Teacher Blog

01 Oct

Canada is on the Verge of Legislating Itself into a Global Disadvantage

On September 29th, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. I have read several news reports in the last few days about Bill C-11, most of which were extremely positive. On the surface, it does seem like a fair Bill that will modernize copyright law. Unfortunately, largely because of the inclusion of digital lock provisions, it is a step back for education.

This summer, Neil Andersen and I wrote the following letter to send to our Members of Parliament. We have decided to make it available to raise awareness of this important issue:

28 Sep

Key Concept 3: #K12Media

Our special series of #K12Media chats will centre on Concept Three from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: Audiences negotiate meaning. Last week we discussed how media contribute to our understanding of reality. We explored the idea that the familiar spaces and places we inhabit influence how we perceive our reality, and what we feel we are able to do within it. We spoke about the construction of intersections, neighbourhoods, schools and even our virtual environments online. This week we’ll look at how WE negotiate meaning.

For a refresher on the concepts:


3. Audiences negotiate meaning

Media are constructions, and in turn, they can shape our reality, but there is more to the equation than that. We, as viewers, create impressions and opinions of the world around us based not only on the media we are exposed to, but also based on what we bring to the table. Our biases, personal experiences, socio-economic status, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and more all contribute to how we make meaning out of a media text. In order to truly understand how we negotiate meaning from a media text, we need to better understand the intersectionality that informs our individual perspectives. We also need to confront the fact that the meaning of a text is not fixed, but rather negotiated by the individual.

22 Sep

News and Media: All Media are Constructions

This is the first in a series of special posts co-written by Ms. Keats and Ms. Solomon to reflect on the #K12Media Twitter chats.

As we’ve transitioned into this special series of #K12Media chats, we thought we’d add a blog component in order to reflect on the lively and productive discussions. We also wanted a space to continue the conversation. Often an hour isn’t enough, or we think of something wonderful to add later. Monday’s discussion has refreshed and enriched our own understanding of both the key concept and the medium; it has us reconsidering the possibilities of the media studies units we’ve developed in the past.

We’re exhilarated about the opportunities that a good discussion can generate; there was much for us to process and reflect on following Monday night’s twitter chat about news media. We find ourselves still left with more questions than answers about news media (especially with regards to social media) and incorporating the study of news in the classroom. Not that that’s a bad thing...

21 Sep

Key Concept 2: #K12Media

Continuing in our special series of #K12Media chats, this week’s discussion will centre on Concept 2 from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: Media Construct Reality. As a recap, last week we discussed how media are constructions. We spoke specifically about the news media as constructions.

For a refresher on the concepts: 

Key Concept 2: The media construct reality

Media are constructions, and in turn, they can shape  our reality. We, as viewers, create impressions and opinions of the world around us based on the media we are exposed to. There are places we have never visited and people that we have never met that we feel we “know” at least superficially due to exposure to media. The carefully crafted messages within media will impact, shape, and potentially distort our reality.

16 Sep

Twitter Tips for Teachers

As I speak with my colleagues and friends about what I'm doing online, they often look confused when I mention Twitter. The idea is so simple as to seem silly. The fascination with the minutiae of others' daily lives should wear off rather quickly. One hundred and forty characters seems too short for any really meaningful interaction. Twitter turns that assumption on its head, and its users have taken it to a level that (to most people) was completely unexpected. Twitter is an amazing professional development/learning resource for teachers.

Twitter has allowed me to expand my network of colleagues and associates beyond my school and community, across the globe. I interact with people from countries I have never visited and listen to points-of-view I might not have considered. Many of the relationships initiated on Twitter have evolved into genuine friendships and professional relationships that extend far beyond that medium. I have Skyped, emailed, shared and collaborated with a much larger network of people who are just as passionate as I am about teaching and learning. 

If you're a teacher, student or involved in education and are new to Twitter, here are some things I have learned in the last few years: