Thursday, October 29, 2009

Comprehension & web-based content: electronic vs. non-electronic text

Our school improvement goal for this coming year focuses on growth in reading.   And while we have people who still rely heavily on textbook content, I firmly believe that our students are much heavier consumers of web-based content than textbook content.  Shouldn't we be focusing on reading comprehension for web-based content?  Isn't information literacy much more relevant for our learners today than textbook literacy?

I came across a video clip from Chris Lehmann's blog last year called Joe's Non-Netbook

This is from a 1:1 school (all kids have laptops), but I think this is how our students see textbooks now -- a foreign tool.   We have a choice, though.  We can spend our time teaching them about how to use the index and how to find the glossary.  We can spend our money on "better" textbooks that have more appropriate reading levels.  Or, we can spend our time & money helping our kids learn how to navigate the information landscape of the present and future. Shouldn't that be our real achievement goal?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Gallery of Writing

Those of you who teach English probably got wind of the National Day of Writing (October 20), thanks to the NCTE.  It was also the debut of the National Gallery of Writing.

The National Gallery of Writing is not only a place to find pieces that others have submitted, but it's also a place where anyone can submit writing.

Perhaps the most significant thing for those in the classroom is the opportunity to create a "gallery" within the National Gallery.  In fact, doing a search for galleries from the state of Colorado yields 40 results already -- including districts like Littleton Public Schools, schools like Challenge or Niwot High School, or even classes with a teacher as the curator.

Smoky Hill has submitted an application for its own gallery.  If you are an English teacher, consider having your students submit to our gallery.   Contact Kellie Ady for questions or help.