Here is my final presentation that summarizes my experience with technology this semester and poses a big-picture question that I will think about going forward.
Here is my final presentation that summarizes my experience with technology this semester and poses a big-picture question that I will think about going forward.
For this project I am going to do a lesson on satire. Satire is a powerful genre in both film and literature. Satire uses critical thinking to lay bare the array of hypocritical behavior we find in our social, political and economic leaders. Satire also has a rich history in film and literature. The project will start with an overview of the genre beginning with readings from works of satire and moving to examples of satire in film and television.
Here is a video on what satire is and how it works
Excerpts of satire in literature could include:
The Satires of Juvenal; Jonathan Swift’s A Modern Proposal and Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now among others.
Examples of satire in film and television could include excerpts from:
The Simpsons; the Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert; This is Spinal Tap; any Christopher Guest movie among others.
Once the students understand fully the concept of satire, we will move to the major activity of this lesson. The students in this lesson will read a work of literature (Red Alert) and then watch a film (Dr. Strangelove) that was adapted from the novel. Red Alert was a novel by Peter George about the possibility of nuclear war started by a lone madman. The novel is short and reads quickly. The students will then watch the movie Dr Strangelove and apply their understanding of satire to the film.
The Objective: The first objective is for the students to understand what satire is and how it is used by authors and filmmakers. The students will also learn how a piece of literature that is not satirical in design can be turned into satire. The essential question would look something like this: Compare the novel Red Alert with the film Dr. Strangelove; how did the director Stanley Kubrick create a satire out of the non-ironic novel? Identify ways that satire is used visually as opposed to the satire that in narrative form.
Technology Needed: Students will need computer and internet access to watch the 5 minute video explaining satire and the related concepts of irony and sarcasm are. They will see video clips and the film Dr. Strangelove using classroom technology.
Content: The content relevant to language arts will include the literary concepts of satire, irony and sarcasm. The students will read some short works such as A Modest Proposal and a couple of the Roman poet Juvenal’s satires. When viewing the film Dr. Strangelove, the students will compare similarities between the novel and film such as the characters, the plot, and most importantly the themes looked at in both works. Another question to look at: how are specific non-satirical plot and thematic elements in the novel treated satirically in the film?
Pedagogy: The project will begin by defining satire and related terms. This could be done with a teacher-directed lecture that explained satire. I have also included a video that does a good job of explaining satire. Once the definitions of satire and related concepts are clear, the students will have assigned reading. Class discussions of the reading on satire will center around how satire, as we have defined and discussed, it is used by the authors of the assigned satirical literature (example: A Modest Proposal). Following the readings and class discussions on the literature, the film Dr. Strangelove will be watched by the class together. Following the film, the students will write an essay comparing the similarities between the novel and the film; specifically, they will discuss what elements in the novel were transformed into satire by Kubrick. In their writing they will also discuss different ways that satire is used visually.
To end the lesson I will play the song by Alanis Morissette called “Ironic”
I will ask the students if what Morissette sings about are actually examples of irony or just some bad things that happened. (hint: the examples in the song are not really irony)
Wiki page on Irony
A great PBS page on satire
A Wiki page on the novel Red Alert
The first article I read consists of 12 units that integrate technology into standards-based lessons. Examples of these units include fan-fiction, creative writing, online peer editing, teaching Shakespeare with film and images,using blogs to facilitate independent reading projects, and how technology can enhance (or hinder) effective public speaking. I liked it because it was specific to the language arts classroom.
The second journal article on the ISTE site I read is about how the use of technology has changed over the years. The author points out that language arts classrooms were some of the first to incorporate computers into the classroom, but now often lag behind other subject areas with respect to teaching with technology.
For this project I started out using the CPS software, but I was not able to complete the project. I never determined what the problem was, but I kept getting an error that there were no devices selected, so maybe I need the actual clickers? I switched to Google forms and the project went together much more easily.
Click here to see the Google Form
I didn’t experiment too much with the different types of forms. I used the multiple choice questions exclusively, but I think doing a writing or the other types of questions would pose no added difficulty. One problem I did have: When I moved the project over from CPS I had images of Romantic and Enlightenment art that would have been fun to include. In my cursory search I was not able to import the images and use them in the pre-assessment.
I will include big-picture ideas in the classroom, and one subject I have been reading about a lot lately is the difference between the Enlightenment and Romantic philosophies. The philosophies can be seen in their present-day manifestations in a number of ways; one would be the difference between one who looks to religion and faith for guidance (Romantic) versus one who looks to science for the same understanding Enlightenment). Each viewpoint has held sway during different times, but there have always (going back to antiquity) been those who have bucked the dominant views of the time and held personal visions of the nature of reality.
My Google form is a pre-assessment that tests the students’ knowledge of Romantic and Enlightenment ideas. I really like how easy it was to work in Google forms. I want to make sure that they do the assessment in class, so there is no temptation to cheat. In this sense, it seems that the clickers and CPS software might be the way to go.
For the pre-assessment I have 8 responses that are conveniently graphed. Below are some sample responses
Here is a lecture by philosopher Isaiah Berlin on the roots of Romanticism
Here is a Wiki site for information on the counter-enlightenment that followed the Romantic era
Here is a link to a website that focuses on Romantic poetry
For the ISTE articles I first chose an article titled “Retool Your School, The Educator’s Guide to Google’s Free Power Apps.” by James Lerman and Ronique Hicks.
This article covered the many ways Google’s free tools can be used in today’s classrooms. After the problems I encountered using the CPS software it was nice to switch over to Google and know that the project could be completed quickly and easily. The more I use Google’s tools, the more impressed I am with them. An entire classroom can be organized around Google’s free tools. This would save the time it would take students to download other applications. It would all be in Google, which is a big time saver.
For the second article I read a piece titled “Differentiating Instruction with Technology in the Middle School Classrooms” by Grace E Smith and Stephanie Throne. The authors do a nice job of explaining how technology can differentiate instruction in middle school. They also cover a lot of the social and emotional qualities of “tweens” and how technology can best be used to serve the middle school aged students.
This project was the most satisfying for me. Part of the reason was the ease with which it came together; everything worked exactly like it said it would, and the utility of the screencasting software is considerable. I like how the professor, Mark Szymanski, has used the screencasting software as a tutorial for our projects, and I can see myself using it in the same way in my classroom.
The first iste article I read covers a list of the best screencasting programs available for free on the web.
I couldn’t find anything else on screencasting on iste, so I went for a random journal article. The article was titled “Join the Flock” and I had no idea what it was about; the article as it turns out is about how to use Twitter to build a professional learning network. The article assumes the reader has no experience with Twitter and goes about introducing the nomenclature and how to open up your own account. I found it interesting but remain unconvinced of how Twitter can be more useful than other online resources that offer similar, and more in-depth, online communication.
Here are three grammar websites that offer games, quizzes and other grammar-related learning opportunities.
The first Smartboard lesson I examined is called “Comma” Sense––Why Punctuation Matters and consists of 8 slides giving a brief overview of how the meaning of a sentence is changed if nothing but the punctuation changes. The lesson is clearly described, the goals are well laid-out and the technical aspects are clearly described.
I have had this lesson taught in a recent grammar class and I liked this lesson because it does a good job of highlighting how important punctuation is. Students may be tempted to rely on their word processing programs to correct punctuation, but these kinds of errors will not be caught because they are not incorrect. Slides six and seven are particularly revelatory as the author takes a paragraph and shows how the whole thing can mean two completely different things depending on how it is punctuated. The lesson is fairly narrow and it acts differently than a typical grammar lesson. This lesson, is more about highlighting the importance of punctuation rather than really teaching punctuation. I think this is an important and often overlooked part of teaching. So, the goals of the lesson are lofty, but there seem to be a few problems with the execution.
The technology seems a little primitive, but it works as it says it will except for the fifth slide, which appears to not work. Technically, although there is nothing flashy and the design lacks any flair, the lesson gets its point across.
For the second Smartboard lesson titled Adverbs Review, I tried a different approach. I was unimpressed with my first lesson, so I tried downloading the grammar lesson with the most downloads. This turned out to be a good idea. The second lesson was noticeably better even from a quick perusal of the first page.
The first two slides contain technical information about the lesson such as how many slides (17) are contained in the lesson. They also contain tabs for lesson goals and teacher’s notes, which the first lesson didn’t.
The lesson is basically an introduction to adverbs for 5-6 graders and explains what they are and how they are used in sentences. The lesson alternates between providing instruction on what adverbs are and how to use them with problems for the student to test his or her knowledge against. The lesson has nice use of images and graphics.
The lesson doesn’t go in depth, but could be an adequate introduction to the subject matter for 5th and 6th graders. The lesson also doesn’t mention that adverbs sometimes end in ly, which is a nice clue for students to be aware of. The lesson does cover the basic idea that adverbs modify verbs and tell how, when or where. The examples are a little redundant, but for such a basic lesson for that age group, that might be a strength of the lesson.
Once again, I had some technical difficulties with the lesson. First, the lesson crashed twice while I was scrolling through it. The other technical problem I had is that for the quiz questions, I am not able to get any feedback whether the answer I selected is right or not. It is possible that I have a setting not selected properly, but my cursory effort to fix the problem turned up nothing.
The first ISTE article I read was “Creating Valuable Class Websites.” The article is written for “technophobes” who don’t have the confidence or know-how to engage their students in using the internet to make a class website. She breaks it down to 3 available methods.
For neophytes with little experience with computers, the author identifies method one, which is the variety of free websites that can host a classroom website. She then highlights how the class can get more design options without advertisements by paying a small yearly fee.
The author then looks at method two which is the variety of blogs, groups, and wikis available for a student website. She talks about the benefits and difficulties of choosing this method. This, she says, is the template approach where multiple students can post material.
Finally, the author talks about method three which is for the teacher and class to be their own web developer. She highlights the types of software that can be purchased and the advantages of the richer content and increased flexibility of this method.
For the second article from the ISTE website, my curiosity was piqued by an article titled, “What’s Not on the Web.” Upon finishing the article I noticed that it was written 2001, so the information is a little suspect at best.
The article is written by a librarian trying to elucidate the variety of ways that students can still use the resources in libraries other than the “free” web. She tell stories of students who were stuck in their research papers and who used the school library to dig up information from decades-old periodicals. The author also makes a distinction between the free web and sites that charge for using their services. She is careful to note that by using pay services the advantages of using the library are greatly reduced; but, nonetheless, she makes some convincing points for using the library for research . After all, there are few books available in-full on the web for free and libraries still have a wealth of books and periodicals that may be referenced for free.
Three reference articles:
I am doing option 2 where I make my own KML Google Earth file and Tour. The Google Earth Tour is centered around a book idea I had years back while surfing the waves of Vancouver Island in Canada. I can see how the variety of ways that Google Earth can be utilized in the classroom. I can also imagine the ways that the social sciences can be greatly enhanced by using Google Earth in the classroom. My language arts lesson feels a little like an interesting way to close the lesson on reading a novel rather than a necessary component of the actual skills of reading and writing, but I think the effort was worthwhile and the students would hopefully enjoy it.
Click here to load the KML layer of my Google Earth project.
Click here to load the Google Earth Tour for the novel Grayer Pastures. Make sure you expand the different areas to find the Tour with the camera icon. It is toward the bottom and is a .kmz file.
The first article on the ISTE site I read was titled: Technology Integration: Using Google Earth and Graph Club in the Classroom. The article stressed the ways that technology can help students engage in higher-order thinking. The article started by stressing how important it was that the teacher have a good grasp of the technology.
The exercise described in the article has the students finding places on Google Earth and recording the latitude and longitude on a graph. The article ended by designating the lesson a success with a few recommendations; among them were: that students work as pairs to help each other; to monitor students closely; and to conduct discussions for the students to work on their speaking skills.
The second article I read on the ISTE site was titled “Geocoaching Across the Curriculum.” This article covered lessons that involved students leaving the classroom and using GPS devices to discover caches that the teacher had planted.
The author covered all aspects of the what to expect and what to avoid in a typical geocoaching experience. He also went in depth about how to tie geocoaching in with different class subjects. The author described how geocoaching is a weather-dependent activity and emphasized the way the teacher can use Google Earth and Google Maps to substitute for a geocoaching experinece if the weather is inclimate. It was surprising to hear the different ways that geocoaching can be relevant to a variety of subjects, but the author makes a strong case and provides a few examples.
Here is a cool website for the work of Edward Tuftie. Tuftie has been representing data graphically for decades. His work encompasses many disciplines, and he does everything from showing in galleries to traveling the country giving one-day courses. The New York Times called him the Leonardo da Vinci of data.
Here is an interesting article on a “flipped classroom” from a New York Times education blog. The writer talks about using infographics in the classroom.
Here is a really cool infographic site that traces the evolution of Western dance music.
One article I read from the ISTE website is titled “Visual Arts Units for All Levels.” The article collects 20 classroom projects that use technology to support visual arts in the classroom. The projects in this article are also connected to state standards regarding the use of technology in the classroom. Art classes of all kinds are being cut from school budgets all over the country these projects are a great way to reintroduce arts and meet technology standards at the same time.
One interesting thing I learned in the article is that the visual arts can be a great way to introduce project-based learning into the classroom for a teacher who is not familiar with the concept. Students learning about the visual arts and using technology to create content will also walk away from the project with something tangible. The 20 projects offered up by the writers of the article are useful and in some cases unique. One project involves making origami with photo-editing software introducing students to another culture and its unique and valuable art.
The second article I read from the ISTE site is titled “Cell Phones in the Classroom” that sees cell phones as powerful new teaching tools. The article follows two teachers who integrate cell phones into the classroom. The first thing one teacher did was to use a program called Poll Everywhere to check for students’ comprehension or give the students a pre-quiz. The article also introduced statistics regarding how many students have cell phones and whether they are smart phones or not.
I would like to see more examples of the successful use of cell phones in classrooms before I get too excited about introducing them into mine. I do like the idea of being able to do pre-quizzes to test grammar knowledge. I could put up multiple choice questions on a Smart board and each student would have a way to answer the question. At the end of the quiz I would have each student’s score without having to spend the time going through and grading each one individually. At this point in my technology training I am not sure if a cell phone is the best way to perform this exercise or not.
First, I like the hand-drawn aspect of this infographic. Sometimes when we are working with technology it is nice to balance out the digital content with content that looks more organic with an added human element.
In many of the English classes I took in high school the content was, for the most part, divorced from other disciplines. We studied subject in an insular manner that made it hard to connect what we were learning in one class to what we were learning in other classes. This infographic represents nicely the interrelatedness of writers of fiction with other disciplines like philosophy and science. Historically, disciplines such as, art, science and philosophy were closely related. Writers of fiction were heavily influence by the latest scientific findings and current philosophical theories. This certainly isn’t the case today (at least to the extent).
I would use this infographic in one way as a lesson showing how writers, scientists and other thinkers all influenced eachother and how rapidly changing the disciplines were. I would also use it as a way for a student who liked, for example, Shakespeare to connect the student to other individuals who were influenced by his work or who influenced him.
This is a simple infographic that lays out the steps for writing a research paper. For my class, I would take the infographic and customize it to align the steps more closely to how I would teach the subject. The infographic starts with the “list keywords” circle and progresses in a clockwise direction back to the twelve o’clock position which ends with “citing sources,” the last step in writing a research paper.
There are eight steps to writing a research paper in this infographic and I could focus on one step every day and have the whole project done in 2 weeks. This would form a nice 2 week unit on writing a research paper. I would have the infographic as the front page of each student’s work-in-progress. The idea being that they would constantly be seeing it and having it ingrained in their subconscious. Having a visual reminder of the process will help to keep them on track and remind them if they have neglected a step in the process.
This is another infographic that is a great idea, but that I would ideally like to customize for my particular lesson plan. I really like the idea of looking at language arts as a history of communication. This infographic, with the example of heliographs, will convey the idea that communication historically involved more than just writing and speaking.
It also brings in other cultures such as China to introduce (or reinforce) the idea that the East and West progressed along different lines historically. High school students growing up today are immersed in the internet, and this lesson will provide a historical perspective on how the types of communication have impacted culture.
This infographic breaks down how style works in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth. Style is one aspect of writing that high school students study. From the center of the infographic where style branches out, other sub-categories of style like mood, symbols, and metaphor expand on the idea.
I think the style of the play is well represented by an infographic because style is a slightly amorphous concept. The infographic uses images that can bring the components of style into visual representation, thereby making concrete what was once vague.
After seeing this infographic, I can see how other aspects of a work of literature can be displayed in a similar manner. Concepts such as structure, themes, quotations, and synopsis can all be taught using this type of infographic.
I had some difficulty finding infographics that were based around data for my language arts classroom, but this one is perfect for a lesson on spelling. This infographic represents the 15 most commonly misspelled words in the US. The top of the graph starts with the most commonly misspelled word in the country (their) and the last word is the 15th most misspelled word according to ten million online spell-check users.
I think the most fun way to use this infographic in my classroom would be to have a quiz that wasn’t graded. There would be no expectation that the students know how to spell these words, but we could see how our students’ results matched those of the ten million online users. As the year progressed, we could compile the most commonly misspelled words from our own weekly spelling quizzes. At the end of the year we could make our own infographic in class that showed the results of our classes’ most commonly misspelled words.
Also, the fact that these are the 15 most misspelled works in the country implies that there is something inherently difficult about spelling them. This is useful information because we can make it a point to know the words that are giving others so much trouble.
Link to lesson plan
Link to slideshow
For this project I wanted students to find a way to combine photographic images with the practice of interpreting literature: the idea being that words in a literary work have the potential to create images in the readers mind thereby giving them a different way of understanding the book. The use of the Red Badge of Courage for this exercise is relevant because photographs from the war actually influenced how Stephen Crane approached telling the short story. I recently reread the Red Badge of Courage and in some of my background research on the book I discovered that one reason Stephen Crane’s book was a new and different portrayal of war was because of the graphic images of war that had come back from the front. Before then, the only people who really got an idea of what war looked like were the soldiers and others whose work took them to the battlefields. By the 1860s commercial photography was an established profession and it only made sense for the photographers to turn their lenses on the battlefields surrounding them. This was a historic development in war reporting and literature and a great subject matter for the students to explore. I wanted to have them practice higher level thinking by looking at larger issues of how these photographs might have affected the public’s view of war and whether this was a positive or negative development.
The first ISTE article I read was titled “English Language Arts Units for Grades 9-12″ by Christopher Shamberg. The article begins by the author revealing that when asked why he was teaching the Scarlet Letter, he was unable to come up with a response. His point was that we need to constantly be reassessing what we are teaching and why we are teaching it. He then goes on to talk about technology and the constantly changing needs of the high school language arts classroom: “The problem is that college entrance exams no
longer test for literature and that students need 21st-century Information Age skills, not
20th-century Industrial Age skills. These new skills Shamberg elucidates are, in large part, technological ones. He concludes by talking about the new “literacies” teachers are challenged to acknowledge and assimilate and how these new literacies can better prepare our students for a rapidly changing world.
“Copyright, Digital Media, and Teaching High School English” is second (it is accessed by scrolling down from the first) article I read and it contains some useful information regarding our work for Project 2. ” Copying and pasting others’ work has never been easier and it brings up issues of copyright protection. The article talks about the concept of “fair use” and how for the most part schools and educators are able to use materials that would be copyright protected if used commercially. Problems arise, however, when students use their work for school on Facebook and other social media sites. The article goes on to emphasize how important it is for students have an idea of what the copyright laws are and in what contexts the “found” media can be utilized. The article concludes by discussing the creative commons. The creative commons is an organization with a website where artists, musicians and others can make their work available for others for free. Students can find media through the organization and use it in their school work without worrying about copyright violations, which is a good way to spend more time learning and less time worrying.
Oregon Standard Used:
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
“Text” in the above sentence is meant to mean literary non-fiction, but I expanded the idea to include different kinds of rhetoric we are surrounded by every day (speeches, advertisements, press releases). This will provide background knowledge towards enabling a student to confidently assess a work of literary non-fiction. Initially It might be difficult for a student to determine the veracity of a piece of literary non-fiction, so my exercise will get the student thinking about the variety of ways that words, both written and spoken, can be used to persuade an audience. Understanding how rhetoric can be used to persuade (often subconsciously) a listener will help the student in learning to identify and defend against powerful written and spoken words. With sufficient background knowledge and an understanding of the three modes of persuasion the student will be in a good position to correctly asses the merits of a complex piece of literary non-fiction.
What did you learn?
I have been thinking about how to teach rhetoric for a while, and I think some kind of mapping project would be a good way to introduce the material. The one thing I like about having the student work within the confines of a map is that he or she is forced to focus on what I am trying to teach. If the student were simply to write a reflection on the exercise, he or she could potentially wander off into areas that were not what I had intended. Using a map I can show how a speech or written appeal can be broken down and analyzed. The medium itself (the map) elucidates for the student how rhetoric can be broken down and examined rather than just digested uncritically.
How might you use this project or one like it in the future.
This was my first attempt to squeeze a lesson into a map, and with feedback from students I would have a better idea how effective the map design was. Ideally, the map would be modified every time the lesson was being taught. The template I used was for a science class, which makes sense because the exercise entails dissecting language and compartmentalizing it. I can see students with practice being able to recognize the three modes of persuasion and be able to scrutinize a variety of written and spoken works. One fun lesson would be to bring a newspaper to class and read an op-ed piece out loud. As a class, we could slowly work through the piece, exposing it to our new and powerful skill of rhetorical analysis.
One ISTE article I read was titled, “Mapping Curriculum to ED Tech and Industry Standards.” It talked about the lack of technology standards in the field of education and it highlighted a technology map that one school used to make clear its use of technology. The article also recommended that schools not try and invent their own proprietary technological systems, but to dive in to already existing industry platforms. The main thing I learned from the article is that private industry is the driver in technological innovation (and it will always be), but the education field’s expertise is critical in deciding how technology will be combined with pedagogy to create an optimal learning environment.
The second ISTE article I read was titled “Successful Curriculum Mapping” and began by deploring the lack of skill both teachers and students (the article was a couple years old, so maybe this has changed) showed in using technology. The writer followed the integration of technology into a classroom and documented how the students and teachers together explored new technology and how to use it in the classroom. The article’s central position was advocating technology as a tool for communication and inquiry rather than a management tool. Using technology to enhance communication was achieved by creating curriculum maps that made clear the objectives that both the teacher and students worked towards. The article also called for seamless integration of technology into the classroom and the continued assessment of how the program was progressing. The main “take away” from the article for me was how curriculum mapping is a great way to keep the move to a technology-based classroom on track and focused.
Think clearly about what the lesson plan will actually make the students think about rather than what one hopes they will think about.
For this device, I relate a lesson plan to a battle plan (probably since I am reading the Iliad). The plan of battle must be thought out as thoroughly as possible, because lives depend on it. Fortunately, the consequences for a bad lesson plan are not as serious as a bad battle plan, but still, valuable classroom time will be wasted.