Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Friday, March 18, 2011

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Digital Literacy News March 18, 2011

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

March 18, 2011
Digital Literacy Workshop

Monday, March 21,
Grant Writing:  Join us and get some tips for writing the TL21 grant.  We will go through the application and share tips for writing a successful application. Depending on the audience and time, we may also look at some different mini grants and opportunities. Check out the information about the TL21 Grant.  (Applications due April 11.)
Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop:
Monday, March 28,
Quick and Easy Digital Story Telling Ideas.  We will share some simple ideas for going digital with student and class stories and reports.  These ideas can be done in a one computer classroom working with your current curriculum.
See a schedule for the year.
Open Lab: 2:30 - 5:00
Resource Instruction: 3:15 - 4:00
Monday Afternoons, District Office Tech Lab.
Clock  Hours are available.
Links to Explore

iPad Workhop:  Right here in Mount Vernon.  New iPad included in registration.
Vernier Science Probes: $10,000 Grant Opportunity
21 Lessons: 21 Tools:  Presentation resources by Dennis Grice and Chad Lehman.  Practical ideas for each tool.
The Power of Social Media: Amazing realtime ticker of what is happening with Social Media.
KATE resources: Tutorials for teachers on how to use common computer applications like Excel and PowerPoint.
Beyond Blah, Blah, Blah
We all know Charlie Brown and his teacher.  When Charlie and his buddies were sitting in class, the teacher's words just seemed like jibberish.  Of course everything we choose to say in class is highly engaging and we never sound like this teacher.  :)  But helping students connect words to other non-linguistic representations can add great understanding, retention and engagement to lessons.  
Not only is it important that we as educators design lessons that use color, movement, pictures, mental images, graphic organizers and models to deepen understanding with our students, it is also very powerful to teach students to learn to use non-linguistic means to build and expand on their own understanding.  

We can build this skill by modeling this type of learning with our students and then reflecting on the process.  Non-Linguistic Representation does not just mean drawing pictures.  Students and teachers need to reflect on how and which methods help them to build understanding.  With a knowledge of what works for them, students are more likely to develop the use of these methods in their individual learning and also to advocate for this type of teaching when they are in class.  I know that I always celebrated when a student could come and articulate to me, something that he needed in order to be successful.  “Mrs. Thornburgh, please don’t give me so many steps in a row.  I do better focusing on one step at a time.”  Or “Mrs. Thornburgh, can I draw a picture to show you what I meant?”  When we have students reflecting on their thinking and learning, they start to self choose what works for them.  

Using Non-Linguistic Representations can be as easy as having students create a mind movie so that they learn to “see the words”.  Or using stick figures to show steps in a process.  Having students act out a word or concept is also a great way to expand understanding.  There are many digital media tools that see and better understand concepts they are learning.  

Annette Lamb, professor at Indiana University, shares many powerful ways to use visual images to promote deeper questions and inquiry.  Check out her resources on Graphic Inquiry.  Just starting with a picture or a video clip adds rich connections to concept for students.  Having students create simple videos showing process, or defining words adds great retention for understanding. I notice this everywhere I go now.  When we have a story to tell, we pull out our digital camera or phone so that we can add pictures and videos to our stories. Giving students opportunities to extend their words in this way makes for powerful learning.
I share on my Digital Literacy Workshop site, more information on the research behind using Non-Linguistic Representations and resources you can use to enhance your instruction with digital tools.

Video of the Week

Talk to the Hand:  I shared this clever video created by an elementary art teacher and her students at our High Yield Teaching Strategies training on Non-Linguistic Representations.  A great reminder about how important it is for teachers to use not only linguistic cues, but other cues as well.  
Show of Hands from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Show of Hands from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.
Tech Triumphs

Those of you who have been to my workshops or follow my blog know that I am a big proponent of the power of sharing.  Teachers throughout our district are finding ways to share the load.  Here is one example.  Yesterday, I was attending a PLC with 2nd grade teachers at Centennial.  They were sharing with me a great resource for teaching reading vocabulary.  This resource was created and shared by Liz Johnson, second grade teacher at Lincoln. I know that Liz put a lot of work into creating this, but I know with the spirit of sharing, other teachers will reciprocate with other great resources and we will all be the richer.  Thanks to those of you who create and share with others.  I am so thankful for the many, many resources and ideas that have been shared with me from my global professional network and that I in turn, can share with you.  There truly is power in sharing.

Digital Citizenship

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