Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Preliminary Thoughts

1) What can you tell about what students understand and are able to do from examining each of these samples of student work?

2) What kind of thinking did each of these projects require from students?

3) Where do you see evidence that understanding broke down?

4) In your opinion, is there anything the teacher might have done in order to better scaffold students’ engagement with each task?

5) How do the assignments we give change the kind of thinking it is possible for students to do?

6) How does the thinking that students do change what it is possible for them to understand?

Not in Kansas Anymore!

Powerpoint Presentation - Emerging Uses of Technology in the "Real" World (To be uploaded soon)

The Machine is Us/ing Us - A fabulous video created by an anthropologist from Kansas State University that explains how emerging technologies are changing culture, society, and each of us!


(2006). Tech Tips. Spyjournal. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://www.spyjournal.biz/techtips/images/bluetooth%20virtual%20kb3.jpg

Breathalyzer Pen

(2006, February 18). The only pen a drunk could ask for. Gizmodo. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/the-only-pen-a-drunk-could-ask-for-155663.php



Electronic Paper

http://smh.com.au/news/technology/bendable-electronic-paper-breakthrough/2005/07/15/1120934405002.html http://www.akibalive.com/archives/000515.html http://www.deviceforge.com/news/NS9287835337.html http://us.gizmodo.com/gadgets/electronic-paper/index.php

Fingertip Surround Sound

Battino, David. (2006, November 13). Surround sound in your fingertips. News. Retrieved November 14, 2006, from http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/blog/2006/11/surround_sound_in_your_fingers.html

Flypentop Computer



Ciprick, Nathan. (2004-2005). Half the Story!—The Line. Gamics.com. Retrieved December 2005, from http://www.gamics.com/gamics/HL2/0006.php

Heat-sensing Shower

(2006, February 16). Water-pressure powered light up shower. Gizmodo. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/waterpressure-powered-lightup-shower-155266.php


(2006). I-shirt makes us ihappy. Gizmodo. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/clothes/ishirt-makes-us-ihappy-155598.php

MP3 Player/Recorder Watches

(2006, February 17). Thanko MP3 player/recorder watches. Gizmodo. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/thanko-mp3-playerrecorder-watches-155581.php

Organ Printing

Curators of the University of Missouri. (2005). Understanding and employing multi-cellular self-assembly. Organ printing. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://organprint.missouri.edu/
Update from Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221093208.htm


(2006, February 17). Japanese schoolkids + roboguards = crazy delicious. Gizmodo. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/robots/japanese-school-kids-roboguards-crazy-delicious-155516.php

Video Stamps

(2006, February 17). Netherlands debuts “video” stamp. Gizmodo. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/netherlands-debuts-video-stamp-155496.php

Virtual Keyboards


Teens & Their Toys

What do you know about how teens are living these days?

Blog Novels - Glass House, Commentary
Grafico Dynamico - What happens when RSS meets text, images, and creative formats?
IM Novels - TTYL, Commentary
Second Life
WhateverLife - A website run by a 16-year-old girl that has become the 3rd most popular provider of MySpace layouts

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants - So what does all this technology mean for me?

How might this inform your attempts to facilitate their learning?

Guiding Questions

  • How are trends in the development, availability, and use of emerging technologies impacting the ways in which students work, play, live, and learn?

  • What implications do trends in the use of emerging technologies have for what teachers need to do to prepare their students to thrive in 21st Century communities?

  • How are foreign language educators currently using emerging technologies to facilitate teaching and learning?

  • How can teachers design learning environments and experiences that will systematically develop students' skills with multiple literacies?

Key Concepts

  • Consider Your Content - What matters to students that could serve as the foundation for the assignment? If the topic is pre-determined, why should it matter to students? (Comics, dating, drawing, famous people, personal talents, sports, technology, videogames)

  • Connect to a Context - Cultural, Meaningful, Real Life, Relevant (Think: What are some real world circumstances, contexts, or fields in which this topic would be a substantive and meaningful?)

  • Determine the Demonstration - Decide on a task that would allow students to demonstrate their understanding in meaningful ways.

Forte, Imogene, & Schurr, Sandra. (2003). Curriculum & project planner for integrating learning styles, thinking skills, and authentic instruction. Nashville, TN: Incentive Publications. ISBN 0-86530-348-7. This fold-out planning sheet offers an at-a-glance look at ways to integrate multiple intelligences with Bloom's taxonomies, a variety of different student assessments, projects, and performances, and sample curriculum outcomes. Superb if you need ideas for meeting the needs of a variety of different students!

  • Search for Samples - Even if you don't use them, looking at potential examples will give you ideas that will help you to strengthen the project. Be sure to keep track of samples that show what to do and ones that show what NOT to do from both novices and experts. (Google Notebook is a great tool for doing this.)

  • Separate Into Steps - What will students need to know, understand, and be able to do in order to accomplish the task? How will you teach these things to students prior to asking them to complete the project? What tasks will students need to do in order to complete the overall project? What steps will students need to follow in order to complete each task?
Video Lesson Project Rubric.doc
Video Lesson Presentation Project Tchr Notes.doc

  • Rough Out a Rubric - Doing this will help you to clarify and define what you really want, break what students will need to do into discrete elements so that you can explain it to them more easily, and recognize potential places in the process where students might have difficulty so that you can provide appropriate scaffolding. Be sure to outline your expectations for quality content, process, and product.

Speaking Rubric Outline.doc
Speaking Rubric.doc

  • Scaffold the Students - What scaffolding will you provide in order to ensure student success? Be sure to consider:
    • access to content (hard copies of materials, search skills, notetaking skills, organizational skills),
    • equipment (borrow from a friend, check out from school, learning centers, use at school outside of the school day),
    • expertise (content/topic, field/process, technology),
    • process (what to do, how to do it, how much to do in class v. out of class, roles of group members, progress reports, standards for performance, brainstorming activities, timelines, planning sheets, storyboarding worksheets, editing worksheets, etc.), and
    • technology skills (what equipment or software to use, how to make it work, how to use shortcuts and special features, tips for troubleshooting, tutorials, who to ask for help--including peers)
    • Board Game Scaffolding Sheet.doc
    • News Activity.doc (Example of how a teacher might use a student assignment sheet at a learning center to prepare students for a group project)
  • Teach the Processes & the Tasks - Students need to be "taught" how to work in groups, how to break projects into manageable steps, and how to work together to complete tasks. Here are some tools that will help you with that:

Classroom Management Resources - Links to a wide variety of tips and tricks for addressing common classroom management issues, including getting students' attention, interventions for inappropriate behaviors, managing transitions between activities, etc.

Establishing a Climate for Learning - This electronic newsletter from the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center contains links to a plethora of practical strategies and materials that teachers can use to help them become better classroom managers

Learning Centers - Links to ideas and information for structuring learning centers

Making Groups Work.doc

  • Teach the Tech - Students need to be "taught" how to do projects, how to work in groups, and how to use the technology. Visit Cool Tech Tools for help with that!

Adventures in Advertising

Communication - What does advertising attempt to communicate? What messages do your actions, appearance, work, and words communicate to those around you? How might you use principles of advertising to communicate more effectively with others?

Culture - How are advertising techniques influenced by culture?

Connections -
What is viral marketing? How does viral marketing work? How might one capitalize on principles of viral marketing (and information from other disciplines) to make an idea "contagious?"

Comparisons - How does advertising differ from one culture to another?

Communities - How are you (and society) influenced by advertising? How do teens influence the media? In what ways does your life "advertise" certain values, beliefs, and principles?
How can you creatively use your personal influence to transform society in positive ways?

Analyzing an Ad.doc
Advertising Vocab List.doc
Lo que nos vale.doc
Project Peer Eval Sheet.doc
Publicity Project Rubric.rtf
TV Observation Sheet.doc

Marketing - This link will take you to the Mentoring, Leadership, & Change: Designing Compelling Experiences for 21st Century Learners wiki page on Marketing. The page links to examples of a variety of popular marketing techniques in different languages--all of which could be used as the basis for student projects.

Low-tech Alternative: Students can do these as print ads or skits in class.

Capture a Concept

Communication - How might you communicate your feelings about and understanding of a powerful concept to others?

Culture - How are the concepts that we use to understand the world influenced by the cultures in which we live?

Connections -

Comparisons - How do the concepts chosen by our class reflect the things valued by our culture?

Communities -

Ads, Images, & Stereotypes - This link will take you to a page with images (some not appropriate for classroom use) depicting typical stereotypes about women

One Minute - A one-minute video about the importance of using time wisely.

This project could be done using digital storytelling, e-scrapbooking, or iMovie.

Capture a Concept English.doc
Captar un concepto Spanish - Rubric In Eng.doc
Concept Assignment Lesson Notes.doc

Low-tech Alternative: Have students use posterboard and/or scrapbooking supplies to produce print versions of their projects. They can also perform skits or tape-record their projects.

Caught in the Crossfire

This activity encourages students to present two opposing points of view on the topic of their choice. Students may choose to accomplish that using any number of media formats, including images v. text, columns on a web page, opposing pages in a scrapbook, speech v. thought bubbles in a comic strip, split screens in PowerPoint slides, videos, etc.

Computers - A project written by elementary ESL students (ages 9-11) and animated by an adult.

Low-tech Alternative: Students can create a poster or a presentation board that shows the two contrasting perspectives.

Comical Capers


Gamics.com - A site dedicated to comics in English made machinima style (from the backgrounds and avatars of popular videogames). These would make interesting examples for similar student projects.


All your students need to make a comic strip is access to Microsoft Word and a digital camera!

1) Open a new document.

2) Give the document a title.

3) Save the document somewhere you can find it again later.

4) Click View, Toolbars, Drawing (should be checked). This will put a drawing toolbar at the bottom of your screen.

5) Click Insert, Picture from file, then find the photo you want to use and click okay.

6) Click on the picture, then click Format, Picture, Layout, Tight.

7) Resize the picture by clicking on it, then mousing over the little box in one of the corners until a two-way arrow appears. Hold the left click button down and move your mouse until the size of the picture is what you want, then let go.

8) You can frame your picture by clicking on the picture, then clicking the little paintbrush in your drawing toolbar and selecting the color you want. You can change the thickness of the line by clicking on the line button and then on the thickness you want.

9) Click Autoshapes, the double arrow at the bottom of the list, Callouts, then pick the speech bubble you want. Now left click on the picture where you want a speech bubble to appear, and while still hold the left click button down, drag your mouse until you see a speech bubble appear.

10) To reposition the speech bubble, click on it, then click on the dotted lines around it and drag it where you want. To type inside the speech bubble, click in it, then type, then click elsewhere on the screen so the text will stay in the bubble.

11) To group the speech bubble and the picture together so that when you move it, it all moves together, click on the white arrow in your drawing toolbar. Now position your cursor just above the upper, left-hand corner of the picture, left click, and drag the mouse until you see little dotted lines appearing. Keep dragging until the dotted lines form a box around the whole picture, then let go. White dots should appear around the picture and all the speech bubbles you have inserted. Now go to your drawing toolbar and click Draw, Group.

12) Be sure to save periodically.

Tools & Resources

Ashkenas, Joan. Comics and conversation: Using humor to elicit conversation and develop vocabulary. Studio City, CA: Jag Publications. ISBN 0-943327-12-1. One of a series of three books filled with reproducible blackline masters of wordless stories told through cartoons.

Comic Life - The ultimate in comic book creation software--flexible, functional, inexpensive, and intuitive--students can create their own comics based on digital photos they've taken (Free 30-day trial available. Unfortunately, only compatible with Macs)

Comic Book Creator - Software similar to Comic Life for the PC (Free 30-day trial available)

Comic Rubric - An outstanding rubric created by professional graphic novelist, Gene Yang, for assessing the formatting aspects of students' graphic novel projects. (From Gene Yang)

Comics & Graphic Novels - Links to information about using comics in education, free comic creation sites, sources for online comics, and other resources and materials related to comics and graphic novels.

Strip Generator - A phenomenal site with stock characters that will appeal to students and allows them to create truly original work

Low-tech Alternative: Students can cover the speech bubbles of existing comic strips with blank paper (or white out) and insert their own text. They can also draw their own comics on blank white paper, or they can draw their own speech bubbles for people they cut out of magazines and paste onto their blank paper.

Collaboration Stations




Susan Roustan's French Podcasts

Low-tech Option: Conversation Journals or Conversation Stations

Dubious Documentaries

Hans - A cute, one-minute video about the daily routine of someone's pet woodlouse. This could serve as a great model for a student project that would work well for practicing reflexive verbs.

Science Fi & UFO "Mockumentary" in Italian

Annoying Sister - As told by an elementary student about his sister

You could also ask students to phrase every statement made in the "dubious documentary" in ways that express doubt. For example, "We doubt that . . ., we aren't sure about . . ., etc."

You could also have students make "serious" documentaries such as Ritournelles and Manivelles

Eejit’s Guide to Film-making - This fantastic site contains simple, but comprehensive tips to help amateur movie makers with the pre-, during, and post-production process. The well-designed, nicely illustrated pre-production pages offer suggestions for generating ideas for a movie, laying out a script, structuring the action, and creating storyboards. The other pages include information on costuming, editing, lighting, shooting, and special effects.

Quick 10 Cinematic Errors - A nice article (albeit icky formatting) with 10 Cinematic Errors (for those creating Machinima, but applicable to anything). It will give your students some interesting ideas as well as things to avoid.

Low-tech Alternative: Students can use a National Geographic sort of format in order to accomplish this on paper.

A Series of Excel-lent Events

Excellent Events.xls - Did you know that Excel can be used like a storybook? It can also be used to "hide" answers to review games!

  • Open Excel
  • Format, Row, Height, 10
  • Format, Column, Width, 3
  • Format, Sheet, Background, (Select picture from the file) - This will embed the picture into the background.
  • Insert, Comment, (type your text into the box that appears). Text boxes can be formatted using the drawing toolbar. To activate that: View, Toolbars, Drawing
  • Tools, Options, View (Can decide if you want to have all the comments show up, or only the red triangle indicators, hide gridlines, scroll bars, etc., and change other preferences here)
  • View, Comments (Lets you see all the hidden comments at once so you don't have to "look" for them)
  • Double-click on the tabs to change the names of the pages
  • To insert more "pages" - Insert, worksheet
  • To insert audio files: Position your cursor where you want the sound icon to appear, Insert, Object, WAV, (plug microphone into computer and record up to 60 seconds of sound), to listen, double-click on the sound icon that appears in the page.

Low-tech Alternative: Students can create a flipbook story by sliding pictures into clear sheet protectors and connecting them with ribbons or metal rings. The audio portion of the story can be added by having them record an audio cassette on a standard tape recorder so that a listener/reader could read the book while listening to the tape.

Finger Puppet Pop-ups

Finger Puppet Hamlet - This one-minute vlogcast is an example of just one way that teachers might consider giving teens opportunities to use toys and tech to support their talk!

Low-tech Alternative: Homemade finger puppets with a peer who holds the "pop-up" text written on poster board over the head of the speaker (who is seated in a chair) as the speaker speaks

Games Galore

Downloadable Game Templates - Students can use these to create their own board games, game shows, and review games.

Low-tech Alternative: Have students create their games on posterboard, or perform the game shows as skits in class.

One Minute Wonders

2005 My Hero Short Film Festival - This site will take you to a selection of documentary shorts created by students and their teachers that highlight the heroic actions of children from around the world.

One Minute - A one-minute video about the importance of using time wisely.

One Minutes Jr. RTE - A collection of one-minute videos in a variety of languages from countries around the world made by students ages 12-20. These can be accessed by category, by country, or by topic. They should be previewed prior to use in the classroom as the content of several is highly inappropriate for classroom use. A great source of culturally authentic perspectives.

Low-tech Alternative: Have students use a standard video camera, or simply perform this as a skit in class.

Machinima Madness


I Was a Teenage Machinima Maker - A short, but phenomenal article that explains what machinima is, the steps involved in producing it, and the effect that it can have on teens

Machinima Explained: From Concept to Finished Scene in Bloodspell - The article might be useful to teachers in helping them to see the kind of literacy practices involved in the creation of machinima.


April Hoffman - The Awakening, Part 2 is a great example of how teens are using the avatars and backgrounds from videogames to create their own full length feature films.

Bells & Spurs - Machinima-style video created based on an existing piece of text.

Chaucer's A Pardoner's Tale - Students used machinima created from the World of Warcraft videogame to interpret A Pardoner's Tale

Machinima to Watch - Be sure to preview before using with students as the content may not be appropriate for the classroom

Machinimasia - This site appears to have been recently launched, so there isn't a lot of content on it yet, but you will find a nice example of "comic machinima" here. For more examples, visit Gamics.com or Comical Capers.

Spin-offs (Nintendo Miis)

Machinima-like techniques are being used to create tutorials for making “miis” . . . . What is most interesting to me, though, is the interview-based style of the tutorial. They don’t SAY anything about “here’s how to do it” . . . they SHOW how to do it, they keep the pacing brisk, and then the interview track provides almost metacontent and commentary via an interview format. It is really quite clever when you actually think about what they are doing/accomplishing. It also says a TON about the learning and thinking styles of 21st Century kids.

Contrast that with the official Mii advertisement/tutorial.

And contrast Second Life with Mii Parade.

Even business people like to play!


ILL Machinima: Has the slope of the curve increased? - An interesting blog posting re: the relationship between machinima, tech trends, media, and the future. Be sure to read the last insightful comment posted in response to the mention of copyright issues that explains the important distinction between copying the game itself and using the game engine as a creative tool.

One Word For You Hollywood: Machinima - Interesting article outlining the commercial advantages of machinima. Note that it appears in the Money section of CNN, not the entertainment or technology section.


Capturing Game Video: Part 1 - Outlines basic steps.

Eric Linden's Top 10 Machinima Tips - A list of steps to get would-be machinima-makers started using Second Life

Machinima Articles - By Category - How To - A list of articles that explain how to accomplish various effects and tasks in machinima production

Making Machinima: Part 1 - Describes the machinima-making process in detail, along with info. on technical considerations. It assumes a pretty strong level of tech skill.

Music Mania

Students can make their own music videos using a wide variety of tools (many of which are free).

1) Choose a school policy or social issue on which you'd like to comment.

2) Determine your position on the issue.

3) Select a culturally authentic tune that conveys your mood about the issue.

4) Write lyrics in the target language that explain your position on the issue for the tune you have chosen.

5) Take still photos (or digital video) of images or symbols that will provide visual reinforcement of the message you are trying to convey.

6) Use iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or some other tool of your choice to assemble the audio, images/video, and lyrics into a music video.

April Hoffman - Once the page loads, click on movies, then look for Let's Get It Started to see an example of how one teen is using the avatars and backgrounds from videogames to create her own machinima-style music videos.

Super Dooper Music Looper - This free, online version will help students to understand the concept of tracks, layers, and loops. The version available for purchase will let them record their own voices as one of the tracks. You can accomplish similar results in Audacity (which is completely free), but you have to record your own tracks. Mac users can use Garage Band.

Low-tech Alternative: Have students "perform" this as a skit in class.

The Rumor Mill

There are several different variations you can use.

1) Tell something to the first student in the target language, then ask the student to record what you said using Audacity or a standard tape recorder. Send a new student out and ask the 1st student to tell the new student what they understood. The new student will record it (without listening to what the first student recorded), and so forth until all the students have "heard" and "recorded" the story. Then, let the class listen!

Low-tech Alternative: Have students stand in two lines. Whisper the information to the student at the head of each line, then see which team can get the information passed to the end of the line most quickly and accurately.

2) Divide students into pairs. Give each pair of students a different page from a children's story. Ask the students to think how they could use sound effects to make the text of the story more comprehensible. Have pairs take turns recording their part of the story until the whole story has been read aloud into the computer or tape recorder. Play the story for the students, showing them the pictures as they listen. Students will listen more attentively to the entire story because LOVE to hear their peers voices and enjoy the unexpected sound effect surprises.

Low-tech Alternative: Have students act out their page in front of the class.

3) Divide students into groups and have each one generate a "rumor" that they wish were true. Have them record it for the class.

Low-tech Alternative: Have students take turns sharing their rumors aloud with the class. You might wish to use an "Inside/Outside Circles" format for this: Inside Outside Circles.doc

4) Have students produce Tabloid-type magazines in the target language with classroom-appropriate, fake "rumors" that they wish were true.

Audacity – Phenomenal, free software you can download and use just like a tape-recorder. Great for projects that require interviewing or sound files. Students can also use it to edit, layer, or remove background noise from their own audio tracks. Even better, they can save the files as MP3 files and export them to their iPods!

Second Life

Second Life - A virtual world where you can move around and interact with people from all over the world in real time for free. People chat in a variety of languages, and some use chatbots to translate their chat into other languages. There are also commercial endeavors (see the NPR story below). Be aware that the site was originally intended for adults. Each space is "rated" (PG, M for Mature, etc.). Special space is available for teachers working with students ages 13-18.

Free Land Grants for Educators in Second Life - Allows educators to obtain an acre of virtual land in Second Life for free for the duration of one semester so you can try Second Life with your students. Special space is available for teachers working with students ages 13-18.

Harvard Extension School in Second Life - YouTube video from one of the classes. (2006, November 6). NPR. Retrieved November 16, 2006.

Kuo, Ben. (2006, October 11). Interview with W. Lewis Johnson, founder of Alelo. SocalTech: News. This interview discusses a military project in which gaming is being used as a tool for teaching foreign language and culture, along with its commercial spin-offs.

Wong, Grace. (2006, November 14). Educators explore 'second life' online. CNN.com. Retrieved November 16, 2006.

Something Wiki This Way Comes

Set up wikis for group projects. Each class can have its own section, and each group can have its own page. The discussion forum feature makes it easy to see who has said what, and the recent changes and page history logs make it easy to see who has been participating. You can click on individual students in order to view their editing histories too! In addition to using a wiki to help them manage the process of group work, students can also use it as a "product" in which to display what they've learned about the content of a particular topic.

Here are some examples of how one school district is using wikis:

At the district level: http://thompsonwlc.wikispaces.com/
At the department level: http://lhswlc.wikispaces.com/
At the language level: http://lhsfrenchclasses.wikispaces.com/
At the club level: http://lhsstudentcouncil.wikispaces.com/

Here is an example of how I use a wiki with the student teachers in my foreign language methods course: http://languagelinks2006.wikispaces.com

Here is an example of how someone else is using wikis to provide a comprehensive library of "how tos" on a variety of topics: http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page

Click here to see what something similar might look like in video: http://www.videojug.com/tag/diy

Low-tech Alternative: Give each group a folder with blank templates on which they can record their group goals, the ways in which they have spent class time, the tasks they have assigned to each group member, and logs of their individual work. Store the group folders in color-coded hanging folders in a free-standing folder box or filing cabinet.

Sounds of Service

Sample Service Learning Projects - A neat story with interesting implications re: “virally marketing” important ideas to students, re: empowering students in compelling ways, and re: what it really means to be fully literate in today’s society.

Colburn, Carole. (2006, May 23). Project SHARC, SHED, & HOUSE. Carole's Corner: Carole's Lessons. Retrieved March 12, 2006. - The Eighth-grade Lessons column of this page contains project description sheets, grading rubrics, and support materials for three different interdisciplinary, service-based learning projects that were designed to give students opportunities to use their technology skills to address social issues affecting their community. Click here for more information and pictures of Project House. These ideas could easily be adapted for foreign language classes.

Stanard, Alexa. (2006, May 22). Computer project in Howell connects students and seniors. The Detroit News. Retrieved June 3, 2003. This news article describes a service-learning project designed to help high school students learn more about the issues facing senior citizens while equipping senior citizens to make use of basic technologies like e-mail, Internet research, and Microsoft Word. This project could easily be adapted to language classes.

Sample Public Service Announcements - Click on the links to view a variety of ads. Be sure to preview these before using them with students.

Teacher Tools

Audacity - Free, open source audio recording and editing software - This is a sample of how you might draft an assignment sheet for students

Low-tech Alternative: Have students record this on a standard tape recorder.

A Taste of Talent

French Horn - A French-speaker who treats his listeners to a unique and amazing array of classical music with his suit of horns

Low-tech Alternative: Have students perform their talents in class or at a special assembly.

Terrific Trailers

Science Fi & UFO "Mockumentary" in Italian - A short trailer for a "mockumentary"

Low-tech Alternative: Have students create a storyboard of the scenes they would include in their movie trailers or act them out as skits.

Tools for Talking

Structuring Discussions

Carrousel Brainstorming - Post large pieces of chart paper around the room. Put a topic or question at the top of each sheet. Divide students into groups and give each group's "recorder" a different colored marker. Give each group 30 seconds to 2 minutes to brainstorm a list of items or answers related to the topic or question. When the time ends, have each group move to a new piece of chart paper and continue the process.

Focus Questions - Give each small group a list of questions and ask them to choose at least 3 to discuss.

Jigsaw - Divide students into groups (1, 2, 3, 4). Give each group a different set of paragraphs to read, a skill or process to learn, etc. When time is called, regroup students so that each new group is comprised of at least one member of the original groups (each group should have a 1, a 2, a 3, and a 4 in it) so that the representative of the original group can teach the information, skill, or process to the new mixed group.

Key Ideas - Ask students to identify 3-7 sentences containing key ideas regarding the topic of study.

Key Words - Ask students to extract 3-7 key words that summarize the topic of study and devise a graphic organizer that will help others remember them.

Prioritization - Give each student a red dot, a green or blue dot, and a yellow dot or Post-it flag. Post a list of ideas, topics, or activities on chart paper around the room and have students "vote" on the topics using their dots. (Red dots=high priority, green/blue dots=moderate priority, yellow dots = low priority). Have students "defend" their choices or attempt to come to consensus on the choices.

Read & Retell - Give students something to read, then have them retell it to a partner, adding a personal experience or connection in the process.

Round Robin - Seat students in small groups. Call out a controversial question or statement and allow students to express their opinions--but students are only allowed to talk one at a time, according to the order in which they are seated around a round table. Consequently, if they wish to respond to something someone else has said, they must make a note of that so that they can remember the comment they wish to make until it is their turn. When it is their turn, they are only allowed to make one comment and/or ask one question. In this way, all students (including those who are reluctant to speak), get a turn.

Talking Chips - Give each student in a group 4 chips of a different color. Students may make comments or ask questions at any time during the small group or whole class discussion, but each time they do, they must "pay" a chip. When they are out of chips, they cannot speak again until everyone has used their chips. Conversely, for each chip the student spends, s/he may earn a point toward some privilege or reward.

Structured Opportunities to Move & Talk

Affinity Diagram - Have students jot down key ideas or concerns about a given topic individually on separate Post-it notes, then ask them to work together to organize the ideas or concepts into meaningful sets. Have them label each set.

Carrousel - Post chart paper on the wall, write a question on each page, divide participants into groups, give a different colored marker to each group, send a group to each paper, give them one minute to jot down answers to the question, then have them move to the next page.

Focus Groups - Divide the tasks into 4 pieces, send a "facilitator" to guide each small group through their piece of the task, pull the whole group back together for the finished product.

Four Corners - Provide a variety of readings or topics, form groups by favorites, participants discuss, each person shares the most valuable idea they are taking away from their group's discussion, no comments from others are allowed until everyone has spoken.

Grab a Word - Listen to, read, or watch a piece of "text" (an audio clip, statement, or video clip), and then from the center of the table, grab the word that you associate most closely with what you heard, read, or saw.

Human Graphing - Once participants have completed a multiple-choice survey, personality quiz, etc., and tallied their results, send them to different locations in the room based on their scores so that everyone can see the visual distribution/clustering of the people in the class.

Inside/Outside Circles - Have participants make 2 circles facing one another. Give the people in the inside circle a question, and have the outside circle answer them.
Inside Outside Circles.doc

Popcorn - Stand and say one word that you associate with the topic.

Story Squares - Sketch something in each box related to the topic. Trade papers with a partner. Point to a square on your partner's paper that seems interesting to you and listen to them tell you the story.
Story Squares.doc

Resources for Encouraging Students to Talk

Dreke, Michael, & Salgueiro, Sofia. (2002). EspaƱol en pareja. NY: Langenscheidt. ISBN 3-468-96704-7. This book contains a host of information gap activities designed to encourage students to use their language skills to communicate about topics commonly covered in a beginning language class.

Kagan, Spencer. (1992). Cooperative learning. San Juan Capistrano, CA: Kagan Cooperative Learning. ISBN 1-879097-10-9. A book filled with strategies and structures that teachers can use to foster communication and cooperative learning among students.

Peterson, Jean Sunde. (1990). Talk with teens about self and stress: 50 guided discussions for school and counseling groups. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. ISBN 0-915793-55-5. This incredibly useful book contains information on conducting group counseling sessions, group formation, a self-assessment for group leaders, guidelines for group leaders, and numerous “lesson plans” and reproducible worksheets that can be used as tools for conducting thought-provoking discussions on issues with which teens are frequently confronted, such as: Personal strengths and limitations, facades, stereotyping, perfectionism, compulsivity, learning styles, test scores, underachievement, names, time and priorities, control, self-esteem, mistakes, heroes/heroines/values, having fun, courage, image, daydreaming, personal values, success and failure, being alone v. being lonely, encouragement v. discouragement, influence, uniqueness, authority, advice, getting our needs met, tolerance and compassion, stress, procrastination, substance abuse, cults, etc.

Rooks, George, Diana Scholberg, Kenneth Scholberg. (1982). Conversar sin parar. Cambridge, MA: Newbury House Publishers. ISBN 0-88377-222-1. This superb book contains a variety of scenarios that dig into various social issues (related to crime and punishment, entertainment, fame, health and fitness, immigration, media and technology, natural resources, politics, school finance, tourism, war and conflict, values, etc.) that require students to use their language skills (and a number of different grammar structures) in order to achieve a consensus. The book includes vocabulary, background information, and worksheets designed to scaffold students' participation in each activity.

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing

The goal of this project is for students to try to get an important concept, idea, or piece of information they are studying to "go viral."

Simpsons Real Life Intro - Viral Video

Viral Blog Marketing: Part One of the Virus Blog Series

What Makes an Idea Viral

Viral Marketing 101

Marketing - This link will take you to the Mentoring, Leadership, & Change: Designing Compelling Experiences for 21st Century Learners wiki page on Marketing. The page links to examples of a variety of popular marketing techniques in different languages--all of which could be used as the basis for student projects.

Low-tech Alternative: Have students create large posters for your classroom, the wall outside your classroom door, or the school's hallways that attempt to make some idea "cool."

You Must Be MAD!

Take a look at Mad Magazine in order to get loads of ideas for creative projects that you could assign students in order to help them practice specific language skills and grammatical structures. This issue is a particularly good one: (1991, Summer). Mad super special computer virus edition, 75. Most of these projects could easily be done on a wiki or a group blog.

Low-tech alternative: Take an existing piece of text and remove key words (especially those that happen to match the grammatical structures you wish to reinforce). Have groups of students work together to fill in the missing elements (a la Mad Libs), then assign another group to dramatize the result using the medium of their choice (Legos, PowerPoint, puppets, video, etc.).

Cool Tech Tools

Although all of these tools are free, fun, and easily adapted for educational purposes, their true power lies in the ways that they can be combined to further educational, emotional, personal, and social aims.

Audacity – Phenomenal, free software you can download and use just like a tape-recorder. Great for projects that require interviewing or sound files. Students can also use it to edit, layer, or remove background noise from their own audio tracks. Even better, they can save the files as MP3 files and export them to their iPods!

Blogger - Students can use a variety of pre-made templates to create their own blogs for free. These blogs support the uploading of media-based content and can be used as learning logs.

Bloglines - After creating a free account, students can use this service to keep track of the webpages to which they have "subscribed" (for free) using RSS technology Teachers can "subscribe" to their students' blogs and easily keep track of who has posted new content.

BubblePLY - Allows you to add speech and thought bubbles to any online video.

Bubbleshare - Allows you to edit audio and images online for free.

Clipmarks - Allows you to "clip" images, text, and other pieces of websites into your own personal "archive" and to tag and vote on the items that others have clipped.

ClustrMaps - Lets you add a cluster map that shows the geographical locations of all the visitors to your site.

Comeeko - Free, well-designed software that lets you create comic strips and save them for others to view.

De.licio.us - This free social bookmarking site allows you to create an annotated list of online bookmarks to your favorite websites and to share them with friends. Great for groups who are trying to keep track of what they have each discovered in researching their topics.

Dumpr - This free online suite of tools allows you to edit your Flickr photos in order to turn them into coloring book images (VERY COOL), make them look old, turn them into globes, or add reflections. You can then save them to your Flickr account. (Still in beta)

Flickr - Allows you to create libraries of images that you can share with others and is a particularly good place to "store" a shared collection of photos for a group.

Giveaway of the Day - Fully functional, commercial software and tools that can be downloaded for free (one item each day with restricted licenses). Read the "About" section for more information. RSS feed and e-mail subscription notifications available.

Gliffy - An online application that allows you to create diagrams and share them with others.

Go2Web2.0 Directory - A handy directory of Web 2.0 services

Google Alerts – Lets you have Google notify you via an e-mail message when anything is posted on the web on the topic of your choice.

Google Books – Lets you search the full text of lots of different books.

Google Docs - Free, online spreadsheet and word processor like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word that lets multiple users on different computers edit a document simultaneously and save it online. Great for collaborative authoring among various group members. Combine this with Skype for voice features too!

Google Notebook – Lets you copy snippets from online articles, or create your own running notebook on the topics of your choice online. The notebooks can be kept private or shared, making them a great place for students to take notes, keep track of sources, and know where their peers have already looked.

Google Scholar – Returns only scholarly articles and books, tells you how many people have cited them, and links you to related articles.

GoToQuiz.com - Allows you to create free quizzes, polls, and surveys that you can use on your blog, MySpace, etc.

Jumpcut - Allows you to edit digital video for free online. Great for students who don't have access to anything but the internet at home!

Keep Toolkit - A free, online project planning template that allows students to input images, text, and video into different "boxes" to create a shareable "project portfolio."

Pandora - Type in your favorite artists and Pandora will create "stations" of streaming music that is similar to the work of the artists you have selected, based on research from the Music Genome Project. You can create up to 100 stations for free (registration required)!

Picnik - Absolutely fabulous, free, easy-to-use, extremely functional, online image editing software. Lets you rotate, crop, color, or edit photos and will soon offer special effects. Interfaces very well with Flicker. (Still in beta)

Pikipimp - A free, online site that lets you upload pictures, add all sorts of accessories and speech bubbles to them, then save them. The site will generate a URL where the pictures can be viewed, as well as code for your webpage.

Quintura - A very cool search engine that returns the results visually. Mouse over one of the tag words to see additional layers of results.

Sabifoo - Combines the convenience of instant messaging with the power of RSS to create a variety of possibilities

Singshot - American Idol meets You Tube in a Web 2.0 sort of way . . . record and upload songs just like you might do with photos to Flickr. People can vote on them, etc.

Snap - Gives you visual previews of the websites that appear in your search results.

Skype – Free software that allows you to talk to anyone in the world (up to 4 people at once) through your computer for free with a cheap headset mic (like the telemarketers wear) as long as the other person also has the software. Great for group conversations about projects. You can also call landlines or cell phones, but there is a charge for that.

Swicki - Free software that allows you to create a search engine on your site that will evolve the results over time to better serve users based on their click patterns.

The Amazing You Tube Tools Collection - A collection of tools to help those interested in using/publishing materials to You Tube.

Tubes - Allows users to drag and drop content (audio files, bookmarks, documents, e-mail contact lists, spreadsheets, videos) into a "tube" that can then be accessed by all those who have been invited to share it. Invitees can also upload content to the tube, making project collaboration easier. The latest versions of content in the tube synch up when the user is online. Click on the Download link to see a 30-second demo.

Webnote Wiki - Allows users to collaboratively take color-coded notes in a space they create and organize them graphically. People can subscribe to your RSS feed.

Websites as Graphs - Lets you visualize the content of a website (in terms of images, tables, text, etc.) graphically. Useful for evaluating websites in terms of content and design issues.

Wikispaces - Allows you to set up collaborative work spaces where multiple people can collaborate. Allows uploading of documents, files, images, and multimedia in addition to basic text, and includes discussion boards for every page, editing histories, revert options, RSS subscriptions, and the ability to review recent changes.

Yugma - Free Web 2.0 videoconferencing software. (Read more about Tim Lauer's experiences with it here.)

Technology Apps for FL

Using Google Earth in the FL Classroom - This video offers suggestions for using Google Earth in the FL classroom.


  • Educational Technology Magazines & Newsletters for Educators
  • Low-tech Options
  • Meaningful Learning
  • Other Tech-related Resources
  • Popular Culture
  • Quotations
  • Trends & Potential Applications

Educational Technology Magazines & Newsletters for Educators

Edutopia - This magazine (available online and in print) is produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation addresses a host of educational issues, including Community Partnerships, Mentoring, Professional Development, Teacher Preparation.

E-Learning Post - A phenomenal list of annotated links to all sorts of interesting articles and blog postings related to emerging technologies and their uses that is available as an RSS feed or a weekly e-mail. Tends to focus on topics related to business, design, marketing, and interesting applications of emerging technologies.

Literacy for the 21st Century Language Learner - This electronic newsletter from the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center provides links to pages that will help you to explore some of the ways that new technologies are changing what it means to be literate in the 21st Century, as well as to resources to help you better develop 21st Century literacies in the language classes you teach

MACUL Journal - This newsletter from the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning includes information and ideas for K-12 teachers who are interested in using technology as a tool for teaching and learning

PC TeachIT - A magazine designed to support PC-using educators in integrating technology into their classrooms.

Technology & Learning - A magazine that addresses issues related to technology integration in schools such as biometrics, copyright, staff development, and videoconferencing, as well as the use of specific tools and applications, such as Flickr and GPS.

Technology Review: MITs Magazine of Innovation - This magazine takes a broader view of "technology" and explores trends and innovations in biotechnology, e-commerce, information technology, medicine, nanotechnology, and the ways in which emerging technologies and social networks influence our understanding of things like race or politics.

Twenty-first Century Technologies: Tools for Transforming Language Teaching & Learning - This NFLRC newsletter outlines six key skills that students will need to thrive in the 21st Century, along with links to a variety of examples, information, and resources that will help you to use emerging technologies to support language learning in your classroom. Be sure you take time to explore the section that begins with Designing . . . .

Wired - Although this magazine is not geared specifically to education, it is a great (and interesting) source of information on current trends in technology use in the fields of business, entertainment, marketing, etc. You'll find articles on creativity, crowdsourcing, fashion, gadgets and gizmos, scientific research, and more!

Low-tech Options

Champion, Jonelle. (1992). Storybook Puppets. (Greensboro, NC 27425: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Co., Inc.) This booklet provides master patterns for paper bag puppet characters.

Gravois, Michael. (1998). 35 ready to go ways to publish students’ research & writing. New York, N.Y.: Scholastic Inc. ISBN 0-590-08014. An outstanding resource book that contains reproducible templates and instructions for creative ways to publish and display student work (appropriate for all grades), including accordion books, banners, class quilts, comic strips, data disks, filmstrips, flap books, flip books, interactive notebooks, mobiles, musical timelines, pop-up books, smoosh books, story wheels, and trioramas.

Irvine, Joan. (1996). How to make holiday pop-ups. NY: Beechtree Paperback Books. ISBN 0-688-13610-9.
This book contains instructions, ideas, and examples of pop-up cards that can serve as inspiration for student projects.

Moore, Helen, H., & Jaime Lucero. (1994). 25 bilingual mini-books: Easy-to-make books for emergent readers, in English and Spanish. New York: Scholastic Professional Books. ISBN 0-590-49802-9. This book contains a set of reproducible mini-books on a variety of topics. They would be perfect for elementary Spanish students, but most of them are too simplistic for high school students (although the English could be whited out as a means of making some of the stories more useable). However, the book is worth purchasing due to the variety of formats it uses for the mini-books which high school students could replicate when making their own mini-books.

Robillard, Veronica. (1997). 15 reproducible Spanish write-and-read books: Instant patterns for easy predictable books your studetns help write! NY: Scholastic Professional Books. ISBN 0-439-05176-2. Contains a host of templates designed to scaffold the writing teachers might wish to assign to language learners in elementary school. Most of these would not be cognitively engaging enough to be appropriate for secondary students.

Meaningful Learning

Cognitive Flexibility Theory - This brief summary outlines the key concepts, principles, and examples of cognitive flexibility theory.

Eisner, Elliot, W. (2002). The arts and the creation of the mind. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09523-6. A thoughtful exploration of the ways in which “the curriculum is a mind-altering device” that touches on everything from arts-based education and the education of perception, to issues of assessment, accountability, student performance, instructional strategies, and the effective use of resources and materials.

Feynman, Richard. (1999). The pleasure of finding things out. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. pp. 1-7, 12-15.
These entertaining anecdotes contrast factual knowledge with deep understanding.

DiffInstGregChap.jpgGregory, Gayle H., & Chapman, Carolyn. (2002). Differentiated instructional strategies: One size doesn't fit all. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc. ISBN 0-76199-4551-2. This teacher-friendly book outlines key principles related to differentiating instruction for students at the individual, assignment, and curricular levels. It explains the relationship between differentiated instruction and assessment, classroom climate, instructional strategies, and learning styles. It also contains a variety of practical charts, diagrams, ideas, templates, and tools for supporting teachers in experimenting with these principles. Image source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761945512/104-0595909-7101515?v=glance&n=283155 (excerpts from the book can also be viewed at this link.)

Hall, Tracey, Strangman, Nicole, & Meyer, Anne. (2006). Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL development. CAST: Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved March 28, 2006, from http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstructudl.html This report explains how principles of Universal Design for Learning can support teachers' efforts to differentiate instruction while simultaneously meeting the needs of students with special needs.

DifInstHeacox.jpgHeacox, Diane. (2002). Differentiating instruction in the regular classroom: How to reach and teach all learners, grades 3-12. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc. ISBN 1-57542-105-4. This outstanding book offers a useful introduction to differentiated instruction, information on learning styles and curriculum mapping, super examples of strategies for differentiating instruction (including flexible grouping, tiered assignments, project-based differentiation, and ideas for early finishers), techniques for managing differentiated instruction and grading, and an entire chapter on differentiating for students with special needs. The appendices contain sample letters for families, ideas for differentiating classroom discussions, and other helpful materials. Image source: http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=80

Jonassen, David H., Kyle L. Peck, & Brent G. Wilson. (1999). Learning with technology: A constructivist perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-271891-X. Although not specific to foreign language, this is a phenomenal book that integrates constructivist theory and practical suggestions for using technology as a powerful tool that can be used to enhance student learning.

Ma, Liping. (1999). Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics: Teachers' understanding of fundamental mathematics in China and the United States. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-2908-3. This book offers an insightful picture of how the depth and breadth of teachers’ subject matter knowledge affects their ability to effectively facilitate student learning. Although the examples are drawn from an elementary math context, principles related to the ways in which teachers package knowledge and the "concept knots" they use to tie those "packages" together for students are extremely helpful to language teachers in thinking about what is necessary in order to help students to see the deep, underlying connections between individual packages.

Simkins, Michael, Karen Cole, Fern Tavalin, & Barbara Means. (2002). Increasing student learning through multimedia projects. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. http://www.ascd.org E-mail: member@ascd.org ISBN 0-87120-6640-1. A step-by-step explanation and guide to the whats, whys, and hows of designing, facilitating, and evaluating multimedia projects.

Spiro, Rand J., Feltovich, Paul J., & Coulson, Richard L. (1991). Cognitive flexibility, constructivism, and hypertext: Random access instruction for advanced knowledge acquisition in ill-structured domains. Retrieved July 26, 2006, from http://phoenix.sce.fct.unl.pt/simposio/Rand_Spiro.htm
This ground-breaking paper details the key concepts and principles of cognitive flexibility theory and explains its importance in preparing learners to acquire knowledge in non-linear, complex domains.

Spiro, Rand. (2002, Spring). Pioneering a new way of learning in a complex and complicated world.
Retrieved November 30, 2003, from http://ed-web3.educ.msu.edu/newed/spring02/faculty1.htm
This brief faculty profile outlines the key concepts of Rand Spiro's cognitive flexibility theory and its implications for teaching and learning.

DiffInstMixedAbil.jpg Tomlinson, Carol Ann. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-
ability classrooms. (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ISBN 0-87120-512-2.

This book:
  • defines differentiated instruction (in conjunction with helpful examples),
  • offers an excellent rationale for using differentiated instruction in mixed-ability classrooms,
  • provides techniques for preparing students and parents for a differentiated approach to instruction,
  • discusses the role of the environment, the teacher, and grading in a differentiated classroom,
  • outlines helpful classroom management strategies, and
  • explains how to differentiate content, process, products.

It will be especially helpful to teachers and professional developers who are seeking to deepen their conceptual understanding of differentiated instruction and effective approaches implementing it. Image source: http://shop.ascd.org/productdisplay.cfm?categoryid=books&productid=101043 (Sample chapters from the book and study questions can be viewed here also.)

21st Century Technologies: Tools for Transforming Language Teaching & Learning - This electronic newsletter from the National Foreign Language Resource Center provides links to a wide variety of ways that students can use new technologies to demonstrate their understanding (especially in the section that begins with Designing . . .)

Wiggins, Grant & Jay McTighe. (2001). Understanding by design. Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-093058-X. A helpful book that explains how teachers can improve student performance by beginning planning with the assessment in mind.

Other Technology-related Resources

McLester, Susan. (Ed.). (2006, January). Right to copy? Fair use training in the digital age. Technology & Learning, 26(6). http://www.techlearning.com Along with a helpful article on copyright, this issue also includes practical tips for using interactive whiteboards and wikis in the classroom, and internet sites for science teachers.

McLester, Susan. (Ed.). (2005, November). Top 10 wish list: What educators want most. Technology & Learning, 26(4). http://www.techlearning.com This issue contains a special report on envisioning the future based on emerging trends in technology that discusses everything from literacies and learning environments to leadership.

Thomas, Lajeane. (Project Director). (2000). National Educational Technology Standards: Connecting curriculum and technology. (International Society for Technology in Education). ISBN 1-56484-150-2. - Links to educational technology standards for administrators, students, and teachers, as well as links to national content area standards and links to learning activities and curriculum integration information that is specific to English/Language Arts, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Warlick, David. (2005, July 21). More on integrating literacy. 2 cents worth. Retrieved January 4, 2006, from http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/2005/07/21/more-on-integrating-literacy/ A sample posting on literacy from a well-known advocate for educational blogging and the integration of other new technologies into K-12 settings.

Popular Culture

Reading Popular Culture in the Classroom - An outstanding look at issues in using popular culture in classroom instruction. If you are in a hurry, scroll down to the section entitled Handout, Media Study: Reading Popular Culture. (From Lee)


Ellerbee, Linda. Media Literacy Quotes. Retrieved November 2005, from http://medialit.med.sc.edu/Media_Lit_Quotes.html

Freed, Ken. (1997-2003). Deep literacy. Media Visions Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2005, from http://www.media-visions.com/ed-deepliteracy.html

Tol, Brian. (2005). Wiremine garden. Retrieved December 14, 2005, from http://wiremine.org/2005/05

Trends & Potential Applications

Downey, Gregg W. (2006, December 22). Six ed-tech trends to watch in 2007. Eschool News. Retrieved January 15, 2006, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6781&page=1 - Discusses potential implications that trends toward democratization of the World Wide Web, cloud computing, service-oriented architecture, sharable content object reference models (SCORM), telepresence, and the idea of 21st Century learning may have on education.

(2006, October 26). Telepresence adds realism to videoconferencing. Eschool News. Retrieved January 15, 2006, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6661 - Describes a recent, albeit pricey, innovation in videoconferencing that may eventually lead to increased use of the medium in education.

21st Century Learners

The Connexity Generation: America’s New Digital Prosumers - This brief article outlines key principles that drive the consumption of Generation Y.

Digital, Highly Connected Children: Implications for Education

Managing the Millenials - This useful site offers bite-sized chunks of information about the way that students from the millennial generation live, work, play, and learn.

Synching Up with the iKid

Tips on Marketing to Generation Y - This short article offers brief tips on how the characteristics of the millennial generation influence the kind of marketing techniques they’ll respond to most readily.

Brown, John Seely. (1999, December 6). Learning, working & playing in the digital age. Serendip. Retrieved January 4, 2006, from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/seelybrown/seelybrown4.html A transcript of a presentation in which the author traces the development of some of the ways that technological advances are influencing daily life, followed by descriptions of several projects that seek to re-envision teaching and learning in ways that are more responsive to the affordances and constraints of a digital age.

Burbules, Nicholas C., & Thomas A. Callister Jr. (2000). Watch IT: The risks and promises of information technologies for education. Oxford: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-9082-6. http://faculty.ed.uiuc.edu/burbules/ A fantastic and incredibly thought-provoking book about the relational nature of technology, including an exploration of the subtleties of issues related to access, censorship, credibility, literacy, and privacy in the K-12 environment.

George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2005, October). Edutopia 1(7): iKids—Tuned in. Turned on. Teachable? How to connect with a new kind of learner. George Lucas Educational Foundation.

George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2006, February). Edutopia 2(1): Why Johnny (still) can’t read: Creative educators push to boost adolescent literacy. George Lucas Educational Foundation. In addition to the feature article on literacy, this issue contains information on creative approaches to using technology to engage K-12 students in community-based projects, interdisciplinary experiences, and service learning.

Leu, D.J., Jr., Kinzer, C.K., Coiro, J., & Cammack, D.W. (2004). Toward a theory of new literacies emerging from the Internet and other information and communication technologies. In R.B. Ruddell, & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (5th ed., pp. 1570-1613). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Retrieved October 2005, from http://www.readingonline.org/newliteracies/lit_index.asp?HREF=leu/ Discusses how new technologies are changing the literacy skills students need.

Wilhelm, Jeff. (2000, March). Literacy by design: Why is all this technology so important anyhow? Voices from the Middle, 7(3), pp. 4-14. Retrieved January 2, 2006 from http://mwp.cla.umn.edu/techtraining/wilhelm.pdf Also available at:
http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us/Schrader/plugarticles.htm A stellar article written in a very conversational style that examines the role of technology in society, in education, and the issues of literacy that surround it. It also advocates for using design as a means of engaging students deeply in interdisciplinary experiences that promote the development of higher order thinking skills.

Trends & Potential Applications

Bloginfluence.net - Enter the URL of your blog and find out how many people have bookmarked it or subscribed to your RSS feed. When the results appear, click on some of the links that also load on the page to see visual representations of trends in your results. http://www.bloginfluence.net/en/

Downey, Gregg W. (2006, December 22). Six ed-tech trends to watch in 2007. Eschool News. Retrieved January 15, 2007, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6781&page=1 - Discusses potential implications that trends toward democratization of the World Wide Web, cloud computing, service-oriented architecture, sharable content object reference models (SCORM), telepresence, and the idea of 21st Century learning may have on education.

Eschool News Staff. (2006, October 26). Telepresence adds realism to videoconferencing. Eschool News. Retrieved January 15, 2007, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6661 - Describes a recent, albeit pricey, innovation in videoconferencing that may eventually lead to increased use of the medium in education.

Geist, Michael. (2005, June 27). Technology, culture, education. P2P.net News. Retrieved January 15, 2007, from http://p2pnet.net/story/5359 - Describes steps taken in Canada toward giving educators access to copyrighted digital content and describes some of the barriers created by the legislation.

Google Music Trends - Take a look at the music that is popular among GoogleTalk users. http://www.google.com/trends/music

Social Meter - Allows you to track the social popularity of the URL of your choice. Enter the URL, it scans Bloglines, del.icio.us, Digg, Technorati, etc., to see how many people have bookmarked the site. You can also take a quick look at who is bookmarking you! http://www.socialmeter.com/