David writes:

The concept of best practice usually illicits some strong emotions from educators; what exactly is best practice.  Best practice means different things to different people.  With that in mind, here is my perspective of a framework or scaffold that can help school districts implement learning technologies appropriately.  Again, my perspective; yours might be different.  Read my blog post on this topic.

  1. Does the use of the technology support a fundamental literacy that the school believes in? For example, digital storytelling first and foremost seeks to improve the ability of students to write.
  2. Does the use of technology add value to the lesson? Does the technology extend the lesson to a place that could not be achieved unless the technology was included? For example, using the process of digital storytelling also helps students learn visual literacy skills, project management skills, network skills, and how to use media in an ethical way.
  3. How will I structure the lesson so that the technology fulfills the first two criteria? For example, the time-tested methodology of preparing a narrative, developing a script, storyboarding, locating imagery and other media, and then building and sharing the story is a truly effective methodology or framework for effective digital storytelling.  What pedagogical process will I use to structure the lesson?
  4. How do I know what I did works?  How will I assess the outcomes, both from a student perspective (did they learn what they were supposed to learn?) and from a lesson design perspective (did the technology perform as anticipated, did the pedagogical process work as intended, and did I meet Criteria 1 and 2?).  How will I use assessment data to improve what I do?

Best Practice ideas about blogging might look like this:

  • Authenticy of blog posts-focus on authentic topics
  • Teach audience and the power of writing for audience
  • Use blogging and commenting features for peer review of writing
  • Create a reading response-students read and write an interpretive blog post
  • Focus on metacognitive activities and have students reflect on learning
  • Like learning languages, start blogging young so it becomes a part of what students do
  • Involve the entire school community in blogging
  • Use blogging to establish connections and networks for learning
  • Focus on cross-curricular applications
  • Link to others to support content and create a culture of mashup
  • A goal/focus should be on student empowerment through self-expression, promoting a competitive voice and an identity
  • Take advantage of the digital nature of the medium to include other types of inforamation, repesented in podcasts, movies, graphics and hyperlinks.
  • Provide additional time to complete blog posts when computer access for certain student groups is limited or not available.
  • The teacher should model blogging by being a blogger.
  • Provide time to read and comment on other student blogs
  • Apply traditional writing skills to blog posts, no IM language
  • Consider using blog posts as an ongoing portfolio of student writing.

Read whole article at http://newtools.pbwiki.com/Best%2BPractice

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