Sunday, September 25, 2016

Diversity in the Classroom and Media Influences

Begin by analyzing short “State of the village report” from 2005 originally created in 1992 by Donella H. Meadows

- Read a short article about challenges in defining Multicultural Education and also about the areas of social transformation.

Take a quick visual "snap judgement" test on  Explore resources there

- Read about “Key Characteristics of a Multicultural Curriculum” by P.Gorski

image source:

- Read short article “Transforming Myself to Transform My School: with the special attention to “Ten Critical and Self-critical Things I Can Do to Be a Better Multicultural Educator:

- The following video was posted in 2011. Are men and women really equal today?

- Watch kids reaction to the Cheerios ad.  In the ad, a white mother tells her bi-racial daughter about Cheerios' benefits to the heart. The little girl grabs the box and leaves. The next scene shows her sleeping African American father awaking to finds Cheerios piled on his heart. Unfortunately many people thought the video was offensive. It received such a large amount of angry and hateful remarks on YouTube that the comments section was shut down. Fortunately when the commercial was shown to the kids, they did not see race in a  family as an issue.

- Watch the video “Misconceptions; Do’s & Don’ts of a 1st Year Teacher” created by Mississippi State University students about racial stereotypes (4 min)

- Browse and Follow the Kid World Citizen organization on Pinterest  for a variety of multicultural activities and resources

Additional resources:

ISTE Standards  for students connection: Standard #2 c: Students develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures

ISTE Standards for teachers connection:  Standard #4.d. Teacher develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital age communication and collaboration tools.

We use media in different ways. The same media content may gratify different needs for different individuals. The resources below explaining the effects of the media from the point of view of audiences.
Needs and Gratifications model of the Media by Blumler &  Katz)

How to Tell if You Are a Racist? Consider the questions, answer to yourself.

Watch the An Anti-Bullying Message From the NOH8 Campaign (2.27 min)

Information for Teens: The Media &Your Life - How the media affects Teens & Young Adults

Video “Tellin' Stories” about program designed to increase parental involvement and student achievement in America's public schools.

- The digital story about the depression and issues faced by Asian American girl - pay attention to the poem in the story (also typed under the video) (5.29 min)

Elders React to Nicki Minaj - Anaconda

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Visual Literacy

Read blog post: Are you visually literate? Are your kids? by Leslie Madsen Brooks and explore the links included in a post.

Color matters! Read about color symbolism in different cultures and explore other parts of this web site to learn more about the significance of color in our lives.

Is visual literacy an academic skill? If so, how do we define it and how do we learn? Studium Generale asked ten researchers from various fields to think about pictures, how we see them and what we need to know about the way they are made and interpreted. Watch their explanation (7 min) . I will talk about it more in my lecture.

As you are going to design your WebQuest website, it is very important what makes page friendly, and how to present the text so it is useful to the learner.  To help you with that I created a short video about the web design considerations

Browse this great resources collected by Frank W. Baker. Note the lesson plans ideas. Bookmark (Pin?) the links that may be useful in your future.  

Image: Ray eye reused here in accordance with a creative commons license

Additional resources:
ISTE Standards for students connection:  Standard #2b Communication and Collaboration:  Students communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats  and #2c Students develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.

Play with colors on a professional level: The color scheme designer

The Smithsonian Institution Archives. The lesson plans and resources with ideas about how to use primary sources (including diaries, letters, and photographs) in the K–12 classroom.

Visual Thinking Strategies

25 of the most iconic photographs (according to CNN) - How many can you name just by looking at them?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Copyright, Fair Use, Public Domain, & Creative Commons

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (this image is in the public domain)
Review this Worksheet to help you better understand the lecture.

Read this RWLD, listen to the recorded lecture, and take the quiz.

These RWLDs for your upcoming copyright lecture introduce you to fundamental principles of U.S. copyright law, fair use, public domain, and creative commons. Your understanding of these concepts is key to making legal and ethical decisions about how to incorporate media into educational projects (and guiding your own students to do so in the future).

List of Terms and Concepts You Should Know:
  1. Copyright (what is it and when is it obtained by a creator?)
  2. The Copyright Act of 1976
  3. Copyright Ownership (Copyright Term Extension Act)
  4. Public Domain
  5. Fair Use (when it can be used?); also see Portion Limitations
  6. Creative Commons (how do you obtain a CC license?)
  7. The TEACH Act of 2002
  8. Shepard Fairy and the legal controversy with his iconic image of President Obama
  9. Jammie Thomas-Rasset's case who illegally downloading 24 songs. Read the follow up to the story of Capitol v. Thomas on Wikipedia.
  10. Iowa AEA Online: (get the username and password from your instructor for iCLIPART For Schools)
  11. What is flickr and how do you find Creative Commons images in there? 
  12. What is Google Advanced Search and exactly how can you find resources that are “free to use or share”?

You may also find many of the answers here:

(This PDF handout is from Iowa AEA Online. Save this document for lecture, for future reference, and to use with students in your own classroom).
............and here:
2) Explore the interactive web site Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright (from the Library of Congress), especially the section Files on Record which provides an interactive timeline of copyright milestones (look for the scroll bars along the left and right sides).


Copyright history and rational in 6 minutes!

Creative Commons

This 5 minute video explains why Creative Commons was created:

Creative Commons licenses make it easy for people to share their works which are otherwise protected by copyright law. This provides terrific opportunities for teachers and students! It's what you might say is a happy middle ground between All Rights Reserved and the public domain.

Other Resources (FYI)

- Copyright Basics: pages 1—6 of Copyright Basics (PDF) from the US Copyright Office (

- Bookmark and explore these UNI sites related to copyright: UNI Copyright Policies and Rod Library Guide to Copyright and FAQs about copyright at UNI.
- And last but not least, take a look at the Key Moments in Social Media Law from 1984 on!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Systematic Instructional Design

This set of Readings, Watchings, Listenings, and Doings (RWLDs) will prepare you for the lecture on "Systematic Instructional Design" and also help you plan an interdisciplinary thematic unit of instruction.  

 (Click the CC at the bottom of the video window to turn on the Closed Captioning.)

Identifying Your Destination
The Teaching/Learning situation is not limited to identifying a "coooool" activity and then connecting forms of instruction and assessment to it. To effectively design and develop learning activities, it is necessary to identify the desired outcome first.  This provides direction for your instructional activities.

Your desired outcomes for Iowa classroom activities are determined by the Iowa Core Curriculum (or other relevant standards that you will find on the Assignment page.) The subject-specific standards are organized by Essential Concepts/Goals. Each of these Essential Concepts/Goals is supported by Skills/Objectives that will provide observable  behaviors that can be measured to indicate a student's mastery.

You, the teacher, want to do a thematic unit on Plant Life.  You want to do some experiments with plants (Science), Capture the data with graphs (Math) and create a report on your findings (Literacy).  

This video demonstrates the process you would follow accessing the Iowa Core:

(Click the CC at the bottom of the video window to turn on the Closed Captioning.)

In the Thematic Unit, Plant Life, you have addressed 3 topics and their Standards/Essential Concepts/Skills.  Here is a table of what was addressed in the video:

You have identified what your students will be learning and now you must design and create a set of lesson activities that will help your students master this skill.

It's just common sense to begin with the end in mind, but this is called Backward Design

Here is a video that uses the metaphor of planning a trip to describe Backward Design.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?  If you don't know where you will be going, you won't be able to figure out how to get there.

Backward Design is the basis for an instructional design system called Understanding by Design.

The Understanding by Design framework has 3 parts:
  1. Identify Desired Results
    1. What will students know?
    2. What will students be able to do?
  2. Determine Acceptable Evidence
    1. What performance will meaning-making and transfer
  3. Create the Learning Plans
    1. Learning Plan (instruction)
    2. Learning Activities (experiences)
Bernajean Porter does a good job of explaining the aspects of Understanding by Design. The most significant point that she makes is that starting with the "End in Mind" is just common sense.

Understanding by Design
is a framework which provides direction for unit lesson planning. It begins by identifying the Desired Outcomes and Results and then makes a plan to achieve that outcome.

Technology Standards for Students
Subject standards are necessary for knowing WHAT to teach in subject areas and Technology standards can provide guidance for HOW to support learning in these areas using technology. These standards don't emphasize which technologies to use, but rather how to use the technologies to inspire learning processes like creativity, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking and digital citizenship.

Download these ISTE Standards for Students.  These six standards cover:
  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and Information Fluency
  4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
  5. Digital Citizenship
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts (Notice that actually using technology is last)
Putting It All Together with TPACK
Teaching and Learning through technology is much more than just using Powerpoint and Twitter. It is an integration Technology, Pedagogy (Teaching Strategies), and Content Knowledge.  The venn diagram below shows how each of these areas can combine and impact the others.  Certain forms of Technology can be used to support specific teaching strategies (Pedagogy).  That is TPK intersection.  Specific forms of pedagogy are used to teach specific forms of Content Knowledge.  Ultimately the TPACK educator is interested in teaching in the "sweet spot" in the middle where all three areas are fully integrated.
    Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by
Read more about the TPACK model (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) which we consider a framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology.  
You can also watch this video which provides a brief introduction to TPACK in 2 minutes. 

Prepare for Your Thematic Unit
Find the Thematic Unit Description project requirements in eLearning under Labs (Class Projects). Familiarize yourself with the expectations and resources provided for your first big project in the course.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Building Higher-Order Thinking Skills

Do YOU know what HOTS means? It takes them to figure out that answer. Enjoy the journey. . .

Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally
How does Bloom's Taxonomy fit into today's learning opportunities.
  • Review the six levels of the taxonomy. Pay careful attention to the "observable verbs" that connect with each level. 
  • Read aloud the verbs for Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating (Higher Order Thinking Skills - HOTS)
  • Review the digital activities that can be used to teach skills at each of the levels.
It's the Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) that make learning meaningful. These are the activities where learners enjoy the thinking/development process because they require learners to become involved in developing the outcome. Memorizing names (Remembering) to write on a test has no meaning to a learner. When a learner uses personal ideas to develop a product in a problem-based learning experience (Creating) has meaning for a learner and can make a difference in how the learner approaches the world.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from? Johnson provides the story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our education, our society, and our culture forward.

So HOW do we integrate Higher-Order Thinking Skills into our Learning and Teaching?  Here are a few ideas:

Collaboration in the 21st Century: Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Robinson explores how education can prepare students for the collaboration they will use in their future lives. This is an inspiring video that explains how collaboration supports innovation.

How Digital Tools Prepare Students for the 21st Century
A research-based white paper that explains how using graphic organizers can assist students in learning.

Examples of Activities that Promote Higher-Order Thinking
This title isn't completely true.  Some of the activities encourage Higher-Order Thinking Skills, but some of them are actually Lower-Order Thinking Skills (LOTS).  Use a copy of Bloom's Taxonomy to identify which are HOTS and which are LOTS.

Higher-Level Thinking in the Classroom - Middle School
A teachers from Georgetown School District demonstrates how they promotes higher-order thinking in the classroom. This even includes a principal's perspective on the process.

Thinking Outside the Box - Higher Order Thinking in Kindergarten - Teaching Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) isn't just for higher grades. Review these ideas for HOTS activities for 5-year-olds.  How will this address your future students?  They may be a different age, but the approach is the same.

Extras (Not on the quiz):

Recorded lecture - Please watch AFTER completing RWLD's above.

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