A Publication of the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning
VOLUME 35, ISSUE 4
Reading in the Digital Age ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Reading: Still Fundamental Ready, Writing, and Chromebooks Media Literacy: Looking Beyond Books 2015 MACUL Award Winners & Conference Photo Gallery
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The MACUL Journal is published four times per year (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) by MACUL, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning, Inc.
A publication of the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning Summer 2015 | Volume 35, Issue 4
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Telephone 517.882.1403 Fax 517.882.2362 E-mail: email@example.com www.macul.org
Calendar........................................................................................................... 4 MACUL Officers and Board of Directors............................................................ 5
Executive Director Mark Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Interest Group Directors....................................................................... 5
Executive Assistant Ieva Kule email@example.com
From the President’s Desk................................................................................ 6
Business Manager Barbara Surtman firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Executive Director.............................................................................. 6
MACUL Journal Editor Judy Paxton email@example.com
Reading: Still Fundamental............................................................................... 8
Advocating for Digital Literacy Education in K-12 Classrooms.......................... 7
Reading, Writing, and Chromebooks................................................................ 10
Executive Director Emeritus Ric Wiltse firstname.lastname@example.org
Literacy and Tech? Why Yes!.........................................................................11 The Nook: Classroom Set Experience.............................................................. 12
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Media Literacy: Looking Beyond Books........................................................... 14 2015 MACUL Conference Photo Gallery.......................................................... 16 2015 MACUL Conference Award Winners....................................................... 18
The MACUL Journal welcomes and encourages letters, articles, suggestions, and contributions from readers. Publishing guidelines are posted at: www.macul.org > MACUL Journal.
Let’s Publish! Tools for Digital Sharing............................................................ 19 Keeping Your Sanity with Tech......................................................................... 20
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Duolingo......................................................................................................... 22 #Edcamp: For Teachers, By Teachers............................................................ 23
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Helping the Digital Reader.............................................................................. 24 A Disastrous Dinner........................................................................................ 25 Reading in the Digital Age: Our Role............................................................... 27
Information is available upon request.
Reading in the Digital Age — REMC............................................................... 29
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2015 Conference Sponsor Thank You.............................................................. 30 2015-16 MACUL Journal Advertising Information............................................ 31
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2014 - 2015
April 2015 Igniting Learning Through Meaningful Collaboration And Innovation Founded 1975 An organizational member of The International Society for Technology in Education MACUL is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that exists to:
p rovide a state association for educators involved with, or seeking knowledge of, computer-related technology in learning ■ provide for the sharing and exchanging of ideas, techniques, materials, and procedures for the use of computerrelated technology through conferences, publications and support services ■ promote and encourage effective, ethical and equitable use of computerrelated technology in learning ■ encourage and support research relating to the use of computer-related technology in learning. ■
April 17 Mobile Learning Conference, Kalamazoo RESA April 21 MACUL Board meeting, MACUL Building, Lansing
May 1 MACUL UP Conference, Kingsford
May 17-19 MACUL Leadership Retreat, Grand Rapids
May 22 MACUL Journal 2015 Fall issue articles due. Theme: New Frontiers
June 28 – July 1 ISTE 2015 conference, Philadelphia, PA.
July 7-9 CUE Rockstar Camp, hosted by MACUL at Saugatuck Middle School. Event Info: http://2015macul.cuerockstar.org/ July 13-15 FlipCon15 at Michigan State. Event Info: www.flippedlearning.org. July 21-23 MACUL Genius Camp, location TBD. Info: www.macul.org
Use the online digital MACUL Journal www.macul.org/maculjournal/
Download the complete PDF, or access the online Journal from the MACUL website. These formats give the reader direct access to live resource links in the articles.
Share the MACUL Journal with your colleagues!
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP DIRECTORS
Tammy Maginity President Pennfield Schools firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Madison Treasurer Flint Community Schools email@example.com
Melinda Waffle SIG Liason Calhoun ISD firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Clark President Elect Berrien RESA email@example.com
Gina Loveless Secretary Calhoun ISD firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Moore SIG Computer Science (CS) Eastern Michigan University email@example.com
Pam Shoemaker Past President Walled Lake Consolidated Schools firstname.lastname@example.org
MACUL BOARD OF DIRECTORS Laura Cummings Oakland Schools Laura.Cummings@ oakland.k12.mi.us
Mike Oswalt Calhoun ISD email@example.com
Tim Davis Charlevoix-Emmet ISD firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Pinter Fraser Public Schools email@example.com
Steve Dickie Divine Child High School dickie@ divinechildhighschool.org
David Prindle Byron Center Public Schools firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri Gustafson Michigan State University email@example.com
Matinga Ragatz Grand Ledge Public Schools firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Hardin Macomb ISD email@example.com
Steve Schiller Muskegon Heights Public Schools firstname.lastname@example.org
Patti Harju St. Stephen Catholic School email@example.com
Barbara Fardell MDE Liaison FardellB@michigan.gov
Ron Houtman Kent ISD firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Schwartz REMCAM Liaison email@example.com
Julie Myrmel firstname.lastname@example.org
John Phillips SIG Elementary Education (EE) Berrien RESA JPSousa@gmail.com Eric Strommer SIG Multi-media (MM) Flint Community Schools email@example.com Erica Trowbridge SIG Library Media Specialists (LIB) Oakridge Public Schools firstname.lastname@example.org Danielle Letter SIG Online Learning (OL) Genesee ISD email@example.com David Noller SIG Professional Learning (PL) Traverse City Public Schools firstname.lastname@example.org Gayle Underwood SIG Special Education (SPED) Allegan AESA email@example.com Jeff Trudell SIG Technology Coordinators (TC) Wyandotte Public Schools firstname.lastname@example.org Daryl Tilley SIG Technicians (TECH) email@example.com Ingham ISD Ben Rimes SIG Webmasters (WEB) Mattawan Schools firstname.lastname@example.org Go to www.macul.org > Special Interest Groups for complete listing of SIG Officers and SIG information.
FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK By Tammy Maginity
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
split into two parts: an office area and a learning center. We have already hosted meetings and training sessions for many groups.
My first letter as President was titled, “What an Honor,” and as I write this, it still applies. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as your MACUL President. I look forward to continuing to serve on the MACUL board, and I welcome Kevin Clark as your new leader. Anyone who is willing to let me crown him with a Burger King crown in front of thousands of people is surely capable of leading MACUL!
The past year has gone so quickly and as I look back, there have been so many accomplishments for MACUL. Some of them include: •
Participating in the Fall Student Technology Showcase at the Michigan Capitol Building. Our kids are doing great things with the guidance of awesome educators. They impressed many legislators including the Governor.
Watching the membership push 18,000 people. I see 20,000 in our future!
Experiencing a record breaking MACUL Conference with 5026 attendees. I am still debriefing from the high energy level and collaborative atmosphere that a beautiful COBO Hall provided.
In my previous letter I “Double Dog Dared” you to explore and learn new things. I want to raise that one more level to a “Triple Dog Dare” as I challenge you to stay connected. Teaching can be a lonely profession, and it takes deliberate action to stay connected to other educators. There is so much experience and knowledge out there and so many ways to access it. Twitter, Twitter Chats, Facebook, Google+, blogs, and podcasts are just a few ways to take your Professional Learning
Welcoming and working with our new Executive Director, Mark Smith. I owe a huge thank you to Mark and the MACUL staff. Opening the new MACUL Office in our very own building. The office is
Circle and expand it to include the world. But don’t forget the people across the hall either. Having a team to look at how we can engage students and foster a positive, productive learning atmosphere is the key to making a “job” become a “mission.” Please make time to talk to each other. Finally, be sure to take some time to relax this summer and refresh your body and mind. I think you’ll find that you are even more help to your students and colleagues, if you take the time to recharge. To quote Rushton Hurley, “May you inspire and be inspired each and every day”. Thanks again – It has been a pleasure serving you. Tammy Maginity is the Director of Technology at Pennfield Schools and the MACUL Board President for 2014-15. She can be reached at email@example.com.
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR • BY MARK SMITH On the heels of a great MACUL 2015 Annual Conference and all the inspirational learning that took place, I couldn’t think of a better topic for the summer than Literacy! No matter how you look at it, literacy is the key to most anything today. Remember the day when we said, “pack a book to read at the pool or the beach” or “be sure to read this summer” and now it’s “What’s on your kindle?” Certainly digital technologies have changed the way we read, when we read and the things we read. I still remember Dexter Manley of the Washington Redskins holding a press conference in his late 20’s saying he couldn’t read and somehow today digital content has caused major newspapers 6
to shut down because print copies aren’t picked up anymore. We are even seeing legislatures all over our country debating 3rd Grade Literacy laws. Reading is the foundation of comprehension, but perhaps more importantly it is the beginning of creativity, imagination, picturing us as part of something much bigger than we really are and the source for new adventures. Reading on a device should still evoke these feelings, these adventures. Read a blog of a fellow educator; read your students’ blogs; read to your kids; read a book you never thought you would read…. READ, READ, READ!! Have a great summer! Oh, and pack a book for the……….
program to educate students on digital literacy and Internet safety. The coalition of 100 policy leaders, educators, law enforcement members, technology experts, public health experts, and advocates have established a series of lessons to assist parents and teachers. Key pillars of digital literacy, as determined by the group, include Balance, Ethics, Privacy, Relationships, Reputation, and Online Security, otherwise known as BEaPRO.
Advocating for Digital Literacy Education in K-12 Classrooms
By Terri Gustafson and Pam Shoemaker Our students may be able to update their social media status with ease, but can they also write a thoughtful letter to the editor, express their opinion by creating an online video, or access local media to advocate for community action? Students need digital literacy skills in order to be effective citizens. How can we, as educators, help them develop digital literacy skills? What does this even mean? Digital literacy is defined by the University Library of the University of Illinois as “The ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information; the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers; a person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment… Literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media, to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.” To become digitally literate, students need guidance and scaffolding on the ways to interpret technology tools, understand digital resources and the implications of copyright and creative commons, and the ability to determine which digital tools to use to complete academic assignments. There are some outstanding resources that advocate for educating students about digital literacy that also provide resources such as lesson plans, videos, and links to internet safety guidelines. The mission of Common Sense Media is to help students navigate the world of digital media and technology. Their resources for digital literacy and digital citizenship include iBook Textbooks that include videos, interactive lessons, and assessments, printable curriculum, Digital Bytes aimed at teenagers, and Digital Passports for grades 3-5. Common Sense Media makes these resources available online and through iTunes and Google Play. The Global Digital Citizen Foundation has established a MACUL journal
It is important for students to be able to find relevant info about a topic. There is so much information available online on any given topic; simply entering a few keywords into a search engine is not enough. Students must be “search literate.” There are two resources that advocate for developing keen search skills of students. Google Search Education is a website dedicated to helping students become skilled searchers. The website provides lesson plans and online activities, advanced tips, trivia challenges, and live trainings via webinars to improve search skills and bring search literacy to schools. Another resource, classroom-aid.com, outlines several search tools for teachers and students, including kids’ search engines, and free resources for teaching and learning digital literacy like www.DigitalLiteracy.gov, a site started by the Obama administration that “organizes content conveniently, enables valuable discussion and collaboration among users and elevates best practices to improve the quality of digital literacy offerings.” DigitalLiteracy.gov is branded as the U.S. government sponsored web destination to go to for digital literacy resources and collaboration. Finally, one of the lead organizations that you can join to advocate for digital literacy in K-12 education is Edutopia, created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Edutopia advocates not only for digital literacy, but media literacy. In particular, the organization stresses the importance of helping teachers educate students about how to sort through the flood of information most students encounter everyday and acquire critical thinking skills to process valid and invalid information. We have all probably heard of teens who post inappropriate pictures or other content on social media websites. Often teens do not realize that this behavior may prevent them from getting a job later in life, as employers do check social media sites to weed out candidates prior to hiring. Educators need to help students create a positive digital footprint so that employers will discover ideals, passions, and learning artifacts of a potential employee when they do an online search. Teaching students digital literacy skills cannot be optional or left to the “computer teacher” to handle. All educators must play a role in developing digital literate citizens. Resources https://commonsensemedia.org/educators/curriculum https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/new-digital-literacy-program-educatesk-12-students-on-internet-safety www.digitalliteracy.gov/ www.edutopia.org/blog/media-digital-literacy-essential-all-citizenssuzie-boss www.google.com/insidesearch/searcheducation/index.html http://classroom-aid.com/educational-resources/digital-literacy/ Terri Gustafson, M.A., is a member of the MACUL Board of Directors. She is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Technology in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @tgustafson. Pam Shoemaker, ED.S. is the 2014-15 MACUL Past-President and serves on the MACUL Advocacy Committee. She works as the Technology Instructional Coach for the Walled Lake Consolidated School District. Contact her at pam. email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @shoemap
Reading: Still Fundamental
By Jamey Fitzpatrick – President & CEO, Michigan Virtual University
e have many choices to make when we want to read: book, magazine or newspaper; paper or digital; audio or visual; website or blog. Apple reported in 2011 that over 100 million books had been downloaded on iPads alone. It’s impossible to know how many people use book-publishing apps; but no matter your age, interest or reading level, you can write, illustrate and publish your own book. Whether it’s the library, a software developer or the author next door, the sources of reading material are uncountable. As new technologies continue to emerge, the tools we use to communicate and engage will only increase. Not only for us, but also for our readers – our students.
“Research indicates children are four times more likely to drop out if they are not proficient readers by the end of third grade.”
We know that the widespread use of smart devices gives students at all levels much greater access to information. Remember when you came across a word you didn’t know and had to look it up in a dictionary? Flipping through the thin pages, checking and re-checking the spelling of the word both on the page of your book and in the dictionary? Then perhaps you labored over trying to figure out how to pronounce the word using those odd symbols in parentheses next to the unknown word. Today, with a mere slip of the cursor, a student can highlight the unknown word, the definition appears, and a voice says the word out loud. If an embedded dictionary isn’t enough to help a student 8
bridge the comprehension gap, software exists (e.g., rewordify and simplish) that will translate text into more simple vocabulary and construction.What about the exciting reading choices kids have? Parents in the military thousands of miles away from their children can read aloud to them using FaceTime or an app that records their voice. Animated children’s books read out loud, pages turn, words light up. One site offers books read by Screen Actors Guild Members with illustrations that come to life. Michigan’s own electronic library offers MELcat for Kids, an engaging, animated, colorful, interactive website that includes children reading text that appears on the screen (www.kids.mel.org/).
With all the technology we have to make language more accessible, why are we concerned about reading?
Because, as Kerr, Rynearson, and Kerr explain in Student Characteristics for Online Learning Success, “In both online and face-to-face settings, successful students will be those who can comprehend and evaluate what they read and communicate effectively in writing.” Research indicates children are four times more likely to drop out if they are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. In his 2015 State of the State address, Governor Snyder shared that thirdgrade reading proficiency had risen from 63% to 70% in the last
four years, and that he was putting more funds in his budget to have a greater impact on that number. In fact, Snyder’s 2016-17 early budget called for funding a number of literacy initiatives, including tools and training to create a system of support for building third-grade literacy rates. As more and more students turn to online learning for their K-12 education, we often hear teachers, mentors, and school administrators voice concern about student readiness. While we have tools – the Online Learner Readiness Rubric and the Online Learning Orientation Tool, for example – and strategies to help us determine the likelihood of success, we still can’t guarantee a student is ready for the challenges of online courses because of the many variables that affect academic performance. However, reading readiness and the willingness to read are key components to online success. An informal survey of MVS® instructors asked to indicate areas where students were in need of the most support revealed that adequate reading and writing skills for coursework is a concern for some. Kay Shattuck, Research Director for Quality Matters, an organization focused on the quality of online courses and the continuous improvement of student learning, explains that poor reading rate and recall can have a negative impact on student success, as measured by final course grade, even in a well-designed course. Academic skills – primarily reading and writing – were
among the six categories of behavioral strengths and weaknesses related to online performance identified by Kerr, Rynearson and Kerr and found to be one of the best predictors of success, along with motivation, computer literacy, and independent learning. We want students to be excited about learning. We want them to be engaged and enthusiastic. We want them to look forward to finding out more about a subject and interacting with others with similar interests. We want them to use new devices and software with understanding and efficiency. With the proper mentor support, a talented teacher, and parental/guardian involvement, a motivated student can navigate the challenging waters of an online course. A successful voyage requires reading – from the course syllabus to the assignment guidelines to content to communication from the teacher and fellow students. An online experience is still and will continue to be, in part, a reading experience. Reference Kerr, M. S., Rynearson, K., Kerr, M.C. (2006). Student characteristics for online learning success. Retrieved from www.nottingham.ac.uk/~ntzcl1/ literature/nonnurse/kerr.pdf Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of MVU®, has served as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in public education. Fitzpatrick serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College.
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READING, WRITING, AND CHROMEBOOKS QUICK KEYS AND TIPS By Andy Mann There is a rich collection of Chrome apps, extensions, and add-ons to support reading and writing using the Chrome browser or a Chromebook. Chrome apps and extensions are found and added from the Chrome Web Store. Depending on installation settings, they can be added to a Chrome browser or Chromebooks by a user or to multiple devices at one time by a Google Apps administrator. Chrome Apps Most Chrome apps simply point to a website and only work online. However, a subset of apps will also work offline. Pocket is an app that works both online and offline. Find an article, image, or video you would like to read later and save it to your Pocket account. View it later, even if you’re offline. Keep is an app for storing notes, to-do-lists, and reminders and also works online and offline. Lists with checkboxes and integration with a companion Android app make this a useful app. Area educators are enthusiastic about using MobyMax, a freemium K-8 math & language arts curriculum app that only works online. The motivational games, excellent student-by-student customization and well-designed reports make this worth popular with teachers and students (and it is mobile device friendly too.) Visit www. mobymax.com to learn more. For note taking while viewing instructional YouTube videos, be sure to check out the VideoNot. es. Notes are saved in Google Drive, shareable, and synced to the time during the video when each sentence was written. Chrome Extensions Three groups of “must have” extensions: define words, read highlighted text out loud, and remove distractions from a website article. The Google Dictionary (by Google) extension displays a pop-up definition when a word is highlighted (double clicked.) Drag over a section of text and click Select and Speak or SpeakIt! extensions to have the text read aloud. Speed can be adjusted and different voices, male, female, and different countries, can be selected. Similar to the dogs in the movie, Up, who get distracted by seeing squirrels, readers often get distracted by advertisements and articles along the sides of an article. Open a news article in 10
www.timeforkids.com or www.dogonews.com and click the Readability or Clearly extension and view the article without the distracting ads or side articles. As a bonus, there is an option to adjust the font sizes, background colors and send the article as an ePub to Evernote, or save it to a Kindle (account required.) And be sure to check out the dotEPUB extension which converts any webpage into an eBook format for reading in iBooks or Kindle. Chrome Add-ons Google Document add-ons are installed from within Google Documents under the Add-on menu. Many teachers love the Speech Recognition, an amazingly fast and accurate add-on. All you need is a microphone (built-into most Chromebooks) and spoken words are converted into text in your Google Document. Built-into the Google Document Insert menu, a user can insert a dynamic Google Drawing, a wonderful tool for prewriting or visually communicating ideas. There are also graphic organizer/mind map add-ons (also available as apps) such as Lucidchart Diagrams and MindMeister. Three other popular add-ons for writing and studying include: Consistency Checker, Thesaurus, and Texthelp Study Skills. Texthelp Study Skills allow a student to highlight text and the selected text is gathered and put into a new “Collected Highlights” Google document - perfect for use as a study aide. Assistive Technology Add-ons $ The Premier Assistive Technology suite from www.readingmadeez. com has been a popular assistive technology solution throughout the state; however, the software had to be installed onto a computer. Districts have been searching for a similar product that works with Chromebooks. Two competing Chromebook products are worth exploring. Co:Writer Universal from http://donjohnston.com provides a word prediction tool extension which works within any webpage or Google Document. It will add words to the word prediction list from the user’s email and visited websites. Read and Write for Google from www.texthelp.com provides a toolbar in Google Documents with word prediction and a visual dictionary. Teachers can try it at no cost by registering at http://rw.texthelp. com/drive/home/RegisterTeacher. As you compare these two solutions, be sure to compare pricing for building and district licenses as they can be very different. Andy Mann is the Director, REMC 4, Instructional Technology Consultant for Muskegon Area ISD, and a certified Google Education Trainer.
LITERAC Y AND TECH? WHY, YES! By Stacey Schuh
Everyday I get the chance to work with passionate educators who do amazing things in their classrooms, so I asked a few of them to share some ideas that have worked well for blending technology with literacy. Check out these quick ideas that are free and easy to implement. Using QR Codes What if you could use QR codes to teach students strategies for reading? This is exactly what third grade teacher Brianna Sinden is doing with her students. Mrs. Sinden’s students scan a QR code and hear parents, principals and their own teacher give tips while reading a particular book. This may sound like a daunting task, but Mrs. Sinden has streamlined this process by utilizing volunteers to help with the workload. Using a tool called Audioboom (www.audioboom.com), an mp3 file with a QR code is created. Mrs. Sinden prints the QR code on a sticker and places it on the inside cover of the book. Before the student reads the book, they scan the QR code using a scanner app such as QR Reader (www.tinyurl.com/literacyqr) from a mobile device. With one quick scan, students can listen to the audio file. Interactive Reading Logs with Google Sites Want to change up your reading logs? Try asking students to create reading websites! Using Google Sites, Michelle DuBois’ fourth grade students create websites to showcase their love of books. Students create posts based on what they are currently reading, similar to a reading log, with topics that include identifying parts of a story or discussing genre. Once a week, students share their posts with classmates, which holds students accountable for keeping up on their reflections while also sharing their writing. This sharing opportunity also allows Mrs. DuBois to review websites without logging in to each one. Using Google Apps for Education, students have access to Google Sites by signing in at sites.google.com. Join the Nerdy Book Club nerdybookclub.wordpress.com If you haven’t already heard of The Nerdy Book Club, this is me screaming at you, “Type as fast as your fingers can take you to the Nerdy Book Club Website!” This site was created out of a love of reading. Four facilitators (Donalyn Miller, Colby Sharp, Katherine MACUL journal
Sokolowski, and Cindy Minnich) work to sustain a place where guest bloggers can write about their favorite books. The Nerdy Book Club also hosts nErD Camp for 1st-5th graders. Thanks to the efforts of teachers Suzanne Gibbs and Alaina and Colby Sharp, nErD Camp students receive a free book, and have the opportunity to spend an evening with multiple authors learning about story writing and illustrating. Looking for free professional development? Visit nErD Camp for adults, with sessions that revolve around technology, writing and reading. Participating educators are encouraged to network and attend sessions that most interest them. To learn more about upcoming nErD Camps, visit www.nerdcampmi.weebly.com. Accessing Free Online Ebooks using MeL (Michigan E-Library) www.mel.org “Each student has access to quality resources that can be used through college, that’s why we use MeL” says Leslie Schmidt an eighth grade language arts teacher. The MeL is free for any Michigan resident, and offers a collection of databases that students can use for research and project resources without having to sign in. Mrs. Schmidt, along with teaching colleague Mr. Rich Spooner, are teaching students how to write an argumentative writing piece using the Opposing Viewpoints database in MeL. With more than 2,500 newspapers, magazines, and transcripts available, MeL is an outstanding resource for middle and high school students to incorporate into project development. But MeL isn’t just for students! Both teachers and students can access many different ebook databases such as Bookflix from Scholastic along with other online ebook collections. Try it for yourself These are just a few ways that teachers are using technology to engage and enhance literacy skills in their classrooms. Think about how you might utilize these or other similar tools with your own students, as there is no one right way. Remember start small, and utilize technology to support the great things you are already doing in your classroom. Interested in sharing some of the ways you are using technology to support learning? Email Stacey at email@example.com. Stacey is an Educational Technology Consultant at Jackson ISD and a former 6th grade teacher.
CLASSROOM SET EXPERIENCE
It is hard to believe that it has been two years since the first set of Nook e-readers was checked out to a teacher through the Oakland Schools Information Center. This first set was purchased in response to many questions I had received from school librarians about e-readers. My thought was to purchase a number of e-readers and make them available to school librarians and teachers as a classroom set to use with their students so that the students would have the experience of reading e-books on a device. This is what I found out. To get this project going – and I did consider it a project at the time although it is now a service – I had to make several decisions. The first decision was to choose an e-reader. I chose the Nook Simple Touch (small, lightweight black and white e-readers). Why? First of all, I was already a Nook user. But, I also very much liked the idea of going through a brick and mortar store for purchases and there were, and still are, Barnes & Noble stores in the area. I also liked having a contact person at a local B&N for communication purposes regarding purchases and issues. So, 30 Nooks were purchased. The next decision was to decide on what books to put on the devices. The same book titles would be on each device in the entire set. The Nooks added up in price (I also purchased screen protectors, the least expensive covers I could find and a replacement program) so purchasing books was an issue. So, the next decision was to go with public domain classic literature because the books are free. Since the purpose of the program was to get the devices in student’s hands so that they could experience reading on such a 12
By Judy Hauser, MACUL SIG Library Media Specialists Assistant Director
device, classic lit seemed like a good idea. As it turned out, it was a pretty good idea. These are the 9 titles I chose for the “The Secondary Nook Classroom Set”: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Pride and Prejudice Gulliver’s Travels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Don Quixote Wuthering Heights A Tale of Two Cities The Time Machine A year or so later I added several more public domain classic literature titles from an 8th grade teacher’s recommendations. Since I was partnering with B&N my contact at a local store downloaded the books to the devices. It was also decided that we would set it up so that students would not be able to accidentally add or delete books to the devices. No credit card information was added to the devices. Other issues in the decision-making process: Cataloging the Nooks. I barcoded each device and catalogued them as a set of 30.
Who could check out the set? Any educator working in an Oakland County public school with an Oakland Schools Library Card could check out the set. And, if the person already had a card but had overdue books the books had to be returned before checking out the set. And, yes, amazingly, some extremely overdue books were returned. How long would the set check out? Three weeks. This seemed like enough time and it has worked out pretty well so far. I created a very low-tech paper folder to keep track of who had the set and when it was due back. I also checked off items when they were returned to make sure nothing was missing. Marketing. Anyone with an Oakland Schools library card receives a newsletter that I write and email a few times a year. I would use the newsletter for marketing. Survey. During the first year or so I decided that all students using the device would fill out a one-page survey for feedback (the survey was adapted with permission from one used at Creekview High School, Canton, Georgia). Agreement. The educators checking out the set knew that no books could be added or deleted and if a device was damaged the school would not be responsible. I decided on this because I had a replacement program in place and I did not want the students to be afraid to try all of the features and buttons. Packaging. I sent the set out through our school mail system. I used a paper box with bubble wrap on the bottom and top. How did everything work? Don’t ever market anything on page 3 of a newsletter! I did not get any responses and thought that I had made a terrible mistake in purchasing the Nooks. In the next newsletter I marketed on the front page and the set was booked for the year the first day. After 4 months I made some changes to the packaging of the set. The set was sent back to me, 4 months in, but never arrived. It was finally tracked down 3 weeks later. I started including a packing list and a return label. What Happened Next? Elementary teachers contacted me and wanted to check out the set but the books were not appropriate for those grade levels. So, I decided to use the next book budget monies to purchase another set of Nooks and books for elementary students. I purchased another 30 Nook Simple Touch e-readers and chose 3 books to go onto each device. This became the Elementary Nook Classroom Set. I could not find good public domain books so I put a message out on the Information Center listserv asking for recommendations. These 3 books were purchased: Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, Miami Jackson Gets it Straight and Nory Ryan’s Song. And Then This Happened! Kindergarten teachers started contacting me indicating that they would like to have e-readers to check out for their students. The black and white e-readers would not work for kindergartners because the books for that level are colorful with a lot of illustrations and many are interactive. At the end of 2013, I purchased 15 Nook HD tablets because they work well with interactive and picture books. The following books were purchased for this set: MACUL journal
Charlie the Ranch Dog, Max Makes a Friend and I’m a T-Rex. The newsletter marketing this set went out one day at 8:15 am and the set was booked for the year by 10:45 am! My system for booking the sets has always been first come, first served. The email datestamp rules! Remember Those Surveys? This is what students liked about reading e-books: • Font size/changeable • Many books on 1 device • Built-in dictionary • Page swipe/tap • Lightweight/small size/portability • Cool technology • Posting notes • Highlighting • Keeping your page • Touch screen • No paper cuts • No ripped pages • No missing pages • Easy to find the chapters Let’s Hear from the Haters: • Cannot dog-ear pages • Too slow • Not a “real” book • Pages skipped • Too many screens for 1 page • Lacks the feeling of a “real” book • Touch screen too sensitive • It shuts down if you read too slow • Battery life But Tell Me How You Really Feel (comments from the surveys) What did you enjoy most about reading on the e-reader? “The pages are shorter and making me stay focused/interested in the book.” (Grade 11) “Very clear fonts and exciting to read on” (Grade 11) “I didn’t have to turn pages in a book and get paper cuts.” (Grade 11) “Because I can hear the dinosaur roars” (Kindergartner) What did you like the least about reading on an e-reader? “Turning to a new page.” (Grade 11) “Reading” (Grade 4) “When the cow ate the vegetables” (Kindergarten) Other feedback (and final thought from a student) “The books pre-loaded on the Nook were lame. But I did read a classic because I had no other choice [20,000 Leagues Under the Sea].” Judy Hauser, MILS, is the Information Media Consultant for the Oakland Schools Information Center in Waterford, and Assistant Director of the MACUL SIGLIB. She can be reached at judy. firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mary Phillips, SIG Multimedia Assistant Director
LOOKING BEYOND BOOKS
Adults and children alike are bombarded Media literacy with messages of consumerism and influence on a daily basis. If your provides an avenue in political Facebook timeline looks anything like it is full of posts that are shared which we can promote mine, under the false assumption that the user shared the post will be the recipient healthy consumption that of a free iPad, pair of Beats headphones, or of media and teach the latest Playstation console. Media literacy skills are vital to today’s students to interpret students. UNESCO, in the 1982 Grünwald Declaration, decreed, “we must prepare young people for living in a world with those messages powerful images, words, and sounds.” So, how do we do this? Although the collective concern about critically. children’s media consumption is not According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children spend an average of 7 hours, 38 minutes per day consuming media. The explosion of electronic media has caused many organizations, such as the American Association of Pediatrics to issue warnings of the impact “screen time” has on our children. More than once, various news outlets have bemoaned the impact violent video games have on children. Apps and websites such as YikYak and Snapchat bring about new forms of cyberbullying and keep parents and teachers alike on their toes.
unwarranted, media continues to play an increasingly central role in society. Online shopping has created a market in which many people make purchases based upon the recommendations of other users and often without having ever touched a product before it arrives in the mail. Citizen journalism, in which everyday citizens contribute their photos and videos to news broadcasts, means that the news we view comes from multiple sources. Campaigns for political office are largely a social media battleground, in which elections are won through 140 character sound bytes on Twitter and 30 second commercials on TV.
Media literacy provides an avenue in which we can promote healthy consumption of media and teach students to interpret those messages critically. At its heart, media literacy is an expanded notion of literacy, which encompasses all forms of text: print and digital. In the same manner that students learn to read and write, students learn to deconstruct and construct various media forms. Five core concepts provide a framework for media literacy and multiple entry points into this wider view of literacy: • All media messages are constructed. • Media messages are constructed using a media language with its own rules.
• Different people experience the same media differently. • Media have embedded values and points of view. • Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power. What does this look like in our classroom? In the same way that “every teacher is a reading teacher,” every teacher can help students become media literate. The Common Core State Standards have made it clear that opportunities to help students develop contentspecific literacy skills exist in every content area. Where there are opportunities to interact with print or digital media, there are opportunities to teach students how to be critical consumers. We might ask young children: who made this? what is this? how is it put together? what do I see and hear? what do I think and feel about this? is this trying to tell me something? is this trying to sell me something? Middle school students might develop storyboards and shoot multiple-edit public service announcements about cyberbullying and digital citizenship to tie into their school’s antibullying efforts. High school students might study propaganda posters of World War II and the impact they had on public mindset regarding the war effort. There are numerous resources available for teachers who want to help their students become savvy media consumers and producers. Many offer free professional development, lessons, and tools that provide an excellent starting point. Center for Media Literacy: CML developed the Five Core Concepts as well as questions for each core concept that help students construct (write) and deconstruct (read) media effectively. Their Five Key Questions that Can Change the World features 25 lesson
plans to help teachers integrate the five core concepts into their practice, www.medialit.org. FTC’s You Are Here: The Federal Trade Commission developed You Are Here as a resource for teachers and students to learn about how the FTC protects consumers and how children can become savvy consumers themselves. The Teacher Resources page provides countless lesson plans and guides for teaching students how to analyze claims in advertising, www.ftc.gov/youarehere. Admongo: Another great site developed by the FTC, Admongo is an immersive world in which students learn how to locate, construct and construct advertising messages with their guide, Haze. The increasingly complex tasks do not shy away from the complexity of advertising, but is scaffolded in a way to make it accessible to many students, www.admongo.gov. My Pop Studio: Developed by the Media Education Lab of University of Rhode Island, My Pop Studio welcomes students to serve as the producer of a reality TV show, the manager of an up-and-coming pop star, or the editor of a youth magazine. As students make decisions about their product to ensure high ratings and profit, they see how these decisions “construct” a reality for consumers, http://www.mypopstudio.com. Mary Phillips is a K-5 Media and Technology teacher in Battle Creek. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of the MACUL Special Interest Group for Multimedia. She can be reached at mary. email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ bcteacher.
miGoogle Conference Exploring how Google tools can impact learning and the classroom. Nov. 2 - Full and half-day workshops. Nov. 3 - Keynote and breakout sessions. Conference information and registration available online: www.miEdTech.com
November 2-3, 2015 Brighton High School MACUL journal
Share how Google tools have impacted YOUR classroom! Submit your session information online:
www.miEdTech.com Spring 2015
MACUL offers awards to honor members who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the use of technology to improve education. Each award winner receives gifts, complimentary registration and hotel accommodations to the MACUL Conference. Award winners have the opportunity to enter the 2015 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) award competition. Outstanding Technology-Using Classroom Teacher: Joanna Van Raden, Luther C. Klager Elementary School, Manchester Community Schools
MACUL Honors 2015 MACUL Award Recipients The ISTE Making It Happen Award jacket was presented to Michelle Ribant, Director for 21st Century Learning, Michigan Department of Education (a surprise award!)
Outstanding Technology-Using Educator: Andrew Steinman, Educational Technology Consultant, Kent Intermediate School District
Technology Coordinator of the Year: Shannon Degan, Director of Technology and Collaborative Services, Jackson County Intermediate School District Outstanding Technology-Using Classroom Teacher, runners-up: Julie Leach and Tosha Miller, List Elementary School, Frankenmuth School District
Outstanding TechnologyUsing Educator, runner-up: Jillian Johnson, Technology Interventionist, Wayne-Westland Community Schools Frank Miracola 21Things Educational Excellence award by MACUL and REMC Association of MI: Sarah Monnier-White, Chippewa Valley Schools
The MACUL Presidentâ€™s Award: TRIG (Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant) and Tim Hall, Project Director Visit www.macul.org for more information about these MACUL Awards.
LET’S PUBLISH! TOOLS FOR DIGITAL SHARING
By Patti Harju
Kids have a voice, they have things to say, they need to be heard and they need to share. Publishing student writing gives students an authentic audience and a way to share those ideas with the world. When kids publish what they write, they read it and re-read it, edit it, and re-publish. They do better work knowing it will be read by others. They put more thought into what they write when viewed by a real audience. They receive feedback via comments and are able to do the same as they read the stories of their friends and the stories of students from other schools. Parents love having this digital access to their child’s writing and they can share it with other family members, leaving comments as well. Here are a few of my favorite digital tools for sharing student work. Storybird.com
Storybird is a great place for creativity to bloom. Students choose images from a large collection and put these images into a story. Next they add the text - that’s it. Students may begin with a story that they have written in class and find illustrations to go with it, or they may choose a set of images first, and let the story unfold. The results are always wonderful. Students may also create a long form or chapter book and poems. When students create a poem, they are given one image and a set of about 50 words to choose from. Students may reload a different image, or get another set of words, but they must create a poem with the words given. The poems could also be thought of as 6 or 8 word stories. Quite challenging to try to convey a message with just a few words and one image! Storybird offers free accounts to educators that allow for the creation of up to 35 student accounts. You may upgrade to a paid school or district account for additional student accounts. Storybird provides an embed code for each poem or story, for easy sharing on a website or blog. It also offers the option for parents to purchase a printed copy of their child’s story, https://storybird. com/. Kidblog.org
Kidblog is my favorite classroom blogging tool. Even younger students are able to log in and easily add a post. They love the comment feature and a favorite activity is leaving comments for their classmates. Kidblog allows MACUL journal
students to insert images, links, and add embed codes, so it is perfect way to share Storybirds as well as other digital creations. Kidblog’s design is simple and all student blogs are housed in the same space, which makes it perfect for classroom use. Kidblog is free, easy to set up, and easy to use for teachers and students. If you require more than the free features, they have paid versions as well, http://kidblog.org/. Discovery Education Board Builder Tool Discovery Education has a wealth of resources and the Board Builder tool is a great way for students to write, create and share. The Board Builder allows students to search for images for video clips within Discovery Education, add them to a Board, and then add text to accompany the illustration or video clip. They may write stories, inspired by the images they find, or their writing may be in response to an assignment. Boards are saved and shared with the class and within the Discovery Education community, www. discoveryeducation.com/. Shadow Puppet EDU Shadow Puppet EDU is a free iPad app. Students may add drawn pictures, insert photos and video clips to tell their story. They may also record narration for the images or clips within the App. Shadow Puppet is great for individual and whole class projects. You can easily stop and start the recording process as needed. When you publish within the App, Shadow Puppet gives the option of sharing via a link or embed code. Puppet Pals
Puppet Pals, a free App, is an easy way for students to act out a story using digital Puppets. The free version includes many different backgrounds and characters and completed videos are uploaded to YouTube for sharing. Students use the puppets to act out stories they have read or they may write their own stories. You also have the option of creating your own characters and backgrounds. To see some examples of my students’ published digital work, visit our school tech wiki at http://ststech.wikispaces.com/. Patti Harju is a member of the MACUL Board of Directors. She is the Technology Specialist and 2nd Grade Teacher at St. Stephen School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Contact her at patti.harju@ macul.org or follow her on Twitter as @scout7.
Keeping Your Sanity With Tech Being a “21st century” teacher is still very much in vogue these days, and I still hear the term “21st century skills” tossed about from time to time at conferences and workshops. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the phrase (it’s much better than it’s predecessor “digital natives”) as it speaks to the collaborative, creative, and communication skills that most educators should applaud as the foundation for instructional practice.
.net/archives/3638) Ben Rimes| (www.techsavvyed by t pos g Spring 2015 blo a m fro ed apt Ad
Trying to shoe horn a lot of technology into the learning environment, without a little bit of forethought or levity, can lead to burn out. The lingering problem with “21st century skills” is that they have a reputation for being overly “techie” and driven by the sentiment that you must be willing to play with all of the new shiny tech toys, apps, and websites. Teachers have to work hard to fit everything into the school day; developing reading and writing proficiency, assessing learning, providing hands on experiences, and trying to manage the emotional baggage students bring into the classroom are just a few of the tasks weighing on teachers. Many teachers often see adding on a layer of “tech” as something that isn’t practical given their realities, or feel like failures for not being able to provide as many tech-infused opportunities as they would like. Popular blog posts like Carl Hooker’s “21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year” (Hooker, 2014) can create just as much anxiety for the “tech apprehensive teachers” as they do inspiration for the more “tech friendly teachers.”
Ben Rimes is the K-12 Instructional Technology Coordinator for Mattawan Consolidated Schools, the Director of MACUL’s SIGWEB, and sits on the Playful Learning Advisory Board for the Learning Games Network. His tweets and thoughts can be found at www. techsavvyed.net.
Scan the QR code, or visit http:// hookedoninnovation.com/2014/09/03/21things-every-21st-century-teacher-should-dothis-school-year/ to read Carl Hooker’s list of things to try with tech. Trying to shoe horn a lot of technology into the learning environment, without a little bit of forethought or levity, can lead to burn out. So in the interest of calming the frazzled nerves of your colleagues (or yourself), help them find just one or two “21st century” tools to play around with this year. Do you love to write with your students? Focus on starting the best new teacher blog in school! Do you enjoy more playful learning environments? Create a unit in which your students create their own learning games with Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu) or Kahoot (https://getkahoot. com). Or pick any one of the “things” from Carl Hooker’s blog post and build a small support group in your district around it, rather than all 21. And if you still don’t feel quite sane with all of the technology that’s out there, take a look at my “tongue in cheek” infographic about 21st century tools. Reference Hooker, Carl (2014, Sept 3). 21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://hookedoninnovation. com/2014/09/03/21-things-every-21st-century-teacher-should-do-thisschool-year MACUL journal
By Anna Luchtefeld
The OPI, which is short for Oral Proficiency Interview, is a very stressful oral exam that all aspiring language teachers must take. When I was researching how to prepare for this, I was told that I needed to study for at least one hour, every day, for two months. If I wasn’t anxious enough already – I took the amount of preparation I was told that I needed to do and doubled it. I quickly bought a variety of grammar exercise books and took to the Internet in quest of online study materials – and that’s when I found Duolingo. Duolingo helped me prepare for the OPI because it was a fun, interactive website that met me where I was currently at in my skill level for Spanish. Using Duolingo as a way to study, I realized that it is a great resource that I could use in my classroom to help differentiate for each of my students’ academic needs.
be challenged. Duolingo provides teachers with an already differentiated curriculum because it tests each student’s skills individually.
Duolingo is an awesome website where you can try a series of activities within a thematic unit in the language of your choosing. When it asks you to login into the website, it prompts you with a pre-test. This pre-test allows you to pass out of certain levels within the website: if you are a beginner, it starts you off with the lowest level. After it places you at a certain level, you can start to conquer new skills. Click on a new theme or skill complete the exercises until you master the new skill. It offers writing, reading, listening and speaking exercises in each unit.
Duolingo is easy to use in the classroom because it can be reached either on a computer, or as an app on a smartphone. In my classroom, when students have free time, they will be directed to use Duolingo. It is an incentive because they can use their phones and it is set up like a game. Points are scored for completing a skill level, and once completed, you can move on to the next, just like completing levels in a game.
Duolingo provides an impressive array of opportunities for students to practice their Spanish skills in and out of the classroom. Duolingo places students where they are currently with their ability, and provides information on what students need help on – something that is really difficult to do without technology. Students can practice things on this site that they genuinely need practice on, and students who are ahead can
Other helpful features about Duolingo are that it lists all of the new words that you have learned in the vocabulary tab. Not only does it list the words, but it also tells you how long ago you practiced them and when you should practice them again. To review your words, just click on the flashcards and do a quick refresher. Also, there is a tab for immersion, where people post different articles in the target language. This way, students that want the challenge can start reading the news in Spanish and practice their reading skills.
In my classroom, students will use Duolingo every Friday for the first 15 minutes of class. I am able to track their progress and see how they are coming along. Their progress and effort on Duolingo counts for part of their grade. It is a fun way to end the week, and acts as bell work for that day. I can see which students are struggling on certain skills, and what students need more challenges in the classroom. Duolingo gives me immediate feedback, and it is an easy way to see how students are progressing. Not only did Duolingo help me achieve the level that I needed for my OPI, I also think that it will help my students achieve higher proficiency levels in Spanish. Anna Luchtefeld is a graduate student in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan, and will hold a Michigan teaching license in grades 6-12 Spanish. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Marissa McCann and Annie McMahon Whitlock
For Teachers, By Teachers
Sessions at Edcamps are designed to be a facilitated discussion rather than a formal lecture or presentation. Educators are attracted to this design, because not only does it value everyone’s expertise, but it also allows them to have conversations with other educators. Conversations started during sessions can be continued through social media such as Twitter, creating a blend of physical (Edcamp) and virtual (Twitter) learning spaces that can bring others into the conversation as well.
Why Edcamps? Educators are drawn to Edcamps enough to attend on their own time, outside of the school day and school year. In interviews, educators frequently mentioned that Edcamps provided them with a choice in their learning. By creating the agenda, the learning is being tailored to those who attend instead of being decided by a conference committee or school administrator. Participants valued creating their own learning experience.
What are Edcamps? Edcamps have no set agenda; instead, participants build the agenda together. Participants can volunteer to lead a session on a particular topic by writing their idea on a whiteboard under a certain time and location [Insert Picture 1 here]. Topics can be areas they are very knowledgeable about with the purpose of sharing their ideas or areas they know nothing about and want to learn more with the hope that other participants will be willing to share. This model allows anyone to be a presenter.
Six of the eight study participants had attended multiple Edcamps before being interviewed. Many described attending Edcamps to see and talk to people “like them;” a community of educators that are connected not only by going to many events in the region, but also because they like this mode of directing their own learning. Being part of a community keeps them coming back, because they want to be around others that learn like they do. Edcamps are a learner-centered PD experience that is focused on the needs and wants of those who attend. By creating their own agenda and conversation, participants have the power to direct their own learning. If you value the chance to share with others and engage in conversations with a community of learners, you should consider attending one of the many Edcamps organized all over Michigan. Because as one participant put it, Edcamps are created “for teachers by teachers.”
Participants are encouraged to be active on social media before, during, and after Edcamp. This creates a backchannel or side conversation. Using a Twitter hashtag (for example #edcampusa) allows attendees to stay connected to each other, but also allows people who were unable to attend to be part of the conference. The use of social media allows for further networking and to get information about sessions you didn’t attend. Since participants decide what sessions or discussions they want to be in, they are also encouraged to leave a session if it isn’t meeting their needs—this is called “voting with your feet.”
Along with being drawn to the choice Edcamps provide, participants were drawn to the way Edcamps value the knowledge of all attendees. The educators repeatedly mentioned feeling excited to learn from other participants in an environment where everyone is treated as experts. Many of the educators mentioned that this experience is validating and empowering for them as professionals and implied that many
We attended two Edcamps and interviewed eight conference participants about what they valued about the Edcamp-style PD. The participants interviewed represented MACUL journal
traditional school PD services don’t validate the expertise of their staff in this way.
a range of educators from many different grades, subject areas, and positions; varying from third to eighth grade teachers, including one instructional technology consultant. Common themes emerged from the interviews about what these educators valued about Edcamps.
Imagine a typical professional development day: six hours listening to a consultant talk about instructional practices that you may or may not be able to take back to the classroom and you wishing you could head back to your classroom to get work done. Now imagine a different kind of PD: you choose what you want to learn that is most relevant to your teaching needs and you are able to talk with other teachers even after the PD is over—these are Edcamps. Also known as “un-conferences” because of how different they are from traditional PD, Edcamps are attracting many educators due to how they give power to those who attend to direct their own learning.
Marissa McCann is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan-Flint where she is studying Elementary Education with a focus on Early Childhood Education. She can be reached at email@example.com Annie McMahon Whitlock is an assistant professor of elementary education at the University of Michigan-Flint. She can be reached at anwhitl@ umflint.edu or on Twitter: @AnnieWhitlock.
Helping the Digital Reader
By Maryly Skallos & Julia VanderMolen
ccording to a 2013 survey published by Scholastic, almost 46% of children have read an ebook and would read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks (Good, 2013). The survey also reported that “eBooks may also be the key to transition moderately frequent readers (defined as kids who read one to four days a week) to frequent readers (those who read five to seven days a week)” (Good, 2013). In this digital age, reading can be very difficult for kids of all ages. With daily distractions such as computer games, videos, and movie sites (e.g. Hulu and Netflix), how can we get kids to engage in the act of reading? There are teachers who schedule time to encourage reading directly into the classroom with digital devices such as iPads and Google Chrome Books. How do teachers keep students engaged with these devices?
There is a plethora of applications that can help the struggling reader and challenge the expert reader. For the struggling or slow reader, one place to start is with applications that support their need. For the special needs reader such as dyslexic students, using the universal reader allows the student to hear the words and learn from the experience. Here are a few applications to engage the struggling or reluctant reader. Comprehension Billy Possum’s Interactive Comprehension To engage your student in reading, how about trying Billy Possum’s Interactive Comprehension (http://bestappsforkids.com/2015/ billy-possums-interactive-comprehension/). This Apple ebook has 25 chapters with dozens of interactive, comprehensive exercises built in. The exercises give hints to students that they must master before being able to move on. This app does cost $9.99, but when used within a family or a classroom the cost becomes economical. There is also the diagnostic built into the program to track student progress. Augmented Comics Have an older student who needs to be encouraged into reading? What about augmented comics? Marvel Comics (http://marvel. com/mobile) is coming out with a free augmented reality app that enhances comics for all readers. With over 3,500 comics, this app can be installed on your iOS and Android devices. Dyslexia Spy Sam Reading Series Created by a doctor to help his son learn to read, Spy Sam Reading Series is a multi-book adventure app that starts with a few simple words on each page. Gradually, the simplistic cartoon façade falls away to reveal a thought-provoking plot that champions loyalty and determination. The app is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Blio - Free Blio is an app that makes e-reading easy with text-to-speech and highlights words as they are read. This app also allows a reader to look up unknown words or phrases. Blio is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. 24
Note Taking Audio Class Notes - Free Audio Class Notes is a helpful tool to record and keep track of class notes. Students can easily tag and jump to the important parts of a lecture, making studying easier. Audio Class Notes is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires iOS 7.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Padlet Padlet (http://padlet.com/) is a free, online “virtual wall” tool where students can express thoughts on topics of their choice. Padlet provides students with the opportunity to post answers to discussion topics, sort words and sounds, and make predictions about the topics they are learning. Book reviews and topic summaries are two lesson ideas to engage students. Teachers can then take the page from a book and present it in class to spark continued face-to-face discussion or teachers can summarize information for reflection. Others to Consider The Lino app (http://en.linoit.com/), allows teachers and students to do more creating. Lino is a giant corkboard that provides four different colored virtual sticky notes. Students can make connections between their world and reading curriculum content. Teachers can encourage students to maintain an ‘idea and creative inspirations’ collection they may not have used yet but do not want to “lose”. Conclusion Whether teachers are trying to engage a learner to read more or trying to assist a struggling reader, a supportive classroom where students can experience success with teachers skilled in teaching reading are key to helping all students prepare for the literacy demands they will face in society. Content area teachers must examine how they make meaningful connections for their students. When all teachers take responsibility for developing good reading skills in all students, student success rates will soar. References Birkerts, S. (2010). Reading in a digital age. Retrieved January 20, 2015, from https://theamericanscholar.org/reading-in-a-digital-age/#.VL6U2WTF_vk Good, K., & Sinek, S. (2013, January 13). Scholastic Media Room. Retrieved January 20, 2015, from http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/press-release/newstudy-kids-reading-digital-age-number-kids-reading-ebooks-has-nearlydoubled-2010 Dr. Maryly Skallos is Instructional Design Specialist with Ellucian. She is the Assistant Director Officer for the MACUL SIGPL. She can be contacted via phone @ (231) 777.0214 or by email @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Julia VanderMolen is an Assistant Professor of Allied Health Sciences with Grand Valley State University. She is the Communication officer for MACUL SIGPL. She can be contacted via phone @ (616) 331.5566 or by email @ email@example.com.
A D i sa st r ous
Dinner By Jessica Highfield
ll right students, today we are continuing to study the mystery genre. We will be reviewing the mystery concepts and vocabulary that you have learned over the last few days, but this lesson will be a little different. Today, you all are the detectives, and it is your job to gather all of the evidence you can to solve this all too important case. It is my unfortunate duty to tell you all that…there has been a murder most foul! Imagine you’re carelessly eating dinner, and seconds later you’re lying on the floor DEAD, dead as a doornail! My, oh my, it is an awful thought! Students, it is your job to help Maria’s relatives solve the mystery of her death. It is your job to help them find closure and comfort in the fact that the killer is off the streets. It is your job to save future victims. Are you up to the task? I knew that I needed a lesson that would help students implement all of the knowledge that they have gained about mysteries such as: types of mysteries, types of clues and types of characters. However, I did not want the activity to be something less than enthusing like a quiz or an analytical essay. These are 7th graders! They are active, they want to have fun, and they want to learn! I thought to myself, “What activity or tool can I use to bring joy back into learning?” Originally, I considered playing Clue with my students because I knew that I wanted them to play the role of detective. I wanted them to gather clues/evidence and form conclusions, but I also wanted them to engage in literacy learning—this is an ELA classroom after all. The answer that I found was Bitstrips.com. As a Web 2.0 tool, Bitstrips is wonderful for a variety of reasons. It is accessible from a variety of devices including: computer, iPad, and smart phones. Additionally, Bitstrips is free for occasional users or frequent users who do not mind having their projects shared with the Bitstrips community. However, there is also a version of Bitstrips
for the classroom, which a teacher can subscribe to for free for 30 days, www.bitstripsforschools.com. This space allows teachers to create virtual classroom spaces for their students where their projects will be private, which is a necessity if parental consent or deviance is of concern. As a tool, Bitstrips allows users to easily drag and drop to create comic strips. A user can choose from a variety of scenes, character, props, types of dialogue, and also may create their own characters. To amuse my students I created characters that looked like my cooperating teacher and me. Bitstrips is a good resource to use to promote collaboration, critical thinking, multiple audiences, emotion recognition, and bringing life back into learning! In my own lesson, I created a comic strip called “A Disastrous Dinner,” in which Maria is murdered by a friend [Photo 1 goes here]. There are multiple physical clues and verbal clues that point to the killer, but there are also a number of red herrings that might trip students up. Students received the comic strip in three parts. After reading each portion they identified the clues they saw, the types of characters they saw (detective, suspect, witness) and they predicted who committed the crime. In each portion they were gathering evidence, and analyzing that evidence to deduce a reasonable conclusion. They worked in groups to do so, and the energy was just outstanding! They were debating one another, they were citing panels of the comic and they were gathering thoughtful evidence. It was wonderful to see. At the end, most students seemed to have a different prediction about who committed the crime, and those who were right cried out in victory! That was how I used the lesson. My mother teaches at a middle school in a very different context from mine, and I shared the
lesson with her. She and several of her colleagues implemented the lesson the following week. When I visited the school, my mother and her colleagues noted that students were really engaged in the lesson because it was very different from how they normally study mystery. Additionally, teachers at her school asked students to create their own mystery comics, either on Bitstrips or on paper. I was impressed with how complex the mysteries were, and how well they were able to make every action, verbal interaction, scene and prop purposeful throughout their comics. In future years, I might build in a project where students are able to create their own comic strips to demonstrate their knowledge. Finally, I think that in an ELA class, it is beneficial to ask students to engage with texts that are structured in a way that they are 26
familiar with. Iâ€™m not just talking about students who already read comics, but also students who have ever searched the internet! In a digital world, information is not always interpreted from left to right, and it would do educators well to help students acquire non-linear comprehension skills so that they may succeed in digital literacy tasks. Letâ€™s face it, theyâ€™re everywhere! Comics help students read and understand how to interpret a narrative non-linearly, and how the non-linear space contributes to their understanding. Jessica Highfield is a teaching intern at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is studying to teach English Language Arts as a graduate student at University of Michigan. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reading in the Digital Age: OUR ROLE ACHIEVING LIBRARY 2.0
ur digital age has had a profound impact in a number of areas, not the least of which is the area of reading. Many of us now get much of our information digitally through our computers, mobile phones, and other devices. A UNESCO report on â€œReading in the Mobile Eraâ€?, www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/ themes/icts/m4ed/mobile-reading/reading-in-the-mobileera/, illustrates how the digital age is changing the lives of people in the developing world by providing access to information through their mobile devices. The digital age also affects us in schools, of course. Librarians in schools, whether we are called school librarians, media specialists, or teacher-librarians, have always had an important role in reading and reading instruction. We have long worked with other teachers to help students learn to read, provide them with access to appropriate reading materials, and instill in them a love of reading. With all of the new technologies that have found their way into our schools over the last forty or fifty years especially, our role as school librarians has taken on new depths. In this article I will propose five major areas where I feel school librarians have an important role in digital age reading, and provide some resources for teachers and librarians to explore these ideas a little further. continued on next page
Access to materials A library by definition is an organized collection of material that patrons can access. Librarians have always been the ones to help provide access to materials that students and teachers can read, listen to, or watch, as well as train their teachers and students in how to find the information they want. In this digital age, it is important to provide a good variety of materials, both digital and physical, organized in ways that enables our students and their teachers to find the information they want quickly and easily. We are well served in Michigan with access to digital materials through the many resources of MEL, the Michigan eLibrary, http://mel. org/. Used in conjunction with the Internet as a whole and other free digital repositories such as the Library of Congress, www. loc.gov/, Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org/, Google Scholar, http://scholar.google.com/, and Project Gutenburg, www.gutenberg. org/, students can now access information in a digital format on almost any topic under the sun. Too often, the problem is not, as it was in the past, simply getting access to the information, but rather, determining from any overwhelming array of information sources, what information is the desired information, which sources are most likely to provide that, and how to navigate the digital maze to access it. Librarians are uniquely suited to help their patrons do this.
Perhaps my favorite tool for helping to collate, organize, and share information is the social bookmarking tool Diigo. www.diigo.com/ index. It describes itself as a “multi-tool for knowledge management” and allows one to not only bookmark and label websites, but also to annotate them, share them both publicly and privately with groups of people, collaborate with others to create collections and even create RSS feeds to embed in other digital situations. Here’s an example - my collection of links on “reading”. www.diigo. com/user/tstaal/reading? After working with teachers to set up and train their students to use Diigo for both whole class and small group research, I’ve found that many of the students have gotten into the habit of using Diigo for their own personal information management. This to me is a very important role that we as librarians can fulfill in this digital age.
Whether in print or digital format, helping students find reading material of the appropriate level, that is interesting, and that is suitable for the purpose is vitally important.
Helping students choose Librarians have long had a role in helping their patrons choose appropriate reading material for themselves, whether for informational or recreational reading. I know one of the things I have always liked best about being a librarian is seeing the joy in a student’s eyes when they return a book and talk to me about how much they enjoyed it. With the wealth of materials available in this digital age, this role continues to be an important one. Whether in print or digital format, helping students find reading material of the appropriate level, that is interesting, and that is suitable for the purpose is vitally important. Historically, this has been accomplished by talking with the student about what the purpose for their current reading need search is and what they like to read, etc., and by teaching them the techniques used in searching our catalogs (still have your card catalog?). In addition to helping students choose important informational reading by teaching them skills and techniques in searching and finding, whether in the catalog for our collection, online or in a research database, we also need to show them some of the digital tools available to them when it come to recreational reading. Helping them use our catalogs and the local public library catalogs are important, but so too are sharing with them tools such as NovelList from MeL, http://mel.org/
and research articles found through databases on the Internet all require subtly different reading skills. A recent article by Benjamin Harold in Education Week entitled “Digital Reading Poses Learning Challenges for Students” explores some of the difficulties students have with reading digital material. Many of us find that we skim material too much when we read digitally and need to find ways to do “deep reading” both in print and digital formats. Librarians have an important role in working with teachers to help students understand and develop the different reading skills and techniques needed.
Interestingly enough, recent studies are beginning to confirm what many of us have suspected for some time: Many students as well as adults, prefer reading certain types of materials in print rather than digital format. The Washington Post recently published a very interesting article about “Why digital natives prefer reading in print” that examines this issue and discusses some of the reasons that many people, (myself included), find print more appropriate for certain types of reading materials. For this, I feel it important that libraries maintain a core collection of print materials as well as digital ones. Librarians of course, have similar important roles in developing, maintaining, and organizing the print collections as well as the digital collections and helping our patrons explore both print and digital formats and determining which is best for each particular situation.
Help in analyzing, organizing, and understanding Librarians must help our students and teachers collect, collate, collaborate, organize, and make sense of what it is they are reading. We can work with the classroom teachers to help students develop skills of note taking, summarizing, and organizing. Obviously, this should be done in a progressive way, starting with elementary students and developing sophistication and fluency as they grow. Luckily there are now some great digital tools that can help with this. Google Docs includes a research tool that can help find and cite materials and there are many good citation tools online such as RefWorks, Bibme, and
Reading strategies for different types of reading Educators have long known that different 28
Easy Bib. Most of the good reference tools that we are familiar with and have access to through MEL now have built in tools that help students quote from, organize, and properly cite their research sources.
types of material require different types of reading. Reading a novel for enjoyment requires a different approach than following a procedure in a Science lab manual or trying to glean the important information from a primary source in a Social Studies class. We’ve known this for a long time, but too often I’ve seen both students and teachers become frustrated by using the wrong approach to the material. The situation becomes more complex as you add in the different digital formats. Getting the most from a website requires what I would call a much more spatial approach to reading than most more linear forms of reading. Most of us find that, to be successful, our Emails, Twitter, Facebook,
books , which helps them find more books that match their reading interests, and Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/, which helps them share their interests with others. A great deal of research has been done about the importance of choice for students, and one of our most important roles is to help our students develop those skills need for them to choose successfully.
References: “Reading in the mobile Era | Unesco.” 2014. 5 Mar. 2015 <www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/ themes/icts/m4ed/mobile-reading/reading-inthe-mobile-era/>
Fostering a love of reading It all adds up. In this digital age, our role as librarians includes providing access to materials, helping students to read those materials, analyze, organize, and understand those materials, and choose more reading materials in order to grow. But it cannot just be those things. If we do our jobs right, doing those things and the other important relational and personal things we do will help to foster a love of reading that will be the best gift we can give our students. Whether fiction or non-fiction, digital or print, we need to help our students find the stuff they love to read. I’ve added some good resources on this topic in general, and how to foster a love of reading in particular, to the following list.
Scholastic Reading Report - 5th edition of national survey. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2014 and the results published in January of 2015.
“Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right”. Washington Post. 2015. 6 Mar. 2015 <www.washingtonpost.com/local/ why-digital-natives-prefer-reading-in-print-yesyou-read-that-right/2015/02/22/8596ca86-b87111e4-9423-f3d0a1ec335c_story.html>
“Kids & Family Reading Report”. www.scholastic. com/readingreport/about.htm Teacher Magazine. “The power of a good book”. http://teacher.acer.edu.au/article/the-power-of-agood-book Harold, Benjamin. “Digital Reading Poses Learning Challenges for Students”. Education Week. May6, 2014. www.edweek.org/ew/ ar ticles/2014/05/07/30reading_ep.h33. html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1 Aguilar, Elena. “Ten ways to cultivate a love of reading in Students”. Edutopia. February 13, 2013. www.edutopia.org/blog/cultivating-lovereading-students-elena-aguilar
Hicks, Troy. “Feeding Our Student’s Reading Interests with RSS”. Edutopia. March 21, 2014. www.edutopia.org/blog/feeding-studentreading-interests-rss-troy-hicks Hertz, Mary Beth. “Reading 2.0”. Edutopia. February 18, 2014. www.edutopia.org/blog/ reading-2.0-mary-beth-hertz Davis, Matt. “Nurturing Literacy: Tips and Resources For Developing Lifelong Readers”. Edutopia. February 13. 2014. www.edutopia.org/ blog/nurturing-readers-resources-tools-mattdavis Johnson, Doug. The Blue Skunk Blog. “Top 10 ways to use technology to promote reading”. February 10, 2014. http://doug-johnson. squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2014/2/10/ top-10-ways-to-use-technology-to-promotereading.html
Tim Staal is a retired Librarian, Past-President of MACUL, former Executive Director of MAME and a technology coach, email@example.com.
READING IN THE DIGITAL AGE w w w. r e m c . o r g Though this issue of the MACUL Journal will debut in May, I am writing this column during the middle of March, which is READING Month. The REMC Association of Michigan offers both technology-based resources and professional development supporting reading through our 21 Things 4 Teachers project (www.21things4teachers.net). The REMC Association of Michigan’s 21 Things 4 Teachers supports Reading in the Digital Age through Thing 16, Differentiated Instruction/Universal Design for Learning and within Thing 10, Search Strategies. Do your students prefer to listen to books or have difficulty reading text? Then check out our resources on the 21t4t DI and UDL (www.21things4teachers.net/21-things/di-and-udl/) site. Here you will find a variety of text to speech tools such as Vozme, Spoken MACUL journal
Text, Yatitome and Natural Reader. All of these resources will allow you to copy and paste text into a text box in order for your students to hear the printed text. Some of these resources also allow you to change the voice so that it can be heard in a different language and also give you a choice between a male or female voice. These converters are not only beneficial for those with reading difficulties, but are helpful for those who prefer to listen rather than read. Who doesn’t like to be read to! They also allow writers to hear one’s own pieces (or compositions) to critique for grammatical errors and comprehension. Are you or your students are looking for a good book to read and need some help? One of the resources highlighted in our 21 Things 4 Teachers Search Strategies (www.21things4teachers.net/21-things/ search-strategies/) is the Michigan eLibrary. Check out the “Reading Zone” (http://teens.mel.org/MeLReadingZone) for reading advice, digital books, book reviews, and reading lists. You can take your reading with you by selecting from full-length eBooks, comics, zines, and audio books. All available to read anywhere! If you have any questions about these REMC Association of Michigan professional development events, please contact me at sueschwartz@remc. org. Sue Schwartz is the Executive Director for the REMC Association of Michigan. 29
2015 MACUL Conference Sponsors & Donors THANK-YOU to these companies and organizations for their sponsorship and gifts for the 2015 MACUL Conference! This sponsorship empowers educators to be innovative and effectively use technology in education. Thank-you to ALL exhibitors for other exciting gifts, donations, booth prizes and for helping attendees gain valuable information about technology best practices in education. MAJOR SPONSORS:
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Curriculum Associates Data Image Systems Dell Discovery Education Engaged Education eGear USA Foxbright HP Merit Network Michigan Virtual University New Mind REMC $AVE bid Project Ruckus Wireless Sehi Computer Products Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG) 30
2015 MACUL CONFERENCE & GRAND GIVEAWAY DONATIONS: Acer America Apex Learning AVer Information Inc. Black Box Corporation BrainPOP Canvas Data Image System, Inc Edmodo Epson America, Inc. ExploreLearning Five-Star Technology Solutions GovConnection, Inc. IPEVO Inc McGraw-Hill Education My Virtual Academy Other World Computing OtterBox Promevo REMC Association of Michigan REMC SAVE Bid Project Renaissance Learning Scholastic Spectrum Industries, Inc. Swivl TechSmith Corporation Troxell Communications, Inc. VariQuest Visual Learning Tools
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March 9-11 • DeVos Place • Grand Rapids, Michigan | Spring 2015 |