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.

Social Media Challenge

social media challenge The blog post on ConstantContact is scaffolding for getting yourself and/or your organisation launched comfortably into social media. You can choose your platform, there are examples of what to do and then there is a 30 day challenge. Challenges are a good way to get yourself and others going. They provide ideas, impetus, feedback and a learning curve. Some challenges really are a challenge too because you find that you are not so comfortable posting about the topic of the challenge for that day. It then means you have to think it through and work out what the issues are. You are not obliged to post online and you should not be in a situation where you are uncomfortable with it. Like anything else in life a challenge will teach you what boundaries you want in place and what you consider to be appropriate and inappropriate. All of this helps you master social media and take control of it. For an organisation it provides a layer of contact and feedback which can really help the organisation to grow as it does for any individual.

Transcending physicality

It takes a yogi and mystic to clarify to you that when you are connected you are actually transcending physicality. That had never occurred to me, and yet, it is true. Listening to a topic being discussed through the senses and thought of another culture brings a profound way of looking at the topic. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev really does demystify a number of things we are concerned about when he contextualises them as he explains them. We now have communication with others which we choose rather than are compelled to have. It is not really a problem if you are messaging some one in close proximity because it might mean you are being quieter in the way you are communicating. And yes, it is important to value the interactions we have with  real people in other spaces because those real life communication spaces may well disappear because of technology. His pragmatism is reassuring in lots of ways because he has thought in a calm and considered way about he implications of technology in our daily lives. How did I come about this video? By going onto YouTube and searching “growing with technology”. In my transcended physical state I have the capacity to engage with all sorts of fascinating people and ideas.

Take up a challenge.

cleaning challengeI am always doing Twitter challenges. They were coming up on a fairly regular basis but now I go looking for them. Why?

1. They challenge me!
2. They make me achieve
3. They make me rethink
4. They are fun
5. They make me grow

happy teacher

Image : Presto Plans Blog

Currently , I have moved away from the education challenges and am doing Buzzfeed’s Spring Cleaning Challenge. In Adelaide it has to be the Autumn Cleaning Challenge and not a bad time to do it. You get one room a day. It takes 10 days and you are given instructions and tips. It is quick. It makes a difference and I loved dusting with socks on my hands for today’s challenge.

The education ones I have done have made me really think about what I am doing. They have kept me very focussed but the biggest impact they have had on me is to remind me that I am the one who can make a difference. I can do things which change my day, others , what I am doing. I have done the #30goals (@30GoalsEDU) #gratitudechallenge and most recently the #pcps_teach challenge about the impact of Twitter on me professionally. There are all sorts of challenges you can find on the internet or Twitter – fitness challenges, health challenges, photo challenges, February challenges. Each day you have something to do. The longest are a month. My cleaning one is for 10 days. In 10 days I shall have changed myself and my home. That’s why I like challenges. They make a difference.

Just wow – Teachers’ Registration Board of SA

trbThe Teachers’ Registration Board SA has always been, well, the Teachers’ Registration Board of SA. The information has always been solid, reliable and ,er, very solid and reliable. Conservative. Corseted. Whaleboned, even. It has always been a VERY IMPORTANT organisation. Impressively VIP like Her Majesty. I have always dutifully read the missives, taken onboard the information and then forgotten about them until registration has come around. They have needed to be VERY IMPORTANT. They are our registration board. Recently I received an email from Communications, TRB with the subject heading TRB-Registration Buzz – Issue 33. TRB. TRB. Who on earth are TRB sending me an email? Registration Buzz? What’s that? Have I been asleep for 32 issues? My email blocks images to prevent my getting unsolicited nasties so I clicked on the Registration Buzz Banner alt link. I arrived on the trb Teachers’ Registration site . trb with little letters. This was a new image. I well remember the last time I went on the site and I haven’t been back since. I was trying to clarify what I needed to do for registration and where you housed that information. On the new site I can easily see the Teachers’ Portal. It is there very clearly at the top. Last time, I had hunted around the (old) site and had ended up ringing them because I just could not find what I needed. I spoke with a woman of quality politesse with an impeccable speaking voice  who guided me to the right spot so I could get the information .She explained it to me expertly . That was followed up with an email which confirmed all the information we had discussed on the phone so I had a written copy of what I needed. That is the level of quality information and support we have always had from our Teachers’ Registration Board. Now , though, they have rebranded themselves. Done what the French call a “relooking” and this nouveau look for 2016 is grand. The site is now very accessible and human. The TRB is now very accessible and human.They are abuzz and atwitter (@TRB_SA) and have engaged in social media in a very positive, energetic way. I  follow them on Facebook and Twitter and the information coming out is of its usual high quality but they have now made a real connection with us. I received another Registration Buzz Newsletter in my email this morning. I knew what it was and I read it very happily , thank you. Well done trb and wow. Just wow!

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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