Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital learning resources, fact-checking, fake news, image evaluation, information credibility, media literacy

MediaWise: A Cool Initiative for Teens

describing-real-newsIf you are searching for an educational media literacy initiative that focuses on the mechanics of fact-checking, take a few minutes to learn about MediaWise, a project of the Poynter Institute.

Eighteen teenagers from around the United States are part of a MediaWise fact-checking network, learning about strategies and techniques that can help them identify misinformation. They participate in training that helps them understand how to determine what’s true and what’s not, and then the teens can set about investigating on their own. Finally, and this is the cool part, after the students decide whether the information is true or false, they create videos that illustrate the process they used to evaluate the information.

I’ve embedded two of the videos below.             Continue reading “MediaWise: A Cool Initiative for Teens”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Bookmark It!, digital learning resources, online learning, parents and technology

National Library of Medicine Learning Resources for Young Learners

Amazing resources for young learners at The National Library of Medicine!
Amazing resources for young K-12 learners at The National Library of Medicine!

Check out The National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources for K-12 education, including a number of games. The library is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also has an excellent weekly podcast on a wide range of topics.

Posted in Bookmark It!, designing with words, digital learning resources, when to give children email

Wide-ranging Ways to Design With Words

These days multiple word cloud options are available for students and teachers, and designing with words is an easy way for learners to create report illustrations or create graphics with spelling or vocabulary lists.

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-9-23-49-amWord design sites offer users a range of opportunities. Some create conversation bubbles, others form shapes and images, and other word cloud sites evaluate short passages taken from reading material. While word designing is not, strictly speaking, an important 21st Century digital world skill, these websites encourage kids to organize information and create in clever and stylistic ways — activities that were not easily accomplished before web 2.0 arrived on the scene.

Many people are familiar with Wordle – the original word cloud site — that is especially clean, easy-to-use, and without advertising. Yet, as with everything else in the digital world word cloud sites are increasing. Sites building off Wordle’s success offer various options for saving, sharing, copying, and embedding, but no one word cloud site offers everything. Most of the sites below allow users to format with colors, fonts, and typeface sizes.

Check Out These Sites                                                       Continue reading “Wide-ranging Ways to Design With Words”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital learning resources, parents and technology, workshops and conferences

Constructing Modern Knowledge: Sometimes Out of My Comfort Zone

CMK 2014
Click to visit the CMK14 site.

Occasionally we educators (and parents, too) participate in a learning experience that requires us to struggle for understanding and work hard to figure out what’s happening. Young learners go through this situation day after day in their school lives, even in the most wonderful classrooms. Adults not so much.

I’m in the middle of a challenging learning experience right now. This week the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute (CMK14) requires me to stretch. I’m expected to learn new things, figure out problems, and use all sorts of materials to invent, explore, and, yes, construct new ideas and information. Sometimes the work is heavy with digital materials and sometimes we use resources that have little to do with technology. It’s all about ideas and self-directed learning. No one tells me what to do or what to choose, but plenty of people are around to help me once I’m engaged with a task.                           Continue reading “Constructing Modern Knowledge: Sometimes Out of My Comfort Zone”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital learning, digital learning resources, educating digital natives, online learning

Action Words that Describe Digital World Learning

digital-citizenship Can we teach pre-adolescents and teens to reflect on what’s happening as they use digital world tools and interact with online content? Can we help them understand more about what they are doing when they work and play online?

Educators often provide a checklist or rubric for students to use as they work on assignments or projects. A rubric usually contains editing specifications, project requirements, resource documentation, and expectations — all for students to consider while completing the work.

Now I’ve discovered that Mia MacMeekin over at the An Ethical Island blog offers what I think of as a digital learning graphical rubric. The easy-to-understand graphic features World Wide Web nouns and action verbs that describe the ways people encounter, process, and use online information. MacMeekin thinks of her infographic as a digital citizenship tool, but it’s much more than that. The chart offers educators with opportunities to ask questions as they teach, and more importantly, expect students to answer them.          Continue reading “Action Words that Describe Digital World Learning”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital kids, digital learning, digital learning resources, digital literacy, parents and technology

My Two Blog Posts at A Platform for Good

Blogging can be a solitary endeavor, so it’s exciting when another cool website publishes a blogger’s thoughts and ideas. Over the past several weeks I’ve had two blog posts published over at A Platform for Good (PFG), a part of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI).

PFG
Visit A Platform for Good

PFG aims to encourage parents, kids, and educators to connect with one another and think about “doing good” in the digital world. The website and the blog focus on a range of interesting topics with lots of ideas on digital parenting, learning, growing up in today’s world, and many other authentic opportunities  — all great for us to have access to in a connected world.

Continue reading “My Two Blog Posts at A Platform for Good”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, attributing sources, digital kids, digital learning, digital learning resources, parents and technology, plagiarism

Thoughts About Plagiarism in the Digital World

Designed with Wordfoto!
Designed with Wordfoto!

Originality matters when digital children write and learn, but many 21st Century students have considerable difficulty understanding what the idea of original content really means.

Check out How the Internet Affects Plagiarism at KQED Mindshift, a blog post that describes how plagiarism is evolving in today’s digital world. According to the article, students today do less looking for “unoriginal content” at sites that sell papers or other pre-written documents (compared to the past), and they use lots more content from the almost unlimited digital resources that are available on the Internet.

Mindshift’s post is based on a recently published white paper published by TurnItIn, one of the most well-known plagiarism detection software tools. The paper points out how today’s students tend to discover and share work via social media, use Wikipedia regularly, and continue to copy content from encyclopedias. Read the article for a more thorough summary.       Continue reading “Thoughts About Plagiarism in the Digital World”