Printing, Posting, Publishing, and Personal Learning Plans

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I’ve been thinking.  Should we, as literacy teachers, be coaching and teaching our students to be publishers rather than simply readers and writers?

With the wide range of integrated projects in play across the curriculum, students are creating content and media ranging from musical compositions to complex narratives in video format.  In between, our students are also editing, revising, critiquing, reviewing the work of others, commenting, filming, game play, and demonstrating their understanding of the world through many varieties of visual rhetoric.

In combination with the level of technological sophistication and hardware accessible in the classroom, students have extended opportunities to demonstrate their technological and literary skill-sets. Furthermore, our curriculum can be more richly developed with the inclusion of materials and assessments that reflect the wide range of learning material easily available on the internet.

This raises several questions.  First, should our literary standards and exercises reflect the increasingly wide-range of content made possible through technology?  Second, are the skills needed for production of multimedia content really that different from “old-school” instruction in reading and writing instruction? If not, how can we demonstrate for students the transferability of these skills from traditional literacy to the new, 21st century platforms? Finally, does this present educators with an opportunity to transform their curriculum while increasing student motivation?

As students continue working on their Personalized Learning Plans and integrate art, video, informational graphics, and writing onto the websites, it is apparent that the “publishing” model may very well be an appropriate one to utilize when targeting the skills most needed for student success.

A last note on publishing — the word origin and definition are rather interesting — related to vocabulary.

First, the definition (from Google Search):

  • Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information — the activity of making information available to the general public.

Second, the word origin and trend in usage:

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.31.49 AM

With the root “public”, and the idea that publishing is the act of making our work public, it becomes essential that as students begin developing a digital footprint that is both positive, professional, and most importantly, follows basic tenets of digital citizenship.

As we move forward with the Personalized Learning Plans, we will begin investigating the deep connections between 21st century media, publishing, and being a good digital citizen.

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. <;

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