Week 5- Reading and Article Choice

This week’s reading was titled: Jenkins (2008) Afterword: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices

The reading discussed the concept of teachers getting their hand figuratively dirty, and diving into technology.  Bringing best practices into technology use, and changing the idea of DIY to DIO- Do it OURselves!  This hit home for me.  I am OBSESSED with Pinterest.  I use it for everything!  Pinterest boasts their DIY website, but it is not REALLY DIY, it is more DIO.  There are so many people posting how to videos, blog posts, forums etc that show the reader how to do it various ways, answer questions and give explicit directions.

This is the argument in the text, that in the classroom this collaboration with technology can really benefit our students.  They go on to discuss viral videos leading to dance moves being known all around the world, the difference between WEB 2.0 and a participatory culture, and creating the community in the classroom.  The article itself wants to help the teacher reach a point that encourages a community, and I truly believe that is a necessity in the classroom.  For me personally, the idea that resonated best with me was the Otaku.

Otaku is a word that I have heard a lot but never thought to use in the classroom.  It means someone who is obsessed with something, usually used in anime due to its Japanese origin.  So, I started thinking about how I could feasibly incorporate this into my classroom.  I usually have literature groups throughout the year, these tend to be pretty straight forward.  There are multiple jobs, each person must take one job per week, analyse the book through that lens and present to the group.  Now, if I used Otaku in the classroom I could take that to the next level.  I could gather students that had similar interests, let’s say Greek Mythology.  I could have them read a book with a literature circle but after that have them create their own story.  This story would have to be written, edited, presented in some way (podcast, video etc) by the group.  Treating the jobs just like I do for literature groups, rotating everyone through each job to create a final project from that same group.

Jacqui and I discussed some of the ideas presented in the readings.  We want to use our students ideas and really mix up the way we present our lessons.  I love the idea of explaining our connections and then allowing our students to add to that.  I also loved the idea of making their own learning goals.  What are they getting out of this lesson and why?

Chosen Article: Five Cheap Ways Tech is Transforming Classrooms

This is actually more of a blog post, but it fit SO well with the “DIY” technology theme that I had to share it.

The blog opens with a talk about technology in the hands of our kids, and a lot of our kids at that.  Even lower socio economic status children have access to technology in some form or another.  She goes on to write about 5 “DIY” tech products that can be made for the classroom.  Many of these you have probably seen before: Plickers, Google Education etc.  I did like the idea of using the smart phone and creating a microscope stand that uses the phone as if it were a microscope.  But there are two reasons I chose the blog post.  First, DIY again, as we covered in the article is not DIY.  This is a perfect example, I wouldn’t have thought of the microscope idea on my own, but with the help of these blog post, which was sharing someone else’s idea, which was using someone else’s app I am able to put this in my classroom.  In other words, collaboration got me to this point.

Second, I liked the creativity and the ideas behind using technology in a “cheap”way.  All too often we think that technology in the classroom means spending thousands of dollars to get there.  But, it doesn’t have to be.


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