iRead- Using iPods for Literacy
Here’s a 10 minute video describing how one of our great elementary school teachers is using iPods to help with elementary literacy and reading fluency. The video needs some work1 but the idea is sound and interesting2.
It’s a bit of a HEF ad but they’re a good group that helps fund projects like this so I’m happy to help them out.
We’re asking you to take your favourite film and re-imagine it for us in the form of a comic, within a six-frame panel (download template files). That’s the whole film, condensed into six frames. This is another beautiful, reductionist way to analyze a book, historical figure, era, epoch or movement. I don’t see much use for math but I could also see some science possibilities. You could pair up with an art teacher or just do it on your own. I’d have a stable of activitiesOf the condense and remix type. I’ve posted a few in the past. similar to these and allow students the option to choose between them at various points. Keep in mind, they don’t have to be drawn. Let them use photographs. They could even take their own pictures. The concept/framework is simple but don’t let it box you in. This is the stuff I really like in history and English. It’s low work on the teacher, high processing on the students. Deciding what elements are essential is a task that requires a lot of understanding and critical thinking, then representing those ideas graphically is another level of processing. I’m working on a history example but it’s taking too much time (and thought) to do well immediately.
These things are less techy and more inspired by pop culture once again but I thought they were worth remembering. Scion Crest Generator – While the choices aren’t unlimited, this nice flash interface will help you make a lot of different crests. The real power would be in requiring logic for the various choices and in that way the restrictions almost work for you- less time in building and more time spent on why your choices make sense. You could do this with just about any character or historical figure. The really nice thing is the image sizes are really good- up to 2048×1536 so you could print them out and do other things with them or just use them as a starting point in Photoshop or some other image editor. For instance, I made the crest above for this blog. The wrenches on the left to represent the DIY ethic of much of the stuff I like. The circuit board patter on the right to represent the technology. Then the broadcasting icon represented RSS to me and the fire is for igniting a passion for learning. The wolf is because I like to bite people. I just liked the wolf, a little gritty and banged up from the real world. Corny, I know, but you get the idea. It’d […]
I wandered into the The Pirate’s Dilemma keynote video the other day and found it pretty interesting. It’s worth watching if you’ve got some time. There’s also an accompanying book and blog. I subscribed to the blog and got an interesting bonus recently. Nicholas Felton ( of dy/dan fame) worked with Matt Mason (Pirate’s Dilemma author) as part of the We Tell Stories series. My brief was to come up with something based Hard Times, the Dickens classic which illustrates the growing pains of the industrial revolution. My story was to be about the growing pains of the information revolution, the subject covered in The Pirate’s Dilemma. If that wasn’t an intimidating enough way to enter the world of fiction for the first time, the story also had to be told as an ‘info-graphic novel’, using mostly statistics and numbers, mirroring Mr Thomas Gradgrind’s (the main character in Hard Times) obsession with cold hard facts. He didn’t quite follow those directions but I like what he came up with. It takes some focus to really appreciate it (or understand it in some cases) but I think that’s a good thing. We Tell Stories is an interesting project with 6 authors telling 6 stories in interesting ways. There’s a lot of variety and some interesting things to think about in terms […]