Blogs on Media Literacy

Blogs on Media LiteracyRSS
Donna DeGennaroJanuary 10, 2014

Discovering Self-Direction

"We don't get it. One day she says we should do one thing, and then the next day she says something different." This statement is felt by all but spoken by Carmen, a student from one of the two communities involved in the project. The Maya youth in the Guatemalan pueblos of Chirijox and San Juan La Laguna speak Spanish and their indigenous language. My language limitations leave me temporarily in the dark. I do not completely comprehend her words, but the anxiety is evident. My coworker Marisol explains the tension.

I have encountered this "problem" many times while working with youth. Students expect teachers to direct them what to do, when and how. This educational custom is present in Guatemala, especially for indigenous youth. Learning is scripted and disconnected from culture and community. There is little room for creativity or critical thinking. As a result, students are not used to having a say in their own learning, let alone directing it. However, during their participation in Unlocking Silent Histories, they are in charge, not me.

Read More
Andrew MarcinekJanuary 3, 2014

For the past few years, Apple has enjoyed a stranglehold on the education tablet market. With the launch of the iPad 2 several years ago, Apple swooped into the education arena, leaving everyone else behind. Its app store boasts thousands of educational titles across the content area, and the platform has integrated iTunesU and iBooks Author as a digital academic content creation tools. However, the tide is starting to turn. The tablet market is now flooded with devices comparable to the iPad, and the Chromebook, in its many forms, has become a serious contender to Apple's reign.

Read More
Beth HollandDecember 16, 2013

On a given day, how much time do your students spend working on their fluency? At the elementary level, hours are devoted to reading and speaking fluency. In middle and high school, students read aloud, deliver oral presentations, and write in a variety of formats to improve upon their language fluency. And yet, while we devote a significant portion of every school day to a student's reading, writing and language fluency, how much time is devoted to the development of their technology fluency?

Read More
Monica BurnsDecember 9, 2013

New Year's Day is traditionally the time when we look back on the past 12 months and make resolutions for the next 12. If you're looking to set a goal for yourself professionally, why not focus on technology integration? This year, think of an area where you can grow!

Here are a few ideas of where to concentrate your energy as you make technology goals for the upcoming year.

Read More
Andrew MarcinekNovember 26, 2013

I've written and taught about digital citizenship for several years. And, while the term is new in our lexicon, the meaning spans generations. The simple acts of carrying oneself in a civil, appropriate manner are skillsets that have been integrated into every classroom since the very first school. Many would argue that digital citizenship is simply a buzzword and nothing dramatically new. While the underlying meaning is familiar, the medium by which adults and students interact has changed dramatically.

Read More
Nicholas ProvenzanoNovember 22, 2013

'Tis the season for heading to the stores or websites in search of the perfect gift for that nerd in your life. It can be tough chore to find the right gift for an extra nerdy person, but I have sorted through ThinkGeek and found some excellent choices for your beloved nerds (or those who appreciate the nerd way of life).

Read More
Jason CranfordTeagueNovember 12, 2013

Last month, I attended a Back to School Night for parents, sitting through presentation after presentation by teachers, some with slides that helped make their presentation a delight to listen to, and others . . . well, that's why I'm writing this blog post.

Read More
Todd NesloneyNovember 4, 2013

Editor's Note: Drew Minock, who co-wrote this piece, is an elementary teacher, co-founder of the popular education blog Two Guys and Some IPads, and is one of the voices on "The Two Guys Show" podcast.

Imagine living in the magical world of Harry Potter, where the school hallways are lined with paintings that are alive and interactive. Now imagine creating an atmosphere like that for your students. Augmented Reality (AR) allows educators and students to do just that: unlock or create layers of digital information on top of the physical world that can be viewed through an Android or iOS device.

Read More
Anna Adam and Helen MowersOctober 30, 2013

Over the decades, students have been required to take a foreign language in high school for reasons that relate to expanding communication abilities, furthering global awareness, and enhancing perspective-taking. Recently, our home state of Texas passed legislation that enables computer science to fulfill the high school foreign language requirement. Coding (defined by BusinessDictionary.com as "the process of developing and implementing various sets of instructions to enable a computer to do a certain task") is, after all, both a language and a foreign subject to many students -- and much more.

Read More

I absolutely love it when teachers and students create, remix, and mash up media; it's a fantastic way to encourage deeper learning and media literacy. But one issue that complicates digital freedom of expression is copyright law. While many would argue that copyright law is outdated and badly in need of an overhaul, it's still critical that adults and kids alike have a basic understanding of what's legal and ethical while playing with other people's intellectual property. Here's a list of videos I collected to help you navigate the murky waters of copyright law in educational settings.

Read More