Structure

Locating Digital Resources

There are four modules in the series, each focusing on a different avenue for locating classroom resources online. Each module is linked to one of the four strands in Language in the Ontario Curriculum 1-8, as indicated below:

Online resource source Language Strand
Educational Blogs Media Literacy
Ministry of Education Resources & Websites for Teachers Reading
Social Media Platforms Writing
Audio Resources Oral Communication

Teacher candidates begin each module by learning about the use of this online source in teaching and exploring the basic principles of the related curriculum strand. They then are given some reputable links to general sites within the category and challenged to find a specific resource to inform their classroom practice in the given language strand.

Critiquing & Analyzing

The next step is for the teacher candidate to analyze the resource critically, connect it to the Ontario Curriculum, and suggest its classroom use. The critiques are based on three questions, referred to as the 3 Ws.

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Critiques are uploaded to a Forum on the class LMS site. In the following in-person class, students meet in small groups, led by a designated Literacy Leader. They participate in a Professional Learning Conversation where the resources are shared, and common themes discussed.

Organizing for Storage & Retrieval

Teacher candidates become familiar with a variety of digital curation/bookmarking tools and are required to select one that best suits their personal preferences. Some tools are very text-heavy, while others are more visual in nature. They must bookmark and tag at least ten sources for language arts by the end of the course, and meet with the instructor to discuss their collection.

The most popular digital curation tool has been Diigo, with others including Pinterest, Padlet, and Google Keep.

Classroom Application

The Explore Resources modules are completed early in the course so that teacher candidates have the tools to apply their curation skills to larger assignments. In one task, small groups locate a lesson plan online and adapt it to the Ontario context, adding a social justice component. The final assignment is a Consolidation Task in which each student selects a focus question to explore, with the intention of linking at least two language arts strands. They use their curation skills to locate three online resources to address the focus question, and describe how they would create lessons from the resources to fit their teaching context. An example would be three resources based on the focus question “How can students demonstrate their knowledge through podcasting?”

The activities would in this case link the strands of Oral Communication and Reading.

 

More details can be found in the course syllabus on this site.

License

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The Connected Educator by Ruth McQuirter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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