Tuesday, March 6, 2007


  • 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.

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