Friday, February 8, 2013

Literacy Shed

Stuck at home with our snowstorm, I'm on Twitter, Google+, reading class blogs, and just surfing around. One of my Twitter friends, tweeted out about this exciting resource that fits with our course, Integrating Technology and Literacy. The site's title, Literacy Shed, caught my eye, so I started exploring, and invite you to, also. Take a look at what the site offers, and let us know if the site sparks ideas for your teaching or in general. Without further ado, link to the site; just click on the image.

Okay, I know you can get lost in exploring the site, but come back here to post a comment to share what you find and like.

Required Reading

In class this week, in one section of Integrating and Technology, we discussed whether the 4th grader of today will be writing the standard research paper when she enters college in the next decade. This article from The New York Times, "Education Needs a Digital Upgrade," suggests we are teaching students for a world that we don't yet know exists. We can't predict the jobs our young children will have in the future. We don't even know what these jobs will be.

To quote from the article, "According to Cathy N. Davidson, co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, fully 65 percent of today's grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn't been invented yet." In her book, Now You See It, Davidson urges teachers to stop teaching according to the Industrial Age model.  

The contemporary American classroom, with its grades and deference to the clock, is an inheritance from the late 19th century.

She claims that the standard research paper assignment, popular in college classrooms, not only yields awful results, but is not even representative of the students' talents.

Check the article, "Education Needs a Digital Upgrade." In addition to what the title suggests, Davidson advocates for a whole new approach to education, not just in terms of technology tools. Do you agree with the statements Davidson makes? If so, with which assertions? In what directions do you believe education should be heading?

Can Teachers Avoid Digital Resources?

In a recent national survey of teachers, conducted by PBS Learning Media, it was found that a high percentage use digital media regularly in their teaching. The landscape of the classroom has changed from the old days of a reliance on printed books and students writing on paper. The following infographic shows the results of the survey.  Review the infographic. Where do you stand?

Do you agree educational technology motivates students?
What do you see as the benefits of educational technology?
What are the tech tools you use most often?
Consider other data available in the infographic. What is your reaction?

image Image via iStockphotosturti

On a related note, the House of Representatives is reviewing a bill to increase access to technology in schools and teachers' professional development in this area.  On Feb. 6, 2013, the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) posted this information: "Great Start for Digital Learning Policy in 113th Congress: Comprehensive Technology Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives."

Overall, how do you feel about the influx of technology resources in the educational setting? Would you rather see the pace slow down, speed up, or go in another direction?