Posted by: shineonali | December 4, 2010

Entering Course Four at Last

I haven’t blogged for quite a while.  I was so excited about the visual literacy class.  I had my students using Presentation Zen concepts to share their understanding of character, and then we started using Flip cameras to record our reading buddies, international day, and our terrariums.  It was a big adjustment for me, opening up to visual literacy, and seeing it as more of a discipline and less of an “extra”.

Perhaps because the excitement of using new tools and learning new ideas with my students continued well past the end of Course 3, I haven’t really gotten my head into Course 4.  But as I reread the essential question

Whose job is it to teach the TAIL standards and how do we ensure that they are being met in an integrated model?

I realized, I’ve already been thinking about this.  Why did I jump right in with visual literacy (which is addressed in several places in the TAIL standards), if not because I believe it is every teacher’s responsibility to embed TAIL standards into their curriculum?  Particularly for “core” teachers, we can’t ignore 21st century literacy.  (Not to disregard specialist teachers!  There are many fabulous ways that an art teacher, for example, could embed the standards.)  If our aim in schools is to foster the development of global citizens, then they need to be literate in ways that go beyond the traditional.  And I don’t really worry about these standards being seen as a burden.  (I know it’s a common concern.  We already have so much to teach, and now there’s more?)  I have never had any difficulty when we’ve worked on developing units or lessons for COETAIL classes.  These are things that we are pretty much teaching anyway, if we are trying to embed technology and information literacy into our program.

How we ensure that they are all being met in an integrated model…that’s another story.  It does concern me now that we are somewhat “hit and miss” with our approach to the standards now.  A number are embedded throughout our curriculum in Grade 5 as part of our blogging projects, for example.  However, sitting down and really analyzing the standards–figuring out which ones are being taught extensively and which are not being touched on at all…that’s not happening.  I think it will help as we begin to use curriculum mapping.  Then we can use technology to identify the missing areas more easily.

Now that I’m back into my blog…I look forward to thinking more about this!  We have been introducing online reading to our students lately, so I’ll have some thoughts to share on that as well.

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