The Beekman School - Michelle Koza https://www.beekmanschool.org/tags/michelle-koza en Creative Writing for Analysis https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/creative-writing-analysis <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_1"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fcreative-writing-analysis&amp;title=Creative%20Writing%20for%20Analysis"></a> </span> <script type="text/javascript"> <!--//--><![CDATA[//><!-- if(window.da2a)da2a.script_load(); //--><!]]> </script><div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/412mfa-articlelarge.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/412mfa-articlelarge.jpg" title="Creative Writing for Analysis" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/412mfa-articlelarge.jpg?itok=dz9Ol0dW" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-897f30f8-7fff-bda1-3e24-df8efd3b89b8"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; white-space: pre-wrap;">How can a teacher trick her students into doing literary analysis? I know I am not the first teacher in history to be disappointed by my students’ analytical writing. There is something about writing an analytical essay that just makes their eyes glaze over. I have come to the conclusion that the reason students don’t know how to look into a piece of literature is because they haven’t thought about what it’s like to be on the inside looking out. And what better way to solve this issue than by putting them in charge of their own creative pieces?</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"> </p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><font face="Arial"><span style="white-space: pre-wrap;">How to Teach Analytical Writing through Creative Writing</span></font></span></h2> <p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;">Now this is not to say that we should pass out a creative writing assignment and see you next week. Just like we do with our analytical writing, teachers should be ready to support students’ understanding, but with a slightly different perspective. We answer lots of prompts in class, directed to help students think about particular issues in writing, such as the development of a voice or a speaker, the development of issues they want to address in their stories, and the use of writer’s moves. Instead of asking why the writer has done something or other, we can ask the student: why did </span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; white-space: pre-wrap;">you</span><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;"> make this writerly decision in your story? </span></p> <p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 11pt; white-space: pre-wrap;">The literature we read plays a direct role in the creative writing we are doing. Right now, we are studying “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid in Junior English, and we mine the text for all kinds of information. We look at the text for issues that arise and make a list of those. We acknowledge that “Girl” has a distinctive speaker so we make a list of potential speakers we could use in our story. Then we examine the text for literary devices or writer’s moves. What are our literary writers up to that we can emulate in our own writing?</span></p> <h2><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap;">High School Literary Analysis</span></span></h2> <p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 11pt; white-space: pre-wrap;">To underpin the creative writing process, I have asked students to write a rationale in addition to their creative pieces. Here, they are doing the work they would do if they were writing a literary analysis paper. The knowledge being covered is the same as what would be covered in an analytical paper, but students are approaching it from a different direction, from the inside out. And that has made all the difference.</span></p> <div> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/creative-writing" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">creative writing</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/analysis" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">analysis</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/writing" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">writing</a></div></div></div> Fri, 08 Nov 2019 21:03:51 +0000 michellek 44272 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Doing it Write https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/doing-it-write <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_2"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fdoing-it-write&amp;title=Doing%20it%20Write"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/14131082_xxl_smaller_0.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/14131082_xxl_smaller_0.jpg" title="Doing it Write" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/14131082_xxl_smaller_0.jpg?itok=9fq00TCa" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Most students I’ve encountered in my teaching career have profound anxieties about writing. As a teacher of English, I have wondered about how to crack this problem. Over the summer, I had a transformative experience with the <a href="http://nycwritingproject.org/" target="_blank">New York City Writing Project</a>, a for-teachers, by-teachers organization that has writing at its center. Working with the Project caused me to question many things about my own teaching and beliefs about writing.</p> <p>One of the biggest takeaways from my experience was the realization that most of the writing we ask our students to do is for performance. If every time they write something they can expect to be assessed, no wonder writing is fraught with so much anxiety. I decided to decouple writing from performance. I decreased the number of formal writing assignments I collected and graded, but I increased the overall amount of writing my students did.</p> <p>Students spend a lot of time in my classroom writing, but this writing is often the prelude to discussions or part of our collective knowledge construction in the classroom. For example, I often use timed writing in my class where students are given a set of prompts, and the only requirement is to write for the full time, without regard for grammar or mechanics, organization, or tone. This helps students put their thoughts on paper. So many students have trouble with participation because there are usually some kids who are quicker than they are on their feet; pre-writing before discussion is a great way to level the playing field. It gives all students an opportunity to share their voice.</p> <p>Writing-for-thinking has become the core of how I use writing in my teaching practice, and it has also helped me to understand what “writing across the curriculum” actually means. Helping students externalize their thoughts is part of what all teachers do, and informal writing is a great way to help them do that.</p> <div> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/writing" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">writing</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/informal" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">informal</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/formal" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">formal</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/nycwp" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NYCWP</a></div></div></div> Fri, 12 Apr 2019 16:58:15 +0000 michellek 41750 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Oh, the Humanities! https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/oh-humanities <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_3"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Foh-humanities&amp;title=Oh%2C%20the%20Humanities%21"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/humanities-source-ultimate_460x294_november-2016.png"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/humanities-source-ultimate_460x294_november-2016.png" title="Oh, the Humanities!" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/humanities-source-ultimate_460x294_november-2016.png?itok=lEguCPt_" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I am an English teacher who is passionate about literature. Catch me in my AP class and you’ll see that I’m a superb lecturer (though I do stray from literature every so often; see my blog on why I teach Aristotle’s Ethics). In my standard English classes, however, as I have gathered experience over the last 10 years, I have moved away more and more from pure literature, and exposed my students to magazine articles (old and new), op-eds, and other types of non-fiction, like primary source documents such as historical memos, convention resolutions, and legal opinions. In the parlance of our times, I am not so much a traditional English teacher, as a teacher of the humanities.</p> <p>What are the humanities? The humanities are a branch of the liberal arts that cover human arts and attitudes through history, philosophy, religion, language and visual arts. All of these are reflections of human activity in the world, and as a steward of the new generation, I believe it is my duty to impart to them the complexity of human endeavours, beautiful and ugly, in all of its facets. Literature is a part of this bigger picture that can serve to pierce through the sometimes asceptic language of the other disciplines, and give human warmth to cold concepts, like the historic inequality of women and people of color. We look at primary sources to create context, to pin literary text to a moment in history that speaks to the lived experience of a particular person or group of people. The literature shows, illustrates, fleshes out, and gives voice to the effects of these historical forces.</p> <p>One of my favorite texts to teach is “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, an American writer of the turn of the last century. An activist for women’s rights all her life, Gilman used fiction to illustrate the consequences of the social expectations under which women were expected to operate. The story is sometimes taught as a tale of horror, a woman slowly going insane, hallucinating images in the titular wallpaper. However, when paired with texts such as “Bradwell vs. State of Illinois,” which claimed women were legally barred from working as lawyers because of their traditional role as mothers, or the Declaration of Sentiments, that puts a rather fine point on the ways in which women have been oppressed, the story takes on new meaning. Why is the narrator going insane? Because she is precluded from exercising the full spectrum of her personhood. The story is about the consequences suffered by an individual when we do not honor her humanity. As a result, students can come away with a deeper understanding of the personal costs that social norms, for example, may have on an individual psyche. Then, they may turn the question inward: Where do I end, and where does my aculturation begin?</p> <p> </p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/humanities" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Humanities</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/english" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">English</a></div></div></div> Fri, 26 Oct 2018 08:19:28 +0000 michellek 37999 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Ethical Thinking https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/ethical-thinking <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_4"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fethical-thinking&amp;title=Ethical%20Thinking"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/right-wrong.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/right-wrong.jpg" title="Ethical Thinking" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/right-wrong.jpg?itok=l84NuU7F" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I have always wanted to teach ethics and philosophy in a high school English class, and this year I started my AP Literature class with Aristotle’s <em>Nichomachean Ethics.</em> I like to call this an “anchor-text,” as it provides a framework for understanding the literature we will be investigating throughout the course. But it is really much more powerful than this. We can use ethics to see the choices of literary characters in a more objective way, and not in a morass of relativism and emotional confusion. But also, as literature imitates life, so can our analysis support a more robust understanding of ourselves and our own choices.</p> <p>Students need a framework to think about their values and how these connect to their behavior; ethics gives them that vocabulary. Aristotle in particular shows them that action is important above all else. I teach ethics in my high school English class because it helps my students understand how a character’s actions shape who that character becomes. By proxy, it also shows my students the connection between the actions they take and who they are. What you do is who you become. Literature, then, becomes a mirror students can hold up to themselves so that they can assess their own actions.</p> <p>At the heart of my teaching philosophy is the notion that empathy can be taught, and literature is a pathway to developing a vibrant moral imagination. This way we can understand what it is like to be another person. By using ethics, we can bridge the subjective experience of the individual and an objective assessment of character. This powerful inquiry is at the heart of living the examined life, and our best hope at becoming the most excellent versions of ourselves we can be.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/ap-literature" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">AP Literature</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/ethics" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">ethics</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/empathy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">empathy</a></div></div></div> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:03:16 +0000 michellek 30747 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Notable Student Success Stories: Michelle Koza https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/notable-student-success-stories-michelle-koza <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_5"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fnotable-student-success-stories-michelle-koza&amp;title=Notable%20Student%20Success%20Stories%3A%20Michelle%20Koza"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/20235292_xxl_smaller.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/20235292_xxl_smaller.jpg" title="Notable Student Success Stories: Michelle Koza" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/20235292_xxl_smaller.jpg?itok=AKK8uL2U" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Andrew* was a demanding student. He was a challenge to have in class, since he appeared to have no filter when he was sharing his thoughts during discussion. He would interrupt me and his peers frequently, and he was notorious for not listening to others’ perspectives. He had many challenges in reading and writing, but he was extremely hard working. In the end, this made all the difference. As teachers we have to engage even our most difficult students, and I came to admire Andrew and his work ethic. I may have disagreed with him on most things, but he worked hard, as did all of the Beekman teachers he encountered during his time here. It paid off. </p> <p>Sophomore year, Andrew’s research paper was marked by bias. Andrew did a remarkable job with his research, even if he didn’t properly vet all of his sources. He documented and explained his way through sixteen pages, while at the end filling his conclusion with ad hominem attacks. It was a disappointment for me. He had shown he could do it in the body of his paper, only to let his biases creep in at the very end. I spoke to him and his parents about how important it was to write in an objective way. The following year, Andrew’s research paper was excellent.</p> <p>In the ensuing years, his attitude shifted and his writing improved. He took Creative Writing with me as a senior, and that was really eye-opening for me. Andrew is an extremely creative person, both in terms of his world-building capacity and his artistic creativity. It was great to have a lower-risk academic venue to be able to see these things about him. He created and developed his own project, which was especially rewarding given that he ultimately wanted to go into creative careers. </p> <p>Andrew probably would have been particularly vulnerable in a larger classroom, even a larger school, since he needed so much attention. Andrew’s improvement was the concerted effort of not just a single hard-working student, but a collaboration with a group of educators who know that the best outcomes require investments in time and attention. His last writing assignments in Creative Writing showed extensive revision and took many of his peers’ critiques into consideration. Andrew had struggled with his fiction, but after in-class discussions brought inconsistencies to light, he modified and improved his short stories, at times rewriting whole sections and reframing the morals of his fairytale-like stories. I was shocked. A student who in the past had been unwavering in his opinions, who was famous for not being too reflective, had transformed his creative writing based on what we had discussed in class. </p> <p>Andrew went on to be recognized at his graduation for overcoming particularly steep barriers in order to succeed. He (and we) earned it.</p> <p>*<em>Name changed</em></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/student-success" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">student success</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div></div></div> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:41:36 +0000 michellek 24940 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Calm in the Digital Storm https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/calm-digital-storm <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_6"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fcalm-digital-storm&amp;title=Calm%20in%20the%20Digital%20Storm"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/shutterstock_297674456.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/shutterstock_297674456.jpg" title="Calm in the Digital Storm" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/shutterstock_297674456.jpg?itok=xAKoqagB" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Popular wisdom says this generation of students is digitally native, and that they have facility with digital technology that people even of my generation (I’m just on the upper edge of millenial) don’t have. Indeed, in my household we had a family computer all through my years in high school. Cell phones were still relatively novel, and the iPhone was not even a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye. This difference in perspective led to my over-enthusiasm for introducing digital technology in the classroom.</p> <p>Last year, I ran headlong into digital without really knowing how my students would respond. I was excited by the grand experiment as well as my own newly-developed skills, and assumed that my students would be right there with me.</p> <p>Children need to learn how to do things, and it doesn’t matter whether they are native to the skill or not. Kids are impulsive and easily distracted. Their brains aren’t fully grown yet, including that prefrontal cortex which governs <a href="http://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/executive-function/">executive functioning</a>. You know, the part that says: “I’d love to do this right now, but I understand that the effect won’t be so nice, so I’ll restrain myself.” The iPad, a magical machine that is a window into everything, can be too tempting during a classroom lecture. And, it turns out, humans love to manipulate things. The digital world takes some of that away.</p> <p>I have <a href="http://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/search-digital-red-pen">written before</a> about the importance of taking notes by hand, and the cognitive benefits it imparts to students, effectively creating a more efficient means of absorbing information. Last year I asked my students to use a stylus and take hand-written notes on their tablets using Notability (an app that I still think is a wonderful tool, and I still use for my reading assignments). Students were too tempted to type, and handwriting on the tablet is not as fast or efficient and using old-fashioned pen and paper. Furthermore, using their iPads as book and notebook made moving between their notes and their text a logistical challenge. The experiment failed. As a result, this year I am requiring my student to have notebooks.</p> <p>Becoming proficient in digital technology does not have to mean increased screen time. In fact, students seem to get lost in their black mirrors. They are easily distracted by the infinite possibilities unleashed by these remarkable devices, and must be shown how to use the technology as an effective tool to achieve their ends, as opposed to it being an end in itself. Now, their iPads are their books; students can have their text up and take notes at the same time. No more toggling during class. They can mark the text as I guide them through it and take notes simultaneously. As teachers, we should approach the digital world with caution. I thought I had, but the evidence showed otherwise. Our students are bombarded by possibilities of instant gratification all day long from a litany of devices, not just their school-sanctioned ones. The classroom can be a place of calm from the digital storm.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/note-taking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">note-taking</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/digital" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">digital</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/notability" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Notability</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/technology" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">technology</a></div></div></div> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:42:59 +0000 michellek 22231 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Performing Empathy: Shakespeare in the Classroom https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/performing-empathy-shakespeare-classroom <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_7"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fperforming-empathy-shakespeare-classroom&amp;title=Performing%20Empathy%3A%20Shakespeare%20in%20the%20Classroom"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/shx_emoji.jpeg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/shx_emoji.jpeg" title="Performing Empathy: Shakespeare in the Classroom" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/shx_emoji.jpeg?itok=tI1DEOoO" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I did not understand the power of <strong>kinesthetic learning</strong> until I taught Shakespeare through performance. Last year I participated in a <a href="http://www.folger.edu/">Folger Shakespeare Library</a> professional development at <a href="http://www.bam.org/education">BAM</a>, in Brooklyn, and it transformed my experience of Shakespeare and deepened my understanding of why the study of literature is so important. The program convinced me that the best place to experience Shakespeare is from the inside. What interpretation is the actor levying upon the text to make her actions justified? This is what I like to call the work (i.e., labor) of literature. All the decisions the actor makes are grounded in the text, and the performance makes the abstract quite physical—intimate, even. Performance-based reading leverages different modes of thinking, intellectual and kinesthetic, to promote students’ comprehension, critical thinking and understanding of character. The experience was transformative for me, and I saw how powerful this approach could be in the classroom. I was impressed by the pedagogical soundness of the program. Once I implemented the strategies last spring, students who had shown barely more than passing interest all year were not only engaged, but walking out of my class saying they actually understood Shakespeare!</p> <p>My teaching revolves around words. The foundational element of literature, after all, is diction. Carefully considering diction is the most important skill a student of literature can develop. It is the thing I go back to the most as a literary thinker and educator; it is the rock upon which I build my instruction. Students struggle with the concept of using “evidence from the text.” I have often found that although they are able to give me the gist of something they have read, they are unable to point to the place in the text that shows them this; they are distant from the words. The performance technique draws them closer to the language by requiring students to perform close readings that promote clear interpretations by virtue of their result in physical action. The activation of this meta-knowledge is essential for the development of critical thinking in students, so that they can interpret the messages our culture bombards them with every day. Close readings allow readers to uncover the meanings of individual words, and focus on the function of that language within a text. Interpreting and then performing the effects of that language has a profound impact on students’ intellectual development. It intertwines them with the language, and its application with Shakespeare's text makes students complicit with the character, opening the door to true empathy.</p> <p>Ultimately, Shakespeare is psychological. His plays are about characters, their transformations, stubbornness, their love or hate, and when all those emotions collide; it is an intellectual and emotional experience. Performing puts flesh on the bones of their comprehension. To feel the circumstances of another human being is to exercise the moral imagination and its accompanying result: empathy. How might one be transformed by experiencing both the vileness that Macbeth feels at the thought of murdering the king, and the soaring ambition that informs it; or, touching the existential fear of Lear’s madness in the storm when he learns that he is merely a “bare, forked animal” beneath his kingly robes? Lear feels a transcendent empathy that reveals to him in a flash all his failures as king, the body natural running roughshod over the body politic. These new perspectives unlock for those who see them from within.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/shakespeare" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Shakespeare</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/performance" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">performance</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/kinesthetic-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">kinesthetic learning</a></div></div></div> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 15:14:15 +0000 michellek 19433 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Students: Giving Yourself the Gift of a Broad Education https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/students-giving-yourself-gift-broad-education <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_8"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fstudents-giving-yourself-gift-broad-education&amp;title=Students%3A%20Giving%20Yourself%20the%20Gift%20of%20a%20Broad%20Education"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/smart.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/smart.jpg" title="Students: Giving Yourself the Gift of a Broad Education" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/smart.jpg?itok=J3_SO9O-" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">As an educator with several years of experience working with a wide array of students in various educational contexts, I am concerned about the <strong>specialization</strong> trend that is taking place in schools at increasingly lower grade levels. While it is important that students identify their intellectual interests, they may miss opportunities to discover unexpected interests and to develop fully as a thinker. As a greater percentage of high school graduates begin to pursue college education, competition for professional employment increases. This is driving college students to be as pragmatic as possible when selecting their majors, so as to be optimally competitive in the workplace when they graduate. This trend is understandable, although perhaps unfortunate for many whose interior lives could be enriched by supplementing their studies of business practices and economics with the study of world literatures, for example.</span></p> <p>The tracking of high school students into career-focused curricula takes this trend to a new level. Career-oriented tracking at the secondary level cheats both the students and society. Many students enrolled in such programs (such as high schools from which students graduate as certified nursing assistants) will not be able to discover their love of arts or literature or Classical languages because these classes may not be available to them or the instruction in humanities is provided at a bare-minimum level.</p> <p>Who knows what great artists and writers have never had the chance to develop due to career-oriented tracking too early in their academic lives? It is time for students, parents, and educators alike to recognize the value in a well-rounded education. Indeed, the great Catholic thinker <a href="http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10794a.htm">Cardinal Newman</a> said that a <strong>liberal arts education</strong> is essential in preventing the “<a href="http://www.newmanreader.org/works/idea/discourse4.html">man of one idea</a>,” someone who is so secure in his narrow knowledge that he elevates it to the exclusion of everything else. As <a href="http://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/english/faculty/facalpha/rotella.html">Carlo Rotella</a> said in an <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2011/12/24/doesn-matter-what-you-majored/ov7sZQQIY7nRoTFYXLBGiK/story.html">op-ed for the Boston Globe</a>, “Prospective employers frequently don’t really care what you majored in. [...] What matters is that you pursued training in the craft of mastering complexity.” All of us must cultivate our perspectives and circumspection, and it is likewise important that students try to think in lots of different ways, even in ways that may have nothing to do with their place in the workforce.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">education</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/well-rounded" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">well-rounded</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/newman" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Newman</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/rotella" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Rotella</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/boston-globe" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Boston Globe</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/tracking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">tracking</a></div></div></div> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:15:37 +0000 michellek 17376 at https://www.beekmanschool.org Dystopias for our Times https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/dystopias-our-times <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_9"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fdystopias-our-times&amp;title=Dystopias%20for%20our%20Times"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/dystopia.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/dystopia.jpg" title="Dystopias for our Times" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/dystopia.jpg?itok=joTZtO7s" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Every so often, I find myself teaching novels that are incredibly timely. In a time when the basic humanity of various groups is being questioned or even outright ignored, we may turn to literature to discover the consequences of such ideologies. The following novels share a sense that a social plan that ignores the fundamental truth about human dignity is doomed. But which doom we end up with is up to us: will these dystopian societies fail against the glow of the human spirit, or will we bargain away our shot at fulfillment for mere contentment, or even base survival? These novels ask these deep questions for our times:</p> <p><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">1984</em><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">: In this classic dystopia, George Orwell warns us about tyrannical governments whose only purpose is to be a boot crushing a face for all of eternity. In this society, surveillance is universal through a two-way screen that is in every home. Today’s smartphones make for a startling update on the telescreens which, instead of being in everyone’s living rooms, are in all of our pockets, tracking our every move, and our every communication. Perhaps it is time to ask how much of our power we have given away for the sake of convenience. In these divisive times, when everything uttered on the Internet is never erased, how soon until the thought police come knocking on our doors?</span></p> <p><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">Brave New World</em><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">: At first, <a href="http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/multimedia/video/2008/wallace/huxley_aldous.html">Aldous Huxley</a>’s novel may seem less frightening than Orwell’s, but it is the anodyne nature of this society that makes it most chilling. This is a society of consumers who are used to instant gratification, who will pass up all manner of true fulfillment for the surface pleasures of soma and the feelies. There is no thought police here, but none is necessary. Most members of this society are incapable of dissent, as they have been so mollified by the comforts of a technologically advanced, industrialized culture. They wouldn’t want to trade their world of instant gratification for the existential crises that come with deep consideration of the human condition.</span></p> <p><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">The Handmaid’s Tale</em><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">: In a time when xenophobic remarks against religious and ethnic minorities are de rigueur in a presidential election, and when candidates pander to particularly stringent and fundamentalist versions of Christianity, this novel takes on a new sense of urgency. Published in the mid 1980’s, Margaret Atwood’s novel imagines a world where the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Ham#European.2FAmerican_slavery.2C_17th_and_18th_centuries">“Children of Ham”</a> have been shipped away from America proper, and marriage has become so traditional that we are sent back to the Old Testament, where barren wives are supplemented with fecund concubines. Importantly, the chain of events that leads to the establishment of the Gilead society begins with attacks blamed on “Islamic fanatics.”</span></p> <p><strong>Bonus round:</strong></p> <p><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">Idiocracy</em><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">: This film by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Judge">Mike Judge</a> (of <em>Beavis and Butthead</em> fame, as well as the cult classic <em>Office Space</em>) wonders what happens when all human institutions are governed by idiots. In this bracing satire, the ignorant have out-reproduced the educated and have run roughshod over American society. New generations benefit from the technological advances of the past but are incapable of innovation themselves. They have become complacent. Like </span><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">Idiocracy</em><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">, our society is awash in advertising, and marketing slogans have become aphorisms. Are we, too, poised to elect a reality show star to the highest office in the land?</span></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/literature" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">literature</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/dystopia" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dystopia</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/george-orwell" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">George Orwell</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/margaret-atwood" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Margaret Atwood</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/aldous-huxley" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Aldous Huxley</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/1984" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">1984</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/handmaids-tale" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">The Handmaid&#039;s Tale</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/brave-new-world" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Brave New World</a></div></div></div> Fri, 11 Dec 2015 17:57:07 +0000 michellek 16994 at https://www.beekmanschool.org In Search of the Digital Red Pen https://www.beekmanschool.org/articles/search-digital-red-pen <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 a2a_target addtoany_list" id="da2a_10"> <a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a> <a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a> <a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a> <a class="a2a_button_pinterest"></a> <a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beekmanschool.org%2Farticles%2Fsearch-digital-red-pen&amp;title=In%20Search%20of%20the%20Digital%20Red%20Pen"></a> </span> <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Authored By:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Michelle Koza, English Teacher</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/educacion_tic1.jpg"><a href="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/field/image/educacion_tic1.jpg" title="In Search of the Digital Red Pen" class="colorbox" rel=""><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.beekmanschool.org/sites/default/files/styles/photo_thumb/public/field/image/educacion_tic1.jpg?itok=puhlJxdb" width="125" height="175" alt="" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Paper is great, and it gives a flexibility that typing doesn’t. I can leaf through a book faster than I can scan a PDF; word processing software isn’t as dynamic as the scrawls of a red pen. And I require students to mark their texts when they read to create “working texts.” Call me old-fashioned, but I have always been skeptical of jumping into the tech revolution with two feet. How was an app supposed to transform my teaching? I quickly learned that I should always begin with my teaching objectives and allow technology to be the tool that enables my students to achieve them.<font color="#0074bd"> </font></span><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">So for the past year, as my school transitions to iPads, I have struggled with how to transfer some of what I deem my “non-negotiables” to the digital world: annotating the text and marking student papers.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">I’m also a big fan of hand-written notes. I always squirm a bit when a student asks if he or she can photograph the board, or when I realize a student is typing their notes. Something about both of these feels wide of the mark. As it happens, the science backs me up. <a href="http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/08/18/taking-notes-is-the-pen-still-mightier-than-the-keyboard/?utm_content=buffer1d37c&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_campaign=buffer">Studies </a>have shown that students who type their notes have persistently lower retention rates than students who handwrite them, even after they are allowed to review their notes. I can only imagine what retention rates are for students who merely photograph them. Writing is an interactive experience. Unlike typing, one is almost never tempted to take things down verbatim because it’s impractical. As a result, we make up the deficit by synthesizing information. The extra work our brains do in the note taking process helps us to understand, and retain, what was presented.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">The interactive quality of writing is why I require my students to annotate their texts (and, incidentally, why I bleed red ink all over their papers). In the paper world, marking the text is easy. Just grab a pen or a pencil and write, underline, circle, make boxes, or use different colors, as a way to interact with the text. The iBook note taking functions, for example, seemed much less flexible than writing. Summarizing passages is less effective if the notes are obscured, and using non-standard marks, like boxes or circles, a challenge. Though iBooks and e-readers like it can have powerful word search functions, this type of annotation doesn’t account for visual memory or mechanical memory. This was driven home for me over the summer. One of my students was struggling to reference a digital copy of the text we were using in a written assignment. It took so many steps to make notes and to reveal notes that the whole thing became an exercise in frustration. Meanwhile, a student who was using a note-taking app on which she could write with a stylus was accessing her notes more easily, and demonstrated in the long term better knowledge of the text.</span></p> <p><strong>Old tricks in new packaging</strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">So, how does a paper and handwriting loving teacher enter the digital world? With handwriting apps that give you the natural experience of writing on paper.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">One of the things that separates tablets from (most) laptops and desktops is the ease with which one can deploy the stylus. Last year I learned from one of my colleagues about the potential of note-taking apps like TopNotes (free, or $5 for Pro). I used it and recommended it many times. This year, another teacher has turned me on to Notability ($6), which is a little more muscular. It’s like using living paper. Not only can you write on it like you would with a pen on a blank page, you can also upload PDFs (which can be created by saving a word document as PDF or by using an OCR scanner) and mark them as you would paper. The page menu contains large thumbnails, making it easy to identify individual pages. The program also allows users to sort documents into folders, and use word searches in PDF documents and typed notes. Images, web images, and sound recordings can also be attached to make for truly dynamic note-taking. Students can record lectures (</span><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">always</em><span style="line-height: 1.538em;"> ask the teacher for permission to do this!), which can be played back while perusing notes.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">This is great for students, but how does this help me with marking student papers?</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Notability makes it easy to mark any PDF, but the real challenge is the interconnectivity between students and teachers. Notability has an upload feature that connects directly with GoogleDrive. By using the sharing functions in GoogleDrive, students can share their assignments with me, and I can mark them and return them digitally without losing any of the flexibility I have with paper.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Embracing technology doesn’t mean we have to forfeit our tried and true teaching methods. As teachers, we should focus on our objectives more than ever, and allow the right technological tools to enhance our practice. That’s what I call old fashioned with a twist.</span></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/michelle-koza" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Michelle Koza</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/digital" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">digital</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/technology" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">technology</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/tags/paperless" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">paperless</a></div></div></div> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:02:54 +0000 michellek 15185 at https://www.beekmanschool.org