As some of you know, I’ve been hard at work this past year on a number of initiatives. One of the major ones has been the development and start-up of the Instructional Technology and Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML) program. The IT&DML program is specifically tailored to build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to authentically and effectively use technology in our classrooms. At this point the program is licensed and accredited in the State of CT as a Sixth Year Program. Now that I can fully talk about the program, I plan on using this blog as a means to reflect and document some of the decisions and discussions we have as the program develops.
The IT&DML program is framed with a heavy dose of critical literacy and new literacies research. The thought process is that research in new and digital media literacies is mandatory as we work as educators to better understand the nuances involved as technology interacts in our classrooms. We also have a focus on the pedagogical effects of critical literacy in the classroom. It is our belief that as our teachers and students interact with others in the reader/writer nature of online information, we need to examine and reflect on what we may read or write in online spaces.
The IT&DML program will also have a goal of being as “open source” as possible. This focus on being “open”, and “accessible” will take on many forms. The use of this blog as a reflective tool is one example of this belief in being open and accessible. Our course materials will be offered online and we will be using Chrome and Chromebooks as the vehicle for all classes. Our intent is to test out the use of iTunesU and the iPad as a vehicle for all teaching and learning and construct all materials. We will also have a focus on having students in the program post work and reflect online to provide guidance and insight for others in the field.
We will also use as many free Web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning as possible in each class. This means that instructors and students will utilize blogs, wikis, Google Docs, Edmodo, Twitter, Voicethread, etc., etc., etc. for the various digital texts and tools we’ll need during the program. As I’ve stated many times…FREE is a good price point, especially as a teacher. We’ll be using these tools with students to build up their skill level and can use them in their classrooms.
I think that is a good start for now. I’ll have much more to say in coming weeks about different issues we’ve had to consider such as the use of Creative Commons, copyright issues and iTunesU, and protecting our students and instructors as we increasingly move our classrooms and the IT&DML program open and online.