chirbit
Fluent readers develop over time with plenty of practice. Many students (and parents) mistakenly equate fluent reading with fast reading. Teachers must work to help students and parents understand that reading quickly with little expression or in a monotone voice is not fluent reading (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.4.B). One way transliteracy skills can assist in this process is through the use of digital audio recording. There are many digital audio recording tools teachers can use to help students develop into more fluent readers. Read the rest of this entry…

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Sitting on the shoulders of giants
The Common Core State Standards emphasize the need to “prepare all students for success in college, career, and life.” In today’s workplace, that means communicating across a variety of platforms. Jobs are no longer location-based, with all members of the workforce in the same building at the same time. Instead, a number of digital tools, such as email, voice-over-Internet calling and web-conferencing software help colleagues connect across space and time. These tools can be put to effective use in the classroom too!

One way to share the love of reading with others is through video conferencing. Teachers can begin to build the transliteracy skills students need to connect and collaborate with digital tools using a free resource like Google Hangouts. Hangouts is a powerful tool that offers an opportunity to introduce a wider world to your students by connecting with classes in another state or country. Read the rest of this entry…

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To develop a comprehensive vocabulary, students must build connections between words and cultivate sophisticated schemas of meaning. Teachers can use graphic organizers as a tool to help students visualize the interconnection between words to support this process. In the transliterate classroom, one way students can create powerful graphic organizers to support vocabulary growth is through the use of word clouds.

A word cloud is a compilation of words associated to a distinct idea that has been appropriated from a narrative or informational text on the topic. The words in the cloud often vary in print size and color. The more frequently a word is found in the text, the larger it appears in the cloud. A quick look at the cloud can help students preview a text passage, introduce key terms, and strengthen vocabulary.

Teachers and students can create word clouds using a number of free websites, most of which work in a similar manner. ABCYa! Word Clouds is a great place to get started with early elementary students. Begin by finding a passage of grade-level appropriate text online that you plan on having students read. Students can then type or paste the text into the word box, press the create button and view the word cloud. After generating the word cloud, students can change the color, layout and font of the words through an easy-to-use interface. ABCYa! Word Clouds can be saved or printed for later reference.

When teachers model the creation of word clouds using ABCYa! Word Clouds or a similar web application, they are not only offering opportunities to strengthen vocabulary, but also exposing students to critical transliteracy skills such as highlight, copy, paste and “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editing. Teachers should be teaching the vocabulary associated with these technological tasks alongside academic vocabulary contained in the text.

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My colleague, Dr. Kathy Roskos, and I were invited to Montreal during the summer of 2015 to share our research and work around the use of ebooks to support early literacy at the Digital Literacy for Preschoolers: Maximizing the Benefits of eBooks for Emergent Literacy conference.

The outcome of this conference was to build a better understanding of the state of the evidence and a develop a new section of the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development that will be useful for families, professionals and policy makers.

The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development is produced by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SKC-ECD). Respectively based at the Université de Montréal and Université Laval (Quebec, Canada), these two organizations have built over the years a solid network of international experts who gather, synthesize and comment, in their respective domain of expertise, the most up-to-date scientific knowledge available on the development of young children, from conception to age five.

Recently, the Technology in early childhood education section of the Encyclopedia was published. Dr. Roskos and I contributed a piece titled Teaching Early Literacy with E-books: Emerging Practices. I hope it helps shed some light around what we know and what we don’t know about teaching with ebooks.

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I’ve been a resident of Northeast Ohio and diehard Cleveland sports fan all my life. Since birth, I’ve followed all our teams blindly and believed; because that’s what we were taught to do. I can not remember a time when life did not revolve around teams like the Browns, the Cavs, the Force, the Rockers, the Lumberjacks, and of course, the Indians. With my family and friends, I have witnessed “The Drive,” and “The Fumble,” and “The Shot,” and “Game 7 vs the Marlins.”

My pride in our teams, our region and our state is great, however, even as someone who was indoctrinated into #Believeland, I feel that we have a moral imperative as a community to stand united and address the elephant in the room that follows our beloved ball club.

To Mr. Lawrence J. Dolan, please consider the following leadership actions as a way to usher in a new era of #Believeland:

Once our @Indians beat the Cubs to win a #WorldSeries, the immediate next move from the ownership should be to drop Chief Wahoo as a mascot, rename our ball club and treat all people with dignity and respect. As fans, as a community, as role models for future generations of Cleveland fans, we have to recognize the relevance and need for this action at this time, on this stage, and place importance on it over money and nostalgia. 

To all the fans like me, please join me in urging the Cleveland Indians ownership to take this important step and lead the way for other professional sporting teams to follow suit; because that is the #Believeland that I know and that is the #Believeland I want to be a part of. I hope you want to be a part of it too.

Respectfully,

Jeremy S. Brueck

P.S. Winning and losing a ball game shouldn’t matter here. Please do what’s right.

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ebook

What makes a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable ebook for young children? Certainly the established criteria of quality children’s literature apply to ebook texts. Strong features of good storybooks over the ages are similarly the features of enduring ebooks into the future: age-appropriate material that interests children, strong plots, and rich characterizations of the human condition are most likely the types of features we’d hope to find in a high-quality ebook. In this way, ebooks are very much like traditional books, and their literary or informational content can be judged by the same general criteria.

However, the addition of electronics impacts reading in new ways. An ebook, for example, can have background music whereas a traditional book cannot. Ebooks can provide mini-tutorials in hotspots, hyperlinks and virtual assistants who instruct and explain on-the-spot, in essence, ‘teaching’ children early literacy skills, such as phonological awareness and vocabulary. Read the rest of this entry…

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Twitter

Educators should exemplify how an individual uses digital tools and resources to become a skilled communicator, collaborator, and devoted lifelong learner. Modeling the use of a range of transliteracy tools is something teachers need to engage in on a daily basis. Most educators are familiar with Twitter, however many wonder how to actually put it into classroom practice. Twitter brainstorming is one way to begin, even in the early grades, because it does not require students to have individual Twitter accounts. Read the rest of this entry…

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Using Popplet During Guided Reading

Graphic organizers are great tools students can to use to monitor their reading and comprehension of informational texts. Traditionally, teachers have created paper-based templates for students to use to organize their thinking around text. In a transliterate society, there are a number of web-based concept mapping tools and apps that teachers can employ in their classrooms to help support comprehension of informational text. Read the rest of this entry…

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Keep on truckin baby
During the development of a literate society, literacy practices were very linear in nature. Consider a traditional piece of literature, like a book. It has a cover with the title and author. When we address these elements, we begin by decoding letters and words starting in the upper left and moving to the right across the first line to develop meaning and comprehend printed text. We then open the book, turn the page and then again begin to read for meaning making starting in the upper left, moving across to the right and then down to the next line. This repetitive process reflects the literacy practices most of us have participated in since birth. Read the rest of this entry…

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Ebook - Word Identification

In their most basic form, children’s ebooks are computer files that act much like a book. They have traditional conventions like a title, pages, and chapters. However, they also can contain illustrations and hotspots that provide a navigation mechanism for the reader. A deeper look at children’s ebooks reveals a more complex form, a type of software that includes animations, sounds, videos, and a read-aloud function. Read the rest of this entry…

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This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.