Monday, November 21, 2016

Media (is) the message?

Happy Thanksgiving Week, media heads! Isn't it great not to have to set our alarms for Monday? For those of you have still have a few more days of work this week, I feel for you. Hang in there! So I'm coming to you today with a hot debate that started in the nineties. In the last few years, education advocates have pushed for the expanded use of technology in the classroom. When this revolution began, prominent educational psychologists Richard Clark and Robert Kozma disagreed on the roll of media in education.

Refered to as the Clark-Kozma Debate, this discussion over the affect of media on learning has been discussed time and time again. Richard Clark posits that media is merely a vehicle for delivering instruction and does not influence student achievement. Clark believes that it is impossible to separate the effects of media from that of the teacher's instructional method, therefor there can be no clear link that media is the sole influence on learning (Mitchell).

Robert Kozma disagreed with Clark's assertions. He claimed that there is no need to separate media from method. His argument was that the medium through which instruction is delivered can influence learning (Mitchell). If we try to separate the two, then we would not be encompassing the entire learning model. Kozma says that the focus should not be on whether media does or does not influence learning but on how we can use media to to influence learning (EduTech).

I believe that Kozma has a better argument. I don't believe we should focus on the fact that we cannot isolate the role of media in education. We should focus on how we can use media to influence and positively affect student learning. I see the advantages of using different technologies in my classroom every week. There are times when just offering one vehicle for learning excludes students that have different learning styles. There are some students that can gain all the information they need from reading a book while others need to use more interactive technology that will present the information in different way. Technology is also affecting education by allowing for programs like distance learning. Students from around the world are able to collaborate through computer programs and be exposed to learning that otherwise would have been impossible before. I think because media allows learners to be exposed to different learning methods and tools, media is a strong influence on education.

Mitchell, N. J., & Robinson, C. (n.d.). Considerations of Learning & Learning Research: Revisiting the "Media Effects" Debate. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from

The media debate. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2016 from EduTech Wiki: 

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Welcome back, library hounds! I hope you're back sniffing around for more ideas. I've been looking forward to talking to you about a great information dispersing tool called Podcasts. Podcasts have been used for many different reasons: entertainment, informational, educational, persuasive and many more. I think podcasts are excellent tools for the classroom teacher and the school media specialist.

There are educators that use podcasts to disperse information about what is happening at school or in their classroom/library. Some educators may use podcasts to help them engage students in their chosen subject. Others use it as an assessment tool for their students. It is a non-traditional product that could help to engage students in a project that they might typically blow off or be uninterested in.
Although some people may hear 'podcast' and feel intimidated, it's really very easy to make a podcast using any of the audio recording websites out there. I want to introduce you to three of them on this post.

Audioboom is a great site that hosts a lot of very popular podcasters. You can sign up with them and they will host, distribute and monetize your podcasts for you. I found the website easy to work with and very helpful.

Podomatic is also an awesome site for you to use to host and distribute your podcast. It also offers the necessary options and ease of use that will make podcasting less complicated. The program is simple and straightforward to use.

The last (my favorite) is Soundcloud. I have been using Soundcloud for over a year now and it is so easy to use! I created a little example of how I would use a podcast in my library by doing a little Weekend Update of what happened over the past week in the school as well as a little preview of what is to come. I used Soundcloud to create it. :)

I know it might feel a little weird to hear yourself talk but believe me when I say that the kids LOVE it! See you next week! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cartoons and Comics

Salutations, y'all! Just finished up a hectic weekend of bridal shower preparation and execution! With my sister getting married in December, life has been very hectic. I did, however, have a little bit of time to explore some new resources you could use in your classroom or library! Drawing, comics, graphic novels... let's face it... kids love them! Why not use them to teach them something? I poked around the Interwebs and found some awesome websites that will help you do just that.

Let's begin with Pixton.

I really liked the simplicity and ease of use of the Pixton website, and it was really easy to sign up.  It had a really great tutorial when I first signed up that took me through all the options and how to use them. This program has a lot of options for characters, backgrounds, and positions. You can add as many panels as you want and you can change the facial features on them to show a big range of emotion. The website also allows students to get subscriptions via their teacher. They can turn in comic assignments which is a great way for students to create products that you can evaluate. There are lots of options for sharing and saving the comic and if you get lost, the help option is well... helpful!

The other website that you should check out is ToonDoo.

Those Darn Kids

Signing up is a breeze. When you create your comic, you are first given an option for how you want to set up your comic. There is not much by way of tutorials and it is definitely a "go ahead and play with me" type program. This website also has many options for characters, props, texts, special effects and backgrounds to choose from. I found this program a little more difficult to work with, but not impossible. If you invest a little bit of time working with it, it is easy enough.

Last but not least, Make Beliefs Comix.

This program was my least favorite. You are very limited with what can be done. The characters, backgrounds and options are very few. I found it difficult to use and a little bit annoying really. I think it would take much longer to work with this program than the others. There is no need to have an account with this site, but that also means you cannot save it to their server. Your options are to print, save or email the picture. In a pinch, you can definitely use this to make a quick and simple comic for your lesson.

There are so many ways you can use comics in your lessons. You can use them as a hook for your lesson. Oddly enough students are more likely to pay attention and read information in comic form. You can also have students use these websites. They can create comics centered around vocabulary practice. ESL students can use it to practice their english. You can use it as a different way to present a writing prompt. There are so many different ways to use comics in education. Check out this article for even more ideas.

Thanks for listening folks. I would love for you to comment and share how you have used or will use comics in your lessons. Tootles!