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Mixin it up


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Integrating technology into the course curriculum can foster digital literacy, increase students’ level of engagement, and allow students to create and share more dynamic forms of personal expression. In a collaborative effort between MVCC English instructor Caroline Johnson and librarian Marie Martino, COM 102 students utilized podcasting and audio production tools to transform a personal writing project into a multi-dimensional, digital audio recording.

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Mixin it up

  1. 1. Mixin’ It Up: Facilitating a Class Digital Audio Project Caroline Johnson | Marie Martino Moraine Valley Community College April 19, 2011
  2. 2. Mixin’ It Up <ul><li>The Assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Informing Creativity Through Research </li></ul><ul><li>The Writing Process </li></ul><ul><li>Expanding Literacies with Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Project Outcomes & Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A/Discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Assignment <ul><li>Teaching Com. 102 at MVCC involves research. My task as a teacher is to: </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce students to a variety of different sources </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate them to successfully incorporate those sources into their papers or projects </li></ul><ul><li>And use MLA guidelines correctly. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Assignment <ul><li>I belong to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). I came across the idea for this project in the September 2010 issue. The article was entitled, “Students Produce Place-based Podcasts,” and it was written by English teachers Lori Atkins Goodson and Matt Skillen. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Assignment <ul><li>The rationale for the project caught my eye. The idea was to motivate students by having them publish their work on a CD, to be shared with the entire class. They would write about their hometown and record their writing using a microphone. This project would produce a different “audience” rather than the traditional teacher. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Assignment <ul><li>Traditionally, students write for the teacher only. This is not a “real world” audience. </li></ul><ul><li>By increasing their audience to 30 or so of their own peers, students gain integrity and credibility. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Assignment <ul><li>This project: </li></ul><ul><li>provided more room for creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Fostered student motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Inspired students to write and tell their own stories </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated them to see that “text” was something more than just words on paper. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Assignment <ul><li>I chose a multigenre approach to research and writing: </li></ul><ul><li>November, 2002, English Journal , states that multigenre writing requires “much more in the way of academic skills” than the traditional monogenre research paper (Mack 92). </li></ul><ul><li>Students would write about their hometown, but this could include a memory from school, a neighborhood, or a family. The subject might vary, but each piece should evoke a sense of place. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Assignment <ul><li>The benefits of this project included: </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminating the possibility of plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a more academically challenging learning experience for students </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulating students to do creative research, </li></ul><ul><li>and take ownership of their writing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Assignment <ul><li>I required students to include 3 sources for the second revision. These included both primary and secondary sources. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Nancy Mack, author of “The Ins, Outs, and In-Betweens of Multigenre Writing,” using a multigenre approach gives students more autonomy. “By making their writing answerable for their life experiences,” Mack said, “these students create art” (Mack 97). </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Assignment <ul><li>The project met the following guidelines on source-based writing as stated in my Com. 102 syllabus: </li></ul><ul><li>Develop strategies for reaching more than one type of audience in a piece of writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Select source material (library, print, or fieldwork-based) appropriate to a writing project’s purpose and audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate research material from multiple sources into a piece of writing while maintaining one’s own voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate ethical awareness in writing by incorporating and documenting source material responsibly according to MLA guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>Move beyond managing correctness in writing and toward making deliberate choices about stylistic elements such as clarity, concision, cohesion, and emphasis. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Informing Creativity Through Research <ul><li>“ . . . fostering an individual’s sense of curiosity and creativity in tandem with developing his ability to find, locate, and evaluate information is the essence of information literacy.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Hensley, Arp, & Woodward, 2004) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Informing Creativity Through Research <ul><li>Library instruction GOALS  Students will: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify information needs and develop appropriate research strategies to fulfill those needs </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate between primary and secondary resources </li></ul><ul><li>Use the library resources to find book, articles or other materials relevant to their topic </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Web as needed to find credible, trustworthy information related to their topic </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate their resources in order to determine the integrity of the source, as well as the source’s value to their project </li></ul>
  14. 14. Informing Creativity Through Research <ul><li>The project as a whole corresponded to the ACRL information literacy standards 1-5: </li></ul><ul><li>The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed. </li></ul><ul><li>The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently. </li></ul><ul><li>The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system. </li></ul><ul><li>The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.  </li></ul><ul><li>(ACRL, 2011) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Informing Creativity Through Research <ul><li>Student-centered teaching strategies: </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian in facilitator role </li></ul><ul><li>Brief lectures </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on demonstration </li></ul><ul><li>Active learning opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Use of multimedia sources </li></ul><ul><li>Allotted time for independent research </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Writing Process <ul><li>The First Day: </li></ul><ul><li>Students wrote a journal entry describing their hometown. </li></ul><ul><li>Students shared their writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher modeled songs </li></ul><ul><li>The Next Class: </li></ul><ul><li>Students brought in 3 songs / lyrics that related to their hometown. </li></ul><ul><li>Students wrote Journal #2: Analyze the songs, and relate them to their hometown. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Writing Process <ul><li>The Second Week: </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher passed out profile assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher asked students to choose an event from their hometown, and write about it. </li></ul><ul><li>Students could choose their genre: a poem, a narrative, a one-act play, a short story, a letter, a vignette, a dialogue, a memoir, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher let the students CHOOSE their genre that was most comfortable to them. </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Writing Process <ul><li>The Rubric covered 7 basic areas: </li></ul><ul><li>Does the piece reflect a memory of a hometown? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the piece creative and written in one of the genres? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the piece of adequate length? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the piece tell a story or relate a memory in vivid detail? </li></ul><ul><li>Extra points were given for creativity and expression, descriptive details, and grammar. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Writing Process <ul><li>I spent a lot of time focusing on description and concrete details, as I feel that makes the strongest writing. </li></ul><ul><li>The following is a list of authors and their writing: </li></ul><ul><li>Christen wrote a descriptive piece about riding home with her Dad in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. </li></ul><ul><li>Sean wrote about an experience with a girl at a peace rally. </li></ul><ul><li>Salam wrote a moving poem about Palestine. </li></ul><ul><li>Felicia wrote a long, narrative poem about an encounter with the Latin Kings gang in her neighborhood. </li></ul><ul><li>Melanie wrote a poem about divorce. </li></ul><ul><li>Ahmed wrote a letter to his Uncle Andy </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Writing Process <ul><li>Brian created and performed his own song (which he produced at home with a friend) about Crestwood. </li></ul><ul><li>Matt wrote a moving piece about growing up in Poland </li></ul><ul><li>Jordan described her house growing up, and how it no longer exists now. </li></ul><ul><li>Luke wrote a powerful piece about a gift his Polish grandfather gave to him. </li></ul><ul><li>Bart wrote about a dog, Brando </li></ul><ul><li>Samantha wrote about prom. </li></ul><ul><li>Frank wrote about a favorite park, Normandy Park </li></ul><ul><li>Lamar wrote a rap/hip hop piece called, “Train Stories,” about Chicago mass transit. </li></ul><ul><li>Charles wrote about prejudice he and his family experienced as new immigrant to America </li></ul><ul><li>Bob wrote about a snowball fight </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Writing Process <ul><li>After students submitted their first drafts, I used the rubric to grade them, then returned the papers with the directions for them to find and locate sources in the library. </li></ul><ul><li>I explained the different between primary and secondary sources. Possible primary sources included interviews and surveys. Many students interviewed family members or friends to find out more information for this project. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary sources included websites, books, historical sources, newspapers, encyclopedias, poetry, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Students were to find 3 possible sources and hand in these sources, with their revised 2 nd draft, in a pocket folder. They received points for doing this. </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Writing Process <ul><li>I found the encouragement and uniqueness of this project motivated students to do some innovative research, which gave their stories more authenticity and breadth. </li></ul><ul><li>Once I graded and handed back the revised 2 nd drafts, students were then ready to do the recording process. </li></ul><ul><li>One other note: I gave Extra Credit to students interested in designing a cover for the project. I had several students volunteer, for a total of 3. We voted as a class on the title. Students anonymously suggested titles, then they collectively voted. They agreed upon, “Pieces of the Past: The Com. 102 Mixtaxpe, Vol. 14. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Expanding Literacies with Technology <ul><li>“ What it means to be literate has broadened to not only include traditional literacies, reading and writing print text for example, but also reflect the needs of students living and learning in a digital world.” </li></ul><ul><li>( Sylvester & Greenidge, 2009) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Expanding Literacies with Technology <ul><li>Some definitions: </li></ul><ul><li>Technological literacy—skill set needed to use computers </li></ul><ul><li>Media literacy—skill set needed to access, evaluate, and/or create in various formats including text, graphics, moving images, and sound </li></ul><ul><li>Digital literacy—skill set needed to perform various types of tasks in a digital environment </li></ul><ul><li>These often overlap! </li></ul>
  25. 25. Expanding Literacies with Technology <ul><li>Making a voice recording: </li></ul><ul><li>Library’s digital recorder—we only had 2 students opt for this </li></ul><ul><li>Gabcast (beta version) --service currently defunct </li></ul><ul><li>Use own technology </li></ul>
  26. 26. Expanding Literacies with Technology <ul><li>Audacity –free, open source audio tool, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recording </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Editing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Converting formats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And more . . . </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. “ The digital aspect of the literacy offers a variety of learning opportunities, formats for creation, and spaces for expression that were not previously available.” (Chase & Laufenberg, 2011) Expanding Literacies with Technology
  28. 28. Project Outcomes & Lessons Learned <ul><li>Students were engaged with the writing process from beginning to end </li></ul><ul><li>Took ownership of the project, including the technological aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Students were at varying technology skill levels </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation, intuition, and creative problem-solving in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Curiosity--going beyond techniques covered in class </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment by the technology transformed them into producers of “new,” exciting forms </li></ul>
  29. 29. Project Outcomes & Lessons Learned <ul><li>(cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>Informal surveys/evaluations revealed students enjoyed the project </li></ul><ul><li>Also, many said they had never done anything like this project </li></ul>
  30. 30. Project Outcomes and Lessons Bloom’s Taxonomy Higher level learning
  31. 31. Program Outcomes & Lessons <ul><li>“ Literacy in any form, advances a person’s ability to effectively and creatively use and communicate information.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Jones-Kavalier & Flannigan, 2006) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Q & A / Discussion <ul><li>Questions, comments, thoughts to share? </li></ul>
  33. 33. Thanks! <ul><li>Marie Martino </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Caroline Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  34. 34. Works Cited <ul><li>ACRL. &quot;ACRL | Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.&quot; ALA | Home - American Library Association. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. < </li></ul><ul><li>standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Chase, Zac, and Diana Laufenberg. &quot;Digital Literacies: Embracing the Squishiness of Digital Literacy.&quot; Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy  54.7 (2011): 535-537 </li></ul><ul><li>Goodson, Lori Atkins, and Matt Skillen. “Small-Town Perspectives, Big-Time Motivation: Composing and Producing Place-Based Podcasts.” English Journal 100.1 (September 2010): 53-57. </li></ul><ul><li>Hensley, Randy Burke, Lori Arp, and Beth S. Woodard. &quot;Curiosity and Creativity as Attributes of Information Literacy.&quot;  Reference & User Services Quarterly  44.1 (2004): 31-36. </li></ul><ul><li>Jones-Kavalier, Barbara R., and Suzanne L. Flannigan. “Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century.&quot;  Educause Quarterly  29.2 (2006): 13-16.  </li></ul><ul><li>Mack, Nancy. “The Ins, Outs, and In-Betweens of Multigenre Writing.” English Journal 92.2 (November 2002): 91-98. </li></ul><ul><li>Sylvester, Ruth, and Wendy-lou Greenidge. &quot;Digital Storytelling: Extending the Potential for Struggling Writers.&quot;  Reading Teacher  63.4 (2009): 384-395.  </li></ul>