Thursday, August 13, 2009

What Teachers (and Students) Should Know About Facebook Privacy Settings

Did you know that a Google search can pull up photos you post to Facebook? Did you know that college admissions offices are now using services like Pipl to see what potential candidates are posting to social networking sites? Below are links to number of blog posts and websites that go into more detail about what both teachers and students should know when it comes to Facebook's privacy settings. Are you protecting yourself, your images, and your content? You should be.
  • Beyond Social Networking: Building Toward Learning Communities -- THE Journal

    Web 2.0 tools have critically elevated the social networking activity and skills of individuals. Not only are young people highly active in social networks, but older individuals are also showing a huge increase in their use of these tools. The attraction of older age groups is, of course, social connection and community building among professional and casual peers and friends.
  • FACEBOOK FAIL: How to Use Facebook Privacy Settings and Avoid Disaster

    The beauty of Facebook’s many features is that now you can choose what you show and to what type of people. By using friend lists and playing with your privacy settings, you can create different views for each segment of your life.
  • Langwitches » Teacher Code of Conduct… Revisited

    I am wondering if there is a necessity to create a guideline or code of conduct how teachers are to present themselves in their private online network places profiles? Does the administration at school or the district have the right (duty) to bring the subject up for discussion and in the end to make rules? Is it their business or not?
  • Facebook in the Classroom

    A good PDF resource for teachers on how to use Facebook with students.
  • Facebook Strategies For The Classroom

    This presentation explores the potential uses of Facebook for teaching and motivating collaboration between students. Issues of privacy and intellectual property will also be covered, as well as advantages and pitfalls of social networks.
  • Facebook Privacy for Teachers « Megan Golding

    I’m a Facebook user AND a teacher. Here’s how I locked down my profile so that I can have a social life and not worry that the world is watching over my shoulder.
  • 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

    All Facebook users should know this.

  • NetSmartz Workshop | Facebook

    A good place to start for talking with students and staff about privacy issues on social networking sites like Facebook.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Resources for Teaching The Kite Runner

I'll be teaching Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner for the first time this fall. To prepare, I've spent the last few days gathering resources and thinking about how I might frame this story when I present it to students. I teach a tenth grade World Literatures course, where students study fiction, non-fiction, and creative texts from the non-western world. As we read the various texts, we hone in on perspective - What perspective does the narrator represent/present? What perspective do we as readers from particular backgrounds and with particular experiences bring to a text? What perspective do other readers and writers offer on this text? So in thinking about how I might bring this theme into our reading of The Kite Runner, I'm considering presenting the students the basics of literary criticism to help frame the reading of the text.

I've taught students literary criticism basics in the past. We've discussed the foundations of historical, formalist, feminist/gender studies, psychoanalytical, and reader response theories as a type of lens that a reader might don to help understand the particulars of a text. By teaching literary criticism as a lens, I have found it also helps students understand some related literary tropes and devices. In the past, students have completed a WebQuest activity to help introduce the various theories.

The Kite Runner could prove fruitful for this type of study. However, I worry that using this type of frame might reduce the story to nothing more than its devices and context. I suppose this is the danger when teaching literary criticism in general. I'd love your thoughts and feedback on anything I should consider as I work on this curriculum unit.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the resources that I found online that might help others as they consider teaching this text.

  • My Lesson Plan Materials
    Using many of the sources listed below, I created the linked lesson plans above that I use with my tenth grade English students.
  • Discussion Materials from Bucks County
    Kite Runner was selected as one of the "One Book, One Bucks County" project. This document includes a wealth of resources listed by grade-level.
  • Teaching Materials from Literary Cavalcade
    This document contains an excerpt from the novel, background information, and follow-up activities, including a narrative based on an incident in the reader's childhood.
  • Historical Materials from Amnesty International
    I want to thank the Human Rights Education Program at Amnesty International USA for this comprehensive guide to The Kite Runner film. I think they have done a terrific service to the students, and I am grateful to them for bringing to light the nuances and many complexities of Afghan society and Afghan life via this guide.
  • My Pinterest Collection for Teaching The Kite Runner
    In an effort to keep a current collection of resources for teaching The Kite Runner, I am using this Pinterest board to continually curate a contemporary collection of resources.
  • Study Guide for the Historical Background of The Kite Runner
    As the table of contents shows, this Study Guide is organized into sections corresponding to the requirements any teacher might consider - pre-, during and post-reading activities. One of the virtues of this novel is that it unequivocally places the reader inside the narrator's experience of the Pastun culture. At the same time, this quality may create barriers for younger readers. This guide includes writing and reading activities to familiarize students with the background, history, and culture of Afghanistan.
  • The Kite Runner Connects the English and History Classrooms
    "Promote Independent Thinking with The Kite Runner" is a curriculum unit that includes discussion questions and links to a WebQuests and unit plans.
  • Lessons shared on Teachers Pay Teachers
    Haven't used Teachers Pay Teachers before? Check it out! Registration is free. Teachers post lesson plans for just about anything you can think of, some for free, some for minimal cost. This is a link to all the lessons on the site for The Kite Runner.
  • The Kite Runner Summary at WikiSummaries
    Just found this. Apparently, WikiSummaries is similar to Sparknotes with chapter-by-chapter summaries.
  • "The Kite Runner" Banned In Afghanistan - CBS News
    The Afghan government banned the film more than a month ago because of a rape scene of a young boy and the ethnic tensions that the film highlights, said Din Mohammad Rashed Mubarez, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture. Shops selling the movie would be closed, he said.
  • Teacher Handouts for The Kite Runner
    A final assessment for reading The Kite Runner. Use the links on the left side of the page to also access the teacher's materials for teaching this book.
  • My Prezi to Introduce The Kite Runner
    This is the Prezi that I put together to introduce the historical background of The Kite Runner.  Here is the video version of my introduction.
UPDATED: Here are some more background resources and even more curriculum planning materials.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Today's Interesting Links

  • movingforward - Education Blogs by Discipline
    This is a place to list subject-specific, P-12-oriented blogs that are worth sharing with others. Only list really good ones, please!
  • TakingITGlobal - Organizations - Research Journalism Initiative
    The Research Journalism Initiative (RJI) helps American high school students relate personally to international conflict issues by bringing perspectives from regions of conflict directly into their classrooms. RJI is dedicated to developing new tools for students learning about global conflict...
  • By Sarah Fine -- Why I Left Teaching Behind -
    Four years later, the question I encounter is equally thorny: Why leave teaching? It's not just a question about how I'll pay my rent. Reformers have big plans to transform failing urban schools, and their work hinges on finding a way to keep strong teachers in the classroom. By throwing in the towel, I have become one more teacher abandoning her students.
  • Flickr: Creative Commons- Free Pictures
    This group is for sharing images to use in your work with a creative commons license
  • Flickriver: Most interesting photos from Creative Commons- Free Pictures pool
  • Looking for a Unique Gift for an Administrator? Give ‘em a PLN! | Nebraska Change Agent
    How exactly do you give a PLN to someone? Several suggestions have been made today, but the one you pick depends on your relationship with your administrator. Instead of signing up for a Twitter account for them I am going to offer to help them set up one up. I will have a profile picture of them ready to go and I will have some suggestions for their biography. I will also show them how to manage and share the information that they find valuable so they can become an asset to their PLN.
  • The LoTi Connection
    This year marks the 15th anniversary of the LoTi Framework. Since its inception in 1994, the LoTi Framework has been used as a statewide technology use survey, a district school improvement model, and a classroom walkthrough tool impacting thousands of schools nationally. Today, the LoTi project has grown beyond classroom technology use and has become synonymous with innovative teaching practices.
  • FRONTLINE: digital nation: blog/news: A chat with Obama's new Secretary of Education | PBS
    I knew that Duncan was a big believer in standardized assessments, but those didn't come up in our conversation. He came off as solidly on the side of those who think that schools need to move with kids instead of against them, and that means using the toys kids love--games and cellphones--to teach them, inside and outside the classroom walls.

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