Monday, April 23, 2012

Consumption & Online Behavior

Learning Targets:

  • Write explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts & information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content (CCSS 11.W.2).
  • Use technology, including the internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information (CCSS 11.W.6).
  • Make strategic use of digital media (textual, graphical, audio, visual and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence to add interest (CCSS 11.SL.5).
Learning Activities:
  • Watch the video "Consuming Kids"  

  • Complete a reflective blog post on consumption (on your new Blogger).  It should consist of three distinctive parts:
    • Identify/explain the topic of consumption
    • Discuss consumption as it relates to online behavior/activity in this day and age
    • Compare and contrast your understanding/impression of consumption before and after watching the video.
    • Additionally, think about some of the questions/points posed in the video - is advertising dishonest/deceptive - why or why not?  Do you agree with the statement that media and advertising is equivalent to pedophiles?  Why or why not?  Do students/kids your age have self-monitoring skills?  Provide examples either way.
  • Be sure to include hyperlinks, where appropriate, in your post, as well as any graphics if you see fit.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"NetSmart" and Concept Mapping

Learning Targets:

  • Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text. (CCSS 11.RIT.1)
  • Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development throughout the text, including how they interact and build on one another; provide objective summary of text. (CCSS - 11.RIT.2)
NetSmart: How to Thrive Online


Read the introduction to author Howard Rheingold's NetSmart:  How to Thrive Online.  Take notes as you read begin to sketch out a concept map of the main ideas and supporting evidence/explanations of what you are reading.

Once finished use one of the tools on the link below (or one of your choosing) to complete a concept map of your reading.  As you read, be mindful and consider the following:
  • What does "literate" mean to you?
  • What does it mean to be mindful?
  • The "new literacies" identified by Rheingold.
  • Your technology use and the behavior of yourself, and others, online.
  • Is Google and the internet making us "stupid"?

Here are some good resources and tools for creating online concept maps from the Office of Instructional Consulting at Indiana University.

While a bit more complex, here is an example of a concept map from Howard Rheingold on "Mindful Infotention". When you view it, pay attention to and click on the small icons beneath each bubble/box - it will show you a drop down list of additional terms.

Your concept map is due on Friday, April 13, 2012 and must include at least:

  • The main ideas from your reading
  • The five new literacies in the digital age discussed
  • Supporting evidence of each of the literacies - key terms, sample tools, etc.  
  • Creativity.  The above will get you the bare minimum.  Be creative and add and connect concepts to real examples in your world/present-day life.

To submit your assignment:

  • Look for an email via the Global Studies Google Group.
  • Respond to that thread with the link to your online concept map AND download your map, saved as a .jpeg and attach the .jpeg to the response email.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reflection in the Learning Process

At this point in the year, many of you are becoming more comfortable with self-reflection regarding your work.  Another important aspect of learning and reflecting is peer-reviewing each other's work in a way to offer feedback.

Let's look at these concepts about what The Reflective School looks like by Peter Pappas:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FedEx Day Student-Centered Learning

The following update post is cross-posted from my professional blog.

Not that long ago when talking in our 21C Global Studies class about Daniel Pink concepts, we came across the notion of FedEx Day and some students thought it would be a very cool way to
design their own projects, based on their own interests.  In fact, we began the school year, with students’ initial blog postsanswering Pink’s “What’s My Sentence” activity.  They were interested in what Daniel Pink had to say about motivation.
So, the time has come and we’ve decided to partake in a classroom FedEx Day of our own.  Students were given no real parameters other than:
  • Think of a topic that is interesting to you
  • Research it and learn more about it
  • Pitch it to the rest of the class for feedback, ideas, etc.
  • Learn more about your topic.  Is there a problem for which you could offer solutions?
  • Create something that shows what you have learned and/or proposing.
Sounds awesome, right?  Inquiry-based, student-driven learning at it’s best.  Well, we aren’t finished yet, but it is an uphill battle.  I am experiencing a lot of push back.  While I anticipated some, I didn’t quite expect it to be this much.  The thing is, our students here are not used to learning like this.  It’s not their fault…  the drill-and-kill system has become what it is.
But, how do I keep going?  How do I keep pushing them more towards this type of learning when a few of them are so discouraged over what they are beginning to view as an outrageous assignment.  This is the email I just sent to my students:
Dear students,
I’ve been receiving emails that NO ONE has any clue what they are doing regarding this project, however I know that is not true.  I spent a considerable amount of time talking with people one-on-one and I heard some pretty amazing project ideas including:
  • Implementing a senior advisory program that would eliminate some seniors having 8+ odd study halls and actually let them be out in classes as assistants to teachers in areas of interest to them, in lieu of a senior project
  • The effects of nuclear fallout and why the US needs to keep focus on Iran, including building a model or diorama of a city and creating some chemical reaction (safely, in a lab, of course), of what nuclear radiation looks like for people.
  • Getting the school to empower students instead of manage and punish students – dress code, etc.
  • Creating a tutoring website for our school where students could create short video clips about a teacher’s lesson to help other/younger students.  Something like this is very real and could be archived to be used long after you’re gone from here…  it’s leaving a legacy of yours behind for others.
  • Funding for college and higher education
  • How to create a website for a small-town business to attract more business from outside of the area
  • Looking at whether or not schools that are 100% digital are really better than schools that are not.  One student wants to reach out via a twitter chat to find and talk to students in another school who work in a completely digital environment
  • One student is looking at and studying the possible, expanded uses for geothermal energy
  • One student is looking to compare how war looks through the eyes of an American teenager versus a teen on the other side of the world to help raise understanding.
  • One student is creating a “How-To” guide for teenagers to transition from high school to the real world or college
  • One student talked about creating a video that would be a public service announcement  to dissuade teens from bullying others – online and in school.
These are only some ideas, off the top of my head, from YOUR own classmates.  I provided this post before as examples of what sixth-graders did with their FedEx day.  Sixth-graders!  Surely you all can come up with something that interests you and is important to you.  Learn about something and show me what you’ve learned.  Propose new ways to make something function better.  I talked, too, about another class where the teacher had students read The Hunger Games and come up with two alternate types of arenas.  Do you love to read?  Have a favorite book?  Maybe use that book and create an alternate ending or plot.  Create an iMovie that is a movie trailer for your new “story.”  The possibilities are endless, but I can’t decide for you what is interesting to you.
From Christian Lenses
If you are frustrated and uncomfortable, that is OK.  It is in these spaces that research studies show we learn the most.  Complaining and repeatedly offering up an “I don’t know” will not get you any closer to completing this assignment.  Stop looking for the things that make this difficult to do.  Be part of the solution.  I just heard a great quote somewhere in which someone gave a motivational speech and said, “If you are not a programmer, then you are part of the program.”  I want you to find ways to be a programmer as the latter leaves you subject to be taken advantage of.  I’ve seen the work each and every one of you are capable of…  In fact I recently shared some of your accomplishments on my own professional blog.
You CAN do this.  No more complaining.  No more negativity.  If you let go of your fear of failure or not ‘getting it right’ you’ll be amazed at what can happen.   I know this is a different type of learning.  And, it is messy.  There is no absolute checklist.  Just give it a chance is all I ask.
If, in a year or three, you have a job and your boss comes to you and says, “Our business might have to close because our sales/service is down.  What ideas do you have to help keep our business afloat?”  … will you know how to think for yourself and solve problems?  That is my question to leave with you for the day.
Good luck, stop stressing!