Literacy ShopTalk

"Prepare self-directed learners to think critically about the messages received and created by media.”

My Guest Posts

Written By: Paula Neidlinger

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| posted by Michelle Manno

Twitter: Empowering Student Voices [Guest Post]

twitterThe timeless skill of effective communication is the anchor, which will enable students to successfully find and share their voice with the world through the power of words. As we celebrate Digital Learning Month in February, we must embrace the power of digital media and the impact it has upon our daily lives. Are you utilizing the incredible power of social-media in your classroom?

In a world of instant communication, our students have the opportunity to engage and share with a global audience on a daily basis. Teaching students how to be effective collaborators, interact globally, and build powerful networks, is both the social and academic benefit to Twitter in education. As society and technology changes, so does literacy. Can social media positively impact 21st century literacy-learning? Utilizing Twitter in the classroom is more than assigning students a Twitter username, it’s developing and modeling the essential communication skill- writing effectively. If we want our students to blog, connect, and communicate, we must model this skill daily and ‘walk the walk.’

Twitter is the most popular platform for microblogging, which combines blogging, text messaging, and social networking. Social Media defines how we engage with each other. It’s no wonder that people deny it’s power and educators struggle with districts where social media is blocked. Many argue that social media is nothing but a high tech distraction. Educators needs to model and demonstrate social media as a tool for effective collaboration, communication, and empowerment.

Inside the Classroom: Can Students Really Learn from a “Tweet?”

What could that look like? Some suggestions:

  1. Student, Class, Teacher, or School Hosted Twitter Chats — Students or collaborative groups choose 3-5 questions, which will be the topic of the chat. The questions should be based on a current theme or issue of literary study. Students will be the facilitators throughout the event.
  2. Family Twitter Chat Night — As an extension of the classroom Tweet-up, a topic is sent home in advance with a set time for the chat. Families are encouraged to chat as a family unit. A follow-up chat is held the next day in class, as a written reflection of the event.
  3. Fictional Twitter Characters — Students create fictional twitter accounts of literary characters or historical figures as they work through a current problem or issue. This is a great activity when teaching characterization, as the characters must react to current events based on their character traits in the story, novel, or historical event.
  4. Fictional Twitter Character Debate — Students produce a Tweet dialogue between two opposing characters about a key issue in the story, current event, or future event.
  5. Tweet-story — Begin by tweeting out a story starter. Students continue the story in sequence through tweets. This activity can be constructed as a group or an individual activity.
  6. Twitter Version of ‘Pass It On’ — Individual students or groups are each assigned one element of the plot sequence. They are allowed only the 140 characters to write their character description, setting, climax, etc. Students will tweet out their descriptions in order based on the plot diagram.
  7. Create a Poll — Students will create their own poll to gauge opinion or gather information on current issues related to the theme or issue in a story or article.
  8. Curating Presentations — Students participate in and curate conversations through tweets during a presentation by other students or a guest speaker. Students are prompted in advance as to key points based on the issue.
  9. Global Tweeting — Test your genius! In an effort to build students’ curiosity, ask students to tweet their “big thinking” questions -… what if… how might…. I wonder…… For example: What if there were 14 months in a year? This activity will also help students begin to build their own PLN.
  10. Twitter Community Connection — Establish a partnership with local government or a charitable organization in your community. Use Twitter to reach a broader audience, as students discuss the latest cultural or educational event in the area.
  11. Debating Social Issues — Poll the class as to what current issue they would like to follow; this could also be based for the theme or conflict in a story. Students subscribe to relevant hash tags and accounts from both perspectives of an issue. Students engage in debate by supporting their arguments with evidence.
  12. Writing Book Reviews — Twitter provides a great format for students when writing micro-reviews of books, poems, or current articles.
  13. Engage in Word Games — There are numerous activities in which to engage students in vocabulary through Twitter. A simple ‘Do Now’ activity is to post a daily or weekly challenge asking students to unscramble anagrams, contribute synonyms or antonyms, or design and upload a word cloud, which examines multi-aspects of a word.
  14. Summarizing and Writing Concisely — After assigning a current article, ask students to summarize the article within the 140 character limit. This writing event teaches summarizing and writing concisely.
  15. Twitter as an Exit Slip — At the conclusion of class, ask students to write a 140-summary of their understanding of the day’s objective or pose any questions to be considered in the next class.

Can Teachers Really Learn from a “Tweet?”

Teachers must internalize how social media like Twitter can facilitate their learning. Digital opportunities to connect with new content and communities can accelerate learning for all students —but teachers must become effective digital learners first.

My Twitter journey has enabled me the opportunity to:

  • Follow other educator’s tweets, keep up with the latest trends, news, and happenings in education, as well as communicate with fellow educators
  • Build a PLN with educators throughout the world- including creating a G+ Community titled #teach2blog
  • Share links, posts from my own blog, and classroom projects
  • Tweet during educational conferences as an interactive back channel during official presentations
  • Utilize as a professional development tool
  • Actively engage in weekly educational chats with a growing network of educators

 

What Lessons Have I Learned from Twitter?

I now rely on Twitter for help in the same way that I rely on my colleagues in the hallways at Lincoln Junior High. I’ve realized the true power of social media and the impact it has for all learners. I’m accessing and sharing ideas connected to my professional interests through a growing PLN. Finally, I’ve taken ownership of my own learning. If we want our students to blog, connect, and communicate, we must model the skill of effective communication, which will enable our students to successfully find and share their voice with the world.


This post was written by Teach100 community member Paula Neidlinger. Paula’s blog Literacy Shop Talk focuses on fostering a literacy-rich classroom culture, and discusses topics including literacy, collaboration, social media, and technology. You can follow Paula on twitter at @pneid

 

Students – Agents of Change in the Classroom? by Paula Neidlinger

02/20/2014

Picture

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way
you think about it.
  ~Mary Engelbreit
Have you ever…….
*   created a sculpture from butter?
*  written a novel?
*  produced a movie?
*  organized an after school art program for kids?
*  constructed a community garden?
*  created a tutorial website for gamifying and
coding?.….my students have become agents of change through the power of passion, perseverance, curiosity, and thinking.

Personal growth results from inspiration, imagination, collaboration, and  creation- values we all need to embrace.  We work so hard to empower our students with respect to their own learning, we sometimes forget that  we need to step out of our own comfort zone as well- we don’t need to  have all of the answers.  Change is the result of creating a classroom  environment of engaged and empowered students who feel they have control over their education and are willing to think about their thinking.Leaving my comfort zone………….I abandoned my comfort zone this past summer after reading Classroom
Habitudes
by @Angela Maier, as part of the Indiana eLearning Book Club  series.  The reading and collaboration that followed led me to more  research into the concept of Genius Hour.  With the help of @JoyKirr  I  launched my own concept of Genius Hour in January………….  I had to step out even further.  During an #INeLearn Thursday night Twitter  chat, I was introduced to yet another extension of my thinking,  #Makered, and an introduction to the current book club feature,  Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager.

Since launching Genius Hour in  January, I’ve now become fascinated with the additional concept of Maker Spaces and the habits of passion, curiosity, imagination, and  creativity.  The concept of empowering students to think about their  education and create an environment of creation, imagination, and  inspiration, has become my personal passion.

Genius Hour has  become an eye-opening experience, as many students have
been resistant  to not only change, but taking charge of their own learning.  I
have to  admit, I was shocked over the lack of imagination and curiosity the
first few weeks.  Finally, this past week, the phrase I had been waiting to
hear……  “Mrs. Neidlinger, I have my first art class set up for  Thursday!
I’m so excited!”  You can imagine my response- “What art  class?”

Yes,  you guessed it, my 12 year old, 7th grade student  had taken her love and
passion for art and created an after-school youth art class at the public
library.  That wasn’t the end of it…. she had set up and scheduled the next
three months of classes with the library  on her own time, created posters and
distributed them, organized adult  supervision, and gathered her materials and
supplies for her first  after-school event.  My mouth hit the floor.

The following day, she burst into the classroom exclaiming, “I had
twenty-three kids at my first session.  It went really well!”  Before I could
cough up a  reaction, she proceeded to show me the video that she had recorded
during her session, explain what went well, and discuss the adjustments  she
was going to make for the next time based on the first class.   Additionally,
she was already producing an iMovie capturing her first  night’s events
featuring live interviews and children creating,  designing, and tinkering. She
had become an agent of change through her  personal power of passion,
perseverance, curiosity, and thinking.

I can only “imagine” the butter sculptures!…………..

This project and others will be featured on our class website-Neidlinger
LA 7 & 8- Globally Connected
 & my blog Literacy ShopTalk

**************************************

28 Day 2.0 Web Challenge- Digital Learning Month- Department of Education

February 3, 2014

“Twitter- Empowering Student Voices “

This week our nation’s schools will be celebrating Digital Learning Day on Wednesday, February 5.  We’re all encouraged to “Take the Pledge” to support the effective and innovative utilization of technology in our classrooms and schools.  As awareness heightens this month, my hope is that by opening our classroom doors to the digital world, our passion for teaching and learning will benefit and impact the lives of our students.  Schools should reflect the social world we live in today.


The timeless skill of effective communication is the anchor, which will enable students to successfully find and share their voice with the world through the power of words.  As we celebrate Digital Learning Month in February, we must embrace the power of digital media and the impact it has upon our daily lives.  Are you utilizing the incredible power of social-media in your classroom?


In a world of instant communication, our students have the opportunity to engage and share with a global audience on a daily basis.  Teaching students how to be effective collaborators, interact globally, and build powerful networks, is both the social and academic benefit to Twitter in education.  As society and technology changes, so does literacy.  Can social media positively impact 21st century literacy-learning?  Utilizing Twitter in the classroom is more than assigning students a Twitter username, it’s developing and modeling the essential communication skill- writing effectively.  If we want our students to blog, connect, and communicate, we must model this skill daily and ‘walk the walk.’


Twitter is the most popular platform for microblogging, which combines blogging, text messaging, and social networking. Social Media defines how we engage with each other.  It’s no wonder that people deny it’s power and educators struggle with districts where social media is blocked.  Many argue that social media is nothing but a high tech distraction. Educators needs to model and demonstrate social media as a tool for effective collaboration, communication, and empowerment. 



Inside the classroom- Can students really learn from a “Tweet?”

 
…………………What could that look like? Some suggestions:

 
1.   Student, Class, Teacher, or School Hosted Twitter Chats Students or collaborative groups choose 3-5 questions, which will be the topic of the chat.  The questions should be based on a current theme or issue of literary study.  Students will be the facilitators throughout the event.


2.  Family Twitter Chat Night As an extension of the classroom Tweet-up, a topic is sent home in advance with a set time for the chat.  Families are encouraged to chat as a family unit.  A follow-up chat is held the next day in class, as a written reflection of the event.


3.  Fictional Twitter Characters Students create fictional twitter accounts of literary characters or historical figures as they work through a current problem or issue.  This is a great activity when teaching characterization, as the characters must react to current events based on their character traits in the story, novel, or historical event.


4.  Fictional Twitter Character Debate Students produce a Tweet dialogue between two opposing characters about a key issue in the story, current event, or future event.


5.  Tweet-story Begin by tweeting out a story starter.  Students continue the story in sequence through tweets.  This activity can be constructed as a group or an individual activity.  


6.  Twitter Version of ‘Pass It On’- Individual students or groups are each assigned one element of the plot sequence.  They are allowed only the 140 characters to write their character description, setting, climax, etc.  Students will tweet out their descriptions in order based on the plot diagram.


7.  Create a Poll  Students will create their own poll to gauge opinion or gather information on current issues related to the theme or issue in a story or article.


8.  Curating Presentations  Students participate in and curate conversations through tweets during a presentation by other students or a guest speaker.  Students are prompted in advance as to key points based on the issue.


9.  Global Tweeting Test your genius!  In an effort to build students’ curiosity, ask students to tweet their “big thinking” questions -… what if… how might…. I wonder……  For example:  What if there were 14 months in a year?  This activity will also help students begin to build their own PLN.


10.  Twitter Community Connection  Establish a partnership with local government or a charitable organization in your community.  Use Twitter to reach a broader audience, as students discuss the latest cultural or educational event in the area.


11.  Debating Social Issues  Poll the class as to what current issue they would like to follow; this could also be based for the theme or conflict in a story.  Students subscribe to relevant hash tags and accounts from both perspectives of an issue.  Students engage in debate by supporting their arguments with evidence.


12.  Writing Book Reviews  Twitter provides a great format for students when writing micro-reviews of books, poems, or current articles.


13. Engage in Word Games  There are numerous activities in which to engage students in vocabulary through Twitter.  A simple ‘Do Now’ activity is to post a daily or weekly challenge asking students to unscramble anagrams, contribute synonyms or antonyms, or design and upload a word cloud, which examines multi-aspects of a word.


14.  Summarizing and Writing Concisely After assigning a current article, ask students to summarize the article within the 140 character limit.  This writing event teaches summarizing and writing concisely.

15.  Twitter as an Exit Slip  At the conclusion of class, ask students to write a 140-summary of their understanding of the day’s objective or pose any questions to be considered in the next class.

Can teachers really learn from a “Tweet?”  Teachers must internalize how social media like Twitter can facilitate their learning. Digital opportunities to connect with new content and communities can accelerate learning for all students —but teachers must become effective digital learners first.


My Twitter @pneid journey has enabled me the opportunity to- 

*  follow other educator’s tweets, keep up with the latest trends, news, and happenings in education, as well as communicate with fellow educators
*  build a PLN with educators throughout the world- including creating a G+ Community titled #teach2blog
*  share links, posts from my own blog, and classroom projects

*  tweet during educational conferences as an interactive back channel during official presentations
*  utilize as a professional development tool

*  actively engage in weekly educational chats with a growing network of educators

What lessons have I learned from Twitter? I now rely on Twitter for help in the same way that I rely on my colleagues in the hallways at Lincoln Junior High. I’ve realized the true power of social media and the impact it has for all learners.  I’m accessing and sharing ideas connected to my professional interests through a growing PLN.  Finally, I’ve taken ownership of my own learning.  If we want our students to blog, connect, and communicate, we must model the skill of effective communication, which will enable our students to successfully find and share their voice with the world.

Visit my blog- Literacyshoptalk.com

Are you on Twitter? If not, create an account now. Try one of the ideas discussed above and be sure to follow @pneid and @INeLearn and Tweet using the hashtag #INeLearn.

**************************

Global Connected Learning

April 24, 2013

The following blog was written for the Platform for Good project as part of the Family Institute for On-Line Safety

A big question that teachers are now faced with is how we feed our students’ craving for discovery, collaboration and creation. Global Connected Learning was my personal challenge this year and has proven to be the craving for which my students were advocating.

It all started with my creation of a class website earlier this year that propelled my students into the world of blogging, collaborating, celebrating, informing, sharing, and much more. However, I wanted to take it one step further. In order to help them develop individual digital identities, I kicked off the second semester with the introduction to ePortfolios. The instructions were to have each student construct an individual ePortfolio using Blogger as their platform, which is now linked to our class website.

My one concern was making sure the ePortfolios were more than just a housing project for work. I wanted my students to have a place where they could actively go to engage others and create meaningful content………………Read more

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Let’s Blog! Part II

April 3, 2013

The following two blogs were written on April 2 & 3, 2013, for the PCSC 180 Days of Learning Blog.  Additionally, these feature two short student reflective blogs.

Students in Mrs. Neidlinger’s 7th Language Arts classes began their official “Blogging Challenge” the first week of March.  Students have created their own Digital Identities through on-line portfolios and blogs.  The challenge will continue for ten weeks.

In yesterday’s blog, I explained the objectives of the International Blogging Challenge, how classes can be involved, and how students are engaged. Today, let’s take a look at the four challenges so far…….and hear from two more students.  You can read all of the student websites via our class website-

STUDENT REFLECTIONS OF THE PROCESS- PART II OF THE SERIES

**Today’s guest bloggers are Seth B. and Jennifer Q.  They have included their websites.  Please take the time to visit their sites, sign their guestbooks, and leave a comment!

I have learned a lot from participating in the Student Blogging Challenge.  For example, I learned many details you can add to your blog.  I learned how to add widgets.  I had no idea how to use  widgets.  Many of the widgets are very cool and interesting.  I also learned that many people around the world are doing the student blogging challenge……………… Read More

Check out my Blog!!! – http://sethbportfolio.blogspot.com/ – Seth B.

What I learned through this Blogging Challenge is how to get to the various websites to find other student blogs. I also learned how to blog with other students. I learned how to underline a word and add the link. I also learned how to start the post when I want to do my Blog Challenge. I learned how to use the blog more since we are doing the Challenge…….Read More

Check out my blog! – http://portfoliojenniferq.blogspot.com/ –Jennifer Quintana

**********************************

 Let’s Blog!!

April 2, 2013

Students in Mrs. Neidlinger’s 7th Language Arts classes began their official “Blogging Challenge” the first week of March.  Students have created their own Digital Identities through on-line portfolios and blogs.  The challenge will continue for ten weeks.

What is the challenge about?

The challenge is about getting students to blog and develop a world wide audience while doing so, rather than just having their teacher and classmates look at their work.  Additionally, students “Tweet” out their newly created posts each week- gaining more audience participation.

How can a class be involved?

Your class can be involved as a class blog or each student with their own blog can be involved in the student section of the challenge.  We have a class website/blog in which all individual student blogs are linked.

**Today’s guest bloggers are James R. and Anna H.  They have included their websites.  Please take the time to visit their sites, sign their guestbooks, and leave a comment!

This blogging challenge, and regular blogging, has been pretty hard work. The blog creating was the easiest, I think, for me. When we got into the challenges it started to get harder and harder. I was being thrown into something that I have never seen before. I learned how to use HTML, Hypertext Markup Language, and how to copy and edit them.  This has been a very challenging contest. Learning the HTML was not the only thing that I had to learn. I had to learn how to design, post, use pages, gadgets, and how to use blogger. My teacher, Mrs.Neidlinger, has taught us how to use them and work them into our blog…………. ……..Read More

Check out my blog! – james-my-portfolio.blogspot.com – James R.

During the past nine weeks, my 7th grade Language Arts has been competing in an International Blogging Challenge. This Challenge is where we can blog. This blogging activity consists of us blogging with students around the world. The challenge is about getting students to blog and develop a worldwide audience while doing so, rather than just having their teacher and classmates look at their work. This can increase the students grammar and their ability to write when they get older………..Read More

Check out my blog! – http://annahsportfoilio.blogspot.com/ – Anna H.

******************************

 eLearning 28 Day 2.0 Digital Challenge

February 1, 2013

**  This blog was written for the Indiana Department of Eduction site- 28 Day 2.0 Digital Challenge.  I was the first post of the month of February. (click on link below)

ePortfolios- Vehicle For Global Digital Collaboration

An epiphany you ask?  Yes!!!….. It’s not rocket science…..- students are the change-agents in their own learning.  As the learning catalysts in the classroom, we need to feed our students’ craving for discovering, designing, collaborating, and creating, thus validating their contributions to our 21st century classrooms. My personal challenge this year was to infuse Global Digital Citizenship into the classroom through on-line discussions, based on incredible workshops I attended at ISTE last year.  

As the year kicked off,  I discovered quickly that a majority of my seventh grade students did not own the terms blogging and collaborating in their vocabulary repertoire, and the ideal of “global digital citizenship” was as abstract concept.  If the students were going to be the change-agents in their own learning, their self-discovery needed to begin immediately.  Using My Big Campus as the platform, I utilized the blogging/discussion forum to enable students to begin their first attempt in the world of blogging and on-line discussion.  As blogging erupted throughout the classroom, students soon began responding to other posts, without regard to what was “required!”  Small group discussions at individual tables flourished, as the blogging propelled the topic into a Socratic classroom discussion.  I was enthralled at the level of insight and collaboration that had exploded in front of my eyes with just a few clicks………….. Read More

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Inquiring Minds

November 30, 2012

PCSC -About 180 Days of Learning

(Did they learn?- YES!!!) Recalling my 180 day blog post from day 2 of this school year………  “My role for the next 180 days was to orchestrate and facilitate 21st century learning, with the student at the helm as the explorer; walking into the classroom with the mindset of a learning catalyst was imperative today and every day for the next 178 days. I discovered quickly that a majority of my seventh grade students did not own the terms blogging and collaborating in their vocabulary repertoire, and the ideal of “global digital citizenship” was as abstract in nature as it professed to be.”

What’s changed?………….Blogging and collaborating through on-line discussion forums is a daily expectation and is no longer an abstract thought or ideal.  I have constructed a class website/blog through Blogger, which is the vehicle I use for blogging, collaborating, celebrating, informing, instructing, sharing, and much more.  Students now recognize Digital Citizenship as the way to prepare themselves for a society full of technology.

What have I learned since the second day of school?…… how to construct a website/blog utilizing Blogger; how to incorporate Answer Garden as an exit reflection of learning; how to incorporate Today’s Meet as a Do Now activity; how to utilize YouTube more effectively; how to construct a Google Earth Lit Trip; how to more effectively produce Pod-Casts using I-Movie and Quick Time Screen Recordings……..I am still learning!

…………..So, what have my students learned?  How do I know they’ve learned?
  This blog is dedicated to the Inquiring Minds of Neidlinger’s 7th LA students………………

 Read More

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Willing To  Relearn!

August 16, 2012

PCSC -About 180 Days of Learning

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.  ~Alvin Toffler

I panicked as I was asked to “blog” the second day of school and revisit what the students had learned…. The second day of school?…..Really?  The last thing I could think about was teaching and learning, as an agglomeration of e-mails flooded my inbox the first forty-eight hours of the new school year.  There were sudden schedule changes, computer issues, meetings, surveys to complete, student issues, locker changes, handbook regulations…..and the list goes on.  Was there really time for teaching and learning on the second day of school?  Yes, there had to be….  I had 140 new faces fixated on my every word, ready to discover, design, and create, thus validating their contributions to my 21st century classroom.

My role for the next 180 days was to orchestrate and facilitate 21st century learning, with the student at the helm as the explorer; walking into the classroom with the mindset of a learning catalyst was imperative today and every day for the next 178 days…………Read More

2 Comments

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