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Making Media Literacy Central to Digital Citizenship
Tanner Higgin, Common Sense Education
While we often get distracted by the latest device or platform release, video has quietly been riding the wave of all of these advancements, benefiting from broader access to phones, displays, cameras and, most importantly, bandwidth. In fact, 68 percent of teachers are using video in their classrooms, and 74 percent of middle schoolers are watching videos for learning. From social media streams chock-full of video and GIFs to FaceTime with friends to two-hour Twitch broadcasts, video mediates students’ relationships with each other and the world. Video is a key aspect of our always-online attention economy that’s impacting voting behavior, and fueling hate speech and trolling. Put simply: Video is a contested civic space.
We need to move from a conflation of digital citizenship with internet safety and protectionism to a view of digital citizenship that’s pro-active and prioritizes media literacy and savvy. A good digital citizen doesn’t just dodge safety and privacy pitfalls, but works to remake the world, aided by digital technology like video, so it’s more thoughtful, inclusive and just.
1. Help Students Identify the Intent of What They Watch
equip students with some essential questions they can use to unpack the intentions of anything they encounter. One way to facilitate this thinking is by using a tool like EdPuzzle to edit the videos you want students to watch by inserting these questions at particularly relevant points in the video.
2. Be Aware That the Web Is a Unique Beast
Compared to traditional media (like broadcast TV or movies), the web is the Wild West.
Mike Caulfield’s e-book is a great deep dive into this topic, but as an introduction to web literacy you might first dig into the notion of reading “around” as well as “down” media — that is, encouraging students to not just analyze the specific video or site they’re looking at but related content (e.g., where else an image appears using a reverse Google image search).
3. Turn Active Viewing into Reactive Viewing
For this content, students shouldn’t just be working toward comprehension but critique;
using aclassroom backchannel, like TodaysMeet, during video viewings
4. Transform Students’ Video Critiques into Creations
Digital citizenship should be participatory, meaning students need to be actively contributing to culture. Unfortunately, only 3 percent of the time tweens and teens spend using social media is focused on creation.
facilitating video creation and remix, but two of my favorites are MediaBreaker and Vidcode.
5. Empower Students to Become Advocates
Why Technology Favors Tyranny
Artificial intelligence could erase many practical advantages of democracy, and erode the ideals of liberty and equality. It will further concentrate power among a small elite if we don’t take steps to stop it.
YUVAL NOAH HARARI OCTOBER 2018 ISSUE
Ordinary people may not understand artificial intelligence and biotechnology in any detail, but they can sense that the future is passing them by. In 1938 the common man’s condition in the Soviet Union, Germany, or the United States may have been grim, but he was constantly told that he was the most important thing in the world, and that he was the future (provided, of course, that he was an “ordinary man,” rather than, say, a Jew or a woman).
n 2018 the common person feels increasingly irrelevant. Lots of mysterious terms are bandied about excitedly in ted Talks, at government think tanks, and at high-tech conferences—globalization, blockchain, genetic engineering, AI, machine learning—and common people, both men and women, may well suspect that none of these terms is about them.
Fears of machines pushing people out of the job market are, of course, nothing new, and in the past such fears proved to be unfounded. But artificial intelligence is different from the old machines. In the past, machines competed with humans mainly in manual skills. Now they are beginning to compete with us in cognitive skills.
Israel is a leader in the field of surveillance technology, and has created in the occupied West Bank a working prototype for a total-surveillance regime. Already today whenever Palestinians make a phone call, post something on Facebook, or travel from one city to another, they are likely to be monitored by Israeli microphones, cameras, drones, or spy software. Algorithms analyze the gathered data, helping the Israeli security forces pinpoint and neutralize what they consider to be potential threats.
The conflict between democracy and dictatorship is actually a conflict between two different data-processing systems. AI may swing the advantage toward the latter.
As we rely more on Google for answers, our ability to locate information independently diminishes. Already today, “truth” is defined by the top results of a Google search. This process has likewise affected our physical abilities, such as navigating space.
So what should we do?
For starters, we need to place a much higher priority on understanding how the human mind works—particularly how our own wisdom and compassion can be cultivated.
more on SCSU student philosophy club in this IMS blog
How AR and VR are Being Used to Teach SEL
Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries.
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives.
keep safety in mindsaving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
more on VR in education in this IMS blog
on Google Expeditions:
Creating Accessible Presentations
This webinar for all 2018 LITA Forum presenters was a conversation about creating accessible presentations! Our speaker, Carli Spina, presented and offered guidance on accessibility and design. She explained how to design presentation materials that are accessible, including providing demonstrations of the accessibility features of popular presentation softwares, and how to ensure that your presentation is accessible for all of your audience members.
Carli Spina is an Associate Professor and the Head of Research & Instructional Services at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an MLIS from Simmons GSLIS, and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has extensive experience working, writing, and presenting on topics related to accessibility and Universal Design and has served as a coordinator for services to patrons with disabilities. She was the inaugural chair of LITA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has also served as the leader of the ASCLA Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group. She regularly teaches courses, workshops, and webinars on topics related to accessibility, Universal Design and technology. You can contact her on Twitter where she is @CarliSpina.
Kelly Hermann, VP, Accessibility Strategy, U of Phoenix
Accessibility: Fact or Fiction
PowerPoint available in the Canvas course:
- The vendor told me the product was ADA compliant so I don’t need to worry about this one.
There is not such think as ADA compliant when it comes up to educational technology or online environment
- Every piece of content I want to share with students has to be accessible or I can’t use it.
I should develop my content first and then worry about accessibility.
My institution just bought (insert whatever accessibility tool’s name
here). We’re all set and I don’t have to worry about accessibility anymore.
Access is an institutional responsibility and everyone has a role to play in removing barriers.
Chat messages from the presentation:
Office 2016 and O365 have accessibility checkers for Word, PPT, Excel
Vendors for automatic video transcription: Panopo
Accessing Higher Ground, Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference
November 12-16, 2018, Westin Westminster, Colorado and Virtual Conference 2018
Virtual Conference 2018
Did Media Literacy Backfire?
Jan 5, 2017danah boyd
Understanding what sources to trust is a basic tenet of media literacy education.
Think about how this might play out in communities where the “liberal media” is viewed with disdain as an untrustworthy source of information…or in those where science is seen as contradicting the knowledge of religious people…or where degrees are viewed as a weapon of the elite to justify oppression of working people. Needless to say, not everyone agrees on what makes a trusted source.
Students are also encouraged to reflect on economic and political incentives that might bias reporting. Follow the money, they are told. Now watch what happens when they are given a list of names of major power players in the East Coast news media whose names are all clearly Jewish. Welcome to an opening for anti-Semitic ideology.
In the United States, we believe that worthy people lift themselves up by their bootstraps. This is our idea of freedom. To take away the power of individuals to control their own destiny is viewed as anti-American by so much of this country. You are your own master.
Children are indoctrinated into this cultural logic early, even as their parents restrict their mobility and limit their access to social situations. But when it comes to information, they are taught that they are the sole proprietors of knowledge. All they have to do is “do the research” for themselves and they will know better than anyone what is real.
Combine this with a deep distrust of media sources.
Many marginalized groups are justifiably angry about the ways in which their stories have been dismissed by mainstream media for decades.It took five days for major news outlets to cover Ferguson. It took months and a lot of celebrities for journalists to start discussing the Dakota Pipeline. But feeling marginalized from news media isn’t just about people of color.
Keep in mind that anti-vaxxers aren’t arguing that vaccinations definitively cause autism. They are arguing that we don’t know. They are arguing that experts are forcing children to be vaccinated against their will, which sounds like oppression. What they want is choice — the choice to not vaccinate. And they want information about the risks of vaccination, which they feel are not being given to them. In essence, they are doing what we taught them to do: questioning information sources and raising doubts about the incentives of those who are pushing a single message. Doubt has become tool.
Addressing so-called fake news is going to require a lot more than labeling. It’s going to require a cultural change about how we make sense of information, whom we trust, and how we understand our own role in grappling with information. Quick and easy solutions may make the controversy go away, but they won’t address the underlying problems.
In the United States, we’re moving towards tribalism (see Fukuyama), and we’re undoing the social fabric of our country through polarization, distrust, and self-segregation.
boyd, danah. (2014). It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (1 edition). New Haven: Yale University Press.
p. 8 networked publics are publics that are reconstructed by networked technologies. they are both space and imagined community.
p. 11 affordances: persistence, visibility, spreadability, searchability.
p. technological determinism both utopian and dystopian
p. 30 adults misinterpret teens online self-expression.
p. 31 taken out of context. Joshua Meyrowitz about Stokely Charmichael.
p. 43 as teens have embraced a plethora of social environment and helped co-create the norms that underpin them, a wide range of practices has emerged. teens have grown sophisticated with how they manage contexts and present themselves in order to be read by their intended audience.
p. 54 privacy. p. 59 Privacy is a complex concept without a clear definition. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis: the right to be let alone, but also ‘measure of th access others have to you through information, attention, and physical proximity.’
control over access and visibility
p. 65 social steganography. hiding messages in plain sight
p. 69 subtweeting. encoding content
p. 70 living with surveillance . Foucault Discipline and Punish
p. 77 addition. what makes teens obsessed w social media.
p. 81 Ivan Goldberg coined the term internet addiction disorder. jokingly
p. 89 the decision to introduce programmed activities and limit unstructured time is not unwarranted; research has shown a correlation between boredom and deviance.
My interview with Myra, a middle-class white fifteen-year-old from Iowa, turned funny and sad when “lack of time” became a verbal trick in response to every question. From learning Czech to trakc, from orchestra to work in a nursery, she told me that her mother organized “98%” of her daily routine. Myra did not like all of these activities, but her mother thought they were important.
Myra noted that her mother meant well, but she was exhausted and felt socially disconnected because she did not have time to connect with friends outside of class.
p. 100 danger
are sexual predators lurking everywhere
p. 128 bullying. is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty.
p. 131 defining bullying in a digital era. p. 131 Dan Olweus narrowed in the 70s bulling to three components: aggression, repetition and imbalance on power. p. 152 SM has not radically altered the dynamics of bullying, but it has made these dynamics more visible to more people. we must use this visibility not to justify increased punishment, but to help youth who are actually crying out for attention.
p. 153 inequality. can SM resolve social divisions?
p. 176 literacy. are today’s youth digital natives? p. 178 Barlow and Rushkoff p. 179 Prensky. p. 180 youth need new literacies. p. 181 youth must become media literate. when they engage with media–either as consumers or producers–they need to have the skills to ask questions about the construction and dissemination of particular media artifacts. what biases are embedded in the artifact? how did the creator intend for an audience to interpret the artifact, and what are the consequences of that interpretation.
p. 183 the politics of algorithms (see also these IMS blog entries https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=algorithms
) Wikipedia and google are fundamentally different sites. p. 186 Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: the personalization algorithms produce social divisions that undermine any ability to crate an informed public. Harvard’s Berkman Center have shown, search engines like Google shape the quality of information experienced by youth.
p. 192 digital inequality. p. 194 (bottom) 195 Eszter Hargittai: there are signifficant difference in media literacy and technical skills even within age cohorts. teens technological skills are strongly correlated with socio-economic status. Hargittai argues that many youth, far from being digital natives, are quite digitally naive.
p. 195 Dmitry Epstein: when society frames the digital divide as a problem of access, we see government and industry as the responsible party for the addressing the issue. If DD as skills issue, we place the onus on learning how to manage on individuals and families.
p. 196 beyond digital natives
Palfrey, J., & Gasser, U. (2008). Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (1 edition). New York: Basic Books.
John Palfrey, Urs Gasser: Born Digital
Digital Natives share a common global culture that is defined not by age, strictly, but by certain attributes and experience related to how they interact with information technologies, information itself, one another, and other people and institutions. Those who were not “born digital’ can be just as connected, if not more so, than their younger counterparts. And not everyone born since, say 1982, happens to be a digital native.” (see also https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2018/04/15/no-millennials-gen-z-gen-x/
p. 197. digital native rhetoric is worse than inaccurate: it is dangerous
many of the media literacy skills needed to be digitally savvy require a level of engagement that goes far beyond what the average teen pick up hanging out with friends on FB or Twitter. Technical skills, such as the ability to build online spaces requires active cultivation. Why some search queries return some content before others. Why social media push young people to learn how to to build their own systems, versus simply using a social media platforms. teens social status and position alone do not determine how fluent or informed they are via-a-vis technology.
p. 199 Searching for a public on their own
Daum, M. (2018, August 24). My Affair With the Intellectual Dark Web – Great Escape. Retrieved October 9, 2018, from https://medium.com/s/greatescape/nuance-a-love-story-ae6a14991059
the intellectual dark web
more on media literacy in this IMS blog
fake news in this IMS blog
(thank you Mike Pickle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/190982954245635/permalink/2110516852292226/)
Mysterious new brain cell found in people
“rosehip neurons,” were found in the uppermost layer of the cortex, which is home to many different types of neurons that inhibit the activity of other neurons.
the set of genes expressed in these inhibitory rosehip neurons doesn’t closely match any previously identified cell in the mouse, suggesting they have no analog in the rodent often used as a model for humans,
The locations of their points of contact on other neurons suggest they’re in a powerful position to put the brakes on other incoming, excitatory signals—by which complex circuits of neurons activate one another throughout the brain.
more on learning and the brain in this IMS blog
More Popular Than Gmail, Facebook and Instagram: The Education App That Hit #1 on the iOS Chart
According to both Apple and App Annie, a website that tracks the popularity of mobile apps by number of new downloads, Remind, a school communications platform, took the #1 spot on the chart of free iOS apps.
Remind’s app allows educators, parents and students to send and receive text and voice messages, as well as share attachments and links to digital educational resources. The company was founded in 2011 with a straightforward value proposition: to provide teachers with a safe and secure way to send homework or study reminders to students and their parents on mobile devices without using personal phone numbers.
Those features may seem simple by today’s standards. But it’s amassed a growing footprint, claiming users in more than 70 percent of U.S. public schools. Grey adds that Remind today has 27 million monthly active users (which breaks down to approximately 2 million teachers, 13 million students and 12 million parents). Across them, Remind says 17 billion messages have been sent since its launch.
Along with simplicity, Remind’s timing may have also helped the product find a receptive market. The company’s launch in 2011 coincided with the start of a period that saw smartphone adoption among U.S. adults steadily grow from 35 percent in 2011 to 77 percent in 2018, according to the Pew Research Center.
At its core, Remind remains very much a school communications tool, says Grey. But his grander vision is to evolve the app into what he calls an “educational platform” that allow users to share content from other providers. For instance, when Remind users compose a message, they can currently connect to their accounts on Google Classroom, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Quizlet and other tools to directly share documents, Powerpoint slides, flashcard sets and other kinds of files.
more on remind in this IMS blog
ISTE Releases New Standards for Education Leaders
By Team ISTE6/24/2018
ISTE received input and feedback on the Education Leaders Standards from over 1,300 educators and leaders from all 50 states and 36 countries.
The characteristics of effective leaders outlined in the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders are:
- Equity and Citizenship Advocate: Leaders use technology to increase equity, inclusion and digital citizenship practices.
- Visionary Planner: Leaders engage others in establishing a vision, strategic plan and ongoing evaluation cycle for transforming learning with technology.
- Empowering Leader: Leaders create a culture where teachers and learners are empowered to use technology in innovative ways to enrich teaching and learning.
- System Designer: Leaders build teams and systems to implement, sustain and continually improve the use of technology to support learning.
- Connected Learner: Leaders model and promote continuous professional learning for themselves and others.
The ISTE Standards are a framework for rethinking education and empowering learners. ISTE began a cycle of updating the widely used standards when it released the new ISTE Standards for Students (in 2016), followed by the ISTE Standards for Educators (in 2017), culminating with the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders this year.
“As administrators, our responsibilities cover many areas, including technology, which has become a necessary component of living and work,” said Curt Mould, director of digital media, innovation and strategy at Sun Prairie Area School District in Wisconsin. “The world our students are walking into is increasingly global and diverse – and technology is often the leverage point needed to bring global and diverse ideas together. In this regard, technology can be a game-changer in our schools. We need a new plan to help operationalize our work for the long-term benefit of our students.”
more on ISTE standards in this IMS blog
more on technology and ed leaders in this IMS blog
How Can We Amplify Student Learning? The ANSWER from Cognitive Psychology
By: Kevin Yee, PhD, and Diane E. Boyd, PhD JUNE 18TH, 2018
We know now from rigorous testing in cognitive psychology that learning styles are really learning preferences that do not correlate with achievement (An et al., 2017).
An, Donggun, and Martha Carr. “Learning styles theory fails to explain learning and achievement: Recommendations for alternative approaches.” Personality and Individual Differences 116 (2017): 410-416.
To assist time-strapped instructional faculty and staff, we offer a consolidated summary of key cognitive science principles, in the form of an easy-to-remember acronym: ANSWER.
Attention: Learning requires memory, and memory requires focused attention. Multitasking is a myth, and even the more scientifically-accurate term “task-switching” yields errors compared to focused attention. The brain is quite adept at filtering out dozens of simultaneous stimuli, as it does every second of wakefulness. Attention is a required ingredient for learning. This has ramifications for syllabus policies on the use of electronic devices for note-taking, which have been shown to be irresistible and therefore lead to distraction and lower scores (Ravizza, Uitvlugt, and Fenn). Even when students are not distracted, laptops are used primarily for dictation, which does little for long-term memory; writing by hand does more to stimulate attention and build neural networks than typing (Mueller and Oppenheimer).
Novelty: variety into lesson plans, activities, and opportunities for practice, instructors amplify potential learning for their students. Further, the use of metaphors in teaching enhances transfer, hemispheric integration, and retention, so using picture prompts and images can further solidify student learning (Sousa).
Spacing: Sometimes called “distributed practice,”the spacing effect refers to the jump in performance when students study a subject and then practice with gaps of time, ideally over one or more nights (sleep helps with memory consolidation), as compared to studying all at once, as if cramming the night before a test. Cramming, or massed practice, is successful for temporary test performance, since information is loaded into working memory. But the practices that work well for short-term memory do not work well for long-term memory. The spacing effect is particularly effective when combined with interleaving, the intentional practice of mixing in older learning tasks/skills with the new ones (Roedeiger, et al.). An ideal example of this would be regular quizzes in the semester that are cumulative (think “tiny final exams”).
Why: Memory is associative; when new memories are formed, neurons wire together (and later fire together), so the context can lead to the information, and vice versa. A teaching strategy of comprised of questions to guide lesson plans (perhaps even beginning with mystery) can pique student interest and learning potential. If you use PowerPoint, Haiku Deck, or Prezi, do your slides consist primarily of answers or questions?
Emotions: Short-term memories are stored in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain associated with emotions; the same area where we consolidate short-term into long-term memories overnight.
As instructors, we create the conditions in which students will motivate themselves (Ryan & Deci, 2000) by infusing our interactions with the positive emptions of curiosity, discovery, and fun. Simple gamification (quizzes with immediate feedback, for instance) can help.
Repetition: The creation of a new memory really means the formation of synapses across neurons and new neural pathways. These pathways and bridges degrade over time unless the synapse fires again. Consider the days before smartphones, when the way to remember a phone number was to repeat it several times mentally. Repetition, in all its forms, enables more effective recall later. This is why quizzing, practice testing, flashcards, and instructor-driven questioning and challenges are so effective.
more on learning styles in this IMS blog
more on multitasking in this blog
for and against the use of technology in the classroom
on spaced learning in this blog
How AR and VR are Being Used to Teach SEL
SEL social emotional learning
In his book, “Experience on Demand,” Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, writes, “No medium, of course can fully capture the subjective experience of another person, but by richly evoking a real-seeming, first-person experience, virtual reality does seem to promise to offer new, empathy-enhancing qualities.” Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries. Those latter activities, he writes, require “a lot of imaginative work,” whereas virtual reality can “convey the feeling” of, say, a refugee camp’s environment, and the “smallness of the living quarters, the size of the camp.”
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty. But within a minute or two, the students became quiet, absorbed in what they were seeing; they realized the “reality of the horror of what was in front of them.” Questions ensued.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives. However, he thinks no one tool or experience will bring results unless it is “nested in a broader framework of a vision and goals and relationships.”
Berger says virtual reality experiences have to be accompanied by work beforehand and follow-up afterwards. Kids, he says, need to be reflective and think critically.
immersion experiences like virtual reality should be “embedded in positive” adult and peer relationships. He adds that ideally, there’s also a resulting action where kids do something productive with the information they’ve learned, to help their own growth and to help others. He mentions an example where students interviewed local immigrants and refugees, then wrote the stories they heard. They published the stories in a book, and the profits went to legal fees for local refugees.
saving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
The Brain Science Is In: Students’ Emotional Needs Matter
What the neuro-, cognitive, and behavioral research says about social-emotional learning
Teachers, like parents, have always understood that children’s learning and growth do not occur in a vacuum, but instead at the messy intersection of academic, social, and emotional development.
four specific insights:
• Malleability: Genes are not destiny. Our developing brains are largely shaped by our environments and relationships—a process that continues into adulthood.
• Context: Family, relationships, and lived experiences shape the physiological structure of our brains over time. Healthy amounts of challenge and adversity promote growth, but toxic stress takes a toll on the connections between the hemispheres of our brain.
• Continuum: While we’ve become familiar with the exponential development of the brain for young children, it continues throughout life. The explosion of brain growth into adolescence and early adulthood, in particular, requires putting serious work into much more intentional approaches to supporting that development than is common today.
more on VR and empathy in this IMS blog
more on SEL social emotional learning