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Common core, informational text, digital literacy, & 21st century learning

Last week, I had the privilege of working with a group of educators on 21st century lessons and PBL as part of their Collaboration Coach training. One of the main topics we kept revisiting was authentic purpose and audience.

After pointing out strengths, I asked questions such as:
  • What real audience could the students share their learning with?
  • What real audience would benefit from their learning/product?
  • What real audience, community, or expert outside the classroom could provide feedback?
Relating Authentic Purpose and Audience to Common Core Language Arts

Yesterday I received an email from Theresa Bartholomew, our Federal Programs Director, asking us to watch this video and reflect on these questions:
  • What stands out to you about this?  
  • What potential shifts will this require in our instructional time, focus, use of curriculum programs, etc.?


Here was my quick reply to Theresa:
I'm pumped about it! I expect to see more PBL, probably thematic units, and using technology for authentic learning --the Internet is filled with informational text everywhere! So if they are using it authentically then rock on!
Information text, digital literacy, and blogging

Blogging is a great way to connect to an authentic audience, while learning about writing for an authentic purpose. Furthermore, there is a huge focus on reading informational text. Here is a quote from Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano's Langwitches post, Learning About Blogs FOR Your Students- Part I: Reading:
"Blogging is about writing, but it begins with reading. Teachers recognize that in order to teach about blogs, they have to read good blogs. Most want to jump immediately in and have their students start blogging, sit back and expect students to write quality blogs. It won’t happen. Teachers need to take time in reading other blogs, before they expect to be able to lead their students in quality blogging."
Blogging is fabulous for literacy and all content areas.

Final thoughts

Will the common core be the panacea for education? No, but it might be a disruption in how things have been taught... which could open the doors to change.
  • What impact do you predict common core will have on instructional focus?
  • How do you do to focus on informational text, digital literacy, and 21st century learning?
  • What were your take-aways from this post?
Thanks, Theresa Bartholomew, for sending us the video and questions to reflect on!

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