One of the ways we can understand what are students are thinking as they read is to have them leave tracks of their thinking or annotate a text. Sometimes we do this leaving tracks using sticky notes or highlighting tape, however when we are reading online, we can’t leave those tracks using these tools. There are a number of digital tools which we can use to leave track when we are reading digital information. Evernote and Diigo can perform this function if you want your students to sign up for their own profiles. The other advantage to the online tools, is being able to access them from any computer anywhere. If you want to have your students experience digital text annotation but don’t want to sign up for individual accounts, Adobe Acrobat also allows mark up of webpages if you convert the webpage to a PDF. The following two videos will give some start up ‘how-to’ help for teachers and students.
How-to Make a PDF
How-to Annotate a PDF
Some other support materials to help your work can be found here.
December 2, 2013
Creating and selecting strong visual images to represent your learning forms an important part of a student’s digital backpack. All a student needs to create their own images is a camera and possibly some simple editing software. Here are some tools for using when working with students to create, select and cite images.
Editing and Sharing and Citing
Selecting and Citing
November 12, 2013
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Education’s renewed curricula emphasizes the development of an inquiry stance – the fostering of “inquiring habits of mind that lead to deeper understanding of their world and human experience” (Saskatchewan English Language Arts Curriculum 2009).
As curricula advocates a “shift from a transmission-oriented pedagogy to a more open, inquiry-based mode of teaching and learning” (Bruce and Bishop, 2002), the ideal learning environment must now be characterized as flexible and adaptive to the changing needs of the learners. The construction of learning must be communal and dynamic, welcoming and valuing each member’s experiences and perspectives. Learning, due to its non-linear structure and student focus, is “messy” as learners critically investigate their unique questions apply understandings to new situations, create new knowledge, share learnings, and participate ethically and productively, using diverse methods and media. This active search for meaning and understanding undergirds inquiry.
Teacher-librarians Constructing Understanding through Inquiry, also called the Inquiry Project, is a strategic partnership between the Saskatchewan School Library Association (SSLA), a special subject council of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation, and the Ministry of Education. Together, the SSLA and the Ministry of Education have worked to identify and support Saskatchewan educators’ understanding and use of inquiry for teaching and learning.
Inquiry of Inquiry: Frontloading Our Understanding
What is Inquiry? Examining an Inquiry Approach vs. a Coverage Approach
Curating Our Understanding
Becoming Information Fluent
Removing Barriers to Comprehension
Developing Digital Citizens
Communicating and Collaborating
Sharing Our Learning
Sharing Our Work
The SPS Inquiry Circles wiki displays inquiry projects created by Saskatoon Public Schools’ learning cohorts.
Harvey, Stephanie, and Harvey Daniels. Comprehension & collaboration: inquiry circles in action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2009. Print.
McTighe, Jay. Essential questions opening doors to student understanding.. Alexandria: Assn Supervn & Curr Dev, 2013. Print.
November 4, 2013
Today, it is essential that students have a wide range of skills needed to function within a rapidly changing society. In Literacy is Not Enough, authors Crockett and Jukes assert that being fluent involves learning a transparent and unconscious internalized process. A focus on fluency rather than literacy requires educators to completely rethink current assumptions about teaching, learning, and assessment.
At the very heart of Crockett’s and Jukes’ 21st Century Fluency Project are the five fluencies:
- Creativity Fluency
- Collaboration Fluency
- Media Fluency
- Information Fluency
Resources, information, and suggested tools for each of the fluencies can be found on the Saskatoon Public Schools’ LibGuide. The direct links are below:
- Creativity Fluency LibGuide
- Collaboration Fluency LibGuide
- Media Fluency LibGuide
- Information Fluency LibGuide
October 28, 2013
Today, there are more people writing every day — e-mails, text messages, blog posts — and more self-published authors than ever before. But unlike when traditional writing, digital writing is public, globally connected through hyperlinks, and easily shared and remixed. Digital writing can a blog post, e-mail correspondence, a text message, a tweet, a Facebook update, or a conversation on Tumblr. It can be comments on blog posts, responses to news articles, or book reviews shared on GoodReads. It can have a traditional look such as poems posted on the web, self-published works on LuLu and iBooks, or short stories uploaded to an online ‘zine.
In his book, Crafting Digital Writing, Dr. Troy Hicks explores the questions of how to teach digital writing by examining author’s craft, demonstrating how intentional thinking about author’s craft in digital texts engages students in writing that is grounded in their digital lives. Digital writing involves understanding the underlying grammar, features and structure of the mode and crafting an online, public media form suited for an intended audience.
Noticing Author’s Craft
The following tools can be used help students prewrite/draft by annotating the author’s craft.
Formative assessment of students’ ability to embed the structure and features into narratives can be conducted through quick writes including, OneWord.
Distinguishing Between Modes
The modes/purposes of writing are description, narration, exposition (informational) and persuasion (argumentative). Writers must make thoughtful decisions about topic, audience and purpose when creating text. Attention to purpose or “why am I writing” and “”who am I writing to”, directs the writer to identify a mode of writing best suited to deliver the intended message.
Using Padlet distinguish between the modes of writing. Think about the difference between the texts treatment of:
Voice – What voice (first or third person) is each text written in order to be an appropriate tone for purpose and audience?
Organization – How is each text structured – sequential, chronological, …? What are the features of the texts?
Sentence Fluency – How are the sentences structured – complex, simple, direct, descriptive…?
Word Choice – What vocabulary is chosen to make the text specific and memorable?
Conventions – How do the punctuation choices (dash, ellipse, parenthesis, etc.) communicate the intended message?
Crafting Writing For A Specific Audience
Audience consideration is part of a larger model called MAPS. MAPS is a model for thoughtful, effective communication: Mode, Audience, Purpose, Situation.
Building A Culture of Citizenship
Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. Students act ethically by citing sources, abiding by author’s licenses, and licensing their own work in the public domain. The following technologies can foster a culture of citizenship.
Reflecting On The Text
Deep reflection and purposeful revision of writing occurs through dialogue (peer, group, teacher). The following technologies can engender conversation of students’ writing and provide effective feedback.
Samples of writing to discuss:
October 20, 2013