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Monday, July 19, 2010

Readings/Watchings/Listenings/Doings: Textbooks No Longer Sufficient

Textbooks are not enough anymore . . .
California has tried to address these needs using eBooks to replace their paper textbooks. but that isn't enough.

Our students are in the Multimedia Generation. These Millennials spend most of their waking hours Reading, Watching, Listening to, and Doing multimedia. This means that their brains are wired to acquire and assimilate information through multiple forms of media but most of our teachers still use paper textbooks.

Sooooo, how do we provide recent and relevant materials for our classes? Our answer is the RWLD. RWLD's provide the Readings, Watchings, Listenings and Doings that will inform your students in their field of study. 

Readings: Just because you aren't reading form a textbook, it doesn't mean that your students won't be reading. It means that you will be able to direct them towards recent and relevant readings in the form of articles, books and reliable websites. Just because I list the resources on the web, it doesn't mean that I don't assign books to them to read. In my last Emerging Instructional Technologies course I had them read Disrupting Class by Christensen, Johnson and Horn  and Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools by Solomon and Schrum.(some of these were even available on Kindle.)

Watchings: These are the videos or vlogs that you want them to watch. These may be videos that are already available for you to use, or they might be videos or screencasts that you have made to help educate your students. While YouTube is probably the most popular  resource for ready-made videos , there are many other resources that you can access. 
Here are some of the educational resources:
Listenings: Some of your resources will be auditory. These will primarily be podcasts. There is a huge selection of podcast resources online.  The most complete directory of podcasts is iTunes. It doesn't matter if you are a Mac or Window or Linex user. iTunes is available on all of these platforms so you should be able to find them and use them.
My dream for using the Listenings is that my auditory-learning students will be able to download them to their MP3 players and then listen to them as they walk to school or workout. The only problem that I have had is that not all of my students knew how to download sound files to their players.  You don't necessarily know hwo to do that if you are a Digital Native. =-)   It may require you showing them or creating a screencast to instruct them in how to download these file.
Doings: These are the activities that your students will do. I have my students complete surveys, do online searches, create projects, or whatever. This is the section that filles the things that don't fit the other sections. 


Here are some successful RWLDs that we have created:
Additional notes:
  1.  Notice that I create my RWLDs using a blog. This is the easiest way to get things on the web. Another advantage is that a blog will provide an easy RSS feed for students to capture their assignments on their PLN. Finally, it is even possible to feed the RWLD blog into their YouTube accounts - that means no excuses!!!!
  2. Include an image on each of the postings. Be careful about copyright - you are the model. You may find what you need using the Creative Commons selections at Flickr.com 
  3. These resources don't need to be ONLY teacher-found resources. I have opened up the RWLD to the students so that when they were taking over the class for a day, they could add their own RWLD resources.
  4. BETTER YET, using social bookmarking and the appropriate gadgets/widgets will allow the students to use Diigo or Delicious to tag the resources and they will then appear on the RWLD.
  5. Another advantage to putting your RWLD in a blog is that you can reuse your postings. You just need to reset your postings to appear on scheduled dates at the beginning of the semester.
We have been using RWLDs for a couple of years now and they have been quite successful. What do you think?  Will they be useful to you?
photo: flickr.com/wohnai

3 comments:

  1. To quote my Sunday Morning preachers, Can I get a Witness?!! I agree a thousand percent. Students are not going to be engaged with a single intake path. I do not think this means reading is going to become obsolete, as many of my peers do, but I think it is going to take on a significantly different look in the days to come.

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  2. I'm not only a supporter of this idea, I'm also a client. I was a member of the most recent Summer Emerging Instructional Technologies class. While this was a different concept initially, it felt very comfortable and natural as a student, and the idea seems very embraceable as a teacher. The only hurdle to overcome is making sure the technology is available to every student.

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  3. Dr. Z.
    Thank for the additional resources to help reach my students in ways they will respond to and be willing to interact with.\

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