Who Knew? Podcasts

Three podcasts I enjoy listening to and learning from these days are Back Story, 99% Invisible, and Surprisingly Awesome.

Back Story takes on random, diverse American historical subjects such as money, Judaism, and the history of testing. Episodes are about 50 minutes. They change up the narrators, have music in-between, and generally make it very upbeat and energetic. They often feature a short conversation with a listener too! You can listen to some segments or the whole thing. Very entertaining! http://backstoryradio.org/shows/

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99% Invisible is similar to BackStory in that they delve into topics such as Super Tall 101, Soul City, and The White Elephant of Tel Aviv, to name a few, that you probably don’t know anything about- and you always learn something. Episodes are about 22 minutes.

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. (http://99percentinvisible.org/about/the-show/)

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The last “Who Knew?” podcast is Surprisingly Awesome from Gimlet media. https://gimletmedia.com/show/surprisingly-awesome/episodes/ Topics that you thought were boring because you really didn’t know anything about them turn out to be “Surprisingly Awesome!” Tune in and learn about Frequent Flyer Miles, Circle of Fifths, Adhesives, Broccoli, and Concrete, to name a few. Episodes are around 30 minutes. (Their intro music is the best!)

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Let’s Empower Student Voice

Who can empower students’ voices? You can! Read the Entrsekt April 2016 article by Jennifer Snelling, “Empowering Student Voice: Students are now at the center of education transformation.” I truly believe this. As Glen Warren (Encinitas Union District Coordinator for Literacies, Outreach, and Libraries, VP of Government Relations for the California School Library Association, Chair of the Library Media Educator Network for CUE) says, “What matters to you (students) matters.”

At CUE in Palm Springs last month, I gave a talk as part of the CSLA Information Literacy Strand about students as social media content creators. (http://bit.ly/socialmediacontentcreators) The slide show is full of inspiring examples of students of all ages creating legitimate content on social media. We need to give students the opportunities to create content on social media, and we need to listen to students’ voices on social media and in real life.

Snelling credits ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) with doing a great job in listening to students.

Mentioned in the Snelling article:

#StuVoice on Twitter

Stuvoice.org

TakingITGlobal (tigweb.org)

Future Friendly Schools

Angela Maiers and Choose2Matter

Thank you Jennifer Snelling and entrsekt, for giving us some examples and inspiration on this vital issue.

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OUCRL Vanderbilt photo from Flickr.com https://flic.kr/p/dR7WCV

 

Students and Social Media Content Creation

10 Great Ways to Use Social Media in Classroom When you try to think of the favorite activity of today’s students, you’ll most probably come up with the obvious answer: social media. It seems like students of all ages are obsessed by it. These social media channels have mesmerizing power, so they can often become…

via 10 Great Ways to Use Social Media in Classroom — Teachers With Apps

Castle gives practical, logical, easy suggestions to try with your students. These ideas can not only familiarize them with social media tools from a “professional” perspective, they’ll also learn digital citizenship, and begin developing a positive digital tattoo.  Castle’s blog post is a good complement to a workshop I led recently at #CUE16 in Palm Springs,”25 Examples of Students as Social Media Content Creators K – Adult”  http://bit.ly/socialmediacontentcreators  In this slide show you’ll see examples of teachers implementing some of Castle’s suggestions. If you’re able to implement any of Castle’s ideas, you’ll see student engagement soar! Here’s an example with Dr. Brad Gustafson, “Pedagogy First” https://adjustingcourse.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/pedagogy-first-video/  

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Latest Apps that I like

Check out StoryCorps. You can record stories from loved ones and save them yourself or save them in the Library of Congress! Super easy! Living history! They give you prompts and everything. Could. not. be. easier.

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Daily Wonder. Based on the book. Gives you an inspiring quote every day. Some great, some good.

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Voter– who should I vote for? Start thinking about this now. Easy to swipe right or left depending on your answer to an opinion question: e.g., Drill for oil and gas in the US? If you need more info, press the “i.” It not only gives you more info, it tells you why you should vote yes and why you should vote no. You may also say how much the question matters to you- a Lil Bit, Normal, or Very. After you answer the questions, tinder-style, they tell you which US Presidential-candidate you match up best with.

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Cash. How to split the dinner bill using your phone. Easy! Thanks Maria P.!

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PromptSmart. Ok the upgraded version costs almost $12 and this is a ridiculous amount to pay for an app. But…I did and I am SO GLAD! Upload your speech to your device or type it right on your device. The text of your speech will now scroll at your predetermined pace as you give your speech at that big gathering. OR, you can set it to scroll as the app listens to you and it knows automatically when to scroll. No printer needed! No turning pages. Absolutely worth it!

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Computers are a tool, not a reward

We are almost (almost!) at the point where teachers can have a set of tablets in the classroom or bring their students to the library computers and have it be like a normal lesson. Almost. When computers were first introduced at school, there were so few they often only got used as game rewards or working on skill building. Now that we have more computers, teachers can expect students to view them as a tool for the lesson. It used to happen that teachers would book the library computer lab for a few sessions for “those students who don’t have a computer at home so that they can get the assignment done.” Then what would the others do? Waste time. But now, thanks to my district buying many computer tablets, the novelty of “oh we have computers today in our lesson, time for fun and games” has almost worn off in our school. The lesson that I hope finally sinks in is- when we’re at school we need to work during class time- whether that class time is in the library or in the classroom – whether the lesson involves pencil and paper or computers. Teacher have been working hard to make computers a part of everyday lessons.

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They’ve also been very cognizant of students who don’t have computers at home and making sure they have time to visit the school or public library to use a computer. Many students have phones and teachers are encouraging students to use apps on their phones such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Our library has a few tablets for check out as well.

 

 

What’s more important: equity, ethics, or literacy?

This question was recently posed in my online class about online learning.

Of course, the answer is yes. Here’s part of my answer and I think every school district should follow Kent’s example:

I admire Mr. Hall and the Kent School District. They have a multifaceted approach to striving for technology access in their district. These strategies include getting older, but working computers to district households, creating a technology academy with a student body that represents the entire district, creating a Student Technology Advisory Board, partnering with community groups such as the African-American Cultural Center, and engaging the district families with technology training programs (Hall, 2006, p. 16 – 18). The district is casting such a wide net in terms of technology equity, that they are bound to succeed at some level with many constituents. This program is remarkable and other districts should consider emulating it.

References

Hall, D. (2006). Bridging the gap: Strategies for creating equitable learning
opportunities. Learning & Leading with Technology, 33(7), 15-18.

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