English that matters presentation


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2010 Global Education Conference presentation "English That Matters"

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English that matters presentation

  1. 1. 2010 Global Education Conference Session By Terry Heick
  2. 2. English that Matters: Increasing ELA Authenticity through Media
  3. 3. Agenda 1. What’s wrong with the ELA that we’ve got? 2. What underlying assumptions support these ideas? 3. What exactly are “media” and “authenticity,” and what do they have to do with ELA? 4. What is schema, and how does it fit in here? 5. What does a “reformed,” media-driven ELA unit look like? 6. Questions
  4. 4. Thesis While we focus on the minutiae of education, we're forgetting the inseparable social components—or social arena--of authentic learning. The process of innovating an increasingly irrelevant ELA curriculum can be initiated through a focus on the art and science of media design.
  5. 5. Current Challenges 1. Increasingly awkward, dated, and irrelevant standards. Common Core, Grade 8: “Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.”
  6. 6. Current Challenges 2. Accordingly numb curriculum and curricular resources.
  7. 7. Current Challenges 3. “Professional Learning Communities” that “unpack” said uneven standards to ensure “proficiency” on end-of-the-year exam. This renders institutionally-centered learning, not authentic, student-centered learning.
  8. 8. Current Challenges 4. Intervention models to “support” students to “master” a model of school that remains sterile and non-authentic.
  9. 9. Conclusion Educators must be fluent users of complex and modern media, and seamlessly merge those media forms into rigorous, student-centered learning experiences. Not Technology. Authenticity.
  10. 10. Moby Dick is Dead. "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." -Mark Twain.
  11. 11. Fortunately…. Modern media can also effortlessly bring “classic” (read: culturally detached) media into focus.
  12. 12. “Intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinct.“ Sir Ken Robinson Are our schools? Is our Curriculum? Our instruction? Our methods of measuring success in schools?
  13. 13. Defining Authenticity Broadly, Authenticity refers to differentiated work that meets the needs of learners. This can be in regards to curriculum, curricular resources, instructional strategies, or social and physical environment. More specifically, let’s consider a framework.
  14. 14. Ten Underlying Assumptions of a 21st Century ELA Curriculum 1. Authentic learning should result in personal and/or social change. 2. Our current system of education is inadequate. 3. ELA—roughly put as “reading and writing”—provide foundational skills and concepts within any system of learning. 4. ELA should therefore provide leadership in innovating curriculum. 5. The legacy of ELA is tied to works and thinkers that have been dead for centuries, and/or that is written in single-media forms not commonly or “seamlessly” consumed by modern learners.
  15. 15. 6. While new forms are undoubtedly necessary, it will likely require reform to get there. 7. Rich ELA curriculum is media-centered. 8. Changing forms of media are a byproduct of rapid technology progression and innovative user adoption. 9. Media now has significant social dynamics. 10. Merging classic and modern media forms to mine their considerable potential can not only improve learning, but provide scaffolding for ELA educators as we seek out new forms of learning are sought. Ten Underlying Assumptions of a 21st Century ELA Curriculum
  16. 16. Existing Forms R e f o r m New Forms
  17. 17. Examples of Merging Classic and Modern Media
  18. 18. Sample Prompt Robert Frost was very clear about the need For spaces in life—both physical and emotional. In some works, he explored the grandness of solitude, while in others emphasizing the interdependence of the human experience. If he were alive today, Robert Frost would not “like” facebook.
  19. 19. Sample Prompt As a modern pop star, one could say that Lady Gaga symbolizes the intellectual superficiality and bankrupt morality of our culture. If she were alive today, Emily Dickinson would not have Lady Gaga on any of her iTunes playlists.
  20. 20. Sample Prompt Wendell Berry, perhaps our nation’s greatest living writer, was known to criticize what he called “dispossessed living.” With this in mind, Wendell Berry would have no problem shopping at his local Wal-Mart.
  21. 21. What is “media”? Media: A vehicle enabling the intentional communication of a thought or idea; a showcase for a message.
  22. 22. ELA = The Art & Science of Media Design The science of powerful communication lies in using specific “components” that can be independently and interdependently manipulated. The art lies in design decisions of how to effectively use these components, often in innovative ways to convey a compelling message to an intentional audience.
  23. 23. Technology constantly evolves the interdependence of media. (single media multimedia social media) However, media is media; one supplements, detracts from, challenges, ignores, or builds upon the next. This is the fertile ground of a 21st century ELA curriculum.
  24. 24. Tone Theme Diction Literary Devices (Irony, Metaphor, etc.) Persuasion and Propaganda Mood Author Purpose “What’d they say and how’d they say it?” Literary Elements (setting, characterization, etc.)
  25. 25. Thinking about Media Patterns Complex Thinking about Complex Media Complex Thinking about Simple Media Simple Thinking about Complex Media Simple Thinking about Simple Media
  26. 26. Media: Static and Dynamic Static (Silently Interactive) Dynamic (Overtly Interactive) Novels Poems Graffiti Essays Letters Murals Signs Speeches Editorial Cartoons Television & “Web 1.0” videos Photographs and Posters Paintings Timelines Music RSS feeds Videogames Websites Blogs Glogster Interactive Timelines Youtube videos (annotation, comments) Discussions Twitter stream Facebook newsfeed Emails & Text Messaging Zune/Ping/playlist.com Word Clouds/Tagxedo iTunes store Stumbleupon, Digg, etc.
  27. 27. The current trend of media is one of convergence and interactivity. This makes modern media a gold mine for extracting and showcasing current national standards and tangent initiatives (ACT, SAT, Common Core, P21, NCTE)
  28. 28. Convergence of Media
  29. 29. from the Appendix: Selected NCTE/IRA Standards for English Language Arts Pertaining to 21st Century Literacies: 1.Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world. A strong case could be made that this is not a single recommendation of 12, but the heart of ELA.
  30. 30. Why does Media matter? Schema.
  31. 31. Schema Schema refers to a cognitively native framework for making sense of ideas. Roughly put, existing old stuff we already know helps us to make sense of new stuff we don’t. By using native media, we’re using “stuff” they’ve seen before so that they might master skills and concepts they haven’t via transfer.
  32. 32. Media leverages existing learner schema.
  33. 33. Schema
  34. 34. Schema
  35. 35. Integrating Authenticity How?
  36. 36. “Integrating these skills when deep into the curriculum mapping process is a natural way to ensure their genuine development in the classroom.” Heidi Hayes Jacobs Upgrading the Curriculum, Curriculum21’s “Essential Education for a Changing World”
  37. 37. Standards Curriculum Instruction Forcing authenticity
  38. 38. Literary Music Videogame “Everything Rises Must Converge” (F. O’Connor) Lil’ Kings (Frank Walker X) "I Have A Dream" (King) “I Hear America Singing” (Whitman) "I, Too, Hear America Singing" by (Hughes) “Let America Be America Again” (Hughes) “The House on Mango Street” excerpt (S. Cisneros) "America" (Nas) "Black Zombie“ (Nas) "This Ain't Livin" (2pac) "Po Folks“ (Nappy Roots) “Brown-eyed Girl” (Van Morrison) “American Pie” (Don Mclean) “The Invisible Man” (Public Enemy) “Southern Man” (Neil Young) “Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Grand Theft Auto 4 The Sims Fallout 3 Metal Gear Solid 4 Websites, Blogs & Apps The American Experience Non-Fiction http://tiny.cc/wordclock http://www.google.com/trends iTunes music store “Racism and the Economy” (Wendell Berry) “Dreaming America” by (J. C. Oates) “Dreams of my Father” (Obama) “The Souls of Black Folk” (Dubois) Podcast Video Social Media http://tiny.cc/NPRPodcast “This American Life” podcast series “The American Dream” (G. Carlin, youtube) Niko Bellic, Grand Theft Auto http://tiny.cc/appalachiafb
  39. 39. Conclusions 1. ELA is, fundamentally and perhaps unwittingly, the art and science of media design. 2. Media is diverse, dynamic, and social. 3. Media leverages schema, encourages transfer, and supports meaningful differentiation. 4. Technology constantly evolves media. ELA, therefore, must evolve in parallel. 5. This is not an either-or proposition of technology-based media versus novels and poems. Because of the schema, media can endorse and otherwise bring into focus seemingly irrelevant, dated single-media texts as we seek out new forms of learning.
  40. 40. 12 Next Steps 1. Close examination of media forms 2. Deconstructing the “21st Century ELA Framework” 3. “Personal & Social Change”: A Closer Look 4. Common Core standards in a 21st Century Classroom 5. Media-Culture relationships 6. Technology and Self-Directed Learning Models 7. “Education Reform” vs. New Forms of learning 8. The Media-Supports-Assessment Model 9. Project, Problem and Inquiry-based learning 10. Media Best Practices 11. Barriers to Media Adoption 12. Rethinking Differentiation
  41. 41. Questions?