Converting F2F to Online in a Hurry

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Today, I am posting a few resources for those in PK-12 and higher education who must convert their instruction from face-to-face to an online format in a hurry.

CDC-coronavirus-image-23311-for-web
Image: CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

UNESCO offers a list of distance learning solutions with links here.

Our colleague, Greg Mcverry, has created a series of videos, “Moving Online In Time of Crisis,” on converting to online quickly.

And Peggy Semingson, featured here on Literacy Beat, shared this curated list of remote learning tools during Covid-19 from Laura Pasquini and these tips for remote teaching from the University of Texas.  Peggy regularly shares her own resources and those of others on her LinkedIn profile

TechSmith Corporation, one of my favorite digital solution providers, shared this website full of tips and resources. 

SocialDistance onlineteaching

How to Use Wikipedia at School

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Encyclopedias Do Serve Scholarly Purposes

Teachers and parents are often concerned when students use Wikipedia as a source of information.

When students consult an encyclopedia, they typically hold a reasonable expectation that information contained in the article will be reliable and verifiable.  Educators who do not allow students to use Wikipedia as a source, often cite reliability as a topic of concern.  Some incidents of vandalism on the pages of Wikipedia raise the level of concern. In addition, those who post and revise articles in Wikipedia may not be experts.  In May 2009, Genevieve Carbery reported that a student researching journalism and globalization placed a false quote in an obituary which was subsequently picked up and reported as factual by newspapers around the world. However, Wikipedia’s reliability compares favorably to traditional encyclopedias in most regards.

Glossary of Language Education Terms

Wikipedia

When Should an Encyclopedia be Used?

Encyclopedias, whether online or printed in bound volumes on paper, are useful sources of information. Editors and contributors to encyclopedias generally set out to collect information about a wide variety of information, but may also limit the scope of articles to a specific domain (such as a medical encyclopedia). Because encyclopedias are collections of articles on a vast array of topics, they are generally excellent sources of information when students need background information about a topic.

For example, a student writing about an interest in the human genome project may decide to do a little reading on the development of the double-helix. Since the main topic of the student’s inquiry is the genome project, reading a Wikipedia article about the double-helix polymer would seem appropriate.

Many encyclopedia entries are well-sourced; that is, they include references to other documents, media files, and experts that support the assertions found in the article.  As a result, a student completing research on the genome project may find some additional sources to consult by reading the article’s reference list.  Savvy users of an article’s reference list locate those articles, read them, and evaluate them.  They also independently search for additional sources that may support, contradict, or expand on those sources. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, encourages students in college not to use an encyclopedia as a source in writing academic  papers (Young, 2006).

Using a Collaboratively-authored Encyclopedia

The nature of the encyclopedia is that of a secondary source.  Wikipedia, for example, does not claim to be a publisher of original thought, and it should not be treated as such by those consulting it as a resource. Virtually all encyclopedia articles report knowledge based on other sources; that is, original or primary sources are consulted. However, the authors, whether experts in their fields or interested parties that wish to contribute, must select from many sources and interpret those sources in writing an encyclopedia article.  Thus, rather than ban the use of Wikipedia and similar collaborative projects, students and teachers can ask the following questions. Teachers can help students learn to question any secondary source.  Three questions students might remember when they consult any encyclopedia:

  1. Am I reading this encyclopedia article for background knowledge?
  2. Will reading this encyclopedia article help me find sources that support or refute the main points in my own writing and presentations?
  3. What other sources can I consult?

and two questions specifically for online, collaborative encyclopedias

  1. Have I checked the history tab to see who has contributed (some posts are anonymous, but the list of edits and revisions can be revealing)?
  2. Is there anything that appears to be missing or not addressed in this article that is found in other sources?

Finally, teachers may best be able to help students learn to evaluate the sources they use and when to use them rather than banning them outright.

References

Carbery, G. Student’s Wikipedia hoax quote used worldwide in newspaper obituaries. Irishtimes.com., May 6, 2009.

Young, J. R. Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation. The Wired Campus, June 12, 2006.

This repost originally appeared in 2009.

Wolsey, T.D. (2009, Oct, 15). How to use Wikipedia at school. [blog post]. Retrieved from https://suite.io/tom-wolsey/2e16247

Assessment Literacy: An Educator’s Guide to Understanding Assessment, K-12

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey & Dana L. Grisham with Susan Lenski

We are excited to announce that Assessment Literacy: An Educator’s Guide to Understanding Assessment, K-12 by Literacy Beat bloggers Thomas DeVere Wolsey and Dana L. Grisham with guest blogger Susan Lenski is now available.

Literacy Beat readers are invited to take 20% off the list price. Just point your browser to Guilford.com or use the promo code 2E on the Guilford website.

Assessment Literacy Cover

Assessment Literacy: An Educator’s Guide to Understanding Assessment, K-12

Overview:

This clear, no-nonsense book guides current and future teachers through the concepts, tools, methods, and goals of classroom literacy assessment. The expert authors examine the roles of formative, summative, and benchmark assessments; demystify state and national tests and standards; and show how assessment can seamlessly inform instruction. Strategies for evaluating, choosing, and interpreting assessments are discussed, as are ways to communicate data to parents and administrators. User-friendly resources include boxed vignettes from teachers and researchers, practical assessment tips (and traps to avoid), and 12 reproducible planning forms and handouts. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8½” x 11″ size.

Thanks to our reviewers: Missy Provost, Troy Hicks, Judith Dunkerly-Bean, Paula Dreyfuss, and Linda Smetana and to Diane Lapp, author of the foreword.

Course Load Calculator

Have you ever wondered just how much work your class or course actually entails for students, or if you are a student just how much time you need to invest in your coursework outside of class.  This guest post by my colleague at the Center for Learning and Teaching at The American University in Cairo looks the advantages and limitations of just such a tool. Check it out!

A Guest Post by Maha Bali

Would You Use a Course Workload Calculator?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is the second time I come across something like this. A course workload calculator. This one from Rice University (I have a soft spot for them because I taught there in 2008).

https://cte.rice.edu/workload

Rice University

On the one hand, I feel like it can be useful for people who teach courses at the same level to compare their workloads to each other or what is expected.

I do like that they ask if readings have new concepts or are difficult, for example, so I think some people might find that useful, e.g. should they assign the reading and expect students to understand it before they discuss it in class? Perhaps certain readings can be done before, but others after. Also, the calculator doesn’t account for reading ability esp for non-native speakers. But it does allow you to adjust the reading speed for example, which I guess to be honest you may need to do for different segments of students. I once had two freshmen in my mostly senior and junior class, and they truly struggled with some of the readings. The other students had no problems at all, either they were better readers or better bluffers (which, honestly, is a good strategic learner move).
Read More (redirects to Maha’s blog, Reflecting Allowed).

 

My Life as a Reader and Author

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

One of my goals as a teacher and professor is to guide my students to think of themselves as readers, authors, and creators. To help students realize just how much reading and writing have played a part in their lives, I use an assignment I call My Life as a Reader and Author.  The assignment involves the creation of a mandala with symbols representing different aspects of literacy in the students’ lives.  The directions, paired with examples in the PowerPoint are fairly simple:

The texts we read and the texts we compose can have a powerful influence on our identities.  In this assignment, you will create a visual representation of your life as a reader and author using the mandala to organize and capture your ideas. Briefly explain each symbol.

Zahraa created this mandala, below, using digital tools.

Mandala

Zahraa’s Mandala

She then described the significance of the images.

I divided my mandala into four sections:

  • Reading Section

 I added a photo of my laptop as usually I use it to read online and also to download softcopies of the books that I want to read. I like to read on my laptop as I have different folders to save whatever I want to read and highlight on it.

I added the photo of the book the power of thinking without thinking. It is the most recent book that I have read. I found this book so interesting and I learnt a lot from it. In addition, I recommended this book to my friends who do not like to read very much as I found the author’s way of delivering information is so good.

I added google logo as it is my close friend when I need to know or read about anything.

  • Junior development section

In this section I added a photo of my weekly visit to children orphanages. I am a part of Volunteers In Action (VIA) club at AUC. Every week end we visit an orphanage and we give sessions to children about different things like peace, cleanness, attitude and manners. I added this photo because these children motivate me to read more about the topic before delivering it to them in order to teach them in a correct good way.

I added photos of cleanness and right & wrong photo to highlight some of the things I teach them during the sessions

  • Experience

While reading I experience new things and know a lot of new information. This photo describes things that one can achieve while reading like how to manage your time, select your goals and how to learn from others mistakes, especially if you are reading about someone’s bibliography.

  • Writing

In the writing section I added a photo to describe my favorite time of writing which is in the early morning with a cup of coffee.

Malika chose to combine shapes from the Internet and then draw her symbols.

Malika's Mandala

Malika’s Mandala

Resources

Mandala Generators Online:

Staedtler:

MandalaCreator:

MandalaMaker:

ColorMandala:

DrawMandala:

Mandala Creator:

Mandala Creation Software:

MandalaMakerTM :

Mandala Maker from Tucows:

Adobe products and plugins (e.g., Illustrator, Photoshop) that can be used to create mandalas).

Illustrator:

MirrorMe plugin for Illustrator:

PhotoShop:

Inspiration:

Mandala Project:

Literacy Beat and TERSG go to Copenhagen

by Dana L. Grisham and Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Two members of the Literacy Beat team are in Copenhagen, Denmark for the 18th Nordic Conference on Literacy and the 21st European Conference on Literacy held at HF-Centret Efterslægten, a school in the northwest part of the city.

IMG_0554

School Name

Dana, DeVere, and frequent Literacy Beat guest poster Linda Smetana presented an overview of the study from the Teacher Education Research Study Group (TERSG) from the Literacy Research Association.

What Does Effective Writing Instruction Look Like? Practices of Exemplary Writing Teacher Educators

  • Linda Smetana, California State University, East Bay
  • Thomas DeVere Wolsey, The American University in Cairo
  • Dana L. Grisham, California State University (retired)
  • Roya Q. Scales, Western Carolina University

Abstract

Recent research indicates that pre-service teachers receive insufficient instruction in the teaching of writing (Graham, et al., 2014). A study of 50 U.S. teachers in preparation found that only about 25% had a writing-intensive methods course in their program (Myers, et al., 2016). Using constructivist grounded theory, researchers investigated the modes and methods of 18 teacher educators across the U.S., the content of writing methods courses, how they structured learning experiences for new teachers, and the theoretical and practical models of writing that were employed.Data were gathered through collection of course syllabi and interviews with writing faculty. Data were analyzed through open coding for themes. The research team triangulated the data for reliability and did member checks to refine the themes. Findings showed that exemplary writing instructors viewed writing as a tool of power for social justice. They sought to develop teacher candidates who saw themselves as writers by employing a process writing approach across a variety of genres, taught in writing methods classes. The implications and the applications to k-12 classrooms will be discussed in the session.

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Dana, DeVere, Linda

Selected References

Myers, J., Scales, R. Q., Grisham, D. L., Wolsey, T. D., Smetana, L., Dismuke, S., … Martin, S. (2016). What about writing? A national exploratory study of writing instruction in teacher preparation programs. Literacy Research and Instruction, 55(4), 309–330. doi:10.1080/19388071.2016.1198442

Sanders, J., Myers, J., Ikpeze, C., Scales, R., Tracy, K., Yoder, K.K., Smetana, L., & Grisham, D. (In Press, 2019). A curriculum model for K-12 writing teacher education. Research in the Teaching of English.

Scales, R.Q., Tracy, K.N., Myers, J., Smetana, L., Grisham, D.L., Ikpeze, C., Yoder, K.K., & Sanders, J.   (2019). A national study of exemplary writing methods instructors’ course assignments. Literacy Research and Instruction, 58(2), 67-83.   DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2019.1575496

Comprensión en Cuatro Cuadrados

 

Aprendiendo con la lectura para los grados superiores

La enseñanza eficaz de idiomas se caracteriza por cuatro elementos críticos:

Contenido, conexiones, comprensibilidad, interacción.

Contenido

Las lecciones se centran en el contenido del nivel de grado y toman en cuenta las necesidades de desarrollo del idioma inglés que tengan los alumnos.

Ejemplos:  El alumno será capaz de… saber, entender, explorar… en ciencia, historia, literatura, matemáticas, etc.

Comprensibilidad

El lenguaje oral y escrito se presentan de manera tan comprensible como sea posible en un entorno de baja ansiedad y gran interés.

Ejemplos: visuales, aclarar, empatía, gestos, ajuste velocidad del habla, modelos.

Conexiones

El plan de estudios está conectado con los antecedentes y experiencia de cada alumno.

Tener en cuenta: Los conocimientos previos de cada alumno, y usar una variedad de formatos. El Contexto es importante.

Interacción

La instrucción se organiza para asegurar una alta frecuencia de interacción entre los alumnos y el maestro, entre los alumnos mismos, y entre los alumnos y el plan de estudios.

Cada interacción debe promover la reflexión sobre el aprendizaje propio de cada individuo (metacognición).

¿Qué es el contexto?

sustantivo: contexto; plural: contextos

  • Las circunstancias que forman el escenario para un evento, declaración o idea, y en términos de lo que puede ser completamente entendido y evaluado.

Fuente: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/context

Adaptado de los materiales de SDAIE en California.

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