Back on the beat

It’s been awhile since Dana, Jill, Bernadette, and I have  posted to Literacy Beat.  Happily, we are back to blogging!  In fact, the next post (to appear in the next hour or so)  will feature a mulitmodal book memories project that I carried out with my students. The week of April 5, we are delighted to have a post from guest blogger Devere Wolsey on personalized digital learning.

Critical Evaluation of Online Information

A post from Bernadette

The Internet is an open network environment where anyone can post any information. Fake or erroneous information posted online may range on a continuum; from that of a prankster to a poster of a more sinister nature. For example, a report in The Times newspaper in the U.K. listed Masal Bugduv at number 30 in a list of 50 rising stars in football. A number of top premiership clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool, were reported as being interested in signing the young player.

30. Masal Bugduv (Olimpia Balti)

Moldova’s finest, the 16-year-old attacker has been strongly linked
with a move to Arsenal, work permit permitting. And he’s been linked with
plenty of other top clubs as well

However, the story began to unravel when football fans, bloggers and reporters started to note inconsistencies in the story. Masal Bugduv was in fact a non-existent, manufactured player whose name was curiously phonetically similarly sounding  to the title of a story in the Irish language called M’Asal Beag Dubh, a story of a pretty useless donkey! Over an extended period of time a prankster has posted snippets of information about the rising status and footballing prowess of the Moldovan player on blogs and football forums on the Internet. Thereby creating the fictitious player and leaving The Times reporters with red faces! At the other end of the spectrum are hateful websites such as, MartinLutherKing.org, a web site created by Stormfront, a white supremacist group, designed to discredit the life and work of Martin Luther King.

Therefore, one must exercise critical evaluation skills, critical thinking skills, critical reading skills and media and information saviiness skills to obtain, corroborate and integrate information across multiple online sources and to interrogate online text in terms of accuracy, reliability, believability, currency, depth, authority and author motive. The research suggests that adults (Fogg et al., 2002) and adolescent students (Leu et al., 2008) rarely engage in such critical evaluation of online information.

 Free Forever: The Dog Island (http://www.thedogisland.com/).
In a recent study (Dwyer, 2010) which I conducted with 3rd and 5th grade elementary school students, (N=43) the children were asked to evaluate the reliability of the information on the dog island web site  (http://www.thedogisland.com/). The web site welcomes dogs to a better life on dog island free from the stress and strain of living among humans and is of course a hoax web site. The children judged the information to be very reliable using either signals on the web site (“It has an email and shows you photos of the little dogs and you can check out the dog island products”); or past experiences and topic knowledge (“dogs would be happy if they’re with their friends in a family…. And when they have their babies; their babies aren’t going to be taken away from them”). One dissenting voice, in what could be termed an emperor’s new clothes moment, suggested that the information was not reliable because, “There’d be loads of dogs there, and they’d have done loads of stuff and save they were really stuck on an island like, and they had nothing, what would they eat? How would they get a wash? Well I know how they’d get a wash, but if they got a wash like that’s salt water and something might happen to their skin or something. Where would the water be?They can’t drink sea water so…”

The children’s ability to evaluate online information was developed by explicit strategy instruction in both a checklist and cognitive type approach (For a review of these approaches read Metzger, 2007). For example, the children were taught to evaluate the information provided in the URL domain-name prefix and suffix concerning the reliability, origin and purpose of the web site. Further, the children were encouraged to judge, evaluate, and cross check information across multiple web sites and connect this information with their prior domain and world knowledge. Finally, the children engaged in  class discussions to reflect on the need to critically evaluate information in an online environment.

Data analysis suggested that although the children were aware of the strategies needed to evaluate online information they did not consistently engage with these strategies. Clearly more research on critical evaluation skills in an online environment needs to focus on the possible developmental nature of such skills. Is it feasible to develop critical evaluation skills, beyond a procedural and declarative level of knowledge to a conditional level of knowledge, with elementary school children? Or perhaps the best we can hope to achieve is that children develop an awareness of the need to have their antennae raised around issues such as, reliability, veracity, authority and author bias in evaluating online information? What do you think?

References

Metzger, M. (2007). Making sense of credibility on the web: Models for evaluating online information and recommendations for future research. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology,58(3), 2078-2091.

Fogg, B. J., Soohoo, C., Danielson, D. R., Marable, L., Stanford, J., & Tauber, E. R. (2002). How do people evaluate a web site’s credibility? Results from a large study. Retrieved August,15, 2011 from http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/pdfs/stanfordPTL.pdf

Leu, D. J., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Hartman, D. K. Henry, L. A., & Reinking, D. (2008). Research on instruction and assessment in the new literacies of online reading comprehension. In C. C. Block & S. R. Parris (Eds.), Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices (2nd ed., pp. 321-346). New York: The Guildford Press.

Using Multimedia to Support Students’ Generative Vocabulary Learning

A post from Jill

In our April 26th post we shared that Bridget, Dana, and I have written a chapter for the second edition of Vocabulary Instruction: Research to Practice (forthcoming, Guilford Press) to be published in 2011. In our chapter, Using Multimedia to Support Students’ Generative Vocabulary Learning we highlight ways to use digital media to support vocabulary learning.  In the chapter, we include multimodal examples, which are reproduced as figures.  However in static manuscript form, we found ourselves limited in showcasing these creations, which are meant to be interacted with digitally.

This post features each of the examples. What follows is a brief description of teaching ideas from the chapter  along downloadable files. These files allow you to click on links and interact with the content to get a better sense of the potentials and possibilities.  We hope these creations spark your creative ideas for ways to use digital media to support vocabulary learning!

Multimedia Hypertext Versions of Poems, Quotes, or Short Text Excerpts

Students often find it difficult to unpack the meaning of words and figurative language within a poem or passage. An alternative way to dive deep into word meaning is to engage them in creating hypertext versions of the text that include links to other media. The original text represents the first layer, and their personal connections and interpretations represent the second, hyperlinked layer. This activity works well in partner groups because it encourages students to talk about and use the targeted words as they design their linked text.

PowerPoint, or other multimedia presentation software, can serve as the hypertext medium. To introduce this kind of vocabulary and figurative language exploration, create a 3 slide PowerPoint template.: slide 1 explains the task and introduces how to make a hyperlink within a slide show, slide 2 introduces an example, and slide 3 provides the actual text to be expanded with vocabulary hyperlinks.

The example below demonstrates how key words and phrases in the opening of Martin Luther King Jr.’s  I Have a Dream speech can be hyperlinked to students’ elaborations and connections in different modes.

Click Hypertext to download and interact with this example.

Compose Multimodal Word Webs

Creating a multimodal word web is probably one of the simplest and most effective ways to use language and media to express word meanings and explore the relationship between words.  To begin, create a basic template that students can customize. At a minimum, the multimodal word web should include the target word or concept, an explanation, and examples of the word in a context. Further, at least two modes should be used such as text, sound, graphics, and video. For example,  a word web for the target word ‘habitat’ might include descriptive information that defines what a habitat is, as well as photographs of different habitats, video of wildlife in their habitat, and audio clips that offer a chance to hear sounds within a given habitat.

In the example below, words come to life. You can listen to whale sounds from the arctic and watch a video clip showing how the polar bear learned how to survive in the arctic, a habitat that offers few comforts.

Click Habitat to download and interact with this example.

Pictures Worth 1000 Words

You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”; the same can be true of a word – what information, memories, images, and sounds are evoked when you hear the word ‘celebrate’ or ‘grandmother’? While we share cultural understandings of some visual symbols, the ways that visual representation can be connected to words is limitless. Even for something as specific as a car, our image memories will vary. To develop both visual literacy skills and vocabulary, challenge students to connect words to images or images to words.

The example below begins with the key word “challenge” together with images that match with it.  After students complete such as collage, ask them to add a title and explain why the images are a good representation of the word. This offers an excellent opportunity to teach how to critically read images on the Web.

Click “Challenge” to download and interact with this example.

Vocab Vids (see Bridget’s post “VocabVid Stories: Developing vocabulary depth and breadth through live action video“)

Bridget and Christian Ehret partnered to create an example that illustrates the power of video to illustrate word meanings. The video opens with a shot of a desk piled high with books. Ehret is sitting on the floor, hidden by the desk. Suddenly, his hand appears, pulling a book off. More books disappear as he pops up repeatedly, looking increasingly distressed. At the end, Ehret appears with a sign displaying the word “overwhelm,” saying, “I’m distressed, drowning in a deluge of books. This is an overwhelming amount of books to read! Can you tell I’m feeling totally overwhelmed?!” Note that all of the italicized words were found on a thesaurus during a Web search the pair did to prepare for the video. They used different forms of the word (overwhelm, overwhelmed, overwhelming) and incorporated related words (distress and deluge) to aid in the development of word concepts.

View the Video Example

We hope these examples have gotten your creative juices flowing and introduced some new possibilities.  We welcome you to share additional ideas for ways you’ve used digital media to enhance vocabulary learning. Please add a comment or send us an email.

Making a Difference: Extending Digital Literacy Through Participation in Online Advocacy and Social Action Projects

A Post from Jill

I’m excited to be heading to see Lara Lee’s new feature film Cultures of Resistance on Thurs. June 30th at City College in Berkeley, CA.  The film takes viewers on a journey across five continents as it documents the personal stories of creative change makers who aim to inspire engagement and social action around issues of social justice worldwide. The idea of this film caused me to stop and think about our efforts to educate students in meaningful ways that make a lasting impact in our collective lives.  It occurred to me that the Internet should be used not only as a source for information  but also as a means and a vehicle to spark action in our communities and around the world. When I reflect on social media use during the recent revolution in Egypt, I am struck by  how globally connected and interdependent we are locally, nationally, and globally. It brings to the forefront of my mind the need to prepare students with an orientation and a commitment to using online information and advocacy to improve our global community.

To help achieve this aim, this post focuses on several school-friendly social action projects that make strategic use of the Internet to connect people around the world.  These projects provide a promising means for engaging students’ intellectual potential, curiosity, and social networking skills to make a lasting change on important issues of the day.

Global Climate Change

To help kids better understand global warming, the Pew Center recently collaborated with Nickelodeon to research kids’ and parents’ attitudes and behaviors toward the environment and have made several great resources available (see http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/kidspage.cfm). Such efforts have helped sparked several action campaigns led by adolescents and young adults.  One such effort is iMatter (see http://imattermarch.org/). iMatter began as a simple video, created by a 13 year old, that covered the problems, consequences and solutions of climate change. Now, it’s grown into a global campaign meant to unite the voices of a generation on the most urgent issue of our time.

Additional efforts such as Young Voices on Climate Change showcase the many creative and innovative ways young people are shrinking the carbon footprint of their homes, schools, and communities. This effort began as a series of short films from Lynne Cherry, author of The Great Kapok Tree, and  feature the inspiring work of young people who seek to increase climate change awareness and action. It then expanded to a book entitled How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming.  Both the iMarch and Young Voices websites feature several ways students can get involved and make a difference. The inspirational trailer for Young Voices can be accessed here.

Cyberschool Bus Global Teaching and Learning Projects

The United Nations Cyberschool Bus Global Teaching and Learning Projects website encourages students and their teachers to engage in world wide social action projects. This portal offers curriculum resources to support finding solutions to combat world hunger, ending racial and ethnic discrimination, and providing universal human rights. Through collaboration with classes worldwide, students can participate in finding solutions that may impact the realities of tomorrow. Placing students in the role of problem solvers empowers them to find ways to use what they are learning in school and their communities to change the reality of the world around them.  The quizzes and games section includes interactive simulations such as Against All Odds (aimed at increasing students’ awareness and knowledge about refugee situations by putting players in the position of a refugee) and Stop Disasters (that encourages problem solving by teaching players how to respond to different disasters) are excellent ways to increase students’ awareness about global crises and ways to combat them.

Bucket Buddies

Bucket Buddies  is a curriculum-based inquiry project available on the Internet for elementary level students. In this project, students team up with other students from around the globe to test fresh water samples in their community. Students collect samples of water from local ponds to answer the question: Are the organisms found in pond water the same all over the world? In this project, students attempt to determine whether or not the same fresh water macro-invertebrates will be found in different locations. Participating classes collect samples from ponds near their schools and use a variety of resources to identify the macro-invertebrates (animals lacking a backbone and visible without the aid of a microscope) in the samples. The students then share their identifications with other project participants and use the collected data to answer the central question: Did classrooms sampling fresh water sources around the world find the same organisms? Finally, the students publish their conclusions in a report, which is posted to the project web site. Additional collaborative project ideas that address water quality and water conservation issues can be found by visiting http://www.k12science.org/collabprojs.html

International Schools Cyberfair

International Schools Cyberfair is an international learning program that encourages youth to connect the knowledge they learn in school to real world applications. This project has brought together more than one million students across 100 countries. Its purpose is for students, their schools and their local communities to use the Internet to share resources, establish partnerships and work together to accomplish common goals. Students work collaboratively to research and then showcase online what is special about their local community. Local and international collaboration through information and communication technologies is a key aspect of the program. Students are also encouraged to serve as “ambassadors”, sharing what they’ve learned in a way that contributes back to their local communities. Award-winning projects showcase people and programs that are actively providing solutions or solving problems.

 iEARN

Projects within iEARN are designed and facilitated by participants to fit their particular curriculum and classroom needs. Upon membership, the iEARN network is open to all teachers and students at a school, with resources available for finding iEARN projects across age levels and disciplines. iEARN features a Learning Circle, which contains highly interactive, project-based partnerships among small numbers of schools located throughout the world. All iEARN projects involve a final “product” or exhibition of the learning that has taken place as part of the collaboration. These have included magazines, creative writing anthologies, websites, letter-writing campaigns, reports to government officials, arts exhibits, workshops, performances fund raising, and many more examples of youth taking action as part of what they are learning in the classroom.

Participation in social action projects provides opportunities for young people to transform the world around them and makes it possible for them to see themselves, their abilities, and the activities at school in a different light. Not only does this give students the opportunity to affect change in the world and gain valuable experience with the new forms of online communication and social networking that are quickly defining our world, but it also builds confidence that the skills they are learning have value beyond the classroom.

Classroom Websites for Literacy

District and school websites are ubiquitous, particularly in view of the reporting requirements on student achievement. For example, in California, a law was passed that dictates the type and quality of achievement data that must be reported and most districts report this via website. This is nice, but how are districts, schools, and teachers using websites for instructional purposes? In this post I will present two websites in some detail, but at the end of this post is a list of several websites that may be used as resources for your planning.

Mrs. Renz, Redmond, Oregon

Mrs. Heather Renz of Redmond, Oregon, has had a website since 2000. If you link to http://www.mrsrenz.net/ you will arrive at the home page for her fourth-grade classroom. On this home page, you can see choices of links for students, parents, and other teachers. You can also meet Mrs. Renz and find out about her 31 years of teaching, a little about her life, and her interest in establishing a website. There is also a list of awards that Mrs. Renz has won for her teaching, including Disney Teacher of the Year honoree for 2006 and Microsoft Innovator 2005.

Under links for students, one finds math website links, past classroom projects, pen pal project, class creed and a host of other topics to link to. On the “Stars Page” students can access both literacy and math puzzles and games.  Under “Alex and Pearl’s Page” students can find science, math, and reading and listening sites to visit. Example of a science link:  Trees are Terrific—a Movie (it is really an audio-enhanced slide show, which is new to the site. Travel with Pierre is a series produced by University of Illinois Extension, from their Urban Programs Resource Network.

Under the parents’ link, one finds information for parents, the classroom schedule, each child’s classroom projects and photos, tonight’s homework, field trip schedules, and other information useful to parents. There’s also links to the teaching team and awards Mrs. Renz has won. There is also an Open House handout and slides from previous Open Houses. There’s a place to contact Mrs. Renz.

Site for Teachers

Mrs. Renz' Site for Teachers

 

Under the teachers’ link, there are a number of resources that teachers will find useful. With Mrs. Renz’ permission, I’ve made a screen shot of the teacher’s page for our information. She is incredibly generous in sharing her resources!

Mr. Coley, Murrieta, California

As we have seen, one of the uses of a class website is to share with parents what students are learning about. Instead of the teacher updating the website, students can be regular contributors, by asking students to write about what they are learning on a daily basis. Mr. Coley’s fifth-grade website exemplifies this (http://www.mrcoley.com/blog/index.htm).

Mr. Coley Homepage

Mr. Coley’s website differs from Mrs. Renz’ website in more than just the organization. There are many departments in the website and many of these feature student postings (http://www.mrcoley.com/blog/index.htm). Each day, a student in Mr. Coley’s classroom is assigned to be a “Roving Reporter” who writes a piece about what takes place in class on that day.  The student may use a computer at home or one of the word processors in the classroom. Students word process the article and turn them in to Mr. Coley in several ways (email, CD, etc.).  Students thus get an opportunity to write using technology and the teacher uploads them to The Daily Blog.

With Mr. Coley’s permission we include examples of the blog for May 13, 2011.

Friday, May 13, 2011
Reported by Ethan #6

Hi, I’m Ethan #6, and I’m going to be the Roving Reporter for today.  I got to school at 8:00 in the morning, and I played basketball with my friends until the bell rang.  I ran to class, got in line, and waited for the nice, warm day to start.

First we had Friday Flag.  During Friday Flag, Mrs. Picchiottino, our assistant principal, and Ms. Groff, our librarian, announced Birthday Book Club, the Shark Bite winners, and the Spirit Count winners.  Mr. Fanning usually does a song, but he didn’t do one today.  For the lower grades, Mrs. Romano won Spirit Count, and for the upper grades, Mr. Glendinning won again.

To really start the day we did Fitnessgram testing. In Fitnessgram testing you have to do push-ups, sit-ups, the sit and reach, and the trunk lift.  My partner was Myles, and he went to do push-ups first, I had to count them.  He did 25 push-ups, and over a 12-inch trunk lift.  I was next, and I did 23 push-ups and I also went over 12 inches on the trunk lift.  Myles did 48 sit-ups, and a 10-11-inch sit and reach.  I did 50 sit-ups, and a 13-14-inch sit and reach.  We both did really well on the test.

To relax, we then watched Mr. Henning and his students do the rocket launches.  Each person in that class made a rocket the size of a liter soda bottle.  They put water in it, and then they pumped air into the bottle.  They count down until the student hits the trigger and launches it high into the sky.  Jill’s went the highest.  Drake got second, and Claire got third.

Next it was time for Lit. Circles.  The blue group, Conner, Ryan, Marcus, and I, is reading CloserCloser is the fourth book in the long Tunnels series written by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams.  We have two meetings left, so we decided to read the rest of the book.

It was then time for recess.  I ate a pack of fruit snacks when I was heading off to go play basketball with my friends.  I was on Myles’s team.  It was Mrs. Becker’s class vs. all.  We won 11-10, but it was a close game.  After that was done, we talked about it on the way back to class.

After that, we had to work on our writing prompt. This time we had to write a persuasive essay to convince Dr. Scheer, our school district’s superintendent, whether we should have school uniforms or not.  Most people said we shouldn’t, but some disagreed.

To have some fun after the boring writing prompt, we did Friday Business.  Last week we didn’t have time so we did two games of Deal or No Deal.  Last week’s winner, Emma, got to go first.  Marcus got to click the cases and we began.  Emma took a deal of $72,000, which is three pieces of licorice.  Jonathan got picked for this week’s game and Mr. Coley got to click the cases.  Jonathan stuck with his case and got $400,000, which is 11 pieces of licorice!

Then we had lunch.  I ate quickly so I could talk to my friends.  When Mr. Eddie released us, we ran off to play basketball again.  This time I was on the Becker team.  We didn’t really keep score though.

After returning to class we had to have the nurse, my mom in this case, measure our height and weight.  While one of us was inside doing that, the rest of us were reading outside.  When everybody was done, we walked back to class.

Upon returning to class, we started talking about Pathfinder.  We got a list of what we need to pack, and we talked about what the kids that would be staying behind do. We talked about clothing and other necessary items.  At the end we answered everybody’s questions.

Finally, the bell rang, we stood up, and I walked out the Room 34 door.  Mr. Coley said, “Bye, everybody,” and I was off.  Once again, I’m Ethan #6 and I was your Roving Reporter today.

 

There is also a Book Blog on Mr. Coley’s site, a place where students can review and recommend Accelerated Reader and Literature Circle books that they are reading. Students log in to Kidblog.org to write a short post about the book. Kidblog.org is a free site designed especially for students by teachers. Teachers have administrative control over student blogs and student accounts when they set up a classroom site. The site is password protected for the students and only viewable by the teacher and classmates and no student email addresses are required. The site states that no person information from either the teacher or the students is collected and that comment privacy settings block unsolicited comments from outside sources. On Andrea’s blogsite the May 10, 2011 post is on The Secret Garden and a week later there are three student comments posted in response.

A productive use of multimedia that requires students to grapple with new ideas and content is to use podcasting for student presentations. A podcast is a digital recording that can be shared over the Internet, and there are many online resources for creating and sharing podcasts Audio podcasts, usually MP3 files, are easiest to implement in your classroom, even if there is only one computer. Mr. Coley’s classroom website hosts the ColeyCast section, where audio podcasts are posted. We believe that audio podcasting is also composing, because planning and writing must be done to make the audio podcast. At the time of this writing, there are 52 ColeyCasts posted on the classroom website with everything from parts of speech to Amazing America (fascinating facts about the 50 states). You can listen to the podcasts on the website or subscribe to them on iTunes. If you would like to listen to some of the ColeyCasts, please visit the website at http://www.mrcoley.com/coleycast/index.htm.

Like Mrs. Renz, Mr. Coley posts information about himself, the class, and specific information for parents. Mr. Coley also hosts his own blog.

Some Thoughts

Both of our featured teachers will tell you that establishing and maintaining a website is astonishingly challenging, but both teachers will also speak about their passion for teaching and learning. If we want to teach our students how to cope with 21st century technologies, then we need to lead by example. What are your thoughts and experiences with classroom websites or other technologies used in your classroom?

Online Resources

http://sites.google.com/site/educ436537/home/teacher-websites is hosted by Pacific University in Oregon and provides a great deal of information about setting up a website, including examples and discussion on the topic

http://webschoolpro.com/ A free site to make a website with examples posted.

http://www.education.ky.gov/KDE/About%20Schools%20and%20Districts/Kentuckys%20Schools%20and%20Districts/High%20School%20Web%20Sites.htm This website is hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education and shows various high school websites

http://www.ccsd.net/schools/schoolWebsites.php is hosted by Clark County Nevada School District and is a searchable site for teacher/school websites

http://www.sitesforteachers.com/ provides a list of popular websites to link to.

http://newyorkscienceteacher.com/sci/pages/teacher-sites.php Great resources in science for your website

http://www.readwritethink.org/ and companion Thinkfinity.org are sites for literacy and technology.

 

Reflections from the International Reading Association Conference in Orlando May 8-May11

Jill, Bridget, and Bernadette @ the Peabody Hotel Duck Fountain (Dana is present in spirit!)

It was a fun and fulfilling IRA conference – a great opportunity to gather inspiration from some of the most innovative thinkers in the literacy field! We’re so glad to have had the chance to catch up with friends, meet new colleagues, and attend several amazing sessions. The Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-Sig)  session (see http://tilesig.wikispaces.com/Conference) was well attended and sparked many new ideas for using digital tools to support literacy learning.  As last year’s recipient of the Outstanding Research Award, David O’Brien (University of Minnesota) gave the keynote entitled Bridging Traditional and Digital Literacies: From Apprehension to Affordances which he skillfully presented from his iPad.  His talk sparked thoughtful reflection about the break-neck speed of change in the range of digital media and its potential to support and enhance learning. The keynote was followed by six round-table sessions that were both engaging and interactive.  Tons of new teaching ideas for using digital tools in the classroom were shared.  Many of the resources featured, as well as the best list we can find of the latest new online resources, can be found on the cool tools page http://tilesig.wikispaces.com/Cool+Tools.  On the same TILE-Sig wikispace, check out the slides and resources shared from the Pre-conference Technology Institute 

We each attended Literacy & Science: Exploring Connections that Promote Engaged Learning and met many new colleagues who focus on connections between science and literacy (and technology, too!)

The pre-conference institute entitled Science and Literacy:  Exploring Connections that Promote Engaged Learning (see https://sites.google.com/site/literacyandscience/) was chalked full of new ideas for addressing content learning.  Bridget’s delivered an outstanding presentation that addressed Reading and Learning Science with Digital Text and Media. The talk bridged research and practice and challenged participants to explore what it means to be a reader in the 21st century. Using a Universal Design for Learning framework, she shared several tangible examples that illustrated the power of digital tools to support literacy and content learning.   Laurie A. Henry and her colleagues from University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville connected 21st Century Literacy and Science in the Middle School Using the 5e Learning Model and showcased a range of effective teaching techniques.  Bridget’s and Laurie’s slide, as well as other resources, can be downloaded from the institute website! Videos of all the sessions will be added soon.

Bernadette was a finalist for the IRA Dissertation of the Year award!

We love that IRA brings us in touch with international perspectives that expand our literacy viewpoint.  Bernadette’s  poster summarized her dissertation study entitled Scaffolding Internet Reading:  A Study of a Disadvantaged School Community in Ireland and drew attention from numerous interested participants.  Bernadette skillfully described her development of an integrated inquiry-based curriculum which included cross curricular units that linked literacy, science, and the Internet in an authentic classroom-based study. She monitored in-depth the progress of three triad groups within each class cohort during Internet workshops and also conducted a series of Internet Inquiry Progress Tasks across the study. We congratulate Ber on her groundbreaking study.  Her findings have helped the literacy community worldwide better understand the nature of collaboration in Internet-inquiry and online learning.

If you’re looking for a high quality professional development experience that links literacy and technology, the New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute is holding an event that can be attended virtually or in person on July 25 – 29, 2011. To register for this exciting professional development experience go to: http://fi.ncsu.edu/form/new-literacies-teacher-leader-institute

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