Tag Archives: Elggs

“Social Networking and Literacy” at #Teach21c



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:

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.

Resources from this and other Teach21 sessions are here: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/teach21-resources/

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Setting up the 8th Grade Current Events group on our #Elgg social network

I just sat with the 8th grade science teacher and set up a group for her science students on our Elgg social network. Each student is responsible for hosting one weekly discussion about something newsworthy. They have to locate an article online, link to the article (by posting the URL), summarize the text, and post a series of follow-up questions. Their classmates then comment on the blog post as part of their classwork/homework grade.

Below are some sites I post to help the 8th graders looking for articles. Please let me know if you can suggest other web journals:







Here is a sample post from a student last year:


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