Category Archive for: ‘Blogging’
The SQ3R reading method is on par with apples as a staple of the American, upper elementary school experience. Rarely will you find a student that hasn’t been exposed to SQ3R during their early academic journey, and you would be hard pressed to find a classroom without a reference to an apple (desktop ornament, wall hanging, sweater). I am not implying a correlation- just an observation that the SQ3R methodology is about as common as what has become the American symbol for teachers, teaching, and education.
I remember using the SQ3R reading method when I was in fifth grade. It was used while reading in a basal reader or social studies textbook, and the rationale for its use was nearly always recall for a pencil-and-paper test. I would (in no way is this the proper way to use SQ3R):
- Survey: Glance at the headings, look at the pictures and captions, and skip to the end of the chapter and read the questions/summary.
- Question: Turn the headings and captions into questions and then write them on a piece of notebook paper. I admit that I was fairly lazy and often just inserted a “What is…” phrase for a lot of the headings.
- Read and Recite: Read the text while highlighting phrases of importance (from chapter questions), underline bold words, re-read unclear sections, and then answer chapter questions. Sometimes I would summarize what I read at the end of a section, but this was a rare occurrence.
- Review: Return to the text, memorize highlighted parts, and recite answers to questions. I reviewed only when I had a test, and this usually happened at 8:00 PM on the evening before the big assessment.
Disregard the fact that I did not model the proper methodology AND strip away some of the context (using SQ3R for printed, nonfiction texts as a way to understand/prepare for assessment)…
I believe that there is a place for SQ3R in the digital classroom with untraditional texts like websites, wikis, and blog posts. Why? A mental framework for a topic, one that can form through active reading methodologies like SQ3R, is as essential in reading digital texts as it is in printed pages. Yet, how often are websites treated as different beasts that don’t require the same reading focus? Most teachers’ relative lack of digital proficiency leads me to surmise that this is quite common. How many teachers approach the web and all of its words, conventions, links, and styles with an analytical approach? I suspect that there are relatively few in comparison to the teaching profession. At the same time, our children’s learning is an amalgam of digitized and traditional content- just ask a middle school student where they turn when a question arises.
What might the application of SQ3R to digitized text look like?
The practicality of reconstructing SQ3R in the digital abyss is somewhat daunting from the standpoint that much of its success requires activities like writing and highlighting. Yes, printing a page or using a piece of notebook paper and/or a second application like Microsoft Word circumvents this problem. However, this unnecessarily complicates the methodology when a much simpler solution exists: The Awesome Highlighter (TAH).
TAH allows readers to highlight and add notes to a web page without leaving the page, opening a second application, or printing a hard copy. With just a click of a button (bookmarklet), all of the physical markup tools appear on the web page- it’s that simple. It is akin to a stack of sticky notes, pen, and a highlighter on your computer. The annotated web page can be saved and shared with others. It requires no user accounts or passwords which makes it a viable solution in the upper elementary and middle school classroom.
The digitized SQ3R methodology below and the picture above references a TAH example that I created from Dean Shareski’s post, Student and Teacher Blogging that Succeeds. I chose this post as an example because the school where I teach encourages student blogging, I believe that students would benefit from reading Dean’s ideas, and I hope to use my highlighting/notes as a model for students to learn from as they explore SQ3R on the web. You can see all of my highlights and notes by visiting this link.
With a web page loaded and The Awesome Highlighter in hand…
- Survey: Decide if the source is credible and true by looking for clues (readership, author, spelling errors, domain name). Examine the structure of the page and figure out what is important and relevant to the topic. Briefly examine the links by clicking on them. Note any bold, colored, or italicized words. Look at the headings, subheadings, and pictures to mentally create the major ideas in the text.
- Question: Re-frame all of the headings and subheadings as questions using TAH’s note tool. Ask yourself, “What do I know about the topic?”
- Read: Using self-generated questions as a guide, read and highlight the page but stopping at section breaks if present. Use TAH to highlight answers to questions. Visit links when finished with a page.
- Recite: Briefly summarize the major points of the page as a TAH note but use personal words and voice. Save your highlighting and notes by clicking on the Make Public button as well as bookmarking the link to the specific TAH page.
- Review: Review and re-read highlights and notes. Reviewing in the SQ3R method is generally situated in the context of preparing for recitation and recall. This is fine and good, but I prefer to couch the final step in a 21st century light: Review to reformulate, connect, or comment on the author’s message. (I believe that I incorporated all of Dean’s points in this post in one way or another!)
Hester, Darren. “Green Apple.” Flickr. 21 Mar. 2007. 20 July 2008 http://www.flickr.com/photos/36045027@N00/2053320817.
“Why do you constantly reference Austin Powers in your posts? Are you secretly longing to be a ‘man of mystery?’ You better hope that people know you aren’t sexist like Mike Myer’s character. Furthermore, who is your Dr. Evil?” -Willy’s Inner Monologue
Done. I feel better.
The inner monologue, believed to be the conversational form of each person’s thoughts, is outrageously and inappropriately displayed in an exchange between Austin Powers and Vanessa Kennsington immediately after the International Man of Mystery is unfrozen. Austin, brandishing no political correctness, verbalizes a series of sexually laden comments directed at Vanessa (standing ten feet away, obviously hearing the words). He concludes by saying, “How do I tell them that, because of the unfreezing process, I have no inner monologue? I hope that I did not just say that out loud just now.” Classic cinematic ridiculousness, and introductory fodder for something that has been on mind: liveblogging.
Liveblogging popped onto my radar a number of times throughout the past few weeks. I watched (or is it read) The Unofficial Apple Weblog’s text-based, real-time coverage of Steve Job’s keynote at the WWDC. And, just yesterday, I spent a few minutes following David Warlick’s live updates on a presentation given at the NECC conference. As I watched/read what David wrote using CoverIt Live, my mind drifted to some defining characteristics of a liveblogging experience…
- Liveblogging is live (duh) and seems to be a lot like Twitter and other microblogging applications.
- Liveblogging is generally delivered by a single person.
- Liveblogging often comes across as descriptive accounts of what’s happening at an event or a place. Relatively flat, but useful if the audience watching the liveblogging experience can’t attend.
- OCCASIONALLY Liveblogging offers glimpses into the writer’s thoughts, connections, and ideas. You might say that liveblogging can potentially be an inner monologue (as was the case with some of David Warlick’s entries).
While I drifted from David’s streaming words, I began to think about my classroom, education, and my students. An idea A connection to the reflective elements in a liveblogging experience (what David did when he interjected his thoughts and ideas) and reading literacy appeared: Could a liveblog be an entry point to understanding the thinking processes that a “expert” goes through while listening or participating to an event? Liveblogging reflective commentary would almost be like a “think-aloud” for listening and processing spoken words. Think-aloud methodology, as it applies to reading and comprehension, is when a teacher “reads a passage aloud and talks through the processes used to make sense of what is being read, thereby modeling the thought processes and application of background knowledge necessary to understand the text” (Kinzer & Leu, 248). Liveblogging a “think-aloud” for an event could be a relatively unobtrusive way to model thinking processes (an inner monologue) for other people in attendance, especially students.
Kinzer, Charles K., and Donald J. Leu. Effective Literacy Instruction, K-8 (4th Edition). Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hall, 1998.
That Other Paper. “City of Austin Power Plant.” Flickr. 15 Apr. 2007. 29 June 2008 http://www.flickr.com/photos/austins_only_paper/461176598/.
I think that I have stumbled, fumbled, searched, RSS-ed, and read my way to blogging inspiration and the archetypal start to creating “meaningful, thoughtful engagement with ideas.” The topic: Nothing. Yes, nothing. I am absolutely serious. Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza would be proud of me.
I have been doing some focused research on blogging, curricular approaches, philosophical ideals, and post ideas for the past week in preparation for my re-entry into the classroom. My handy-dandy search engine guided me to well-crafted curriculum guides, edtech treasure troves, advice about comments, and lawyerly videos highlighting “do’s and dont’s.” Great stuff, all of which I will adapt and meld into my own version of educational blogging in the classroom.
Yet, I kept saying to myself, “Self, how are you going to introduce the idea of writing conversationally (on the Internet mind you), exploring diverse and antagonistic perspectives, and do this in a manner that is applicable to students? What is the entry point that can serve as an introductory model for the possibilities?” When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, a post about nothingness and an entry about bored kids that can be found right here.
The salient quotes that highlight the superficial differences are as follows (one from a student and the other from a parent/edtech expert):
Quote 1 from the Students 2.0 Blog: “I believe that a fully lived life is without boredom. You should always be doing something: pursuing some new idea, trying or learning something new, working towards some end, building something, never losing momentum.” - Anthony Chivetta, “Never Stop Doing“
Quote 2 from the Weblogg-ed: “Last weekend, [our two children] got really bored. After two months of weekend basketball stuff (which we are re-evaluating), [my wife] and I just wanted a couple of days to veg. The kids couldn’t believe it. They kept begging us to do stuff. We kept saying no. Computer? No. TV? No. It went on like that for a good two hours. But finally, it got quiet. We heard them rummaging around in the kitchen and in their rooms, running in and out of the house, and then a measured commotion down by the basketball goal. ‘I think they’re doing suicides,’ [my wife] whispered when she looked out the window… They were. And not only that, they had devised a daily practice schedule, which they proceeded to work through for the next two hours, coaching each other, supporting and praising each other…” - Will Richardson, “Get Off the Computer!“
However, if you look closely, I believe the post are talking about two different (or is it similar) ideas around a common theme- boredom, doing nothing, and what transpires. It is ripe for synthesizing, discussing, and exploring. It is familiar. I can envision it as a topic that allows students to think about “both sides of one [or multiple] issues.”
I am not going to say anything more because I want to explore both posts (and all of the cross-posts and comments) with my future students.
Trois Têtes (Tt). “Banksy is toast.” Flickr. 16 Jan. 2007. 24 June 2008 http://www.flickr.com/photos/trois-tetes/359759173/.