What do Billie Eilish, Serena Williams, Albert Einstein, and SpongeBob SquarePants have in common? They rank among students’ most popular interests, based on responses collected by NoRedInk from millions of students in grades 5–12.
Top student interests
NoRedInk is an adaptive writing curriculum that engages students by personalizing exercises according to their interests. Below are students’ top choices from the 2019–20 school year across several categories:…Read More
Do your students love to take and edit photos to post on Instagram? Are they obsessed with watching (or maybe even becoming!) YouTube celebs? Do you want to help your students learn how to spot a stereotype on a TV show? Or how to identify bias in a news article? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider integrating media literacy education into your lessons.
Digital and media literacy expand traditional literacy to include new forms of reading, writing, and communicating. The National Association for Media Literacy Education defines media literacy as “the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, CREATE, and ACT using all forms of communication” and says it “empowers people to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators, and active citizens.” Though some believe media literacy and digital literacy are separate but complementary, I believe they’re really one and the same. They both focus on skills that help students be critical media consumers and creators. And both are rooted in inquiry-based learning—asking questions about what we see, read, hear, and create.
Think of it this way: Students learn print literacy—how to read and write. But they should also learn multimedia literacy—how to “read and write” media messages in different forms, whether it’s a photo, video, website, app, videogame, or anything else. The most powerful way for students to put these skills into practice is through both critiquing media they consume and analyzing media they create.…Read More
Ed-tech expert Kathy Schrock weighs in on mixed platform solutions for all grade levels
A few years ago, many school districts jumped on the iPad bandwagon, when they were still brand new. The fact is they were easy to justify for a purchase of a shared cart since the Apple app store had so many wonderful applications for remediation, practice, and extension. These districts purchased the first iPad, which did not mirror and, believe it or not, had no built-in camera. Other districts waited for the second version to be released, which did have a camera and could be mirrored via Apple TV or the Reflector app, but only purchased the model with 16GB of RAM.
After a while, it became evident that maintaining a shared cart of iPads was no small feat. Taking care of the installation of apps and maintenance of the devices, as well as providing a positive experience for each shared user, was not easy. The 16GB of RAM was quickly eaten up by graphic-intensive apps, i-books, and PDF files, and the use of the camera for taking photos and videos. Schools began to think twice.
Enter the Chromebook, a device which was much cheaper and required little maintenance. However, even here there were difficulties at first as students needed to be attached to the internet to use the online Google tools and many of popular Flash-based sites were simply incompatible.…Read More
Can relationships formed with media characters like Dora the Explorer or Elmo help young children learn science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills? A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Northwestern University and Georgetown University hopes to answer that question in a five-year project funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UCR Today reports. UCR’s share of the grant is $885,745. “Many people are involved in designing educational games, and there is a lot of interest in creating high-quality and interactive media,” explained Rebekah Richert, associate professor of psychology at UC Riverside and principal investigator on the research project. “On the surface they seem likely to help children learn. But there can be big gaps between what technology offers and what children really learn.”