Media Literacy

Don't bring me your problemsClassic classroom content override. I have now watched all the videos by Miguel Carrasco. I’ll write another post about that but meanwhile there is this one which came about because Miguel Carrasco was showing us how to get ideas for content and then popped onto someone’s Facebook page and there was the quote: “Don’t bring me your problems . Bring me two solutions.” . I was listening to Miguel Carrasco talking but my mind had gone off on a tangent because of that quote. It made me think of how I operated in a classroom with technology. It was standard practice for me to say to students:

“If you are having trouble, tell me what you have tried to do yourself and if you are still stuck, I’ll try and help you…or we’ll all try and help you. Have a go yourself first with your ideas. ”

When it came to research on anything I’d come into class with 20 minutes of teaching on good and helpful sites to get them started and on the right track and then we had the open invitation that if you had a good site too , you’d let me know and I’d put that into the list of resources on the LMS. Team effort on good research but as the teacher I shone the light on the path. Students also got into the habit of messaging me on the LMS to send me links at any time so I could add to those shared resources. Parents could enter that research arena because we blogged a lot of what we were doing. Based on their knowledge and experience they could come in with other information and links. It was always growing and pointing us in the right direction for good learning and reliable information.

Image: dreamstime

I  appliinformation supported the classroom tenet to myself. There were occasionally days where I had to walk in and say:

“I have tried to find some good examples of …. and I have looked here and I have looked there and the best I can do is this…”

I would go through my information and then we’d spend 10-15 minutes to see what the students could come up with that was better and then put that on the shared resources. Students had input into worthwhile content and reliable resources.

We learned from each other.

Dana Boyd has written a long and interesting article Did Media Literacy Backfire? It is worth the read because it looks at how we are bombarded with information and misinformation and how we may be trying to deal with that. On any given day everything is coming at us: news, fake news, distractions, red herrings, information and misinformation. We have to stay in control of that and we have to teach others how to stay in control of that. So we need to be coming at it from a solutions point of view and not a problems one. If we see it all as a problem we’ll collapse under the weight of what is headed in our direction. We need to step back and have a plan of how we deal with this and , in my book, networking and team effort wins.

Educational games

educational games You cannot just use educational games in a classroom. They need to be vetted and a teacher needs to be very aware of the content. Some games are just badly constructed and offer little in terms of education. Others are unsuitable but you might not know that unless you have been through the games yourself. Time. All time! So it is good if we have trusted sites and sites we can turn to which will either have or recommend suitable classroom games. Even then you still have to check them out before you use them. Trusted sites would cut down the amount of time you spend looking at games which do not fit into an educational context or just plain don’t work. I have just been on a site looking at games I thought would be good and not one of them worked. The Media Awareness Network based in Ottawa offers some really good information about selecting games and offers some games for classroom use. It has a good look at the media impact of games, cyber safety and the sorts of things you need to consider with games in a classroom. At the moment I try to find one good game a term. This ensures I build up my bank of knowledge on games but it also means I have had a chance to look at them properly. Games can bring welcome relief to intense laptop activities but the games I use practise French grammar or French language and offer a different way to students for learning their language and remembering their language skills. A year into the one to one programme and students are starting to find suitable games and recommend them to me!

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