Thursday, November 15, 2012

iPad App: Explain Everything

My students are currently writing annotated bibliographies and so I decided to experiment with Explain Everything and make a short tutorial on why we need to write annotations for our sources:

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Two Recent Reports from Pew Research

It's been a while since I contributed to the blog, but these two reports are definitely worth sharing:

Major Findings:
From the Overview on Teen Research:    “The teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students’ research habits and the impact of technology on their studies. Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”   ….   According to this survey of teachers, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the College Board and the National Writing Project, the internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, yet students’ digital literacy skills have yet to catch up.”

From the Summary of Findings on Reading and Library Habits:  “More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months. And although their library usage patterns may often be influenced by the requirements of school assignments, their interest in the possibilities of mobile technology may also point the way toward opportunities of further engagement with libraries later in life.”

Combined the two reports contain over 150 pages of charts, graphs and findings so they will take a while to get through, but should be worth reading and discussing, especially in light of our own observations at New Trier.

Michael Wesch on Knowledgable vs Knowledge-able

Wesch explains that it is NOT enough just to have the skill set of finding information. It is all about inspiring curiosity and embracing questioning which is the "hallmark of a lifelong learner".