Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.
Here’s a great question I got from Ganasini:
I want to create a literary e-zine for my small, rural elementary school. What is the best program or venue–blog, wiki, or something else? I am looking more for a way to display work. In the past, I’ve done hard copy photocopied “newspapers” for students to publish their stories, reports, art work, book and movie reviews etc. I would like to try to publish something similar on the computer. One idea is that each student contributor could have a bi-line with their photo and then links to their various entries, or else I could organize it with links to student fiction, for instance. I think it would only go out to our small school community. Thanks so much for your input and direction! It is much appreciated.
This is especially important because of the requirements for publishing in the CCSS K-5 education standards and ISTE technology standards. There are a lot of solutions, I think, that could work for you:
- Adobe Professional–collect pdfs into a bundle and publish online with a cover, table of contents, or whatever else you’d like to include. I did this one year for a 4th grade poetry book. Students designed the cover. I added a TofC with each student poem, and then each poem. It can be displayed as a book or a rotating selection or a variety of different ways. And, it didn’t take long to create
- Issuu–collect all student work into a traditional magazine. Just upload and Issuu does most of the heavy lifting.
- Glogster–create a poster which includes each student name and is linked to their work..
- Check this link at Cool Tools for School. Scroll down to ‘publish’ (it’s under ‘presentation tools’) and see nine more options like Youblisher and Scribd.
THE KEY TO ALIGNING YOUR K-5 CLASS WITH COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS:
30 Projects that integrate technology into core lesson plans
What is this book?
The Key to Aligning Your K-5 Class with Common Core State Standards is for classroom teachers, technology integration specialists and lab professionals, as a resource for aligning your technology program with the Common Core State Standards now implemented in forty-six states. You will find it a foundational tool for scaffolding technology into the areas of math, language, reading, writing, speaking and listening as is required in CCSS. Overall, they are authentic approaches to student-centered learning, asking the student to be a risk-taker in his/her educational goals and the teacher to act as guide. The essential questions are open-ended and conversations organic and inquiry-driven, ultimately asking students to take responsibility for the process of their own learning.
Common Core State Standards, proposed by the National Board of Governors and adopted by 46 states to date, provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn in the critical areas of math, science, language, reading, writing, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
They don’t specifically mention technology as a separate subject, but assume technology will support the teaching of math, science, reading, language, and writing. Last week, I discussed CCSS in general. This week–here are a few of the specific elements that technology can address and examples of projects (not in any particular grade-level order):
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing–Production and Distribution of Writing–6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
This past month, I have had a rash of requests from school districts to assist them in aligning their technology program with Common Core State standards. This takes me back to the days when everyone wanted to match their lesson plans with ISTE NETS standards. We all had to review our activities, rethink connections and rework details.
Now, for the 46 states that have adopted Common Core State Standards, that’s happening again, with a different tilt.
Let me back up. What are Common Core State Standards? According to the Mission Statement posted on their website:
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
Their bi-line speaks volumes…