Sunday, June 26, 2011

Annual Report on Maine Literacy and Technology Pilot - Committee - Part 1

This year, 2010-2011, our committee consisted of Jake Bogar, Science Teacher, Mount Blue High School; Alison Prescott, first grade teacher at Winthrop Elementary School; Hatti De Raps, Alternative Education Teacher, Mount Blue High School; and Bill Giasson, 3rd grade Teacher, Winthrop Elementary School.

To many of you, this may sound like an odd combination - given the grade levels and content areas.  However, one of the essential elements we discovered last year through our EDU 593 class, was the existent of common characteristics in the collaborative process - spanning grade levels and contents.

We began EDU 593 -  Guided Inquiry in the 21st Century Classroom: Technology and Literacy - in the Spring of 2010. 
The course built on the literacy knowledge and skills developed in EDU 590 and EDU 591, Advanced Strategies and Applied Research forContent Literacy Mentors, Part 1 and 2.  Current research identifies core literacy strategies as universal cognitive strategies used for problem solving in today’s world.  Specifically this course will help teachers develop and transition this knowledge within the context of guided inquiry and technology and will provide a focus on the 21st century standards (AASL, 2009):
·      Inquire, think critically and gain knowledge,
·      Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge,
·      Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society
·      Pursue personal and aesthetic growth
We had 14 participants from grades 1-12 - from varying content areas.  Schools represented were: Rumford Elementary, Winthrop Elementary, and Mt. Blue High School. 

Guided inquiry of and in itself demands collaboration - between the expert other and the novice (Vygotzky).  However, within the context of technology and what we now know about the importance of social interaction, we soon identified students' and teachers' ability to - "share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society" - as the top priority as well as the area where many teachers need the most assistance; staff development and practice.

We began with the rubric found in Carol Kuthlthau's text, Guided Inquiry; Learning in the 21st 
 Century (one primary text for the course).

 While many were novices to the Learning How to Learn and Information Literacy, teachers quickly got a handle on these two categories - the foundations had been established in EDU 590 and 591.  However, the areas that gave us all cause to re-think and re-look, were clustered under Social Skills.  Examining collaboration through the lens of technology, we decided to start by defining those areas we needed to encompass.  Following are our notes - brainstorming.

Using Guided Inquiry to foster collaboration in the classroom with technology in order to provide a framework for students to understand information through a globally aware and culturally literate lens.


  1. Research & Gather information
  2. Empathy / Frame of reference
  3. Making connections (Gardner)
  4. Cause and effect
  5. Cultural Awareness
  6. Understanding the role of Technology
  7. Participant Responsibilities
  8. Effective communication

Collaboration Rubric:

  1. Contribute
    1. Research & Gather Information
    2. Share Information
    3. Be Punctual
  2. Take Responsibility
    1. Fulfill Team Role's Duties
    2. Participate in Science Conference
    3. Share Equally
  3. Value Others' Viewpoints
    1. Listen to Other Teammates
    2. Cooperate with Teammates
    3. Make Fair Decisions

Cultural Literacy Rubric:

  1. Awareness of culture
  2. Awareness of history and its impact
  3. Perspective taking - history
  4. Stereotyping and bias
  5. Tolerance
  6. Language proficiency

Globalization Rubric:

  1. Awareness of technology’s impact on interconnections between nations/ individuals, global economy
  2. Understanding of the interconnected-ness of the global economy
  3. Understanding of the impact of global economy on political decision-making
  4. Understanding the impact of decisions made by national, international organizations on societies, environment, economies
  5. Understanding of the impact of culture on political relationships
  6. Understanding of the impact of ideology, culture on decisions related to technology and access
  7. Participation in the global society


Guided Inquiry - definition here
Collaborative Reasoning - not consensus,...

Can we create core common language and a core language --> Use in the rubric

“Collaborative reasoning discussions are intended to create a forum for children to listen to one another think out loud as they learn to engage in reasoned argumentation.”
Look at Costa’s work

Part 2 is coming up!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Free online tech resources grouped by subject and device - Great Resources!

Following is a link to FREE online tech resources grouped by subject.  Check this out!! I have looked and will be recommending several to teachers I am coaching:)  

As always, courtesy of e-school news.
June 15th, 2011

Free online tech resources grouped by subject and device

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Technology News for Today's K-20 Educator

eSchool News Live

A new website called K-12 Tech Tools features more than 1,000 free online technology tools. The tools are categorized by subject, grade level, and standards. Teachers can share their own tech tools, success stories, and can learn from one another. Subject areas include art, English, language arts, health, math, music, science, and social studies. The site’s “Etc.” category features links to resources pertaining to internet safety, kid-friendly search engines, YouTube and alternatives, educational games, social media tools, and time management tips. Users can view tips and resources based on which technology tool they are using, such as computers, iPods and iPads, and video. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Collaborative Learning

I had to post this article.  It confirms all we have been looking at through the literacy and technology grant this year - the power of collaboration.  Grant results will be reported out in two weeks!
Please stay tuned!!!

Collaborative learning is the focus at new Mass. independent school
A small, independent K-6 school in Massachusetts focuses on collaborative learning with students working at group tables rather than desks, and teachers acting as facilitators rather than lecturers. There is no homework at Anova, the Massachusetts School for Science, Creativity and Leadership, where there are rules against repetition and busywork. "We're about progressive education," said Courtney Dickinson, the school's founder. The Boston Globe (free registration) (6/9)

Webinar Archived

The Link Between Technology Integration and Reading Comprehension- Lessons in a First Grade Classroom  has been archived at:


Thanks, Alison.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Link Between Technology Integration and Reading Comprehension- Lessons in a First Grade Classroom

Please join us for this ground breaking webinar !

Alison's latest research makes us rethink what many of us thought we knew about reading! 

For those of us in the U.S., this will also have some important implications for the Common Core.  - Regardless of grade level!!

 Alison Prescott joins us again this year to share her research and share a no nonsense plan on technology in a first grade classroom.

The webinar will begin with a step by step outline of how to implement teach students the basic of technology while applying it to their learning.  This is a simple no nonsense plan - accessible to all teachers.  Applications she will discuss are free.

Next, Alison will briefly share the research from her thesis that establishes the link between use of these specific technology applications and increased reading comprehension.

Finally, there will be a question and answer period.

Hope to see you there:)

Topic:  The Link Between Technology Integration and Reading  
            Comprehension- Lessons in a First Grade Classroom

Presenter: Alison Prescott 
Date: June 9, 2011

Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m.

The URL for Thursday’s meeting:

Phone bridge numbers: 1-866-910-4857 / Password 985399.

Further instructions on joining the meeting are available in PDF format at

Friday, June 3, 2011

Literacy Across the Curriculum

The recording of yesterdays webinar, Literacy Across the Curriculum by Lisa,  is ready and online -

Thanks for an excellent presentation and materials posted on line:)  

Great response from teachers:)