Hoping to Have Some Success with Non-Traditional Texts: A Response to Kacee’s “Success with Non-Traditional Texts”
As I was reading Kacee’s posts, I realized that I believe Kacee will make an excellent teacher in the classroom. She is extremely innovative and is willing to do research to verify the activities she plans to implement in the classroom. I wish I had this drive that she has 100% of the time. I hate to say it, but I think over the last five years of teaching I have gotten lazy. I started off just like Kacee, and slowly, with all the extra curricular activities I take part in, in and out of teaching at school, I must have lost my way. MAT students like Kacee and Hannah make me push myself to be a more innovative and invested teacher.
Kacee references several interesting articles in her post, and I took the time to visit each of the articles as well as the other links that she tagged as helpful and interesting sources.
Kacee writes , “I came across this pretty cool blog that breaks down apps by subject. A fairly practical list, it includes a variety of categories and price points. If we all know that kids are using their phones, can’t we use it for their benefit (and ours)? If Reading Rainbow has an app, shouldn’t we just accept technology as part of the curriculum? I think successful educators embrace the tools available. And apps are available. This blog, Apps in Education (linked above), offers twenty applicable apps for the English classroom. These twenty have been reviewed for usefulness and list the cost associated with each. Half of the apps reviewed are free, and the remaining ones range from $0.99 to $3.99. Additionally, a list of nearly 80 unreviewed apps are listed. WOW! And that is just for English!”
I have to admit that I didn’t even think about this. Apps are obviously going to be the way of the future. Soon, students will have their textbooks on Apps. I mean I already get mine through the Kindle App or Itunes Library, who is to say that there will not be an App for 9th grade textbooks or 10th grade textbooks… That would seem to be a fairly cheap textbook, and I wonder where the schools would get the money for such things…
Another interesting thing that Kacee posted was in regards to the MLV project. Kacee states, “One of the projects I was part of during this semester analyzed product packaging and its intended message. I ran across “Empowering Children as Critics and Composers of Multimodal Texts” after we completed the project bookmarked it as a site for reference. It is a study of cereal in the classroom. Basically, fifth grade students analyzed packaging and advertising of a product and created skits, ads, and PowerPoints to market the product themselves. I mention this article because the study was with FIFTH GRADERS. If they can critically engage with cereal, high schoolers should be able to do even more. I think that introducing students to multimodal texts earlier in the academic lives could encourage them to engage more critically in the future. The take away for me is that students need to be consumer AND producers of their language: multimodal texts.”
I think that this interesting because the article and Kacee state that the students analyze and engage with cereal boxes, but they were only “FIFTH GRADERS!” I agree with Kacee! There is absolutely no reason that high school students should not be able to do more than this. I mean when I think about the fact that I am a graduate student analyzing something like this for the first time… What does that say? I think it says that teachers are not doing their jobs, as a whole that is. We need to quit focusing so much on getting students to simply “pass the test” and move to something where they can learn the skills and have fun doing it at the same time. I am not saying that we will not meet resistance…
There will always be people who are skeptical and unwilling to change, but I agree with Kacee, “… technology isn’t going away. The Internet is a great resource for teachers AND students if we teach everyone to use it responsibly.” This is important! Technology is only increasing and the amount of information and ease of access to that information is only improving. We need to teach students and other teachers how to use it.