digital literacies are required for successful curation? It will conclude with an investigation into ways teachers can use curation both with and for their students and as a tool for their own professional learning and a brief look at some curation tools.
Terry Heick writes: "When we think of digital literacy, we usually think of research–finding, evaluating, and properly crediting digital sources. The “research” connotation makes sense, as it is the sheer volume of sources and media forms on the “internet” that stand out.
But we are living in a world where the internet is disappearing, replaced by sheer connectivity. Are you “on the internet” when you tweet? Skim through a social reader like Flipboard? Send a text? Mark up a pdf and sync it with the cloud so you can access it later? Are the cloud and the “internet” the same thing?"
This makes sense! When my daughter searches for prom dresses, she searches on Facebook. Social networking and reputation have become increasingly important in the connected world. There is also evidence of a growing movement in youth social networks that a Google is not necessarily as reliable as their own extended networks.
Is this more broadly applicable? Interesting that yesterday I received a survey request from an online travel agent. The questions were more related to reputation and social networks than internet-provided information.
"The November Learning team is excited to share a hot new literacy tool, introduced to us by a brilliant teacher, Laura Robertson, from The St. Anne's Belfield Studio School in Virginia. This intuitive and multi-functional digital literacy tool can transform the way
teachers approach close reading with their students, while sparking lively text-based discussions. Prism is a tool for "crowdsourcing interpretation." Students are invited to provide an interpretation of a text by highlighting words according to different themes or categories. Each individual interpretation then contributes to the generation of a visualization which demonstrates the combined interpretation of all the users. Prism helps to reveal patterns that exist in the subjective experience of reading a text and can serve as the launching pad for any number of common-core aligned activities, projects and learning experiences."
What a fantastic tool. Text analysis is really important and committing one-self safely to this analysis is often problematic. Prism has the potential to support equity, engagement and involvement in text analysis as a collaborative tool. Perhaps it could be coupled with an individual and private activity, followed by the Prism highlighting activity. The individual would then be able to compare their responses with those of others and re-examine their decisions. Beyond this though, it links really well with the "Why did you say that" thinking routine. As a collaborative followup, two ideas occur to me - the first is simply to ask individuals to explain their actions and reasoning. The second is for individuals to explain why others might have made decisions different to their own, followed by interaction between partners, enhancing the complexity of the thinking around certain points.
I really love this. And it is suitable for any age and type of text.