23 July 2009

Syllabus 2.0

I'm getting better about reading blogs. This morning I was reading about Bloom's Taxonomy at Teach_J's blog and saw one of those randomly generated related blog thingies at the bottom. That entry was called "Must I write 'no sexting on my syllabus? OR, when good media goes bad." Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches new media classes at Oregon State writes about her experience adjusting to the new media. This particular post, though, addresses things that need to be added to syllabi.

As summer winds its way through July, I've started thinking about the adjustments that I need to make to my journalism and geography syllabi. Truthfully, I hadn't even thought about addressing new media issues until this morning.

As I get ready to start the new school year in a new classroom I realize that I am going to have to address at least some of these issues in my revisions. Given the contradiction between district approved and supplied materials and district policy on electronic devices, it's a bit of a challenge.

I suppose all I'm really doing is putting in writing my classroom policy that has developed over the past two years. I introduce as tools electronic devices that students might have. We discuss how they use them and how they might be used in the classroom responsibly. I demonstrate. We practice and agree upon the parameters for their use. For the most part this works well. My students now have access to audio and electronic texts in their iPods and mp3 players. They can check for word meaning using their cellphones and Google.

Photo by: Stefan Neagu "old mp3 player"