Today is the 3rd day of the LMS Institue, Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century, a graduate-level course sponsoredby the SC Department of Education and offered through the School of Library and Information Science, U.S.C. The participants have spent time with Frank Baker (www.frankwbaker.com) exploring media literacy; Barry Britt (www.soundzabound.com) exploring digital copyright and podcasts; Cathy Nelson, library media specialist in Horry County (read Cathy’s blog, Techno Tuesday http://technotuesday.edublogs.org/) and seeing first-hand such Web 2.0 tools as wikis, blogs, RSS readers, ning, and Skype.
Course participants include classroom teachers, library media specialists, district library supervisors, and a district technology director. Our discussions have been interesting and eye-opening because we are seeing each other’s jobs from others’ perspectives and learning new terms, such as ICTs (Information Communication Technologies). The big question then became how do ICTs fit with our state content standards.
Exploring the content standards, the new Standards for 21st Century Learners (http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslproftools/learningstandards/standards.cfm), the revised NETS – Students (http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=NETS), class participants discovered that our state content standards do not have a lot of ICTs embedded. The group was asked to suggest ways of integrating ICTs into the classroom curriuculum.
One outcome of this class will be a revised ICT Scope and Sequence which will scaffold student learning from Kindergarten to 12th grade. When should ICTs be introduced to our students, in what grades should the ICTs be reinforced, and when should we expect to see students demonstrate mastery of these skills. Using I for introduce, R for reinforce, and IU for independent use, this ICT Scope and Sequence can serve as a guide for teachers, media specialists, and others to ensure we are giving our students the skills to be successful in the 21st Century. The revised ICT Scope and Sequence will be published by mid-August and available online at http://martha.alewine.googlepages.com/thesimplefour.
The final project is a collaboratively planned lesson that integrates ICTs. The group will share their lessons at the final class and then we’ll make these lessons available online for other teachers and library media specialists to use. We will also use these lessons as examples for the committees working on the SC Department of Education’s curriculum development initiative.
Digital networking is becoming more and more important for professional connections and for instructional. One of the best things is the face-to-face networking that takes place during these LMS Institute courses. Connecting with colleagues across the state is a long-lasting added benefit of these courses and one that will evolve into a digital netwrork.