Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Center for History and New Media
A check in at GMU's CHNM reveals some nice improvements and projects. The list of blogs offers much rich commentary on the state and future of digital history telling. Two exhibits: Hurricane Digital Memory Bank and the September 11 digital archive both offer new media takes on the stories - especially via Google Maps interfaces. World History Matters offers links to primary sources and this year is launching Women in Workd History, which includes primary sources, curicula modules, case studies, web reviews, and discussion forums.

Monday, February 27, 2006

NARA on Google Video
The National Archives and Google have posted the first of a library of videos from the national story. ArsTechnica has some release coverage; here's the actual press release. Included are 58 United Newsreel Motion Pictures from World War II.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Student Achievement in New Literacies for the 21st Century Middle School Journal
Following up on The Natives are Restless, we take another look at the way many educators now see the web and new media. William Kist, a professor of Curriculum and Instruction, documents what he dubs "New Media Classrooms". In these, teachers regularly use Macromedia Flash®, Powerpoint®, web design projects, etc. to engage and motivate students. They also use media old and new as a subject of learning - including classic film and advertising technique.

Kist's observations assure us that the unengaged become highly engaged in such classrooms and that enthusiasm for learning and cooperative work jumps.

What Kist does not do is provide any assurance that the topics of a traditional education in math, science, history, cultural literacy are improved for the average kid in such classrooms. We can assume that the student who changed from one in 4 days attendance to daily is better off; we can't jump to the conclusion that all are learning more in such a curriculum. (Alas, Kist's book, New Literacies In Action: Teaching And Learning In Multiple Media, veres into search-for-meaning type prose, and in the end muddles more than clarifies the article). Still, the conclusion, "Ultimately, a print-centric focus for student achievement in our schools may be holding some [my emphasis] of our adolescent readers and writers back from achieving to their utmost capabilities..." rings true enough.

In another Ed journal article, Toward a Theory of New Literacies Emerging From Internet and Other Information and Communication Technologies Leu et al. conclude, "It will be up to each of us to recognize the continually changing nature of literacy and to develop a rich understanding of these changes."

Do we indeed need to change the definition of literacy?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Natives are Restless N.E.C.C. '05 (video)
This initially hilarious, overall amazing, and occasionally thought provoking presentation was given to a group of teachers at the 2005 National Educational Computing Conference (Philadelphia). The first amazing thing is simply that you get to see if as if you were there:
NECC 2005 Webcast We're starting to see more of this, but one is still lucky to get slides from many conferences. Seing video of every presentation is truly a treat!

In The Natives Are Restless, actress and educator Deneen Frazier Bowen presented a fun characterization of students' views of their old teachers' disdain of technology. For those of us exposed to the net daily, it isn't deep, but it does remind of the battle on the front lines. Give it a view.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

State Standards Center for Performance Assessment
We mentioned yesterday the good folks at the Center for Performance Assessment (www.makingstandardswork.com). One cool thing on their site is this list of state standards.

I say "cool", but one peek at Ohio's standards (especially Social Studies) leaves me more than cold. It's sure clear that outcome-based learning has come and gone and given way to process-based micro-guidance!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Is Educational Research on the Decline? Hsieh, et al.
The title says it all, and the research says that the answer is 'Yes'. In this survey of 4 educational psychology journals in 1983 and from 1995 to 2004, the authors look at educational experiments, design, and reporting as it has changed over the years.

If you'd like the Cliff Notes summary, Douglas Reeves of the Center for Performance Assessment gives an overview and commentary in the latest weekly from Edexcellence.org: The mad, mad world of education research. I'll leave the analysis and debate over the details to our readers. However, the finding backs up something I've noticed.

In my own research, it seems rather difficult to find good studies on the effects of new media on education. Given the tremendous volume of education journals published each year, you'd think a good bit of it these days would look at empirical evidence of new media's success and inadequacies. Indeed, there are a number of journals devoted to just that topic. Yet hard looks at student results are few.

I don't think that will hinder media development that much; hence our emphasis on open source cooperation and market judgment of the results. Yet it's somehow comforting to know that if new media isn't getting tough scrutiny in the academy, neither are treatments/products/methods delivered by other means.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Olympic Interactives United States Olympic Committee
Ready for the Olympics? The US Olympic Team site has interactives and animations on all the sports. A timeline of the Winter Olympic Games history is there, as are dynamic maps of the torch relay, Turin, and some of the events sites.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Explore the Necropolis Discovery Channel :: First Emperor
A simple little interactive. There is also a fun quiz on the traits of three emperors.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Got History? Effective Practices Ed.gov / PAEC: Digital Workshops /
If you're working on a History Interactive, you are a History teacher. This online seminar works through some effective techniques. Includes videos, video supplementary guides, and additional materials for teachers and principal.