Digital Citizenship Finds!

What I love the most about technology in education is the opportunities it presents for my students to publish for authentic audiences!  One such site I just found is Instructables.com.  On this site, students can follow instructions to create a project, or they can create and upload their own project instructions!

Issuu.com is another FREE site where you can create documents and then upload them for free public view on the web.  My students are currently creating a classroom magazine that we will distribute digitally as their final project via Issuu.

Being able to publish on the web is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of digital citizenship.  I think that digital citizenship is two fold: students must know how to responsibly post online and know how to access and evaluate credibility of other users’ posts on the web.  I love the idea of using Snopes.com stories and asking students to investigate online and report back whether it is true or not.

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Social Media & PBL Finds!

A Princeton psychology professor has posed his CV of failures online  Intrinsic to the PBL process is inevitable failure and the necessity for students to start over again in a new direction.  However, I believe we work in a system where students are taught to recognize failure as something they cannot recover from, instead of something that they can learn from and try again.

8 Switches to Update Project-Based Learning in the 21st Century  A great resource for framing your thinking and approach to relevant PBL design.

Personal Interests Finds!

Periscope: Connecting Classrooms to the World  This was a great find for me because I keep seeing Periscope videos pop up in the feed of my teacher Twitter account, but I haven’t had a clue what the app was about!

How to Fill Out the FAFSA  Teaching both ESL and 12th grade English makes not only the difficulty of applying to colleges apparent, but it makes the struggle of applying to college as an immigrant VERY clear.  I have went back and forth this year about how to best assist my students with this issue, and I love the possible solutions this article presents.

How to Use Twitter in Your Classroom

Never attempted Twitter before, or you have, but your Twitter account is collecting dust somewhere out on the Internet?  Great!  Utilize the links below to help get yourself started on how to use Twitter to connect with other educators and collaborate with your students.

Click here to access the Screencast-O-Matic presentation.

Click here to access the GoogleSlides version of the presentation.  This is the version that will allow you to click on the links and video I provide.

Click here to access the hand-out.  If you make a copy of this document into your own GoogleDrive, you can add your own additional notes!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @mstubiello!

What Matters?: Building a Class Magazine

What matters to you? What issues or topics do you think get misrepresented or not talked about at all (in school, family, or community)?

This project that I developed for my final make begins with these questions and ends with a class magazine written and assembled completely by ESL students.

I am excited to share their final product in the upcoming weeks, but until then, please check out the write-up for the project here.  Please begin with the “What Matters?” document.

Designing for Equity

Thinking back to my first blog post that I wrote for this course, I realize that it took my HOURS from the time I began writing to the time that I hit Publish.  I was writing for an authentic audience, but the group, the expectations, and the stakes were unfamiliar to me still.  As the weeks have passed, I truly feel that the other voices of #ED677 have come out through your own posts and I have come to be familiar with them.  In turn, these weekly posts have become easier and easier.

One of my small moves, in an attempt to bring principles of connected learning into my classroom, for next year is to create a class and students blogs that aggregate in the exact same way our class and personal blogs are connected.  When facilitating this project for my students, I need to remember my own initial reservations when I began the same experience.

This semester, my inquiry questions took the shape of the two below:

How do I combine language-learning with play that reflects 21st Century problem solving skills?  What does this learning community look like?

How do I use the principles of shared purpose and creativity to help my students view our diversity as our common asset?

These questions have ultimately led me to thinking about how I can give my students the power of voice.  As part of the ESL community, they have powerful, invigorating, and unique voices that they share within our classroom.  However, they go unheard outside of our walls.  Therefore, my final make this semester will be a final project for my current ESL class, which will be asking them to each write an article for a class magazine.  This idea was 100% inspired by our course reading on Meeno Rami’s class magazine, (SLA)ng. My students have been exploring the following questions: Whose voices do we hear in the news? How do we determine if one voice is more reliable than another?  Thus, I see it as extremely appropriate to now give THEM the literal power of voice to become one of these voices we hear in the news.

As we tackle this project, I will be cultivating a sense of shared purpose as we join together to create a magazine that represents all of us. I will also be encouraging that they honor their interests, as I have left the topics of their articles completely up to them.  (Although I have already generated a list of topics to mention in the direction of several students, namely a sports article on the school baseball team, a music review, a fictional short, and a Summer fashion guide.)  Furthermore, before they begin writing, they will have to research what has already being said about their topic.  Market research here is not going to be found in any library database, but instead in the Twitter feeds of people who they follow related to their topics, in their favorite blogs, and from the recommendations of the peers around them.  Finally, my students will have to fight their fears and get creative; the format of the magazine is up to them.  It will be a daunting task, but isn’t that the first ingredient for creativity?

One the day of their final, students will use that time to share the link of their magazine via their social media platforms.  Our Superintendent has a very active Twitter account, and he can expect to be tagged in some of our tweets with the magazine link!