Monday, October 15, 2012

Post for the week of October 15, 2012

Post for the week of October 15, 2012

Gary Hayes’s Social Media Count

This weekend, I went to a conference sponsored by the National Writing Project, and I heard about this great site—Gary Hayes’sSocial Media Count.  When you go to the link, the clock starts running, and you get a sense of how many of the following events happened since you’ve been on the site:

«  Likes and Comments on Facebook
«  Apple and Android App Downloads
«  Blog Posts Published
«  Tweets sent on Twitter
«  Videos watched on YouTube
«  Google+ Buttons Pressed
«  Photos Uploaded to Facebook
«  Emails Sent
«  And More!

For example, within ten seconds, over 300,000 likes and comments have been made on Facebook!

I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate how important teaching digital literacy is for our learners.  Students are interacting with the world using reading, writing, speaking, and listening in ways we never could have predicted twenty years ago.  The need for instruction on social media and visual media (videos and advertisements) grows more urgent every day. 

Just think of how the need for these new standards (these are from SL grades 11-12) is evident on the site:

1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information
2.  Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data
3.  Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.

In short, the skills emphasized in the Common Core are applicable to both academic life and real life.  Our students are capable of interacting with their worlds so fluidly.  Let’s catch up to them!

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