Mash Media: New Web, Old Media, and Your Own Stuff

DEN Summer Institute | Thursday morning with Hall Davidson
Here are our group notes on wallwisher

This is what we’re going to learn . . .

1. Use web 2.0 sites and media library

  • Content creation tools are free
  • Maximize educational resources

2. Download or screen capture them

  • Create tutorials
  • Show them when the net is down
  • Gather resources outside the firewall
  • Safer than live on the web

3. Mash them together

  • Editing skills
  • Add music
  • Engage their digital minds

This is why . . .

Web Content Creation Sites
+ web-based curriculum libraries
+ network-based teaching resources
+ original student work
= magnificent teaching and learning!

“In order to be competitive and responsible economically, politically, environmentally, and socially, U.S. youth must graduate from school ready to thrive in those realities, one of which is the participatory culture of Web 2.0 technologies.”
~”Leadership for Web 2.0 in Education: Promise and Reality Report

Steve Dembo & Hall Davidson explain Web 2.0:

CNET News: Steve Jobs’ demo fail
Mashup Goal for the DEN Institute:

presentation software – Powerpoint
+ web-based content creation – Gizmoz, now Digimi, Blabberize, Tagul (I also like Tagxedo)
+ original student work (California Student Media Festival)
+ permissible music (Jamendo)

Web 2.0 companies say it’s okay to screencast the content on their sites
Screencasting tools:  Snapz or iShowU (for Mac), CamStudio (for PC), Jing (for both)
QuickTime 10 on Mac includes screen recording & quick editing
Bonus tip #1: turn presentations (ppt) into video – save as jpeg
Bonus tip #2: use an old camera or camcorder as a webcam

A Day of Discovery

Yesterday – Wes Fryer, today – Hall Davidson and Steve Dembo, I’m in tech-teacher heaven!

Here are my notes from “A Day of Discovery with Discovery Education”

Moving from Trees to Bits: Leading Digital Learners ~Hall Davidson

Make sure your phones are out and on – ring tones set to applause :)

Analogy between banning calculators in classroom to banning cell phones in school

Wallwisher for collaborative note-taking – notes from today’s presentation

What skills will our students need to succeed in the future?

Why this time is so important
2010: “The year predicted when digital [music] sales will surpass physical sales in revenue.” ~Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2010

Online university courses for free from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, etc. (iTunesU)

The textbook has been the gatekeeper for curriculum

The way your students think has changed: influence of media on attention span; kids are spending more than 40 hours a week in media; they are “wired to learn in a visual way”
We have the tools to teach them faster, better, longer, if we use media to do it

Let’s check attention speed – students spend 2 seconds looking at search results before deciding to move on

The world is about to change. Really.

Reason for the disappearing gatekeeper – California adopted zero textbooks this year – with digital resources, “there is no chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3 can change based on what happens in chapter 2″

Money from textbooks being repurposed to fund devices and technology access for students

Tim Childers builds differentiated assignments for each student to access digitally through Classroom Manager

Every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

Teacher and student created videos enhance content learning (Blabberize for audio, music is built in to the Discovery video editing program)

“Mankind created 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005. This year, it will create 1,200 exabytes.” ~The Economist, Feb. 25, 2010

Google Public Data Explorer (a la Gapminder)

Google translate

Wordle for mission statement

Two way video communications: Local and Global

How do we keep up? – stay connected to each other, share resources, ideas, etc.

What is the biggest obstacle to becoming fully 21st Century classrooms? – lack of shared vision

Publishing editable clips from Discovery online is permissible as long as it is behind a password

Policies, Safety, and Social Networking: What to do about what you may be ignoring. ~Steve Dembo

Discovery Educator Network

Steve’s Blog: Teach 42

Gary Hayes’ Social Media Counts widget

How do you keep your students safe?
Education: a filter that will follow them
Filters: fact and fiction
Google: “How do I bypass my school’s filter?”

In Australia, $84,000,000 of protection . . . cracked in 30 minutes by a 16-year-old who said:

Filters aren’t addressing the bigger issues anyway. Cyber bullying, educating children on how to protect themselves, and their privacy are the first problems I’d fix. They really need to develop a youth-involved forum to discuss some of these problems and ideas for fixing them.

They can’t block what they don’t know about

Create your own with the Add Letters: Bart Simpson Chalkboard Generator

Why do we filter? – CIPA – 11/08 update – “open for interpretation”

E-Rate’s CIPA Policy Primer

Make sure when people Google your students, they find “good stuff” – have students search for each other and rate what they find in terms of how positive their digital footprint is

*This reminds me of the Digital Dossier video

How do we get there?

  • building a profile
  • commenting on a blog
  • posting on a discussion forum
  • publishing their own blog
  • collaborating on a wiki
  • microblogging
  • live broadcasting
  • airing a podcast
  • sharing photos
  • releasing digital stories
  • asynchronous presenting

National School Boards Association report on social networking

Creating the Walled Garden: Setting Up Web 2.0 Apps on School District Servers

Ed-friendly alternatives:,,

Virginia requires Internet safety integration
Ideas for Integrating Internet Safety into the Curriculum

Digital resume – online portfolio – digital footprints with lots of “good stuff” requires posting first and last name

Skills people use in WoW are the same skills people use to be successful in business

Judson’s Stop-Motion App-uh-lu-cat-ion for a job at CrowdSpring

Google search application

“There’s a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen is no time to think.” ~from Canadian Bacon

How do we predict the classroom of the future? – invent it!

Using Visual Images to Support Reading, Writing, and Literary Analysis Skills

In the last two weeks of the methods class, we’ve turned our attention to viewing and representing, media literacy, and multimodal/new/21st-century literacies. This is a topic I’ve been interested in for a long time, and I’m currently working an article to try to articulate some of my latest ideas inspired by the web 2.0 phenomena. But since I don’t quite have those thoughts sorted out yet, I’ve decided to post some of my previous writings about the integration of visual media into the English language arts classroom.

“Have Postcards, Will Teach” was included in the October 2005 issue of Classroom Notes Plus: A Quarterly of Teaching Ideas.

This article was my first professional publication, and I was initially very nervous about sending it in to NCTE. But it turned out to be such a positive experience, I’ve been submitting things ever since. So if anyone reading this has ever considered—but been hesitant about—publication, I encourage you to take the plunge!

Don’t have postcards handy? Here are some websites where you can find art and photos to use for the same activities.

Light Bulb Moments! Using pop culture to teach strategic reading

Thanks so much to everyone who attended my session at the TCTELA Conference yesterday. If you didn’t get a copy of the handout, I’ve posted a copy of it here. As a follow-up to the ideas we shared in the session, I thought I would post some additional comments and web resources for scaffolding reading comprehension instruction with visual and popular culture texts.

One of the activities we tried together was the think-aloud using political cartoons. As I mentioned, I’ve also engaged students in think-alouds with paintings and photographs. I find that using visual texts—bringing the arts into the language arts classroom—is often the most accessible and inviting way to get students doing the kinds of critical and creative thinking we want them to do. That’s why, over the years, my collection of art postcards has become such an important part of my teacher toolkit. These days, Flickr, Google image search, and the myriad museum sites on the web make it easy to find almost any kind of image you are looking for. (I’ve bookmarked some of my favorite art and photography sites on Diigo.)

The political cartoons we used in the session came from Daryl Cagle’s Professional Cartoonists Index, where you can search for cartoons by topic, subscribe to the daily cartoon e-mail newsletter, and also find a teacher’s guide with lesson plans. The “Reading Think-Aloud Sheet” came from the ReadWriteThink lesson, “Exploring Literacy in Cyberspace,” but, of course, you could always have students create their own T-charts labeled “Reader’s Think-Aloud” and “Type of Thinking.” In fact, I’ve recently been thinking that if we want students to use graphic organizers authentically—as tools for thinking, rather than worksheets—we need to have them practice creating their own heuristics, so they can internalize and take ownership over the use of these tools as part of their thinking processes.

We also examined a movie trailer as a way to consider the importance of and the information to be gained from previewing a text. Since it seems to work best when I show students a trailer for a movie they haven’t seen yet, I usually look for them on or But you can also find them on the movie’s individual website or on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

On a side note, the title of the anthology I mentioned—the one the Upward Bound students analyzed so insightfully during the movie preview activity—is called Building Academic Literacy: An Anthology for Reading Apprenticeship.

One final thought about using pop culture in the classroom—something I have to keep reminding myself of, or else my students will remind me, ever-so-gently . . . That is, what we consider to be pop culture, may not be what our students consider to be popular. So one of the best things about using contemporary multimedia in our teaching is that it creates a classroom environment where students feel free to bring in song lyrics, graphic novels, TV shows, etc.—making connections between the texts of their individual lives and the learning we are doing together. I’m always intrigued by the connections kids make—they give me “light-bulb moments” every day!

Image Credit: “Flickr Search” CC by factoryjoe via Flickr

Light Bulb Moments! Handout

Here is the handout from Light Bulb Moments! Using Pop Culture to Teach Strategic Reading

Collaborative Brainstorming: “Things We Read”
Guidelines for Brainstorming
• Produce as many diverse ideas as possible
• Don’t judge, censor, or criticize ideas
• Combine ideas to form new ones
• Don’t stop too soon—allow wait time

What does it mean to “read” a “text”?
“The readers of books . . . extend or concentrate a function common to us all. Reading letters on a page is only one of its many guises. The astronomer reading a map of stars that no longer exist; the Japanese architect reading the land on which a house is to be built so as to guard it from evil forces; the zoologist reading the spoor of animals in the forest; the card-player reading her partner’s gestures before playing the winning card; the dancer reading the choreographer’s notations, and the public reading the dancer’s movements on the stage; the weaver reading the intricate designs of a carpet being woven; the organ-player reading various simultaneous strands of music orchestrated on the page; the parent reading the baby’s face for signs of joy or fright, or wonder; the Chinese fortune-teller reading the ancient marks on the shell of a tortoise; the lover blindly reading the loved one’s body at night, under the sheets; the psychiatrist helping patients read their own bewildering dreams; the Hawaiian fisherman reading the ocean currents by plunging a hand into the water; the farmer reading the weather in the sky—all these share with book-readers the craft of deciphering and translating signs.”
~Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading. New York: Penguin, 1996. 6-7.

“The late age of print” ~Jay Bolter
“Words are no longer static things, quiet black marks pressed onto a white page; instead, they float alongside sounds and images; they make meaning in their movements. They are visual, aural, and sometimes haptic. As such, their function as objects of literacy is changing in fundamental ways.”
~Ben McCorkle, “Multi-Modal Literacy Key Terms,” NCTE website

A 21st-Century Vision of Literacy
“Being literate in contemporary society means being active, critical and creative users not only of print and spoken language but also of the visual language of film and television, commercial and political advertising, photography, and more.”
~Standards for the English Language Arts, IRA/NCTE, 1996, p. 5

Research-Based Recommendations for Effective Instruction in 21st-Century Literacies
“Research shows that effective instruction in 21st-century literacies takes an integrated approach, helping students understand how to access, evaluate, synthesize, and contribute to information. Furthermore, as Web 2.0 demonstrates, participation is key, and effective teachers will find ways to encourage interaction with and among students. Recommendations include: . . .
• Explore technologies students are using outside of class and find ways to incorporate them into your teaching. . . .
• Include a broad variety of media and genres in class texts.”
~21st-Century Literacies: A Policy Research Brief, NCTE, 2007, p. 5

Three Reasons to Use Pop Culture Texts
• Student Engagement
• Student Expertise
• Student Empowerment

“Whether we embrace pop culture or not, students will.”
~Tonya Perry, “Taking Time: It’s All Good.” English Journal 93.3 (2004): 92-95.

The pairing of popular culture with traditional literary instruction provides “a meeting place where students and teachers can share their expertise.”
~Meg Callahan & Bronwen E. Low, “At the Crossroads of Expertise: The Risky Business of Teaching Popular Culture.” English Journal 93.3 (2004): 52-57.

“We must tap into [students’ pop culture] knowledge and experience if we are to provide adequate scaffolding in our literature and writing classes.”
~Tiffany Hunt and Bud Hunt, “Popular Culture: Building Connections with Our Students.” English Journal 93.3 (2004): 80-83.

Multi-modal Literacy
. . . involves “metacognitive strategies for developing literacy practices that can be carried across multiple sites/texts/media, rather than a set of practices tied to specific sites”
~Linda Adler-Kassner, “Multi-Modal Literacy Key Terms,” NCTE website

Using Pop Culture to Teach Strategic Reading
• Thinking aloud with photographs and political cartoons to monitor comprehension and raise metacognitive awareness
• Reflecting on television-watching behaviors to analyze the impact of genre and establishing or identifying a purpose for reading/viewing
• Using movie previews to explore how previewing and predicting enhances comprehension
• Visualizing, drawing on prior knowledge, and making inferences with pop culture texts, such as comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels