Each week, a member of the JITP Editorial Collective assembles and shares the news items, ongoing discussions, and upcoming events of interest to us (and hopefully you). This week’s installment is edited by Benjamin Miller.
Turning to the trusty Twitter feed for this week’s roundup, I found a lot of recommendations for other people’s recommendations: a rabbit hole of suggested tools. Here, then, are a few other aggregations going on across my social network, and a few of what I see as this week’s highlights.
Over at ProfHacker, Adeline Koh extols the virtues of Reclaim Hosting as a space for launching customizable versions of interactive-pedagogy-friendly tools like WordPress, Scalar, and Omeka. If, like me a few months ago, you’ve heard good things about Reclaim and meant to try it but haven’t, you’ll want to read through to the bottom for an extra incentive.
Deanna Mascle maintains a collection of links at scoop.it related to Education and Learning, filled with click-bait for ed-tech enthusiasts: think “5 Fun Alternatives to Think-Pair-Share” and “What Do We Really Mean When We Say ‘Personalized Learning’?” She’s added a bunch of new posts this week, of which my favorite is Justin Pot’s “5 Easy Ways to Make Awesome Videos and Images Quickly”. It begins like this:
Stop making memes: they haven’t been funny for years, and using them makes you seem out of touch at this point. Besides, there are way more creative tools out there for creating pure doses of Internet-related delight.
Whether delight is the end-goal of education or not, there’s definitely fodder here for teachers and students who want to engage audiences visually instead of only through words — or to explore the effects of shifting among media.
Here’s one that isn’t a reference to a reference, but rather a foreign-language teacher reflecting on the increased role of writing in students’ daily lives, and how that has affected his pedagogy. As Gianfranco Conti puts it, in a post on his site, The Language Gym:
On a daily basis I find myself chatting on social media in four different languages and I find the linguistic challenges this poses quite taxing as it requires faster language processing ability and sociolinguistic competences that I do not always possess.
Whether we like it or not, the vast majority of our students communicate via social media or other forms of instant messaging. Hence, if we are to prepare them for communication in the real world this phenomenon cannot be ignored. Teaching interactional writing skills is therefore a must, in my opinion.
Conti includes seven interactive learning activities for his class, including a live Edmodo chat session with students assigned alternating roles of initiator and responder, all in the target language.
(Hat tip to Jim Ridolfo for retweeting the link. Okay, so maybe it was a reference to a reference, after all.)
Finally, the New York Times reported over the weekend about an app-enabled marketplace for lesson plans, TeachersPayTeachers, which they repeatedly billed as “an Etsy for educators.” Among the more striking pieces of information shared here? “By selling tens of thousands of items, [CEO Adam Freed] says, 12 teachers on the site have become millionaires and nearly 300 teachers have earned more than $100,000. On any given day, the site has about 1.7 million lesson plans, quizzes, work sheets, classroom activities and other items available, typically for less than $5.” It’s a useful reminder that the benefits of interactivity are not limited to students… and that capital incentives for teachers are more likely to come from other teachers spending out of their own pockets than from a more systematic realignment of salary structures.
What do you think, JITP readers: would you sell your lesson plans for a dollar each, if people were willing to pay for them?
“It’s Turtles all the way down.” Image courtesy of Flickr user William Warby.