As I wrote in my last post, Teach21 was a professional development institute for 21st Century educators organized by faculty and administrators at The School at Columbia University. Every day there was a keynote speaker (Sree Sreenivasan, Howard Gardner, A.J. Jacobs, Karen Cator) and many half-day and full-day concurrent offerings.
Thursday, I offered a session about “Social Networking and Literacy.” We started the 2.5 hours together with a discussion about literacy. I used to think literacy was just the reading and writing of text. Nowadays literacy is about learning how to comprehend/research/navigate/communicate/cite/re-mix/share all sorts of media.
We started off the session with a conversation about the new literacies and looked at a couple of sources:
- Wikipedia page for “New Literacies”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_literacies
- NCTE Position Statement: http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/21stcentdefinition
- 21st Century Literacies: http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/
- Henry Jenkins’s “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century”: http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/files/working/NMLWhitePaper.pdf
Then I showed a couple of projects where students publish individual and group work online and collaborate via shared access, commenting, hyperlinking, and other interactions. We looked at The Independent Reading Site that I set up with Marisa Guastaferro three years ago and the To Kill a Mockingbird book groups set up by Eve Becker for her 8th grade English classes. Both projects are described in this post: http://karenblumberg.com/social-networking-and-literacy-on-2511-at-600
Then we looked at ways to set up similar projects with other available technologies.
- You don’t have an in-house Drupal photo server? Use Flickr, Shutterfly, Picasa and work with privacy and permissions.
- You don’t have an in-house Drupal video server? Use YouTube and consider public/private settings.
- You don’t have an in-house Elgg social network? Use Edmodo, Schoology, Facebook, Ning, Moodle, Twitter to set up gathering spaces online.
- You don’t have Google Apps? Use Shelfari or Goodreads to discuss literature.
Resources from this and other Teach21 sessions are here: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/teach21-resources/