Teacher Blog

01 Feb

O Canada: A Teachable Moment

"Why do we have to sing O Canada in school every day?" My 5 year old asked me as we pulled up to her school this morning. When she began kindergarten, I briefly wondered what she'd think about this musical interlude at the beginning of every school day. She never mentioned it, and I never remembered to ask her. Other things seemed more important: who she played with, what story she was reading, what happened on the playground. O Canada was something she did in the morning, like putting her coat in a cubby and taking the chairs down at the beginning of class, unworthy of notice (though those rituals could fill another blog post...). Why did she ask me that question today? I find she often asks the big questions at times when we're rushed, in motion, the times when I can't fully devote my attention to the answer. This one seemed important so I parked the car, glanced at the clock and realized I had about 4 minutes before the bell rang.

"Why do you think?" I asked, curious to see how she had rationalized it.

"I don't know," was her less-than-helpful answer.

"Do you think it's because it's everyone's favourite song?" I countered.

"No. It's not my favourite song."

27 Jan

SOPA: Protest and Politics in a New Media Landscape

On Monday January 23, #K12Media (a weekly chat for teachers interested in Media Literacy/Studies/Education) discussed how we might bring last week's SOPA protest into our classrooms. We began by looking at the media texts produced that day and we hope that the discussion can continue in the comments. We will definitely come back to the topics of piracy, privacy, copyright and sharing in future #K12Media talks.

This past week a virtual protest yielded real results. Wikipedia led the charge and many websites went black on January 18. In the end, politicians in the US listened and SOPA was effectively scrapped. 

Though a battle was won, the war continues as politicians, special interest groups and the public try to determine who has control over the internet. This protest and the issues it publicized are rich with resources, topics for discussion or debate, and media texts.

Image: Screen Shot of Wikipedia.com taken Jan 18.



04 Jan

Welcome to 2012 #K12Media!

Welcome back to a new year of #K12Media chats! We’re hoping that together we’ll continue to explore the diverse range of topics that media studies offer. This week’s topics reflect our previous discussions on the Key Concepts of Media Literacy, and we look forward to seeing which topic piques your interest.

18 Dec

#K12Media: It's the Final Countdown (of 2011)

by Ms. Keats

For last year's words belong to last year's language

And next year's words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

                                T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Eliot’s words echo the thoughts of many at the end of the year; a time to start anew, a time to recalculate one’s plans and pathways, and perhaps the resolve to end bad habits.

The #K12Media chat was started with the intention to connect a community of people who are passionate about media studies in the classroom. This experience has been extremely rewarding for us. As the holidays approach, we know things will get a bit hectic over the next couple of weeks, so we're taking a little break until January. We’d like to mark our final chat of 2011 with a question:

Where are we going in 2012?

What will you be doing in your classroom in the new year to connect your students to the world of media around them? We invite you to share your best suggestions, assignment ideas, or topics of interest that may have stemmed from a previous chat. You may even have a topic you would like to see added to a future discussion, let us know.

08 Dec

#K12Media: Toys, Santa or Gender? You Decide!

The past few weeks we’ve begun to take a closer look at the holiday season, examining the meanings behind our holiday texts. Our first discussion centred on what, how, why, and when people celebrate, and whether people celebrate at all. We discussed the need for inclusivity and diversity in our celebrations of the season within our classrooms and schools, and the sensitivity we should develop towards the multiple traditions that surround us. In last week’s chat we were immersed in the special programming on television throughout the month of December, again examining the stories that dominate, our personal connection to particular stories, and questioning which voices may not be heard and which stories need greater inclusion.

 This week we’re stringing lights on another holiday-themed group of topics—please share any links with us throughout the chat, or any time using the #K12Media hashtag.

Please choose from the topics below: