Have you ever considered how the internet is changing the way you think? Would you concede that the internet is a dangerous place for the untrained mind and requires special literacy skills to navigate?
This week in class, I had to convince a group of tech-ed out millennials that the internet is a dangerous place for them, while presenting to them…via the internet.
Part of my process of growth and development in the #MAET program this summer is team teaching a reading prescribed to us. My partner and I were given an article entitled “Attention is the Fundamental Literacy” written by Howard Rheingold. Rheingold wrote this piece is response to the question “How is the internet changing the way you think?”
The first part of this process was, obviously, to read what Rheingold had to say about the topic. Ultimately, after much discussion, we broke down his response into 3 main topics:
- The Effects of the Internet and World Wide Web
- The Mindshift of Web Based Behavior
- What Students Need to Know
From there, my partner and I had to find a way to, convincingly, convey this information to our peers. We decided to include a few different tech tools and mediums of entertainment throughout our lesson in the hopes of engaging our audience.
First, we asked our peers to visit a website – Today’s meet – to answer a probing question. Today’s meet is a great site for students to chat with one another throughout a lesson in a way that is not distracting to the learning envirionment. The only downfall to this tool is that you cannot monitor what students write in the chat. If a student writes something inappropriate or off topic, you as the teacher have no way to take it down, you must contact Today’s meet to have the chat closed down. Luckily, students are required to sign in with their names, so you are aware of who makes what comments.
Next we decided to make, and show, a video that would illustrate Rheingold’s first point – the effects of the internet and world wide web, on our attention and focus. To illustrate this point, we developed our very own “Harlem Shake” video. Our rationale for the Harlem Shake was the entire premise is to be crazy and confusing and distracting in the video – we felt this is exactly what the internet does to our minds.
We then proceeded to go through the main points of our article using a tool called Glisser. We chose Glisser because it allowed our presentation to become interactive for the audience. Glossier lets you upload any traditional powerpoint file to this site where it transforms your slides into an interactive presentation. Glisser has no design capabilities so make sure you like your slides before you upload them, but what Glisser does have is a way for the audience to ask questions on your slides, like your slides, answer polls and give feedback all from their own handheld devices.
One piece of feedback I received after the presentation was that Glisser was both entertaining and distracting – some would focus too much on asking question and playing with the functionality that they tuned out to the content on the slides. Not a huge disappointment, just something to consider when using this technology.
Once your presentation is over, Glisser will send you an email with a copy of the data collected throughout the presentation so that you may review any questions students had and see how they responded to any questions you asked throughout the presentation. Our analytics are below.
Lastly, we asked the audience to consider the information we had presented and then create a visual representation of that concept. As teachers, we know that transforming a concept or idea into a visual helps the learner commit the idea to their memory in a way that is most meaningful to them. We then took all of the products our colleagues made and put them together in a collage that we could disseminate through our PLN’s and social media.
I find it slightly ironic that in order to teach digital literacy and what a danger the internet can be, we had to use the internet, and the audience found our choice of presentation tools to be part of that distraction – but I think that further illustrates Rheingold’s point.
Attention is a fundamental literacy you must have, employ and practice to avoid getting sucked into a black hole on the internet. This is a skill that needs to be taught, to but ourselves and our students.
Overall I really enjoyed reading this article and working with my partner to create this presentation. I learned how to use a few new tech tools along the way and think we were able to impart a necessary message onto our audience.
To view and interact with our Glisser presentation, please follow the instructions below!
Rheingold, H. (2011). Attention is the fundamental literacy. In J. Brockman (Ed.), Is the Internet changing the way you think? Retrieved from http://edge.org/response-detail/11370