August 2011: New Technologies and the English Classroom
Does your idea of literacy include reading Facebook status updates, tweets, or text messages? Do you use classroom blogs or wikis? Do your students write fanfiction or participate in online fan chat boards? If so, we want to hear how these 21st century technologies are impacting your instruction and student learning. Recent research reports tell us 73% of teens use social networking sites like Facebook, and 54% of teens text daily. Books are also going digital—teens can read e-books (e.g., Kindle), text novels (cell-phone novels), and digital hybrid “vooks” (like Patrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek, which combines traditional print-based reading with online viewing components). What do you make of these technological changes in literacy? How are they impacting how we read and write? Tell us what you think, and/or share stories of practice about how you’re bringing new technologies into the English classroom. Deadline: April 15, 2011.
October 2011: Common Core English/Language Arts Standards
The Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts were designed to “define the knowledge and skills students should have to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing, academic college courses and in workforce training programs.” What do you think such knowledge and skills should look like? What conversations about the national standards are you having in your English departments? Are you aligning state and national standards, and if so, what does this work look like? What worries/concerns do you have about the movement to national English standards? About the Common Core English standards themselves? Do you think this move is a good one? Deadline: June 20, 2011.