Shifting gears is never easy. But California's adoption of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) actually grants educators a good deal of flexibility and creative license in teaching students critical skills for the 21st Century. The introduction to the CCSS states:
"Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media (both critical analysis and production of media) are integrated throughout the standards." Continue reading »
Ellen Blinderman (right) guides Linnea Burnett on a geometry activity using pattern blocks.
As the Early Childhood Coordinator at Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) in Berkeley, Ellen Blinderman has been inspiring educators and students to love science, engineering, and math for the past 22 years, but describes herself as a ‘reluctant tech-user’.
Through a collaboration with KQED Education, Contra Costa County Office of Education and LHS, at a STEM workshop titled, ‘Shape, Strength, and Stability: Bringing Out the Builder in All of Us’, Ellen was able to explore the use of technology and creating media to enrich academic content.
During the workshop, educators had opportunities to design, construct, test, evaluate structures using two and three-dimensional shapes with various materials such as toothpicks, newspapers, and dowels. Using mobile devices to take snapshots of their findings, educators created a narrated slideshow using iMovie or MovieMaker to tell their story. Ellen explained, “We all became engineers and applied our knowledge of shape, strength,and stability to design and construct large structures out of newspaper dowels. This project gave teachers the opportunity to solve problems and work together as they discussed ideas and tried solutions, which are real life practices in STEM career fields. During this process, teachers also tapped into their creativity and imagination, which are vitally important in scientific and technological innovation.”
After successfully creating her first narrated slideshow, Ellen shares her perspective on using media and creating media in this brief interview.
Q:What was it like to create your first narrated slideshow? Ellen: It was fast and fun, but the best part was how empowering it was! Even though the slide show I made was very basic, I felt proud of myself for learning a new skill and creating a finished product. I appreciated the supportive learning environment. Nancy, from KQED, walked us through the steps of using iMovie, and helped with any questions that came up. I loved seeing all the different ways people chose to tell their stories, and was inspired by the unique talents and individual expression of each slideshow.
Q:How do you feel about using technology in your professional work? Ellen: I want to embrace more technology in my personal and professional life, but tend not to be motivated to figure it out on my own. I prefer a class or one-on-one instruction to encourage me through the learning process and provide tech support. I believe that as an educator, I need to develop my technology skills or I risk becoming a dinosaur.
Q:What benefit does media-making have in your work? Ellen:I love the idea of taking photos of my students throughout an investigation to tell the story of the group's collective learning adventure and to validate each child's contributions.
Q:You used a couple of videos from PBS LearningMedia to support science concepts. How has using media influenced your work? Ellen: At the workshop, I discovered what an amazing resource PBS Learning Media is! Teachers can find videos, photos, and classroom activities for any age group on a HUGE selection of subjects. As an early childhood science specialist, I am excited to incorporate PBS media (and media from other sources) into the curriculum at The Lawrence Hall of Science. I've become a big Curious George and Sid the Science Kid fan. I can use these programs to strengthen and enhance hands-on classroom experiences, using them to spark curiosity, promote scientific practices, and help students make connections between their experiences and the bigger world. With the tips and strategies I gained at the KQED workshop, I know how to go beyond having students simply passively watch videos, to keep them actively engaged and focused during the viewing.
All participants in the 2-day workshop were first-timers with creating narrated slideshows. All were successful and had a great time. Below is participating Kindergarten teacher, Lynn Alamillo’s narrated slideshow:
There was a buzz in the room even before the workshop started - an extra level of excitement filled the air. Congressman George Miller, Representing the 7th District in CA, stopped by for a visit. He briefly addressed the educators on the importance of STEM education and commended their commitment to strengthening their professional practice. His inspiring speech was a great way to start the workshop!
At teacher training workshops, the question always comes up, "What grade can you begin to teach students how to produce their own digital media?" Of course, this is a loaded question as there are several different types of media, each with its own set of learning curves. But, in general, I default to fourth grade as my response.
This past Spring, my perception shifted.
Monina Salazar, a 3rd Grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary School in San Ramon has raised the stakes and lowered what I thought was the age requirement for students to produce rich audio podcasts.
In this video, Monina describes how she teaches her students to create audio podcasts about biomes that explain a variety of ecosystems, referencing the climatic conditions along with the types of plants and animals that live there.
In her class, her students produced three different audio podcast assignments. They go through the process of researching and reading about specific biomes, writing a script that incorporates relevant sound effects and perhaps music to convey a sense of place and mood, research the internet for these sounds, and then they record their voice and edit and layer all of the sounds using Audacity.
Monina also reflects about the value added for integrating technology and multimedia, specifically media project assignments, into her teaching practice.
Monina's students use other great media formats for their projects like Google Presentation as well as develop individual websites that function as e-portfolios. To view some of this great work, go to her class website.
KQED and PBS are facilitating a free webinar training, "Educating with PBS LearningMedia" the third Thursday of each month at 4:30 PM. Participants will explore how to engage students in media-rich learning experiences with the next generation digital media service, PBS LearningMedia. In a 30 minute training, educators will learn the ropes around this robust library of research-based core curriculum digital resources. And as an added bonus, school supply giftcards will be raffled off during each training.
KQED Arts Education and a group of local educators just completed our second annual "Digital Portraits" course for educators. Last year, we studied California artist Robert Arneson's approach portraiture and created short, autobiographical films (Check out last year's assignment and two of the films in the Edspace archive).
This summer, the artist we looked to for inspiration was none other than Cindy Sherman, who has a retrospective on view at SFMOMA through October 2012. Sherman has been called one of the most important artists of our time and was featured on Art:21. She is known for using herself as a model to create photographic portraits of women who do not represent the artist, but personas and characters she creates. Continue reading »
The yearly Young At Art Festival is a living portfolio for the ongoing work of the San Francisco Unified School District's Arts Education Master Plan, showcasing work in the visual and performing arts by students K-12. During the week of Young At Art, numerous arts based professional development workshops designed specially for teachers, principals, and Arts Coordinators are presented on site and in direct connection with student work being showcased.
KQED Education is headed to ISTE. Check out our workshops and presentations listed below and visit us in the exhibit hall at the PBS booth where there will be mini presentations, goodie bags and a Kindle Fire drawing each day!
Presentations The Personal is Political: Digital Storytelling with Purpose
Learn how online research literacy can serve as a critical component of digital media authorship and provide students with more than a mastery of storytelling, but a comprehensive understanding of remix culture and fair use policy.
This past school year, 50 eleventh- and twelfth-graders at San Francisco’s Burton High School started tweeting in class for the first time.
Many were familiar with Twitter and some use it on a daily basis, but never for school. As in most instances, there’s a major disconnect between the role of social media in their lives outside school — where they use Twitter and Facebook to chat with friends, and update their status — and what happens at Burton. This class also demonstrates what recent studies have shown: that a large majority of kids have cell phones, even if they come from low-income families. In these two classes, 90% of students had cell phones, and 63% qualify for free or reduced lunch.
But the fact that they were tweeting in class was enough to get them excited in the project. The video below looks at the impact of KQED Do Now, a weekly activity for high school students that engages them in topical issues using Twitter, with these students and their teacher Wendy Berkelman.
As the open education movement grows, the ripple effects of what it means for teachers to take control of what they teach is being witnessed across all spectrums in education. Customizable content, sharing and becoming part of a community, and deconstructing entrenched ideologies about what constitutes quality learning materials — these are just a few paths that the open education movement is creating.
This week, KQED's Arts & Media education team descended upon the University of California's Arts, Media & Entertainment curriculum institute (UCCI), which "brings together educators from around the state to collaborate on the creation of model high school courses that anchor traditional academic learning in real-world experience."
We are working with teachers, observing their curriculum design sessions, and sharing resources and tools for integrating media-rich projects into their courses, which cover a range of topics including media production, theater, and writing.