From the ORC Collection
More Resources for "Twenty-First-Century Literacies"
Besides the numerous direct links to rich resources found in the articles in this issue, here are some additional excellent resources from the ORC collection. If you find a favorite or two (or three or four or . . .), be sure to save them in your “My ORC Collection” for easy access.
Using Microblogging and Social Networking to Explore Characterization and Style (ORC #12982)
This lesson capitalizes on students’ familiarity with social networking in order to explore character development and to experiment with writing style. As they are reading Jane Austen’s Emma or another novel of manners, students take on the persona of one of the characters. Imitating Jane Austen’s style, they create a profile and compose tweets and blog posts for the character. An evaluation rubric and questions for self-reflection are provided. This instructional resource is a wonderful example of the use of technology to enhance student learning while keeping students engaged with the novel. A teacher who wishes to use the resource will need to carefully review the technology needs and, if necessary, work with the tech coordinator to be sure students can access necessary tools.
Thoughtful Threads: Sparking Rich Online Discussions (ORC #12983)
This lesson engages students through their participation in online literature circles as they read young adult novels. A suggested list of novels is supplied. There are also suggestions for selecting a platform and creating an online discussion forum for each group. Teachers will need to consider the technology guidelines of the school and the resources of students. After teacher modeling, students are guided to develop their own open-ended discussion prompts and post them. Not only are students encouraged to have lively conversations about their reading online; they analyze the quality of their prompts and investigate which types elicit the richest discussion.
Texting a Response to Lord of the Flies (ORC #12984)
In this lesson, students participate in a review of Lord of the Flies by choosing scenes from the novel when the use of today's high-tech methods of contact could have been successful. An interactive tool is featured at the website to help them create a graphic map of these events. Students then develop a summary of the book from one character's perspective by creating five text messages composed by that character to an imagined audience off the island. Messages are to suggest the identity of the sender, the audience, and the purpose. A student handout and website link are provided to help with texting abbreviations. Suggestions for student reflections, extension activities, and additional teaching resources for the novel are also included.
Listening 2.0: What Adolescents Want Us to Know About New Literacies and Learning (ORC #12805)
The April 2006 In Perspective feature article is written by Sara Kajder, author and assistant professor of English education at Virginia Tech. She describes her changing role from literacy teacher to teacher of multiple literacies. Based on discussions with her high school students, Kajder shares their insights about literacy and learning and the implications for providing instruction that gives students access to authentic audiences and opportunities to do work that is meaningful and significant. She encourages the use of web 2.0 tools, but emphasizes that teachers need to focus more on when to use the tools rather than how. Throughout the article, Kajder offers specific examples showing how she leverages student interest in the new tools and literacy spaces to engage her students and improve teaching and learning.
Wired Students, Disconnected Learners (ORC #8027)
The April 2006 featured article of In Perspective is written by David L. Bruce, an assistant professor at Kent State in Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies. His is a general discussion of technology in the classroom—its successes, its problematic nature, and its connection to literacy development. Bruce shares classroom vignettes about students who, stumped with the traditional "read and write," produce freely when given a camera and editing station. He's included his rubric for video assessment as well as some video and audio clips from students. Links are available within the online article. The author concludes with a list of references and his notion of using technology for literacy development: "It is messy, challenging, time-intensive, creative, and rewarding work. Stated in another way, it is what authentic learning should look like. . . . After all, these students are already wired. Shouldn't we get them plugged in?"
"Et tu, Ms. Ressler?" Radio Show Podcasts and Julius Caesar (ORC #12804)
In this In Perspective classroom vignette, high school English teacher Sarah Ressler describes how she engaged students in analyzing Julius Caesar as they created radio show podcasts. Each podcast contained propaganda ads for the leaders of Rome, music that related to the plot, and advertising that dealt with aspects of the play. The article includes student handouts explaining the project in detail, directions for using the available technology to create the podcasts, a rubric for assessment, and links to audio files containing examples of actual student podcasts.
21st Century Curriculum and Assessment Framework (ORC #12807)
This NCTE position statement recognizes that along with changes in society and technology come changes in literacy. Elements of the framework include six competencies needed by twenty-first-century readers and writers. Key questions for teacher reflection and discussion are provided for each competency. The statement also suggests both traditional and newer elements of assessment that must be taken into consideration when assessing twenty-first-century student learning.
21st Century Skills English Map (ORC #12809)
This map, created by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the National Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, provides a model for weaving twenty-first-century skills into literacy classrooms. The map is divided into three general skill areas: learning and innovation; information, media, and technology; and life and career. For each section, specific skills are delineated along with a description of the skill, sample learner outcomes, and detailed examples of how the skill might be taught at grades 4, 8, and 12.
Writing between the Lines—and Everywhere Else: A Report from the National Council of Teachers of English (ORC #12808)
This report summarizes poll data collected by NCTE from 900+ English language arts educators regarding twenty-first-century literacies. It also shares survey data collected from teen writers and their parents by Pew Internet and American Life Project. According to the report, the majority of students find little correlation between the writing they do for academic purposes and their everyday literacy practices outside of school. The report uses the findings to explore the following topics: (1) How Is Literacy for the 21st Century Different? (2) In-School and Out-of-School Literacies: NCTE’s Role in Bringing Them Together, and (3) The National Day on Writing and the National Gallery of Writing. NCTE initiatives that support implementation of twenty-first-century learning principles are also described.
An Interview with Bob Howard on Technology and the Classroom (ORC #12806)
This classroom vignette from the April 2008 issue of In Perspective features highlights from Sue Misiak’s interview with classroom technology expert Bob Howard. An audio file of the entire interview is available at the website. Bob shares examples of various appropriate-to-the-task technologies, including podcasting, that he helps teachers incorporate into their lessons. Howard stresses that students feel that the classroom is more relevant when they can use real-world technology in classroom assignments and projects.
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