Critical Literacy in the Digital Age: Enhancing Learning in Secondary Grades through Meaningful Integration of Technology a professional development course offered



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Critical Literacy in the Digital Age: Enhancing Learning


in Secondary Grades through Meaningful Integration of Technology

A professional development course offered for graduate credit

by the Spartanburg Writing Project in conjunction with USC-Upstate

Spring 2009
Instructor: Tasha A. Thomas, SWP Director

tthomas@uscupstate.edu

(503-5653 office) (503-5825 fax) (978-8349 cell)



University Contact: Graduate Programs Office, School of Education

(ph - 503-5573; email – soegradprog@uscupstate.edu)


Times: January 12 - May 4, 2009; Face-to-face meetings: Mondays, 4-7pm on the

following dates: January 12 & 26, February 9, March 2, 12 & 23, April 13, and May 4, 2009.


Overview: This course is designed to meet the needs of middle and high school teachers across all content areas in effectively integrating technology into their current classroom curricula. The course focuses on how technology can support multiple modes of learning and improve critical literacy for students in all content areas. Teachers will investigate specific models for integrating the Internet and digital media, including blogs, WebQuests, podcasts, wikis, and digital storytelling.
Designed using a hybrid format, teachers will attend face-to-face meetings periodically throughout the semester as well as participate in online forums and seminars. Because the nature of the course requires meaningful implementation of technology across the curriculum, course instructors will visit participants’ classrooms once during the semester to observe use of technology.

Objectives:
  • Identify overarching literacy goals as that span and connect content areas in middle and high school settings


  • Identify best practices in technology use and integration

  • Consider challenges of technology integration in the secondary classroom

  • Develop integrated units of study using technology to enhance literacy instruction

  • Create valuable models of technology-based products

  • Examine technology resources for both teachers and students

  • Use technology for problem solving

  • Communicate via the web



Intended Audience:

  • Certified classroom teachers grades 7-12, in all content areas, who are enrolled in USC Upstate as non-degree or degree graduate students.

Required Texts:

  • Literacy in the Digital Age, 2nd edition, by R. W. Burniske (2007)

  • Various research articles



Requirements:

  1. Integrated Unit Plan (20%): Each participant will submit a unit plan which illustrates the implementation of at least two technology tools and/or digital media formats. Unit plans are intended to extend current curricula and enhance literacy instruction through the use of technology. Plans will include goals and objectives, pacing guides, standards correlation, use of technology and assessment plans. Daily lesson plans are NOT required. Unit duration will depend on stated learning objectives.
  2. Teaching Demonstration/Observation (20%): Throughout the semester, the course instructor will schedule visits to each participant’s classroom in order to observe the implementation of at least one new technology. Teachers will demonstrate what they have learned about best practice in using technology to enhance literacy instruction. Teaching demonstrations should include student involvement as well as hands-on activities, and will last approximately 60 minutes.


  3. Multi-Media Portfolio (30%): The purpose of the portfolio is to create a parallel experience to help participants fully understand the process of creating new work using various media and technologies. Final portfolios will be presented near the end of the semester in electronic format and will include the following entries: digital story, podcast, web quest and personal philosophy on the use of digital media in the classroom. Participants will have free choice of topics for each portfolio entry but are encouraged to create products to be used as models in the classroom.

  4. Course Blog, Wiki, and Discussion Board (30%): Throughout the course, participants will maintain a blog reflecting on classroom experiences and course readings. A total of 15 blog entries will be required. In addition, participants will collaborate to create a course wiki compiling resources and information for using technology in the classroom. Each participant will make 5 entries to the course wiki. Finally, participants will respond to weekly discussion forums and reply to entries posted by colleagues. Participants will respond to 10 discussion forums throughout the semester.


Course Policies:

  1. Grading Scale: A: 90-100; B: 80-89; C: 70-79; D: 60-64; F 0-59

  2. Attendance at ALL course meetings is expected. No more than one absence is allowed.

Students with Disabilities: “If you are a student with a disability and would like to request disability-related accommodations, you are encouraged to contact me and the Office of Disability Services as early in the semester as possible. The Office of Disability Services is located in Suite 107 of the Campus Life Center. Their phone number is 503-5123.”

Changes to this Syllabus: This syllabus is tentative. The instructor reserves the right to make adjustments as necessary. Students will be notified of changes.

Critical Literacy in the Digital Age: Improving Skills

Across the Curriculum Through Meaningful Integration of Technology

A professional development course in hybrid format offered for graduate credit

by the Spartanburg Writing Project in conjunction with USC-Upstate

Spring 2009

Instructor Tasha Thomas
Course Schedule

January 12th First meeting (in person)

4:00-4:20 Introductions: Building Community

4:20-5:00 Overview of Course Syllabus/ Blackboard Demonstration

5:00-5:15 Break

5:15-6:00 Defining Literacy Goals in the 21st Century

6:00-7:00 “Blogging: Journals for the Digital Age”

Assignments: Due Monday, January 26, 2009


  • Get username and set password for BB

  • Read and annotate the Introduction and Chapter 1 in LDA.

  • Create blog entry #1 as reader response log and classroom reflection

January 19th Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

January 26th Second meeting (in person)

4:00-5:00 Reading, Writing & Responding: “This I Believe”

5:00-5:30 Discussion Forums: 21st Century Conversations

5:30-5:45 Break: Sign up for Classroom Visit Date and Time

5:45-6:30 Podcasting: Giving Voice to Your Ideas

6:30-7:00 Discussion of Reading Assignment from 1/12/09


Assignments: Due Monday, February 2, 2009


  • Read and annotate chapters 2 and 3 in LDA

  • Create Blog Entry #2 as a reader response log and classroom reflection

  • Complete a final draft of “This I Believe Essay” and post to Digital Dropbox (DD)

February 2nd Online Assignments: Due by Monday, February 9, 2009



  • Listen to podcast posting on Blackboard and keep notes

  • Create blog entry #3 in response to podcast and as classroom reflection

  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #1 (one original posting and 2 responses)

  • Create a podcast recording of your “This I Believe Essay” and post to DD

Total work time = 3 hours
February 9th Third meeting (in person)

4:00-4:30 Review and Recap (reading assignment, blogs, podcasting, discussion forums)

4:30-5:30 Article Jigsaw (Introduction to Wikis)

5:30-5:45 Break

5:45-6:30 Why Wiki?: Classroom Applications

6:30-7:00 Brainstorm Headings for Course Wiki


Assignments: Due Monday, February 16, 2009

  • Read and annotate Chapter 4 in LDA
  • Create Blog Entry #4 as reader response log and classroom reflection


  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #2 (one original posting and 2 responses)

February 16th Online Assignments: Due Monday, February 23, 2009



  • Listen to podcast posting on Blackboard and keep notes

  • Create blog entry #5 in response to podcast and as classroom reflection

  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #3 (one original posting and 2 responses)

  • Make two contributions to course Wiki

Total work time = 3 hours
February 23rd Online Assignments: Due Monday, March 2, 2009

  • Read and annotate chapter 5 in LDA

  • Create blog entry #6 as reader response log and classroom reflections

  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #4 (one original posting and 2 responses)

  • Make three contributions to course Wiki

Total work time = 3 hours
March 2nd Fourth Meeting (in person)

4:00-4:30 Review and Recap (reading assignments and wikis)

4:30-5:30 Article Jigsaw: Intro to WebQuests

5:30-5:45 Break

5:45-6:00 Brainstorm topics and objectives for WebQuests

6:00-7:00 Hands-on Practice: Creating WebQuests


Assignments: Due Monday, March 16, 2008


  • Read and annotate Chapter 6 in LDA

  • Create Blog Entry #7 as reader response log and classroom reflection

  • Post ideas for WebQuest with goals and objectives to Discussion Thread #5


*March 9th13th – USC-Upstate Spring Break

*March 12th: Fifth Meeting (in-person): Required attendance at SWP Spring Connections 2009 from 4-7pm (will replace the March 30th class meeting)

**Create Blog Entry #8 as a response to conference experience


March 16th Online Assignments: Due Monday, March 23, 2008

  • Read and annotate chapter 7 in LDA

  • Create blog entry #9 as reader response log and classroom reflections

  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #6 (one original posting and 2 responses)

  • Post Final Version of WebQuest to Digital Dropbox

Total work time = 3 hours
March 23rd Sixth Meeting (in person)

4:00-4:30 Review and Recap (reading assignments and webquests)

4:30-4:45 Unit Plan Overview and Discussion

4:45-5:45 Unit Planning and Collaboration


5:45-6:00 Break


6:00-7:00 Introduction to Digital Storytelling

Assignments: Due Monday, April 6, 2008


  • Read and annotate Chapter 8 in LDA

  • Create Blog Entry #10 as reader response log and classroom reflection

  • Post ideas for Unit Plan to Discussion Thread #6

March 30th Class will not meet: instead, participants are required to attend

SWP Spring Connections on March 12, 2009
April 6th Online Assignments


  • Read and annotate research article

  • Create blog entry #11 as reader response log and classroom reflections

  • Choose 3 Digital Stories posted to the web to view

  • Create blog entry #12 in response to viewings

  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #7 (one original posting and 2 responses)

Total work time = 3 hours

April 13th Seventh Meeting (in person)

4:00-4:30 Review and Recap (reading assignments, unit plans, digital stories)

4:30-5:45 Digital Literacy Now: What have we learned?

5:45-6:00 Break

6:00-7:00 Hands-on work creating digital stories


Assignments: Due Monday, April 20, 2008


  • Create Blog entry #13 as classroom reflection

  • Final Unit Plan Due to Digital Dropbox

  • Participate in Discussion Thread #8 (one original posting and 2 responses)

April 20th Online Assignments



  • Read and annotate research article

  • Create blog entry #14 as reader response log and classroom reflections

  • Participate in BB Discussion Thread #9 (one original posting and 2 responses)

  • Post “Seven Elements” Worksheet for Digital Story to DD

Total work time = 3 hours

April 27th Online Assignments



  • Read and annotate research article

  • Create blog entry #15 as reader response log and classroom reflections

  • Participate in Discussion Thread #10 (one original posting and 2 responses)

  • Post storyboard for Digital Story to DD

Total work time = 3 hours

May 4th 4:00-7:00 Final Course Meeting (in person)

Course Evaluations

Digital Story Premier and Celebration



**Final Multi-media portfolio due on CD

**Instructor Classroom visits to take place throughout the semester (one visit per teacher).

Face-to-face on campus contact = 24 hours

Classroom Observation/Teaching Demonstration= 1 hour

Online contact = 21 hours

Critical Literacy in the Digital Age





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