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Teachers Who ROCK!

As we approach teacher appreciation week, we wanted to highlight one of our DLC members who was recently recognized by WDHA 105.5 as a teacher who rocks! Congratulations, Joe Pizzo!

You can read about Joe, and all of the other rocking NJ teachers, here.

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Winter Conference from a Pre-Service Teacher’s Perspective

We loved reading Michelle Morris’ blog post on Professor Brad Currie’s iTeach with Technology.  

It’s always exciting to “see” things from a new teacher’s perspective, and we’re thankful Michelle and Professor Currie gave us that opportunity! We’ve shared Michelle’s post below:

 

Drew TEACH Digital Literacy Conference

by Michelle Morris

February 04, 2018

I am so honored to be part of the Drew University MAT Program, especially after the amazing and educational day I experienced on Saturday, February 3rd.  I learned so much at the Drew TEACH Digital Literacy Conference, I can go on forever about the knowledge that I obtained in just a few hours. However, out of the three main speakers I saw, I will pick something that stood out to me from each presentation. I cannot wait to try the many different digital tools and sources that I learned about in my future classroom!

Check out the new website:

#DrewTEACH

Foremost, we were lucky enough to hear from Renee Hobbs. I even purchased one of her books and had the opportunity to have her sign it and speak one-on-one with her, which was a very exciting experience!  During her presentation, Renee shared her insight on her idea of “Create to Learn.” One of the ideas that she presented, which I found very interesting, was her idea of “Intellectual Grandparents,” as she explained that these intellectual grandparents have created a network of relationships between people and ideas that have continued to be an influence for educators. She created a website that can help anyone understand the history of media literacy education around the world.

Check it out! 

Renee Hobbs’ Intellectual Grandparents Website

Furthermore, the first speaker that I listened to during the morning breakout session was Natalie Biden, the winner of Dr. Turner’s iHero Award. I was so excited when her accomplishments were announced at the conclusion of the conference because I was blown away by the ideas she presented during her presentation. She showed us video examples of how she teaches digital reading in her NYC classroom and we even got to take part in a little demonstration so that we can get a first-hand experience.  Her students seemed to love how she rolled out her digital media lessons, and it inspired me to want to do something similar in my future classroom.  Ultimately, I loved her idea of the “Digital Word Wall” which helps students visualize digital reading as well.

Digital Word Wall!

Lastly, in the afternoon breakout session, I attended Dr. Jade Morano’s presentation on Navigating Technology in the Elementary classroom.  She introduced several different digital tools and sources to use to help enhance and motivate students in the classroom.  My personal favorite was the app called Chatter Pix. We got to make our own creative pix and share them with the group.  I will definitely use this app in my future classroom as it can be used for any subject.

Check Out the App!

 

 

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Developing Digital Literacies Conference

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Sketchnote by Kate Baker

We are still glowing from the inspiration, collaboration, and presentations at our first #DrewTEACH Winter Conference! Our participants were treated to a keynote by author Renee Hobbs. In her keynote, “Create to Learn”, Hobbs reminded teachers that at the core of all digital work, “the foundation skills are still reading and writing”. She also reiterated our unofficial DLC motto, that teachers should, “tinker, explore, and fail”. Hobbs also challenged the audience of pre-service and veteran educators to engage students by getting messy and embracing chaos in our classrooms. Audience members were so inspired by Renee’s keynote that the ensuing Twitterstorm actually had our conference trending on Twitter!

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Check us out at number 3!

During the keynote, Kate Baker another stellar NJ educator, created a sketchnote of Renee’s speech. The image, at the top of the page is not only beautiful, but highlights the multi-modality of our work.

After the keynote, participants traveled to one of the six morning demonstrations presented by our DLC Teacher Leaders.

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Our iHero, Natalie Biden, presenting “Start Them Young: Digital Reading in the Elementary Classroom”

Prior to lunch participants were able to get copies of Renee Hobbs’ and Kristen Turner’s books signed!

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Renee Hobbs and Kristen Turner during the lunchtime book signing.

Our afternoon sessions were just as successful as our morning demos. The afternoon even found teachers running through the Ehinger Center trying to complete a challenge presented by Emilie Jones’ “Tweets, Trailers, and Talks: Making Reading Connected” demo.

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A packed house for DLC founding member, Emilie Jones’, demonstration

The day closed out with a Tech Talk by Dr. Kristen Turner. Participants had to fill up “dance cards” by chatting with fellow educators about their favorite tools.

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Educators filling up their Tech Tool Dance Cards

We also were able to share our exciting news! During the closing session Kristen announced that Drew University’s new Master of Education program had been approved the night before. We were also able to announce that Drew Writing Project had been approved as one of the newest National Writing Project sites.

Participants and presenters alike left the day feeling happy in their teacher hearts. With so many new and exciting things happening with DrewTEACH we cannot wait to continue our work with this growing network of educators.

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Winter is Coming-So is our conference!

The DLC is getting ready for the #DrewTEACH Developing Digital Literacies Collaborative Winter Conference.  This conference is always one of our favorite days of the year.  We’re very excited to host our first conference at the DLC’s new home, Drew University in Madison, NJ.   

Our keynote, Renee Hobbs, is a leader in the field of media and digital literacies and author of Copyright Clarity, Discovering Media Literacy, and Digital and Media Literacy.  We cannot wait to hear her speak!

Our DLC Teacher Consultants are hard at work perfecting their demos and we’re really proud of the sessions we’ll be offering.  It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching kindergarten or seniors, there will be multiple sessions for every educator, of every subject area.

If you haven’t yet registered for the February 3rd conference, you can do so using this link.    

We’re offering early bird specials and a very special discount to schools who register multiple teachers.  

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DLC 2017-2018 Kick-Off

The 2017-2018 school year is off to a great start for the Digital Literacies Collaborative.  In addition to welcoming thirteen new members we began our work on October 17th,  by discussing Anne Elrod Whitney’s article, “Keeping It Real: Authenticity in the Writing Classroom”.  While our members teach all different subjects and grade levels, we were able to have a deep and meaningful conversation about how to make assessments, units, and lessons real, without feeling contrived and how to prepare for and use failure-both our students’ and our own.  

 

DLC members came to the virtual conversation with a lot of deep questions about their own practice and how to bring Whitney’s work to life in their own classrooms.  We discussed how to cultivate imperfection in our students, especially when we, as educators, aren’t always okay with imperfection ourselves.  We discussed how internet-free writing, across subject areas is a great place to begin this work.  Teachers noted that often times students don’t always trust themselves without using the internet to double-check their thoughts.  We agreed that ensuring facts are true is an important, and necessary skills, it can sometimes stunt good writing and that it’s okay once in awhile to practice this tech free writing when beginning the process.  We also discussed how teachers can model this process of imperfection.

 

Our secondary teachers pushed back on the idea of authentic assignments by questioning what authenticity really is.  Sometimes, it seems, that teachers create assignments that appear in the real-world, but the product doesn’t leave the classroom.  For instance, asking students to write a “blog post”, but never actually posting to a real blog, just means students are writing a traditional report.  This questions got us thinking about how audience creates the authenticity Whitney described in her article.  When students know that their work is going to be read by someone, or a whole lot of someones, beyond their classroom, the stakes are raised and the work becomes real.   The idea of audience also lead us into a conversation about privacy and how to ensure student safety.  

 

The conversation ended with Rebekah bringing up quote a Marian Wright Edelman quote she heard at the 2014 NCTE National Convention. Edelman said, “We must love our children more than we love our comfort zones.”  The quote was the perfect endnote to our conversation and the perfect opening to a year full of inquiry, innovation, and imperfection.  We’re already looking forward to our December meet up and January discussion.

DLC Members Present At NJECC 18

Dr. Lauren Zucker (@lgzreader) and Joe Pizzo(@profjpizzo), two veteran DLC members, presented at this year’s New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative Conference.

Lauren’s presentation, “Open Badges in the K-12 Classroom”, showed teachers how to integrate, and make, badges in their own classrooms. You can check out the link to Lauren’s presentation here.

In Joe’s demonstration, “The Color of Digi-poetry 2.0”, educators were asked to think beyond traditional poetry.  Participants explored new platforms and planned ways to integrate them into existing curriculum.

Both of these excellent educators will be presenting on February 3rd, at this year’s Developing Digital Literacies Conference at Drew University!

NJECC

Joe and Lauren at NJECC18