Teens Blog The News
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Teens Blog The News

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Renee Hobbs and Paul Folkemer present “Teens Blog the News,” Paper to the Association for Supervision in Curriculum and Instruction (ASCD), New Orleans, March 17, 2008.

Renee Hobbs and Paul Folkemer present “Teens Blog the News,” Paper to the Association for Supervision in Curriculum and Instruction (ASCD), New Orleans, March 17, 2008.

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  • Great Job ! This Slide Presentation is very nice. Easy to understand ' current event and understands '.

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    Teens Blog The News Teens Blog The News Presentation Transcript

    • Our Love-Hate Relationship with Current Events in Education
    • Approaches to Current Events
      • Students select news articles and write brief summaries
      • Students read news stories and identify unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts
      • Students read news stories to understand an event's setting, character, vocabulary, and plot
    • Approaches to Current Events
      • Students select news articles and write brief summaries
      • Students read news stories and identify unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts
      • Students read news stories to understand an event's setting, character, vocabulary, and plot
      Timeless and classic instruction… What’s wrong with these approaches?
    • Once Upon a Time
      • In 1949, a course called “Problems of Democracy” appeared on 41.5% of high school transcripts. Students in these courses typically learned about government and their communities by discussing current events and reading newspaper articles.
      • In 1970, only 9% of transcripts had this course, and now such courses have almost completely disappeared.
      • SOURCE: Levine, P. (2003). The Civic Mission of Schools. Carnegie Corporation and CIRCLE.
    • Two Visions of the Civic Education Ideal
      • Actualizing Citizens (AC)
      • Diminished sense of obligation to govt participation, higher sense of individual purpose
      • Voting less meaningful than other acts such as community volunteering, consumerism, and transnational activism
      • Skepticism about media and politicians
      • Involved in loose networks of community action, sustained through friendships and peer relations
      • Dutiful Citizens (DC)
      • Feels an obligation to participate in govt-centered actions
      • Voting is the core democratic act
      • Becomes informed about issues and govt by following mass media
      • Joins organizations that typically support one-way communication to mobilize supporters
      SOURCE: Bennett, L. (2008). Changing citizenship in the digital age. In Civic Life Online. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning.
    • Current Events Learning Contributes to Participatory Democracy
      • “ The most important component of democratic citizenship is teaching young people how to deliberate over controversial topics and to discuss the nature of the public good and how it can be achieved.”
      • --Kohlmeier and O’Brien, 2004
    • Blogging as an Educational Tool
      • Represents a “middle space” between face-to-face learning and other online instructional tools
      • Encourages the development of individual voices which reflect particular characteristics and intellectual approaches
      • Enables students to share their interpretations of events, texts and processes
      • Promotes social reflection, collaboration, and the construction of knowledge
      • Creates a sense of personal ownership and empowerment among learners
    • Turning Self-Expression into Public Participation
      • Voice = the unique style of personal expression that distinguishes one’s communication from those of others
      SOURCE: Rheingold, H. (2008) Using participatory media and public voice to encourage civic engagement. In Civic Life Online. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning.
    • Turning Self-Expression into Public Participation
      • Voice can help connect young people’s energetic involvement in identity-formation with their potential engagement with society as citizens.
      SOURCE: Rheingold, H. (2008) Using participatory media and public voice to encourage civic engagement. In Civic Life Online. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Voice = the unique style of personal expression that distinguishes one’s communication from those of others
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    • Write a Blog Post to Share
    • The Development of the Blog
      • Folkemer’s passion for current events is an important factor fuelling the blog: “Everyone knows I care a great deal about current events as a topic.”
      • Teachers are not required to use the blog.
      • The birth of the blog was possible due to personal dedication combined with knowledge and resources of new technology initiatives, set within a locally autonomous environment.
    • Research Methods
      • Interviews with teachers and staff
      • Content analysis of 216 student blog writing
      • Questionnaire to Grade 8 students
    • Teachers’ Goals
      • To involve students in discussion
      • To discern student understanding or misunderstanding of content
      • To promote synthesis between current events and social studies curriculum
    • Teachers’ Goals
      • To help students overcome insularity & ignorance
      • To get kids to read news for the fun of learning
      • To entertain and educate your students, and not feel too overwhelmed by the preparation
    • Teacher Perceptions of Benefits of the Blog
      • “ When the students did a research project on the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and had to find a current issue that reflects one of Jefferson’s ideals, they were advising each other to use the current event/blog site to get ideas. That was the moment when I realized that the current events component of my class was working. The students did not see it as a burden, but as an interesting and enjoyable part of their social studies experience.”
    • Teachers Who Do Not Use the Blog
      • One teacher admitted she would use the blog more if stories connected more directly to her curriculum.
      • Some teachers believed that the blog caused greater strain on planning and grading time.
      • Not all teachers are comfortable in letting go of control in how students blog and what they say. One teacher mentioned that she has had to give up some control, as “with the blog you’re a little more hands off as a teacher”
      • Some teachers made students write a grammatically perfect blog.  
    • Students’ Perception of the Current Events Blog
    • I am interested in news and current events .
    • I learn about current events by using the blog.
    • In discussions about news and current events, I tend to be:
    • In blogging about news and current events, I tend to be:
    • Students’ Attitude toward Blog
    • Content Analysis of Student Writing
      • 1. Students used online blogging to make connections between current news events and their lived experience.
      • 2. Their writing showed clear evidence of informality
      • 3. Students made important text-to-text and text-to-world connections, which are dimensions of emerging critical literacy competencies.
    • Making Text-to-Self Connections
      • I think its great that the kids protesting are expressing their first ammendment rights. During vacation i was in White Plains and there was a big demonstartion against illegal immigration and i didnt realize how many illegal immigrants there were until last week. i dont think that the bill should have been passed because there are so many "blended" families and i couldnt imagine what it would be like to be the child with "criminal" parents. ( ScottJ , April 30, 2006, 5:20 p.m.) 
    • Making Text-to-Text Connections
      • If i were a member of a blended family, i would definitely protest the bill. I would never be able to accept the idea that my parents or siblings were criminals. How are they criminals for seeking a better life for themselves and me? I cannot stand by and allow that to happen. And after seeing the movie Walkout, which is about Mexican-American students in LA in the late 1960s walking out of school for better rights, i saw that peaceful protest is the best way to protest, and that walking out of school will let your voice be heard. ( becky , April 17, 2006, 5:39 p.m.)
    • Making Text-to-World Connections
      • If I were a member of a blended family I would join the protest knowing that the only way to change a law is to get the goverment to act. For example, the Civil Rights Movement was a success because they pressured goverment to finally act. Other ways to get the goverment involved are phone calls and letters. People are currently using these ways to make the government do something about the genocide in Darfur. I would use all of these methods to try to save my family members from becoming criminals. ( Robbie, April 20, 2006, 5:20 p.m.)
    • Teachers Notice the Benefits
      • “ The kids love to blog! They often will blog many more times than they are required to. The blog site also allows them to interact with each other and share opinions. Some of my students will respond to other comments they have read on the story. It also gives them the freedom to choose the articles they are interested in just as most adults do when they read the paper. This is teaching them skimming skills and allowing them to connect to the issue/article they are reading.”
    • Key Ideas
      • Current approaches to teaching about current events do not connect to contemporary models of democratic citizenship.
      • Blogs enable students to use self-expression as a means to participate in an online community and discuss issues of public concern.
      • A school-sponsored blog is relatively easy to implement, but teachers’ willingness to use it as part of course work may influence student participation.
      • Students feel more confident sharing their ideas through a blog than in classroom discussion.
      • Research shows that a school-sponsored blog can engage students’ interest in current events, promote writing skills, and extend social studies learning.
    • For More Information:
      • Renee Hobbs
      • Media Education Lab
      • Temple University
      • 215-204-3255
      • [email_address]
      • http://mediaeducationlab.com
      • Paul Folkemer
      • Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
      • Scarsdale Public Schools
      • Scarsdale, NY
      • [email_address]
    •