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Posts tagged ‘Rita Sorrentino’

Faces of Advocacy: Reflections on the 2016 NWP and the NCTE Conferences

The theme of the 2016 National Council of Teachers of English was Faces of Advocacy. A theme that couldn’t have been more timely. NCTE’s call for proposals included the following: “Many times as educators, we feel defeated and incapable of making change of any sort. This [NCTE] conference is your opportunity to rise to the challenge of who you are as a teacher or teacher leader – celebrate and discuss the possibilities that lie ahead of us.” There was definitely celebration in finding a COMMUNITY of educators dedicated to a shared purpose – literacy, freedom, and agency for all. Advocacy. What are we doing to advocate and to inspire advocacy in our classrooms, buildings, community, and the world?

pawlp dinner

L to R: Mary Buckelew, Lynne Dorfman, Rita Sorrentino, Janice Ewing, Tricia Ebarvia, and Kelly Virgin

In this post, PAWLP Fellows Rita Sorrentino, Janice Ewing, Pauline Schmidt, Kelly Virgin, Patty Koller, and Tricia Ebarvia share some of their takeaways from this year’s NWP and NCTE conferences. We encourage readers to respond. Please share your strategies for teaching and inspiring advocacy and service. We also urge teachers to attend and present at local, regional, and national conferences to renew the professional spirit.

– Mary Buckelew Read more

Tools of the Trade: Multimedia Posters and Charts

By Rita Sorrentino

Tools of the Trade: Multimedia Posters and Charts

Pick a letter from A to Z. Did you say C? Right. The letter C gives us many avenues for brainstorming the benefits of infusing technology into our teaching and learning environment: curiosity, connectivity, creativity, choice, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. Good start. Oh, did someone just mention chaos and control?  Yes, technology can usher in a less-orderly classroom as the focus shifts from teacher-centered to student-centered activities with a wide range of information sources, productivity tools, and personalized on-demand learning.

There is a lot to consider when making decisions to transform teaching and learning with technology that encourages students to ask questions and find problems in need of solutions. With the colossal amount of information available today, our students still need strategies to guide their learning, skills to evaluate sources of information and choices to demonstrate how to construct and curate their digital products. Pedagogy still matters as we strive to successfully infuse technology into our teaching and learning environments.  Read more

Tools of the Trade: Pete&C

By Rita Sorrentino

petec_logoThink Hershey. What comes to mind: chocolate, adventure, shopping? Definitely. And here’s one more opportunity that might interest you – PETE&C (The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference). Yes, Hershey. PA has a lot to offer its visitors throughout the year, and as it plays host to this annual statewide event in February, it brings together educators, innovators, students, vendors and exhibitors all focused on efficient and purposeful uses of technology in the field of education. A few weeks ago, I attended the ninth annual Conference and was sweetly rewarded with many opportunities to learn, grow and connect in this fast-changing Edtech world. Here are a few of my gold nuggets (chocolate not included). 
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Tools of the Trade: App-Smashing

By Rita Sorrentino

app smashThe use of the word smashing while thinking of technology makes most of us uncomfortable. We certainly dread a physical or digital mishap on our computers and mobile devices. Whether we are referring to hardware or software issues, smashing is not a concept we’re likely to associate with technology and productivity. Keeping our computers and devices up to speed and virus free is definitely in everyone’s best interest.

Ironically, this App Smashing is by no means destructive, but rather a creative way of using multiple apps to create content or complete an enhanced project. Despite the popular adage, there is not always an APP for what you are trying to produce. App Smashing introduces new avenues for creation and publishing of content.  The ability to save in one app and open in another app unleashes potential and heightens creativity. 
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Tools of the Trade: Words

By Rita Sorrentino

toolsMy father kept his tools in the front corner of our cellar. With an old table and a makeshift pegboard, he organized, cared for, and generously shared the items in his mini hardware store. He was fond of telling us that it was important to have the right tool for the task, and with better tools, you could do a better job. My mother loved words. Having quit school during the Depression, she continued to educate herself through reading, studying words, and engaging in conversation. She loved dictionaries, crossword puzzles, and meaningful quotations. She would write out favorite quotes and important words and meanings on scraps of paper and place them around the house for us to find and learn. From both parents, I came to understand how tools reshape our physical space, and words, the tools of language, shape and reshape our thoughts, beliefs, and social interactions. Read more

Tools of the Trade: Quick Response (QR) Codes

By Rita Sorrentino

Screenshot 2015-09-08 at 5.21.50 AMWe see them everywhere: magazines and newspaper advertisements, billboards and business cards, cereal boxes, web pages, and even on items of clothing. Do these popular pixilated marketing images have educational value? Certainly! 

First, what is a QR code? Quick Response (QR) codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are created with a QR Generator and then scanned with a QR Reader. QR Readers transform print and physical worlds into digital realities. By downloading a free app on a digital device, you are able to scan the matrix-designed QR code, which will then lead you to a website, video, document file, contact information, or some other data.

What do you and your students need? You and your students need a device with Wi-Fi access to scan and read the QR code. A variety of mobile devices such as Smartphones, iPads, Tablets, and Laptops can scan and interpret the code. With regular access and use, QR Readers can be implemented into many aspects of the curriculum. Without doubt, teachers and students will find creative uses for QR codes in and out of the classroom.  Read more