Monday, November 29, 2010

Engaging Students through Online Collaboration

Here is an excellent article on online collaboration - the theme of this year's study by the literacy and technology committee.  Taken from eSchool News. Please read and comment.  We are interested in your thoughts.

With the help of technology, students in a growing number of classrooms are collaborating with their peers--both in their own schools and around the world--to solve problems and complete projects. Here are some examples.... [ Read More ]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Read the latest from e-school news! Surprising Research!

eSchool News Presents...
eSN Special Report
Blended Learning on the Rise
Read this FREE special report and you'll:

  • Learn how blended learning combines the best elements of both face-to-face and online instruction
  • Discover new ways to motivate your students with technology in the classroom
  • Learn about a learning lab model and see if it's a good fit for your school
  • Find out why some experts believe blended learning is the future of education

Read this special report for FREE now at:
For many school reformers, blended learning is an exciting instructional model because it combines the best elements of both face-to-face and online instruction.
As technology advances and new digital tools become available to educators and students, a steady migration toward online learning has begun to take place. Many students who struggle in a traditional learning environment now have the opportunity to attend a "virtual" school, where they can learn at their own pace: Advanced students are not held back by the slower pace of their peers, while students with disabilities have more time to understand the material before moving on. Parents in rural communities who home-school their children because of the time and distance it takes to travel to the nearest brick-and-mortar school can have the support of a strong online curriculum. And students who have dropped out of school have the chance to resume their education, finish high school, and get a diploma via distance learning. Meanwhile, multimedia options give online learning an edge often not found in traditional learning environments.

Find out more about blended learning. Visit our special report available for FREE now at:
Best regards,
   -- The Editors of eSchool News

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Great Article from eSchool News - Ten Steps for better media literacy skills.

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Ten steps for better media literacy skills

New action plan calls for educators, community leaders to promote media literacy education

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor

21st Century Education, Community, Curriculum, Featured on eSchool News, Top News, eClassroom News Nov 10th, 2010
Media literacy skills are used for more than just research papers.
As policy makers work to increase the number of U.S. households with broadband access, many are realizing it’s not enough for people to be able to access information online and through various media outlets; they also need the ability to analyze the information they find for accuracy and credibility—a 21st-century skill not every child or adult possesses.
A new white paper, “Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action,” by Renee Hobbs, founder of Temple University’s Media Education Lab, now gives policy makers and education leaders a detailed plan to boost media literacy skills in their communities.
“Existing paradigms in technology education must be shifted towards a focus on critical thinking and communication skills and away from ‘gee-whiz’ gaping over new technology tools,” Hobbs said. “An effective community education movement needs a shared vision. This report offers recommendations that involve many stakeholders, each participating in a way that supports the whole community.”
The need for action arises from other recent reports, such as a 2006 survey by Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that 75 percent of internet searchers “do not pay heed to the quality of information they find, and 25 percent reported becoming frustrated, confused, or overwhelmed by what they find.”
Another report, released in 2009 by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, assessed media literacy in communities and created 15 recommendations to better meet communities’ information needs.
After the release of the Knight Commission report, titled “Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age,” the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation partnered to explore ways to implement its recommendations.
The Aspen Institute commissioned a series of white papers to help transform these recommendations into action—and Hobbs’ media literacy report is one such white paper (others include universal broadband, civic engagement, online hubs, and more).
According to Hobbs, knowing how to search for, analyze, and interpret information is a skill that will be used for more than just writing a good research paper: People use media literacy skills for applying for jobs online, getting relevant health information, and sifting through online educational opportunities, for example.
People also need media literacy skills to read or watch the news, write a letter to an editor, comment on an online news story, share ideas online, take an opinion poll, search for information on topics, or take community action.
Perhaps most importantly, media literacy skills are crucial in understanding and maintaining online safety, said Hobbs.
“We must consider the balance between protection and empowerment and respond seriously to the genuine risks associated with media and digital technology,” she explained.
Hobbs’ 10 recommendations for better media literacy skills

Support community-level digital and media literacy initiatives.
1. Map existing community resources and offer small grants to promote community partnerships to integrate digital and media literacy competencies into existing programs.
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Information Literacy and Communication Rubric

 During our last meeting on Friday, we talked a little bit about information literacy.  Following is a rubric created for Vancouver schools.  Take a look and see if you can use it:)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Collaborating in Education

Collaboration Rubric

Name __________________________________


Research & Gather Information
Does not collect any information that relates to the topic.
Collects very little information--some relates to the topic.
Collects some basic information--most relates to the topic.
Collects a great deal of information--all relates to the topic.

Share Information
Does not relay any information to teammates.
Relays very little information--some relates to the topic.
Relays some basic information--most relates to the topic.
Relays a great deal of information--all relates to the topic.

Be Punctual
Does not hand in any assignments.
Hands in most assignments late.
Hands in most assignments on time.
Hands in all assignments on time.

Take Responsibility

Fulfill Team Role's Duties
Does not perform any duties of assigned team role.
Performs very little duties.
Performs nearly all duties.
Performs all duties of assigned team role.

Participate in Science Conference
Does not speak during the science conference.
Either gives too little information or information which is irrelevant to topic.
Offers some information--most is relevant.
Offers a fair amount of important information--all is relevant.

Share Equally
Always relys on others to do the work.
Rarely does the assigned work--often needs reminding.
Usually does the assigned work--rarely needs reminding.
Always does the assigned work without having to be reminded.

Value Others' Viewpoints

Listen to Other Teammates
Is always talking--never allows anyone else to speak.
Usually doing most of the talking--rarely allows others to speak.
Listens, but sometimes talks too much.
Listens and speaks a fair amount.

Cooperate with Teammates
Usually argues with teammates.
Sometimes argues.
Rarely argues.
Never argues with teammates.

Make Fair Decisions
Usually wants to have things their way.
Often sides with friends instead of considering all views.
Usually considers all views.
Always helps team to reach a fair decision.


Return to the Cabrillo Tidepool Study page.

Rubric - More info on preparing students for the 21st century.



Global awareness is the recognition and understanding of interrelationships among international organizations, nation states, public and private economic entities, socio-cultural groups, and individuals across the globe.


“… the world's corporate and political leadership is undertaking a restructuring of global politics and economics that may prove as historically significant as any event since the Industrial Revolution. This restructuring is happening at tremendous speed...”

-International Forum on Globalization (  Accessed 11-27-01

Importance in the Digital Age:

According to Thomas Friedman, author of the Lexus and the Olive Tree, globalization has replaced the Cold War in defining international relationships. Access to telecommunications and technology has caused shifts in power from nation states to multinational corporations, public and private economic entities, socio-cultural groups, and even individuals. 

Today, international commerce accounts for nearly a quarter of the American economy. A third of recent U.S. economic growth and a quarter of new job creation are due to exports. The world marketplace is even more important to particular sectors of the economy. One out of every two acres of wheat grown by American farmers is exported. More than two-fifths of the production of the domestic computer industry – including computer systems, hardware, and peripherals – is exported, and nearly three-fifths of the computer equipment Americans rely on is imported (Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy, 2000, pgs. 7-16).

But as U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, reminds us: “Unless the basic principles of equity and liberty are defended in the political arena and advanced as critical conditions for economic growth,” the rewards reaped from a global economy will be limited (speech at Harvard University, September 17th, 1998). Indeed, informed citizens worldwide are beginning to articulate wider principles, policies, and politics of “global awareness.” Central to these efforts is the belief that trade, investment, and technology are not ends in themselves; they are tools for promoting the ideals of equality, democracy, good jobs, a clean environment, and healthy communities.

The fair treatment of workers, the possible depletion of environmental resources, higher international health and safety standards, consumer protections, and issues of overpopulation, illiteracy, poverty, racism, hunger, aging, justice, immigration transcend national boundaries; they have become a growing part of our 21st century consciousness. Multinational flows of ideas, information, capital, labor, and even identity are concerns of the present that are not likely to diminish in an increasingly interconnected global future.

Communications technology, of course, is a tremendously important component of global awareness; the use of such technologies invariably informs our response to issues of globalization. According to John Naisbitt, “With the activities of the world being replayed for us in our living rooms each night, none of us can feign ignorance about affronts to society’s ethical standards. We have all become our brother’s keepers – at least in this sense. Communications technology has empowered individuals and communities through instant access to information of all kinds. With that access comes responsibility. Are we up to the task?” (Global Paradox, 1994, p.193).

Profile of a Globally Aware Student:

Globally aware students consider themselves global citizens. As such they use digital-age technologies to learn, think, participate in, and communicate about global issues. Globally aware students:

·       are aware of how technology links nations and individuals, as well as how it enables the global economy.
·       understand the interconnectedness of the global economy.
·       are aware of how the global economy impacts political decision-making – including the formal and informal pacts nations enter into.
·       are aware of the social, environmental, and micro-economic impacts of global decisions made by both national and international (e.g. the U.N., the I.M.F.) organizations.
·       understand how cultural differences (e.g. beliefs, traditions, religions) impact personal and national participation at the global level.
·       understand the impact of ideology and culture on national decisions about access to and use of technology.
·       participate in the global society through interactions with persons in another country or culture.

Continuum of Progress:

Awareness of technology’s impact on interconnections between nations/ individuals, global economy
Student is unaware of the role that technology plays in enabling a global economy.  He/she knows at a very superficial level that technology links individuals from different nations.
Student is aware that technology plays an important role in linking nations/individuals and in enabling the global economy.  However, this knowledge is general, limited (e.g., student may define technology too narrowly), or includes significant misconceptions. 
Student has some understanding of the ways in which technology has been an essential part of the global economy.  He/she understands some of the effects technology has had in linking nations /individuals and enabling exchange of goods, services, and information.
Student understands - beyond grade-level expectations -how technology links nations/individuals, how it enables the global economy, and how it changes the nature of the resources (e.g. information vs. goods) that can be traded.
Understanding of the interconnected-ness of the global economy
Student does not understand that economies of nations impact one another.
Student is aware that national economies impact one another, but this knowledge is general and sparse.  
Student is aware that economic conditions of one nation can impact those of other nations, but he/she is not aware of political/social/ environmental issues raised by economic interdependence.
Student understands – beyond grade-level expectations – how economies impact each other; he/she can think critically about political/ social/ environmental issues raised by economic interdependence.
Understanding of the impact of global economy on political decision-making
Student is unaware of the impact of economic considerations on political decision-making.  He/she may be largely unaware of political events and international economic conditions.
Student is generally aware that political decisions are shaped by economic considerations; however, he/she has little knowledge of specific considerations and national/ international policies.
Student is aware of some of the economic considerations that drive political decisions.   However, this knowledge is somewhat limited or tends to cast issues in black and white terms.
Student possesses knowledge – beyond grade level expectations – of economic considerations that drive specific national policies and decisions.  He/she can critically evaluate the gains and losses that result from these policies.
Understanding the impact of decisions made by national, international organizations on societies, environment, economies

Student has no knowledge of the impacts of decisions made by national/international organizations.  He/she has little knowledge of these organizations or their functions.
Student understands very generally that national and international organizations impact societal, environmental, and micro-economic conditions, but is unaware of specific policies/decisions that impact his/her world.
Student understands how some specific decisions made by national/international organization impact many facets of his/her day-to-day world; however, knowledge is limited or tends to cast issues in black and white.
Student has an excellent understanding of the way specific decisions made by national/international organizations impact his/her day-to-day world.  He/she is able to evaluate these issues critically and thoroughly.
Understanding of the impact of culture on political relationships
Student is unaware of the ways in which culture impacts national/personal political decision-making.
Student understands that culture impacts national/personal political decision-making, but his/her view tends to cast these issues in black and white.  Knowledge is either sparse or includes significant misconceptions.
Student understands some specific ways in which culture impacts national/personal political decision-making. 
Student has an excellent understanding of the ways in which culture impacts decision-making of specific nations/groups.  This understanding is fair and takes into account multiple cultural perspectives.
Understanding of the impact of ideology, culture on decisions related to technology and access
Student is unaware of differences in societies’ access to technology and information; he/she is unaware that political ideologies and culture impact individuals’ access to these resources.
Student understands at a general level that nations differ in the degree to which they allow citizens access to technology/ information.  However, this knowledge is sparse.
Student understands some of the ideological and cultural issues that drive national decisions about access to technology and information.
Student has specific and well-developed knowledge of ways in which access to technology/information is impacted by culture and political ideology.  He/she is able to transfer this knowledge when learning about similar issues with which he/she is unfamiliar.
Participation in the global society

In many cases it has not occurred to the student that persons in other nations directly influence his/her life socially, politically, and economically.

The student has a growing awareness of the global nature of the world.  He/she is interested in the study of international policy and affairs—but action is limited to learning and reflection.

The student recognizes his/her own role as an individual in a global society.  As such he/she - when guided -participates locally through economic, political, or social means (e.g., donations to relief efforts, contributions to international social, health, or environmental concerns). 
The student is aware of how his/her actions and the actions of his/her country exert influence globally.  He/she   seeks to understand the global impact of personal actions (e.g., consumerism based on company policies, consumption of energy, or recycling), and acts accordingly.

References and Links:

Anderson, Sarah, John Cavanagh, Thea Lee, and the Institute for Policy Studies. Field Guide to the Global Economy. New York, NY: The New Press, 2000.

Annan, Kofi. Speech to Harvard University, September 17, 1998.

Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1996.

Drucker, Peter (2001, November 3). The Next Society. The Economist, Special Supplement, pgs. 3-20

The Economist (2001). Pocket World in Figures, 2001 ed. London, U.K.: Profile Books

Foreign Policy Association (2000). Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy: The Critical Issues. NY: Foreign Policy Association

Friedman, Thomas L. (1999). The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Friedman, Thomas L. (2001)Presentation to the Indiana Humanities Council.

Naisbitt, John (1994). Global Paradox. New York: Avon

Sassen, Saskia (1988). The Mobility of Labor and Capital. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press