Sharing Real-World Projects Sharpens the Literacy Skills of Connected Students

I have a new post up over at the Powerful Learning Practice Blog entitled: Sharing Real-World Projects Sharpens the Literacy Skills of Connected Students. Head over and give it a read … and comment as well. πŸ™‚

I’ve been making the point in my STEM trainings that part of the appeal, to me at least, of STEM and Maker learning, is how language intense it should be. Teachers react well when I point that out and make the case for not leaving the language experiences “on the cutting room floor,” so to speak. There are so many deep, thoughtful, and especially, creative language possibilities that are too often not realized or wasted in the rush to do an interesting, engaging activity and then move on.

Learning is messy!

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2 thoughts on “Sharing Real-World Projects Sharpens the Literacy Skills of Connected Students

  1. Hi Brian,

    I recently discovered your blog, Learning is Messy, and I’m excited to have another resource for STEM teaching and learning! I am currently working on my Masters and certification for secondary education in the STEM fields (chemistry and math) at the University of Michigan.

    In your recent post on “Powerful Learning Practice,” I was struck by your thoughts about empowering students through communication. Specifically, you stated, “Learning in connected classrooms (supported by connected teachers) helps provide or expand connections that some families may not have or know how to utilize in helping their children learn. Our role as teachers is to facilitate as students build their own personal learning networks, showing them how to utilize those networks in meaningful, courteous ways.”

    Recently, I have been researching the 8 practices of the NGSS, including the scientific/engineering practice of obtaining, evaluating and communicating information. I found it interesting that this practice can be leveraged for social justice. When considering how I can address equity in my future classroom, I have limited my considerations to strategies for helping women and minorities have a stronger voice and identity as scientific thinkers. This NGSS practice, and your thoughts about providing students with opportunities for making connections with experts and community members outside the classroom, stretched this thinking. In particular, I appreciate your post, because it helped me to see that, as students become more literate and more able to evaluate and communicate knowledge, they are better prepared to translate these skills outside of the classroom into daily life. Because we know that our students will encounter text and/or data in which they will have to make meaning out of and make subsequent decisions, I appreciate your idea that our job as teachers is to empower them to do this and to help them build networks with others who will support/strengthen them, even after these students have left our classrooms!

    Thanks again for sharing your expertise and thoughts! I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future!

  2. “It’s not that being connected is more important than what you want to learn about or learn to do. It is that connectedness can and does lead to learning or resources to learn from and with.” I agree with this statement.

    “Sharing Real-World Projects Sharpens the Literacy Skills of Connected Students” was very well written and made a lot of valid points about communication skills and how they can be enhanced through experiences and blogging. The experiences give students the terminology and understanding they need in order to communicate effectively about what they’ve learned. This is a great example of learning that leads to more learning that leads to more learning! It has a compounded effect that benefits students in a very real way.