Teacher Blog

22 Sep

News and Media: All Media are Constructions

This is the first in a series of special posts co-written by Ms. Keats and Ms. Solomon to reflect on the #K12Media Twitter chats.

As we’ve transitioned into this special series of #K12Media chats, we thought we’d add a blog component in order to reflect on the lively and productive discussions. We also wanted a space to continue the conversation. Often an hour isn’t enough, or we think of something wonderful to add later. Monday’s discussion has refreshed and enriched our own understanding of both the key concept and the medium; it has us reconsidering the possibilities of the media studies units we’ve developed in the past.

We’re exhilarated about the opportunities that a good discussion can generate; there was much for us to process and reflect on following Monday night’s twitter chat about news media. We find ourselves still left with more questions than answers about news media (especially with regards to social media) and incorporating the study of news in the classroom. Not that that’s a bad thing...

21 Sep

Key Concept 2: #K12Media

Continuing in our special series of #K12Media chats, this week’s discussion will centre on Concept 2 from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: Media Construct Reality. As a recap, last week we discussed how media are constructions. We spoke specifically about the news media as constructions.

For a refresher on the concepts: 

Key Concept 2: The media construct reality

Media are constructions, and in turn, they can shape  our reality. We, as viewers, create impressions and opinions of the world around us based on the media we are exposed to. There are places we have never visited and people that we have never met that we feel we “know” at least superficially due to exposure to media. The carefully crafted messages within media will impact, shape, and potentially distort our reality.

16 Sep

Twitter Tips for Teachers

As I speak with my colleagues and friends about what I'm doing online, they often look confused when I mention Twitter. The idea is so simple as to seem silly. The fascination with the minutiae of others' daily lives should wear off rather quickly. One hundred and forty characters seems too short for any really meaningful interaction. Twitter turns that assumption on its head, and its users have taken it to a level that (to most people) was completely unexpected. Twitter is an amazing professional development/learning resource for teachers.

Twitter has allowed me to expand my network of colleagues and associates beyond my school and community, across the globe. I interact with people from countries I have never visited and listen to points-of-view I might not have considered. Many of the relationships initiated on Twitter have evolved into genuine friendships and professional relationships that extend far beyond that medium. I have Skyped, emailed, shared and collaborated with a much larger network of people who are just as passionate as I am about teaching and learning. 

If you're a teacher, student or involved in education and are new to Twitter, here are some things I have learned in the last few years:

14 Sep

Investigating the Key Concepts of Media Literacy: #K12Media

Ms. Keats and I invite you to join us for a special series of #K12Media chats on Twitter! Over the next eight weeks, we will delve more deeply into the Eight Key Concepts of Media Literacy. Each week’s discussion will investigate one concept, connecting it to a particular medium. In addition, we will examine the potential limitations of the concept when considering new or emerging technologies. 

You can vote for your favourite "Hot Topic" in the poll at the end of this post, and the winner will be the one we use for the focus of this week's chat.

For a refresher on each concept: 

Media Literacy: Key Concepts (Media Awareness Network)

Key Concept 1: Media are Constructions of reality.

When studying media we examine how media are not simply a reflection of reality; they are carefully constructed versions of reality shaped by a multitude of factors.

13 Sep

K12Media: A New Direction

These past few weeks have been very exciting for us. Each week, a small and distinct group of individuals have come together to discuss Media Education, and it has been amazing to see. Ms. Keats and I reflected on the experience last night. We love the format and the engagement. We love teaching and learning.  We spoke about the variety of topics we touched on and realized that we wanted to go deeper. More than that, we wanted participants to be able to take something more practical away from these discussions. We want, as my friend Stephen Hurley once told me, "ideas for Monday and Someday".

To that end, the next poll will contain topics for discussion as usual, but we hope that the discussion will lead to a sharing and creating of resources for use in the classroom. Do you have a lesson that you taught that is relevant? Was there something that you tried that didn't work but that you believe has potential? Do you want to flesh out an idea for how to tackle new media? We'd like those questions and discussions to be the focus of our weekly chats, seen through the lens of the topic of the day.

Most of all, we'd love to hear from you! What do you think of this plan? Do you have any ideas for topics that you'd like to see in Monday's discussion? Let us know in the comments below or send us a Tweet!

To see the archive of last night's chat, visit the K12Media Wiki.