Connecting at a distance

This week educators in our Instructional Technology in Educational Settings course at Illinois State University in the United States are connecting with educators in a Computer Assisted Language Learning course at the American University in Cairo, Egypt taught by Maha Bali and Tom Wolsey for a comment exchange!

In both of our courses, we’ve been blogging, podcasting, and otherwise creating media as we’ve worked through our courses as a way to learn and connect, and importantly learn through connecting!

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reCommitting to our deeper whys

To kick off a semester like no other–amid a pandemic, insurrection and impeachment in the US, and multiple other crises the world over–I asked future educators to take a moment to consider why they want to teach, who they will be teaching, and what it means to teach with attentiveness to literacies and technologies in the current moment by watching a video from Dr. Ernest Morrell where he discusses his approach.

We then shared a commitment we’d make for our future teaching. I present, Our Commitments…

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Inspired by educators, my commitments for fall 2020

Luckily for me, this summer I had the chance to teach a course called #tch432 Technologies Across the Disciplines and even with all the pressing stresses of now, it was a breath of fresh air. I was reminded again of the commitment educators have to do right by their students. Of course there are exceptions in this world, but not in the group with whom … Continue reading Inspired by educators, my commitments for fall 2020

just words

One of the joys of teaching is learning from and being inspired by the students with whom you are working. Last week in a graduate course I am teaching called eLearning in PK-20, we focused on multimodality and multimedia in our teaching and learning. We read a chapter I had written with a colleague called “Multimodal Meaning: Discursive Dimensions of e-Learning” in the book eLearning … Continue reading just words

Theory & Practice in the Same Breath

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘theory‘ and ‘practice‘ and their relationship lately. For one, I’m currently collaborating with practicing teachers in a course focused on models of instructional tech design. Before we dove in to these models, I invited the teachers to consider what theories or paradigms of learning guide their everyday teaching, and to create a visual metaphor for their paradigm of learning.

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The results ranged from learning-as-journey metaphors to drawing parallels between learning and trail running…during a run, as well as considering the teaching/learning dyad as the back-end of a messy equipment rack. (Feel free to comment on these teachers’ blogs and channels! We’re building our PLNs this semester by contributing our experiences and reflections to the world wide web of education via blogs and channels…like this one.)

Here’s mine from the 2014 DML Ignite talks:

Around the same time, my colleagues Amy Stornaiuolo, Nathan Phillips and I had an article come out in the academic journal called Theory Into Practice. While we were writing the piece, I reflected often about what the little word into meant in the journal’s title, and if the two could every really be divided. My colleague Lara Handsfield (who has written a great book on literacy teaching theory and practice called Literacy Theory as Practice) helpfully uses the phrase “practice and theory interanimate each other.”

As I think about the examples the teachers in our course gave, they often talked theory and practice in the same breath. Our article in the issue is titled Multiplicities in Motion: A Turn to Transliteracies, and in it, we, too, discussed mobilities and literacies theories through a classroom example. Each interanimating the other, if you will. Here’s the article’s abstract: Continue reading “Theory & Practice in the Same Breath”

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Exploring Mobile Dimensions with NWP

This last week Amy Stornaiuolo and I had an opportunity to meet with teachers at the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project to discuss the mobile dimensions of contemporary literacy practices. By mobile, we mean the aspects that can move and are moved in writing. Most obviously, the list of things that move in writing includes the people who are writing, and all the old … Continue reading Exploring Mobile Dimensions with NWP

May is for Mapping

I have been inspired (again) this week by the work of a group of graduate student educators I’ve been working with this semester. They are currently revisiting maps they made at the beginning of the semester to reflect on their histories with technology in teaching, their classroom space, and paradigms of learning. After three months of intense discussions, critical reflection, and application through redesign, we are now … Continue reading May is for Mapping

Tracing Across Time & Image with #AltAction

I am thrilled to have been invited to participate with a group of youth interested in being positive change agents in their community. Called AltAction their team is serious about engaging in critical and creative action. I have only met with them twice, and I am already inspired. In the coming weeks, they are going to engage in some community photo ethnography in order to … Continue reading Tracing Across Time & Image with #AltAction

Say True Things: 5th Graders On Audiences On and Off the Grid

A couple of years ago, I posted about talking to my niece and her fifth grade class about audiences on- and offline. This week, in a graduate course I am teaching, the topic of teaching about online interaction and audiences with elementary students was raised...and I realized I never hit "post" on this companion post. So, here is a major #tbt to something that has been sitting in draft mode for too long.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a fifth grade class about audience using a mini-lesson and guided practice that is probably familiar to many teachers.  We then extended that discussion into considering what writing for an audience means in contemporary times. The young people in that class shared great advice for the demands on writing in a digital, networked age.

Audience Offline

We started our conversation with a guessing game comparing two texts that were talking about a pair of shoes online:

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We talked through the criteria the school was using in on online writing platform and saw that depending on the audience, every aspect of a piece of writing might change depending on the audience.

Message Continue reading “Say True Things: 5th Graders On Audiences On and Off the Grid”

So Many Literacies, So Little Time

The title of this post is borrowed from one of the pre-service teachers I’m working with in a Literacies and Technologies Across Disciplines course at my new institution. It’s the beginning of a new semester, and in this course that means, it’s Literacies Log time. In this assignment, I ask students to log their literacy activity for just an hour’s worth of time. The results are always … Continue reading So Many Literacies, So Little Time