This is the first of three shows (#292 April 11, #294 April 25, #295 May 2) in which we are talking about Howard Rheingold's new book, Net Smart, How to Thrive Online. Howard joins us on Wednesday, May 2.
Joining Paul Allison, Monika Hardy, and Chris Sloan on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers are Alice Barr, Nancy Sharoff, Vinnie Vrotny, Valerie Burton, Sarah Rolle, Scott Lockman, and Andrea Zellner.
On this episode we mainly talk about the introduction to Howard's book and a syllabus for a social media literacies course on the high school level that he has compiled from his college-level syllabus.
Syllabus: Social Media Literacies, High School Level, Seed Version Compiled By Howard Rheingold
As an instructor of undergraduate and graduate students at University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, I created a syllabus for the benefit of other college/university level instructors. I created a copy of the original syllabus for modification to use with high school students (probably juniors or seniors). I will rely on actual high school teachers to help me modify this source document. Please feel free to use, modify, and share this syllabus in your own way. Reorder the modules, add or subtract required or recommended texts and learning activities. Use your own assessment methods. If you wish to help improve this seed document, contact [email protected] and I will add you as a commenter and/or editor.
This syllabus is based on my 2012 book, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, as a textbook. I set out to write the book as an educational instrument. As I explain in the introductory chapter, (which is downloadable free of charge), I have concluded, after thirty years as an online participant, observer, and teacher, that social media literacies are a critical uncertainty in the issue of whether digital media improve or erode human individual capacities and collective culture. Just as in the eras following the invention of the alphabet and printing press, literate populations become the driving force that shape new media. What we know now matters in shaping the ways people will use and misuse social media for decades to come.
The 21st century depends on a critical mass of people who understand basic scientific literacy, media literacy, information literacy, in addition to the literacies I cover in my book and in this syllabus. I use “literacy” in the sense of a skill that includes not only the individual ability to decode and encode in a medium, but also the social ability to use the medium effectively in concert with others. I didn’t write the book as a syllabus, but as a logical ordering of the five social media literacies of attention, crap detection, participation, collaboration, and network awareness: attention is the starting place for all media use; crap detection is necessary for effective participation; knowledge of individual participation is by its nature enmeshed with collaborative communications that take place through networked publics. When composing the syllabus, I duplicated much of this progression, but chose texts that can offer analytic tools, explanatory frameworks, and competing perspectives -- the basic building blocks for teachers to use. For high school communities, “Critical consumption online” or “critical consumption of social media” could substitute for “crap detection” as a label. The methods are identical, although many resources most appropriate for high school students must exist to replace texts in the original, college-level version.
Here are a couple of moments from Teachers Teaching Teachers #294
where we think about Crap Detection in light of KONY 2012. The entire show is there as well.
As an introduction to this conversation, we offer these reflections posted by one of our listeners on her blog, "Short Quips: thinking in (hyper)text" (Check out here blog, to see this teacher's complete response, and view her About Me.):
Tonight I participated in my first live educational conference online through EdTechTalk. The conference is called “Teachers Teaching Teachers” and takes place every Wednesday night. I did not join the group via video, but rather just watched/listened to the other participants and participated through a live chat feature....
It took me a while to catch up to what was being discussed. Participants were throwing around the term “Youth Voices” and I thought at first that it was just a cool catch phrase for high school kids who were blogging. It wasn’t until i joined the live chat that I got a better idea of what Youth Voices is. Youth Voices, it turns out, is a huge site where the main purpose is to offer a space for youth to participate in discussion. It is a place where youth can post their thoughts and comment on other youth’s thoughts....
One of the discussions among the video participants revolved around how teachers should/are assessing their student’s contributions on Youth Voices. One educator shared how she is setting guidelines for how much/what her students need to contribute to Youth Voices within a specific time frame. For example, she will stipulate that her students need to write one post and make one comment within a week, and if they do both they get the marks for it. This particular educator works at a school in the Bronx and has found that participating in Youth Voices has empowered her students to have their voices heard. She noted how much time and effort can be put into a short comment, because the students are very aware of their online presence and ensuring they present themselves appropriately.
... It was an interesting experience to view it. I think the biggest thing I got out of the experience was that I was also able to network with educators from far and wide- always a positive when you are working on developing your professional learning network.
... I would love to come back to join in a conversation in the future, especially if I am looking for information specifically related to the topic being discussed. I am curious to know whether there are any live educator chats/conferences specifically for Early Childhood Educators. If you know of one, pass it on!
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
Teachers Teaching Teachers #266 What changes when we allow connections and brilliance in one-room schoolhouses online? 10.5.11
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, seven of us--Chris Sloan, Gail Desler, Fred Mindlin, Monika Hardy, Valerie Burton, Scott Shelhardt and Paul Allison--share our ideas, concerns, hopes, dreams, plans and strategies for moving our teaching away from prescribed learning toward a social change that puts students and their passions at the center of work together.
We find ourselves pondering larger pedagogical questions, discussing issues involved in working together, and brainstorming on nitty-gritty issues about how we might take advantage of the resources we have. Many of these questions will inform our conversations in future shows:
How do we use the connections young people already have--through tools like cell phones and social networks--to extend their learning?
How do we get to the brilliance within each young person by moving beyond external incentives like grades and badges?
What's the difference between teaching with/through games and "gamifying" the curriculum?
How can we build online cultures using sites like Youth Voices where young children, middle school students, older adolescents, and even young adults can work together in an online one-room school house?
How can we find the hardware and software we need to enable our students to work together?
And finally, we'd love to know what guests you would like us to invite and what topics you would like us to discuss on future shows of Teachers Teaching Teachers as Monika Hardy, Paul Allison and Chris Sloan have evolved into regular hosts on the show.
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we get together and talk about Youth Voices with Alice Barr, Matt Montagne, Sandy Scragg, Sheri Edwards, Shantanu Saha, Valerie Burton, Chris Sloan, and Paul Allison.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.