The Connected Educator

The Connected Educator

a resource for Junior/Intermediate Teacher Candidates

Ruth McQuirter

The Connected Educator

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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

Introduction

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This eCampusOntario resource consists of a series of four modules intended to help beginning teachers locate and curate digital resources for use in the Language Arts classroom. The modules are part of a 36-hour Year One course in Language Arts for preservice teachers in the Junior/Intermediate (grades 4-10) Division.

Housed on the University LMS, the “Explore Resources” activities are completed independently in the hybrid course. Although specific connections are made to the four strands of Language Arts, the basic structure of the resource curation modules could easily be applied to other content areas. Moreover, the skills in digital curation acquired by the teacher candidates are applicable to resource location in all subject areas.

Rationale:

Digital resource curation is a vital skill for 21st Century classroom teachersJacobs, H. (2014). Leading the new literacies. Bloomington, IN: Solutions Tree Press.. While beginning teachers are adept at using the Internet for basic Google searches and social media, they are often unaware of the wealth of resources available online to assist them in lesson design and instruction. Not only do they need practice in locating resources efficiently, they also require skills in critically assessing materials, connecting them to mandated curriculum outcomes and classroom needs, and storing them for retrieval in the future. Ungerer (2016) describes digital curation as “an active process whereby content or artifacts or both are purposely selected to be preserved for future access”Ungerer, L. (2016). Digital curation as a core competency in current learning and literacy: A higher education perspective. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5), 1-25. p.6.

Contact Information:

Questions about this resource can be directed to:

Ruth McQuirter, Ed.D.
Professor, Faculty of Education,
Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario
rmcquirter@brocku.ca

Structure

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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.

Click on the “+” icons below for more information.

An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/prolearncon/?p=93#h5p-5

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.

Key Resources

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Course Material

Course Syllabus (Fall 2021)

Q-Matrix Chart

Curriculum Documents

Ontario Curriculum. Language 1-8

Growing Success

Secondary English

Think Literacy

Curriculum Documents – general

Popular Topics in Education

Guide to Effective Instruction 4-6: Foundations

Guide to Effective Instruction: Planning and Classroom Management

Guide to Effective Instruction – Assessment

Guide to Effective Instruction – Media Literacy

Guide to Effective Instruction – Oral Language

Guide to Effective Instruction – Reading

Guide to Effective Instruction – Writing

Educational Blogs

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Introduction

Read the information on the Media Literacy Strand (pp. 13-14 in the hard copy) of the Ontario Curriculum Language.

What are the essential principles provided in this passage regarding the teaching of media studies?

View the YouTube video “What is a Blog?

One or more interactive elements has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view them online here: https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/prolearncon/?p=5#oembed-2

Explore some of the blog posts created by Canadian teachers.

Resource Critique

Search these popular educational blog sites (or the ones above) for a specific resource, strategy, or lesson on teaching Media Studies to students in the elementary grades (preferably grades 4-8).

Note: You are not reviewing the blog site; you are using it to find a resource for teaching the Media strand. Begin by finding the search icon on the Home page of the blog (a magnifying glass). Common Media search terms include the following: Media Literacy/Studies/Resources; Digital/Information Literacy; Social Media; Fake News.

Post to the discussion forum with a brief description of this resource answering these questions: 3 Ws.

We’ve provided a form below for you to capture your responses to the above prompts. You can export your work when you are done.

Educational Blogs

An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/prolearncon/?p=5#h5p-1

Ministry of Education Resources & Websites for Teachers

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Introduction

Read the information on the Reading Strand (pp. 10-11 in hard copy) of the Ontario Curriculum Language.

What are the essential principles provided in this passage regarding the teaching of reading?

Exploring Resources

Peruse each resource listed below, remembering to click on the “information” icon for specific directions. In each case, look for specific resources that will help teachers to implement the Reading Strand of the Ontario Curriculum – Language.

Resource Critique

Choose one resource or idea that you explored above (not the entire website or platform, but a specific resource or idea within it). Consider how it could address a key principle in teaching reading or a specific curriculum expectation for Reading. Create a Forum post that answers the “3 Ws”.

We’ve provided a form below for you to capture your responses to the above prompts. You can export your work when you are done.

Ministry & Websites for Teachers

An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/prolearncon/?p=26#h5p-2

Social Media

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Introduction

Read the information on the Writing Strand (pp. 12-13 in hard copy) of the Ontario Curriculum Language.

What are the essential principles provided in this passage regarding the teaching of writing?

Read the sources below for information on social media outlets and how they pertain to teaching.

Exploring Resources

Use the sources below (or sources suggested in the articles above) as a starting point to find resources that will help teachers to implement the Writing Strand of the Ontario Curriculum – Language.

Resource Critique

Choose one specific resource or idea that you explored above. Consider how it could address a key principle in teaching writing or a specific curriculum expectation for Writing. Note: You are not reviewing The Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags or The IRC Pinterest Site; you are to critique a specific resource or idea for teaching writing that you found through one of the larger collections indicated above.

Create a Forum post that answers the “3 Ws”:

Social Media

An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/prolearncon/?p=28#h5p-3

Audio Resources

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Introduction

Read the information on the Oral Communication Strand (pp. 11-12 in hard copy) of the Ontario Curriculum Language.

What are the essential principles provided in this passage regarding the teaching of oral communication?

Exploring Resources

Use the sources below as a starting point to find resources that will help teachers to implement the Oral Communication Strand of the Ontario Curriculum – Language.

These sources contain numerous podcasts and PDFs that touch on educational issues. Your focus should be on finding a podcast or PDF that would support the teaching of oral communication. Remember: Oral language skills include both listening and speaking. Your selected resource may link more closely to one or the other.

Additional Resources:

Resource Critique

Choose one resource or idea that you explored above. Consider how it could address a key principle in teaching oral communication or a specific curriculum expectation for Oral Communication. Create a Forum post that answers the “3 Ws”:

Audio Resources

An interactive H5P element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/prolearncon/?p=30#h5p-4