Quick Byte: Seedlings Wraps Up Another Great Season

Awww....summer is upon us and it is time to relax and catch up. We each just finished listening to Seedlings @Bit By Bit podcast  “Wrap-Up” Show for the Season 3!  We loved hearing that Bob is having lunch and learning with his kids. You can read the Let’s Have Lunch! post here.  He also posted a helpful TED outline complete with links and summaries.
One of the underlying themes that stood out in this podcast is empowering students.  It ties back to our TEDx Redmond talks post.  This all relates to social justice, students taking learning into their own hands, and students doing amazing things with topics of relevance to them like bullying, etc.  It's powerful stuff!

Another concept that caught our attention is how quickly learning can spread when the right apps/tools are placed in the hands of students!  Hmmm... it sounds simple.  Could it be possible that we've got it turned around in part?  We're trying to educate the teachers how to use the tools, but they don't spread them at the same rapid rate and in the same way the students do.  We shouldn't stop educating ourselves as teachers, but there seems to be something to empowering our students to discover the apps/tools in ways that are relevant to their lives and learning.  We've seen evidence of this in our own students and teaching.
Day 251- Loose Tooth!!! by Jinx!, on Flickr
Quick Byte

As always, these are just a few of the interesting take-aways we gleaned from the podcast.  Seedlings, thanks for sharing, and congratulations on three seasons!

*This is one Quick Byte briefly highlighting podcasts, sites, etc. of interest.  More are on the way.

Co-post KK and CA


Illuminated Text and Kinetic Typography Bring Reading Alive

CLICK HERE ON THIS LINK. (Click here to watch the PowerPoint version.)  You won’t regret it! What you just watched (or should watch) is an illuminated text depiction by Jenny Lee of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, A Cat in the Rain.  Illuminated text is also sometimes referred to as kinetic typography.

There’s more where this came from. Watch THIS illuminated text using one of my favorite poets, e.e. cummins. Now, for the kicker.  Middle and high school students are making illuminated texts such as these.  Think of all the learning involved!  What a great alternative to demonstrate comprehension of a text.

Want to learn more?  The site AwaytoTeach is where to start.  It has examples, lesson plans, forums, and more.  Digital IS NWP National Writing Project has more examples and discussion as well.  Plus, it's a wonderful site to explore.

Every now and then, I find myself taken back to my roots as an English major, drawn to the classics.  The sites AwaytoTeach and Digital IS NWP National Writing Project  took me back, and I’m glad they did in a way that adds a simple twist to the greats!  Illuminated text such as these also connect to the quick and effective word clouds in my previous post.  I can see using this concept in many different content areas.  How could you use it?

Here is one called Language I show in one of my university classes when discussing standard English. Take a look at Typolution; the idea of raining punctuation captivates me-- who wouldn't want to catch an exclamation mark or splash in a comma? Partners could watch and describe it as part of a language development activity.  Below is a a typography based on a classic, Who's on First.  It made me think it would be fun for ELLs to create one of these based on a Jazz Chant.

“This is crazy awesome,” she said. “Go explore more!”