Tooting My Own Horn (just a little bit)
I’m very excited to say that I will be teaching again starting in the fall! I really enjoyed the two semesters I spent teaching writing through the various co-ops, and I’ve been looking for a venue to teach again. I won’t be teaching writing in the ‘11-’12 year, though. I’ll be teaching blogging and “digital literacy.”
Here are my course descriptions from the online catalogue, if you can indulge me a bit, for Digital Literacy:
Email, instant messenger, Facebook, forums, blogs – our children have so many ways to reach out to other people with similar interests and wide array of backgrounds. Being online means being part of a large and vibrant community, but like any community, the online world has its own rules, social expectations, and occasional dangerous elements. Do your children have the skills they need to be smart and safe digital citizens?
Digital literacy is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using digital technology. More than that, it’s the knowledge of how to traverse the Internet safely, how to interact with others online in a way that is polite and appropriate, and what information they should or shouldn’t share. Students will learn the basics of email, safe web navigation, distinguishing between reliable and unreliable websites (a useful tool for research), online etiquette, and how to be a responsible online “citizen.”
And Blogging 101:
Are your children reluctant writers? Are they technophiles who are more comfortable behind a computer than in front of a crowd? Do they have a lot of subject-area knowledge they would like to share with others? Blogging is the perfect format to let them share their thoughts and to develop their passion for writing!
Blogging is a meaningful way to add your voice to the Great Conversation happening all around us. Students will establish and maintain a personal blog, participate in a class blog, learn basics of HTML, and generate content for their blogs that includes text, links, and embedded images and videos. They will learn online etiquette as they comment on others’ blogs and manage comments on their own blogs (with adult guidance). Parents will be provided links to class blogs and access to their students’ blogging accounts (unless declined).
Yeah, they’re a little hokey, but the point is to get parents to want to enroll their children, right? Plus, I really do believe blogging is both valid and valuable (perhaps especially for homeschoolers). I may have mentioned before that I spent two years working for a NCLB-funded grant initiative called Blog2Learn, where I taught middle and high school teachers how to integrate blogging into their (mostly low performing/at risk) classrooms. We had a lot of success with the program in terms of increasing writing output and improving writing quality. I’ve also taught a grown-up version of Blogging 101 (and the follow up, predictably called Blogging 102) at conferences. I feel pretty comfortable and competent in this area.
If I get parental consent, I may share some links to students’ blogs or to our class blog over the course of the school year, starting in the fall. Hopefully you’ll indulge me a little and give them some positive feedback.