Classroom cell phone use policy making: of the people, by the people

Well, here it is! I’ve finished creating a set of lesson plans to be used in the most advanced class that the ESL Program where I teach offers. I’m looking forward to taking them on a test drive when I return to the classroom in the fall. Given that I had problems over the course of the semester that led me to very nearly drop this class, I just want to take a moment to celebrate that I got this far:

                                               Credit: Giphy

Here’s an overview of what I’ve come up with for my final project of ECI832:

For those of you who are new to this project, here’s where I started.  I was thinking about Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship, specifically what he says about Digital Communication, Digital Etiquette, Digital Rights and Responsibilities. I wrote more about the connection to these elements that I saw my project having in an earlier post. I decided I wanted to do something about the issues other ESL instructors and I have with inappropriate cell phone use in our classrooms.  Of course phones and other devices can be put to great use when built into a lesson, but let’s face it, they can be major distractions, and can take away from the learning environment and in person social connection that develops in an intensive ESL program like mine.

I started out reading several articles on the topic of cell phone use in classrooms, the impact of distractions on learning, and how cell phone policies imposed from the top down don’t work well.  I gave links and summaries of a few of those articles in two blog posts, the one mentioned above as well as a later post.

As mentioned in my previous blog about this project, my objectives for this set of lessons are to:

  • Get students thinking about the pros and cons of smart phone use during class time and class break times
  • Introduce vocabulary related to classroom smart phone use
  • Have students work together to propose a set of guidelines for their own classroom smart phone use
  • Have communicative, integrated-skill lessons that students find engaging

It turned out that I had a lot more I wanted to do with this topic than I could fit into one class, and so I’ve ended up with lesson plans for three separate days spread out over a week: Day One’s lesson is 1 hour and 50 minutes; Day Two’s lesson is 1 hour and 25 minutes; Day Three’s lesson is a brief 50 minutes.

Here are brief screen cast videos showing the PowerPoint file I created for use with these three lessons:

Day One:

(here’s the Nomophobia Questionnaire, in case anyone’s interested in taking it)

Day Two:

Day Three:

In case anyone is interested in using/modifying this idea in their classrooms, here are the lesson plans for the three days. Before I leave you with those, I’ll sign off with a reminder to feel free to comment on what you’ve seen here or contact me directly. I also want to thank my classmates and my prof, Dr. Alec Couros, for a great learning experience this semester. I feel more in touch with the 21st Century now that I did before taking this class, and I’ll also have several new considerations regarding media literacy and digital citizenship when I return to teaching in September.

Thanks for reading!

Amy.

 

Day One’s Plan (1 hour and 50 minute lesson; 10-minute break after 55-minutes):

Slides 1-2 0 minutes Tell the class that you’d like to talk about cell phone use in the classroom, but to begin you’d like them to think about their cell phone habits in general.

Begin the PowerPoint presentation.

Slide 3 8 minutes Have students discuss the questions in small groups; elicit answers for whole class follow-up
Slide 4 2 minutes Introduce the vocab challenge

Divide the class into two teams: Team Phone and Team No Phone

Slide 5 5 minutes Show the words and say them each out loud once (students can repeat if they want)

Have students in Team Phone leave the room

20 minutes Students are working on the vocab challenge in teams
20 minutes Students from Team Phone return to the room.

Move desks to the sides of the room

Introduce and play the fly swatter game:

·         Have the 14 words written in large letters on the black/white board in advance

·         Have students in their teams line up down the centre of the room.

·         Hand the student first in line of each team a fly swatter

·         Loudly read out or act out a clue that indicates one of the words on the board.

·         The students holding the fly swatter need to consult their teams (if necessary) and then run up to the board to “swat” the word that corresponds to my clue.  The team member to swat the correct word first scores one point for her/his team.

Review each of the words, answering questions and eliciting sample sentences on request.

10-minute break
Slide 6 1 minutes Show the slide and say the word “nomophobia.” Ask students to guess what this word means.
Slide 7 2 minutes Show the slide and read the definition and sample sentence to the class.

Ask if anyone has heard of this term, or if they know of a similar term in English or in their language.

Slide 8 27 minutes Hand out the nomophobia questionnaire and ask students to fill it out.

Tell students to write a number from 1-7 beside each of the 20 questions, and then ask them to total up their scores.

Have them discuss the questions on Slide 8 with the student next to them.

Slide 9 5 minutes Have students think about the questions on Slide 9 for 1-2 minutes, and then have them share their answers with their partner.
Slides 10 and 11 10 minutes Go over Slide 10 with the students.  (Fill in the date on this slide in advance – the date when you’ll carry on to “Day Two” of this lesson).

Hand out the small pieces of paper for them to track the number of times they look at or use their phone during a 50-minute lesson.  Tell them to write a check mark for each time they look at their phone for an “on topic” (class related) reason, and an “x” each time they look at their phone for an “off topic” (not class related) reason.  (The teacher should distribute them at the start of a lesson and collect them at the end).

Show Slide 11 as an example of what we’ll do when we move on to Day Two.

Explain the homework assignment.

Thank them and dismiss for break/end of day.

Day Two’s Plan (1 hour 25-minute lesson):

Slide 12 0 minutes Introduce the topic of the lesson.
Slide 13 15 minutes Hand out their small papers with their tracking of their cell phone use. Give them a couple of minutes to calculate the average number of times they look at their phone for “on topic” and “off topic” reasons in a 50-minute lesson.

Poll the class with questions like “how many of you look at your phone for on topic reasons between 0-4 times in an average 50-minute lesson?”

Select the appropriate number of squares on the table on this slide. Using the “shading” feature (top bar, centre of the page), select the colour you want to use.  Continue this way until all students have told you how often they look at their phone for “on topic” and “off topic” reasons.

Slide 14 10 In pairs, have students read the chart and answer the questions on Slide 14 (keep slide 13 up, though).

Have a few students report their statements to the class, correcting grammar where appropriate.

Slide 15 5 minutes Have students discuss their answers to the questions on Slide 15 in pairs.
Slide 16 5 minutes Have students discuss their answers to the questions on Slide 16 in pairs.
Slide 17 20 minutes Have the pairs fill in the t-chart on Slide 17 (using their own paper).

Have a reporter from each pair report one point to the class and fill in the chart on the PowerPoint with notes from everyone.

Slide 18 1 minute Introduce the question for the next phase of the lesson.
Slide 19 10 minutes Have students work in pairs to fill in the mindmap.
15 minutes Have the pairs call out information from their mindmaps and compile it on a large paper (poster board); alternatively, students in pairs or groups could put their thoughts directly onto poster board that you then have them pin to the wall and share.
Slide 20 4 minutes Summarize the discussion and have students answer the question on Slide 20.

Day Three’s Plan (50-minute lesson):

Slide 21 0 minutes Introduce the topic of the lesson.
Slide 22 1 minute Review the discussion from the previous lesson.
Slide 23 27 minutes Have students look at Slide 23. Have them discuss their opinions with a partner.

Ask if anyone has another option to add to the list as an “other” way to have limited cell phone use in the time (for instance, only on one or two days of the week? Only for solo work, but never for group work?).

Have students discuss their opinions in pairs or small groups.

Ask students to vote!

Slide 24 (optional) 10 minutes, or longer as necessary. If the class is somewhat divided, have students give their reasons in support of their opinions in an informal debate.

If there is a strong division in the class, proceed to put students into groups that can debate this topic further (carry on with this stage at this time, or save it for another day’s lesson).

Slide 25 1 minute Determine if a debate needs to take place, and prepare for one if necessary.
Slides 26 and 27 10 minutes Show Slide 26 so students see what we’re aiming to accomplish.

Have students discuss the two questions/scenarios on Slide 27.

Have them share other ideas they come up with.

Have them vote, if necessary, and then finish filling out Slide 26.

Slide 28 1 minute Thank them!
follow-up Monitor how things play out!
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Developing lesson plans and materials for an in-depth conversation on student cell phone use

I’ve started creating a lesson plan and materials for this project, and I’d like to share how things are looking so far.  For those new to my project, I am aiming to create a lesson (or a series of lessons) that would get my adult ESL students reflecting on their own cell phone use – outside, but mostly inside the classroom. The objectives so far are to:

  • Get students thinking about the pros and cons of smart phone use during class time and class break times
  • Introduce vocabulary related to the topic
  • Have students work together to propose a student-created classroom cell phone policy for their class only (whether this means there are no guidelines at all, a few guidelines for time-restricted use, complete removal of cell phones during lesson time, or something else altogether)
  • Have a communicative, integrated-skill activity that students find engaging

I’ve decided to start off by focusing on our most advanced ESL class, but will also eventually modify the lesson so that it’s suitable for two intermediate levels as well.

So, for a first step, I’m going to have students begin by thinking about their cell phone habits in general, with questions such as,  “how much time do you spend using your phone in an average day?” I’ll then have them take the “Nomophobia Questionnaire,” mostly to spark interest in the topic and get them thinking about it. (Just to note, for the more advanced level classes, I’m considering getting them to read an article and/or watch a video on nomophobia as well, and there will likely be some writing that comes out of this set of lessons too.  I’m still working out how I’d integrate those components to the lesson, but I do want to end up with an integrated-skills set of activities.)

Students will be asked to discuss their results of the nomophobia questionnaire in small (3-4 student) groups, with focused questions such as:

  • Did your score surprise you? Why or why not?
  • Did any specific question(s) surprise you? Why?
  • Do you feel you need to change your cell phone habits or attitude? Why or why not?

From there, I’ll guide the class towards thinking about their classroom cell phone use specifically.  They’ll be asked to discuss these two questions in their groups:

  • How many times do you look at your phone in an average 50-minute class?
  • Of the times you use your phone in class, what percentage is on topic (class related use, such as looking for a translation to a word), and what percentage is off topic (not related to the class, such as checking a social media app or a message from a friend)?

Following that preliminary discussion, I’ll have the students look at a chart I’ve made, and I’ll explain that I’d like them to keep an approximate record of how many times they look at their phone during the next few classes so that we can fill it out at a later point.

How many times do you look at your cell phone during an average 50-minute class?

0-4 times 0-4 times 5-10 times 5-10 times 11-20 times 11-20 times Over 20 Over 20
Number of Students: On topic Off topic On topic Off topic On topic Off topic On topic Off topic
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
0-1

In the follow-up lesson, a few days (or a week) later, I will ask students to share how often they look at their phone during class, and would use “shading” on the graph to indicate how many students use their phones for on topic and off topic uses, and how often. As a class, we will practice chart-reading and making statements about the facts we see. This will be good practice of certain English grammar forms, such as the comparative and the superlative.  Discussing a graph interpretation is an indicator of an outcome our advanced-level students need to reach.

Students will once again be put into small groups and asked to discuss the following questions:

  • Do you sometimes get distracted from the class lesson because of things happening on your phone (such as receiving a message)?
  • Discuss what you feel happens to you when you are distracted by your phone during a class.
  • How do you feel when you see your classmates using their phones during a lesson?

The next set of discussion questions would get students thinking about how their cell phone use may or may not be influencing their English learning:

  • Of the time you spend on your phone, how much is in English?
  • In what ways can your cell phone help you improve your English?
  • Are there apps you use on your phone for learning or practicing English?

After discussing these questions, I’d have the groups each fill out the following chart:

Cell phone use in the ESL classroom
Advantages Disadvantages

Discussion would follow, of course, with some heated debate (I hope!).

This would lead to the next phase of the lesson (possibly on a third day – depending on how the teacher wishes to break things up) in which we’d begin to discuss our own ESL classroom and how we’d like cell phones to be incorporated into it.

My hope is that my lesson plans and materials will be of interest to my colleagues in the ESL Program, so that those of us who are interested can use them to open this discussion with our classes near the beginning of the term and therefore reduce the tension surrounding cell phone use in our classes that, to my understanding, is quite widespread.

That’s where I’m at for the moment. I’d love to get feedback from fellow students in my ECI832 class, or from anyone else “out there” who wishes to give it. 🙂

Staying focused on distraction

 

whole-class-texting.jpg

Here’s an update on my project.

The first job I set out to do for my major project was to see what the research says about the issue of cell phone distraction in (and out of) the classroom and the effect of multitasking on student success. I gave links to a few articles I’d found on this topic in my previous blog post; however, I’ve done some more digging around and have three more articles that I thought would be worth sharing.  Read on if you’re interested in this topic…

Trudy L. Hanson , Kristina Drumheller , Jessica Mallard , Connie McKee and Paula Schlegel set out to understand how college students spend their time, and published their findings in an article published in 2010 titled “Smart phones, Text Messaging, and Facebook: Competing Time Demands of Today’s College Students.” A three-page survey including a time-diary was administered to 294 students, and 24 students also participated in focus groups. Among several other findings, the authors found that college students spend far more time on communicating (instant messaging and using social media applications) than they spend on their courses outside of class time (surprise, surprise…). For instance, students spent an average of 11.91 hours a week studying, versus an average of 14.35 hours a week using their smart phones for text messaging alone. If, in 2010, students spent an average of 27.77 hours a week communicating on smart phones (this does not include playing video games or using smart phones for uses other than communication),what would that figure be now?

In their 2010 article, “Examining the Affects of Student Multitasking With Laptops During the Lecture,” James M. Kraushaar and David C. Novak analyzed self-reported data from 90 students and actual data (collected by means of the use of spyware installed on laptops) from 41 students to examine the different types of software activity done by students during class, categorize these activities into two types: distractive (not related to the lesson) and productive (related to the lesson), and develop a quantifiable metrics to measure the impact on academic performance that these different types of lap top software use create. They discuss how cognitive overload can occur when students are multitasking, resulting in a diminished ability to create short-term memory. Their results show that students use lap tops for more distractive rather than productive applications; furthermore, they identified an inverse relationship between distractive software activities and learning performance. They also found that students underreported their use of instant messaging and other distractive software activities. In short, multitasking (with lap tops, but we can imagine this applying to phones as well) does has a negative effect on students learning abilities… at least according to this study.

Brian P.cBaile and Joseph A Konstan examined the success of building attention-aware systems on mitigating the effects of interruptions in their paper, “On the need for attention-aware systems: Measuring effects of interruption on task performance, error rate, and affective state (2006). Participants in this study were given a primary task to complete and a periphery task (the “interruption”) approximately half way through the time span of the primary task. They found that “when peripheral tasks interrupt the execution of primary tasks, users require from 3% to 27% more time to complete the tasks, commit twice the number of errors across tasks, experience from 31% to 106% more annoyance, and experience twice the increase in anxiety than when those same peripheral tasks are presented at the boundary between primary tasks” (685). The study suggests that introducing periphery tasks or information (“interruptions”) at a delayed time, such as at “boundaries during task execution” (706), has the effect of reducing the negative consequences of such interruptions on the task performance, error rate, and affective state.  In other words, having your phone on “do not disturb” and only checking it during breaks between lessons would have a positive effect on your work and on your affective state, according to this study.

For those of you who’d like to read more:

Baile, Brian P. &  Konstan, Joseph A.(2006). On the need for attention-aware systems: Measuring effects of interruption on task performance, error rate, and affective state. Computers in Human Behavior 22, 685–708.

Kraushaar, J. M., & Novak, D. C. (2010). Examining the affects of student multitasking with laptops during the lecture. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(2), 241-251.

Trudy L. Hanson , Kristina Drumheller , Jessica Mallard , Connie McKee & Paula Schlegel (2010) Cell Phones, Text Messaging, and Facebook: Competing Time Demands of Today’s College Students, College Teaching, 59:1, 23-30, DOI: 10.1080/87567555.2010.489078

I’ve also begun thinking about the materials I plan to create for ESL teachers to use for engaging their classes in discussion around cell phone use in the classroom. With permission from a colleague and a signed waiver from her students, I was able to snap some great photos and videos of ESL students both on their phones and actively engaged in conversation.  I plan to incorporate these into a presentation tool (perhaps a video or a screencast) that will be part of the materials package I’m developing.

Anyone with comments or suggestions, please don’t be shy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A new direction, towards less distraction…

After our class last week, and after writing my blog post responding to our readings, I had an “aha!” moment when I realized that my idea for my major project was indeed not going to help me learn as much about digital citizenship and media literacies as I’d signed up to learn about through this course. I’d originally set out to look at different online tools/apps that instructors can use to give more in-depth feedback on student writing and speaking assessments (something that would be extremely useful to me as an ESL instructor). I figured that just using digital tools would increase my media literacy, if not my students’, and that simply by virtue of these tools being used for communicating with students, the project was “relevant enough” to our course focus in ECI 832.

However, while blogging last week about my frustrations regarding cell phone use in my classroom, I realized that I have a fairly serious interest in understanding and addressing the situation, and it dawned on me that an investigation into it would be a far more apropos use of my time for this course. So, here I am, nearly half way through the semester, starting all over again with a completely different project idea: to research the (perceived) issue of cell phone distraction in classrooms, and to come up with materials to support instructors who want to address this issue within the ESL Program in which I teach.

student using cell phone
photo credit: compfight

I want to make it clear that I understand that there can be a huge value to integrating cell phones and other electronic devices into classroom activities. I do not shy away from using technology at all, but what I’m thinking about for this project is the negative side of the “double-edged sword,” as I’ve heard cell phone use by students referred to.

So, what is the negative side of student cell phone use in and around the classroom?

Here’s a mind-map I made to organize my own observations/hypotheses:

mind-map-of-cell-phone-use1.jpg

What does the research say?

I’ve started doing research into the question of cell phone distraction in classrooms, and I’ve found several interesting reads. Here’s a short summary of a few of the many articles out there on this topic, in case anyone else is interested in further reading on it:

Dial D for Distraction: The Making and Breaking ofCell Phone Policies in the College Classroom by Michael J. Berry & Aubrey Westfall  (can also be found via ERIC)

An investigation into the usefulness of different methods for reducing distraction due to technological devices, with one conclusion that top-down policies on device use are the least effective means of dealing with the problem.

Why Aren’t They Paying Attention to Me? Strategies for Preventing Distraction in a 1:1 Learning Environment  by Jennifer T. Tagsold (can also be found via ERIC)

This paper sets out to explore strategies teachers can use to prevent distraction from electronic devices, primarily laptops.

Taming the Chaos by Doug Johnson

This is a brief but informative look at how several ways to create more positive than negative consequences of cell phone use in classrooms (K-12).

Exploring Factors that Influence Technology-Based Distractions in Bring Your Own Device Classroomsby Robin Kay, Daniel Benzimra and Jia Li (can also be found via ERIC)

A look at K-12 BYOD classroom scenarios to understand more about student perceptions of the risk of distraction from their devices. One conclusion is that these students found that teacher or school-imposed restrictions on device use were the most effective way of dealing with the problem of distraction.

Clearly there are different opinions on how to treat cell phones (and other tech devices) in the classroom, yet what is certain is that the issue of distraction is real and is not likely to go away any time soon (well, ever). So…

What am I going to do about it?

What I now have in mind for my project is to create is a set of lesson plans with supporting materials for three or four or levels/classes in my ESL program, ranging from intermediate to advanced-level. In these lessons, instructors would engage their students in a discussion of their perceptions of cell phone use in the classroom. As I see it now, I’d have the lesson follow the following steps:

  1. begin with a mind-mapping exercise of the “advantages” and “disadvantages” of cell phone use inside and outside of the classroom
  2. followed by a presentation of key vocabulary terms related to the issue and appropriate for each level (ex. distraction, interruption, respect/disrespect, time-management, addiction, guidelines)
  3. the viewing of a presentation tool (possibly a video) on this topic that I will create on the topic (likely focusing only on in-class and break-time cell phone distraction)
  4. concluding with a class-created (not teacher-created!) set of guidelines for classroom cell phone use that would include a plan for teacher interventions and a set of consequences for those who do not follow the guidelines

Instructors would be able to pick and choose, and in some cases modify, these materials to suit their own style or preferences for dealing with the issue.

What would Ribble say?

I’ve been asked to explain how my project addresses any of the points made in Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship.

Let me start by saying that I’m in a different situation from most of my classmates in ECI 832; I teach adults (well, mostly young adults – 18-21 year olds) English. I don’t have the obligation or the opportunities to delve into the issue of digital citizenship with my students, as we rigorously follow a theme-based textbook that covers several other interesting topics, but not this one. However, I feel that by creating these lesson plans, I’d be helping instructors engage their students in several of the learning points that Ribble outlines.

Specifically, I see that the following three points all deal with the issue of appropriate use of digital tools and are therefore relevant to my project: Digital Communication, Digital Etiquette, Digital Rights and Responsibilities.

In the point on Digital Communication, Ribble points out that “[u]nfortunately, many users have not been taught how to make appropriate decisions when faced with so many different digital communication options.” I can see how making “appropriate decisions” is a key component of addressing the issue of cell phone use in language learners, both in and out of the classroom.

Under Digital Etiquette, Ribble tells us that “[o]ften rules and regulations are created or the technology is simply banned to stop inappropriate use. It is not enough to create rules and policy, we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society.” This reminded me of the article “Dial D for Distraction” (mentioned above).

Ribble also raises the issue of appropriacy in his point on Digital Rights and Responsibilities, where he writes that “[w]ith these rights also come responsibilities as well.  Users must help define how the technology is to be used in an appropriate manner.  In a digital society these two areas must work together for everyone to be productive.” Students have the right to bring cell phones into the classroom, and I do not feel it is my right to confiscate these devices from them (unless, possibly, in an exam situation). Therefore, what I need to ensure is that they understand the responsibility they have in using their phones in an appropriate way for a classroom setting.  After all, in order “for everyone to be productive,” we need to avoid having one student on a phone distract other students around her/him.

I believe my project would also address the issue of Digital Health and Wellness. I’ve been focusing largely on in-class cell phone use in this post, but not knowing where to draw the line with cell phone use outside of the classroom is also one of the issues I listed above. While I may only be their ESL teacher, I do get to know and care about my students well as I spend 15 hours a week with them. I’m interested in addressing the “psychological well-being” of my students  as much as is appropriate for me to do, and I feel that engaging them in a discussion of how to avoid cell phone use that decreases their time spent studying or simply speaking English is a way to address this point.

Finally!

This is one long post, and if you’ve reached this point in it, I want to thank you! If you have any comments or suggestions for my project, I’d be delighted to read them.

Prize offered to the first person who can spot my grammar mistake and use a digital tool to tell me how to fix it…

Like many others it seems, I’ve taken a long time to settle on an idea for my major project for this course.  After much thought, I’ve decided to do an investigation into different media available for giving students feedback on their writing and speaking assessments (just as a reminder, I’m an ESL instructor).

What I’ve done until now when marking student work is the old fashioned use of red ink on paper.  I’m often frustrated by being limited in the feedback I can give students when it’s so time consuming to write out all of my thoughts about their work. I end up relying on a set of abbreviations and symbols that our ESL Program has set up for use by all instructors. For instance, if a student makes a subject-verb agreement mistake in her/his writing, such as saying “she eat spaghetti,” I will use my trusty red pen to write “SV” above the verb in this sentence, and the student will know what kind of mistake she/he has made. Here’s what it looks like:

IMG_5248

This system works up to a point, but of course students will continue making the same sort of mistakes after repeatedly being told what they are. In fact, if I point to a mistake such as “she eat spaghetti” and simply raise my eyebrows at the student who made it, she/he will immediately say “she eats!”  Aha! I find that giving this interactive feedback, where the student must notice her/his mistake and tell me what the correct version is, far more useful than the one-way, static method of handing back a paper full of red ink, over which the student may wallow in shame, feel hopeless, or just want to toss the paper in the trash can on the way out the door. If I could only sit down with each student and talk them through their work, giving them both encouragement and constructive criticism, and making sure they understand what they need to do in order to improve… that would be great! However, given that I do most of my marking from home, often late at night and on weekends, and sometimes from the comfort of my bed (!), its just not feasible to have students with me at all times for this in-person feedback I’d love to give them… hmmm….. not going to happen.

I know that there are better options out there now that give students a richer understanding of their language learning progress. Doing a quick search online, I find that yes indeed, there are gazillions of tools out there to help teachers do what I’m talking about. In fact, like just about everything else you could think of, there is already so, so much “out there” online about this topic that it’s quite overwhelming.  Here is just one list, touted the “Ultimate List” of 65 – yes, you read that correctly – “65 digital tools and apps to support formative assessment practices.” Where to begin?  At the top, I guess! I plan to do a quick peek at many, if not all, of these tools before narrowing the list down to a few which I will explore in depth (and practice using).  Stay tuned to see which few I recommend, and why.

A question I’ve had to consider (thanks to Alec), is how this project is connected to media literacy. I believe that communicating with my students about their work via digital tools is a means of incorporating media literacy into my class, but here I ask for your input, classmates and the world at large: Are all online tools and apps we use for the various components of our life considered “media”?  What is the difference between the terms “technology” and “media” these days? I’d love to hear your own thoughts (not links to website) on the issue. What do you think?

And by the way, I’m offering a prize to the first person from our EC&I832 class who can spot my grammar mistake above (not the example of a student mistake) and use a digital tool, not just a comment to my blog page, to tell me how to correct it!