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Resources to Teach Media Literacy

Originally written for LTC blog during #Media Literacy Week 2018


How many advertisements do you come across in one day- ten, fifty, hundreds, thousands? Somesources say we encounter 4,000–5,000 ads a day all trying to persuade us to do something, believe something or buy something (while making money for their shareholders). We may not be consciously aware of seeing these ads, nor are our students who are exposed to the same content we are on a daily basis. Are students equipped to recognize when they are being manipulated? Probably not. Media literacy is a skill, not a topic. It is the responsibility of every educator; in every subject, in every school.

The goal of teaching media literacy is to educate our students on how to question what they see. Media literacy has dozens of “subtopics” that can be explored year-round in your classroom. This post shares some fun media facts, concepts, and resources to get you started.
Media Literacy “Fun Facts”Media is not good or bad; it is just a …

What Does Your Tattoo Say About You?

Originally written for http://ltcillinois.org/

Do you have a tattoo?  What’s the story behind it?  What does it say about who you are?  Tattoos have been around for over 5,000 years.  For centuries people have been marking their bodies for a variety of purposes; love, status, tribute, and medical just to name a few.  Today the tattoo industry is busier than ever, although an internet search for “tattoo removal” proves there are clearly some that regret the decision.  Is our online existence that much different? Do we not post statuses that declare our love, tribute, medical dilemmas and more, much like people tattoo their skin?  If that is the case, do we not regret some of our social media posts as well? The term “digital footprint” is well known and represents what trace of us we leave behind when we are visible and active online.  It is a catchy phrase, but in my opinion not completely accurate. Footprints can be washed away. They can be covered over so they are no longer visible. …

Water the Flowers, Not the Rocks: Tips from 10 Years of Instructional Coaching

This June I wrapped up ten years of instructional technology coaching. Soon (tomorrow, in fact) I will begin a new journey in my career where I will still utilize my coaching skills but in a different capacity. This new opportunity has caused me to reflect on lessons learned throughout my time as a school-based coach. If you are a coach or aspire to be one following are ten tips I've learned during my ten years in the role.

Be a model. Practice what you preach! If you want your teachers to join Twitter make sure you are already there. If they would like to try a new tool or lesson familiarize yourself with it first in order to lend additional support.Be honest. If you don't know something, say so. As a coach your faculty will look to you as an expert. There have been several times throughout my career that I've said, "I don't know that tool/concept/strategy but let me see what I can find out about it."If you are a former classroom teacher, remind people. Many …

Professional Growth is a Good Thing...Unless You are in Education

Ominous title? It is. But it's something that has been on my mind lately.

I've spent my entire career in education in the Chicago Public School system. I spent the first 15 years as a fourth grade teacher and the next 10 as an instructional technology coach. I've achieved and grown tremendously during that time. When I began in the classroom it was tough- here I was fresh out of school dealing with a challenging population in the inner city. As is normal for any teacher there were great days and not-so-great days. Early on I knew if I was going to stay in that learning space I needed to find ways to not only challenge myself but to engage my students as well. I attended graduate school early in my career because the experience came along at the right time. I wrote multiple grants to purchase materials that would interest my students (and me). I did action research on my practice. I gained National Board certification. I learned as much as I could about my craft.

When the o…

Media Literacy in Education

My Media Literacy presentation for ISTE 18's Ed Tech Coaches Playground

Get on it: Podcasts, Passwords and Online Life

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Get on it: Podcasts, Passwords and Online Life


One of the university courses I designed and teach is on social media. A topic, you can imagine with many subsets. As an instructor I’m always looking for new content that is relevant not only to my students' role as educators but as adults that use social media in both their personal and professional lives. Throughout my research I’ve come across many valuable resources that can help us stay as safe and informed as we can about our digital existence. After all, if we want our students to follow our lead we need to model that behavior for them. Following are some of my favorites finds.
Get Informed (articles that relate to privacy and ad targeting)Pixels and Ad Targeting: https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-facebook-tracks-you-even-when-youre-not-on-facebook/

Facebook Isn’t Recording your Conversations, But It May as Well Be
https://lifehacker.com/facebook-isn-t-recording-your-conversations-but-it-may-1820193946

Regulating Facebo…

5th Grade HyperDoc on Human Rights

One of our 5th grade teachers is beginning a novel study on I am Malala. She wanted a way to introduce the Declaration of Human Rights to her students. Following is a HyperDoc I created to help her kick off the unit.