Category Archives: Professional Development

Linkin’ (B)Logs: A New Literacy of Hyperlinks

Bud pointed to a new article, Linkin’ (B)logs: A New Literacy of Hyperlinks, in the English Journal column “New Voices” by Tiffany J. Hunt and Bud Hunt. They are the column editors for the EJ column. It is a terrific article speaking about the read/write Web  in this participatory culture. The article posts about the obstacle of filtering and how it “blocks” us. I really like reading the story of Bud’s learning from blogging and the community of readers and writers he has met along the way. I identify with that and also with the teaching of blogging being hard. It is the building of a different type of community and this article helps us define the literacy development better. It is so encouraging to me to see this quality of writing about the learning with students. We need more articles where work with students is shared.
Bud shares on his teacher blog how he encourages students to focus on writing three kinds of posts: research-related posts, speech-class content posts, and classmate-related posts. He provides a detailed description of each post type in the article. I like how he tells the students that they are free to write about whatever they wish that’s relevant to their course.

Kudos to Tiffany Hunt and Bud Hunt for sharing their good work! I look forward to reading more.

A Vision for Change: Part 2

In Julie Coiro’s session at TRLD on “professional development, educational leadership & digital age thinking” she pointed out that “the most successful PD models” engage and empower teachers to have a stronger voice in directing their own learning. Then she went on to say that effective PD models for integrating literacy & technology follow three premises:

  1. They recognize the developmental process through which teachers use technology.
  2. They validate the different attitudes and dispositions that teachers bring to their use of technology.
  3. They employ job-embedded study groups as a means of empowering teachers to take a more active role.

Then she stated that study groups have been proven particularly effecting in supporting technology integration among teachers. The 4 phases are frame, analyze, implement, and reflect.

My thought was that all of these phases are so important yet it is rare that it happens in schools.

Next Julie led us to a discussion of the dilemmas school leaders face:

  • Paralysis by assessment and the irony of NCLB
  • Accountability vs. recognizing the power of classroom intellectual capital
  • Meeting professional development needs vs. meeting hardware and equipment needs
  • Lab model vs. individual classroom model
  • Ensuring access vs. protecting children

Julie showed us some very interesting policy initiatives around the world:

Ireland – manufactures more software than the US or any other nation

Finland – 5 weeks paid leave for PD for integrating new literacies

Japan – has broadband in nearly every home that’s 16 times faster than in US at $22 per month (Foreign Affairs, 2005)

India – companies provide online tutoring for students in reading math, and science (New York Times, sept. 2005)

Mexico – investing more than $1 million to install and Internet computer in every primary classroom by 2005 (Education Week, 2004)

Australia, the UK, Finland, Ireland, & Japan have Internet protals for educators far superior to anything the US has produced

On my mind – the five week paid leave for PD in Finland – hear! hear!

In my next post on these issues I’ll point you to some models she suggested.

A Vision for Change : Part 1

Julie Coiro’s session at TRLD on “Educational Leadership, Professional Development, & Digital-Age Thinking: A Vision for Change” began with this Anticipation Guide.pdf.
I obtained permssion from Julie to share this whole anticipation guide on my blog, as well as other items from her excellent sessions.

This is how this session began. We had our anticipation guides in front of us. The idea was to take a few minutes. Read each statement. Decide if you agree or disagree. Next we (the participants) were asked to talk in groups for a little while. We quickly jumped into some lively discussions in our groups of two or three or four for about ten minutes. We just went through the statements and shared our thinking. The anticipation guide has a little space under each example for you to write an experience or an idea of why you agree or disagree with the statement.

This is a reading technique in which you take a controversial issue that you are going to read about. You develop sentences that call a reader’s attention to some of those controversies before you read and you frame them not so you necessarily agree or disagree with them across the board as much as to ask for prior knowledge. Julie explained that our feelings, experiences, and beliefs as we look at the research and we experience technology become very much a part of our beliefs as to whether we buy into it, how we think about it, and how we frame things So the idea is that she created some questions and not that there is a right or wrong answer clearly but for us to kind of find out where we fit. Where do others around us fit?

One of the interesting things that she has seen as she goes out to districts and she does something like this is that particularly when there are challenges in the district you find that different people fit and believe in different things and when they are wondering why it isn’t working it’s because somebody is way over here on the continuum of belief and somebody is way over there. So it’s not that oh you are right and I am wrong it’s let’s take a look at where this continuum is and if we want something to work maybe there is some balancing to do.

Julie went around listening as a way for her to get a feel for her audience and where people are sitting on things and also it was a way for us to find out the different perspectives that we have.

It’s a great way to start a session. I’d encourage you to use this in your workshops. I really liked her statements. Of course the delight for me was that I was surrounded by educators who were all answering the statements pretty similar to mine. No, as you all know that doesn’t always happen in this particular area.

I am going to work at developing some guides for the students I work with. I’m also going to try out Julie’s anticipation guide, giving her full credit, of course!

Now this is just Part 1, much more to come!