Author Archives: kmartinelli15

Technology: Changing the Way We Write

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The technology around us is constantly changing and improving, so much so that over the past decade it had changed the way we write.  As a child I always wrote with a pencil and paper when doing assignments but over the years so much has changed.  In this prezi (auto advance 20 sec.) called Technology: Changing the Way we Write I talk about what it was like growing up writing and what it is like for kids today.  I talk about mobility of new technology and how work can get done anywhere now because of technology being so transportable and much more.  Technology is changing all around us and we must constantly be learning to keep up.

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Everyone Should Be Reading More!

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In an article called 7 Unconventional Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books on The Huffington Post by Laura Schocker, she gives seven reasons why people should be reading books more.  Her seven reasons are:

1. Reading can help your ability to ‘read’ others thoughts and feelings

2. Reading can chill you out.

3. It could keep your brain sharp.

4. It might even stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Reading may help you sleep better.

6. Getting lost in a good book could even make you more empathetic.

7. Self-help books, on the other hand, can ease depression.

Now i don’t know about reading helping your ability to ‘read’ minds, but maybe ‘read’ other people’s feelings.  I do however agree with the other six ways reading can help you.  I love to read, and nothing feels better than sitting on the beach in the summer with a great book.  It is the ultimate relaxing technique and always relieves my stress.  I also agree with reading keeping your brain sharp.  I have heard many people say that doing crosswords and word finds help you keep your brain sharp so I have no doubt that reading would do the same thing.

I feel like people aren’t reading as much as they used too, and in a poll done by HuffPost/YouGov poll they surveyed 1,000 US adults and found that 28% of them haven’t read a book in the past year!  I found that crazy! Over 1/4 of people haven’t read a book in the past year, I feel this number would be even higher if more people were surveyed.

So lets make it a point to read more this year.  Pick up a book and dive in!

 

Teaching Literature with Music!

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I came across an article posted on twitter:

A TA at a college named, Rachel Cordasco, noticed that the students in her class would drift into another world when she began lecturing in an American Literature class.  So she thought what could she do to make it more interesting?  Music came to her mind.  This to me is a brilliant idea.  As a student in a literature class right now, i read through the list of pieces of literature she was discussing and about half of them were covered in my class this semester.  I think i would have liked my class a lot more if it had been paired with music.

Cordasco incorporated a piece of music to go along with each piece of literature she was teaching.  She used music from Jimmy Hendrix, Afro-American spiritual songs, work songs, songs of the Native Americans and American Political Marches and songs.  Cordasco used the music for when the students entered and left the class.  This made for a great starting point for the class to start and right off the bat added another dimension to the class discussion.

I would definitely use this method in my classroom.  There are so many options on Youtube now to bring music to education!  It is becoming so helpful in aiding in teaching and helping the students connect what they are learning to real life.

Digital Vs. Print

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I found a very interesting article on twitter:

In the article on Galley Cat about how print text books lead to a higher comprehension level than digital textbooks, the author Dianna Dilworth discusses a study done with middle schoolers.

The study done at West Chester University, used middle school students.  Students were given the same reading material, in two different ways, one was in traditional print and the other was an ebook.  The study resulted in, the comprehension level was higher when the students read from traditional print.

This study presented at the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia.  The study showed that the reason the students were not comprehending as much was because there are games and activities that go along with the eBooks.  Most would think that this would help the students understand the material better, but it in fact takes away from the material.

This information makes me think.  Should we be teaching children the most effective ways to read on a ebook? or should we be trying to have them use the traditional print textbooks for as long as possible.  In my opinion we should just start teaching what is going to be the future, and eBooks are the future.  What do you think?

 

Everyone Reads Differently!

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Have you ever noticed that when you read you tend to play with the pages or fold the corners when you want to mark your place?  While reading a blog post called what are your reading habits and quirks? it got me thinking, what are my reading habits? So i sat down and did an experiment.

In order for this to work, so I wasn’t constantly thinking about what i was doing, I decided to read for an hour.  About a half hour into it I noticed that I would constantly just feel the pages, sliding my fingers up and down the page I wasn’t reading from.  I liked the feel of the page, and the fact that I can’t just sit still and read was taken into account.  I also noticed that I always dog ear the page as opposed to using a book mark.  When I read off of my iPad I tend to run my thumb along the side of the iPad as i read.

So I pass the question along, what are your reading habits and quirks?

 

Reading IS social

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While reading Is Reading Antisocial? i couldn’t help but think that reading is a very social thing.  Yes during the act of actually reading you are not talking to anyone.  But reading is social when you are part of a book club, reading the same book with a friend, or even if you are reading different books you can still talk about the book.

Reading is social when a friend asks for a book recommendation and you can tell them which books you liked and give them an idea of what the book is about.  In the article the author Laura Miller says that her and the guy she was dating would sit together and not talk but read.  I believe this is a social interaction.  Yes you are not talking at the moment but you are creating a future conversation.

Another way Miller says that reading IS social, is through an app called Readmill where you can connect with friends and see what they are reading.  With this app you and a friend can read the same book and see where they highlight things and make comments on things.  This app is creating a conversation using technology.  Friends can then later talk about parts they both highlighted or make comments on differing opinions through out the book.

Why aren’t books in high school geared towards girls?

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After reading Mrs. Andersen’s blog post Are Teen Girls Seeing Themselves Reflected in What They Read?  it really made me think back to my time in high school.  While in high school I never really thought about the books we were assigned being either gender neutral or geared towards males, but thinking back almost every book we read was geared towards males.

Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, and 1984, all classics and all either gender neutral or male geared.  Being a girl, no wonder I was so bored with most of the reading in high school.  Even though we had no choice as students what we have to read as part of the curriculum, there needs to be some change to get at least one book geared towards girls.

Now in a college literature class many of the writers we talk about are women.  In college there is more readings geared towards women.  Even though most of the pieces are older I do find it easier to get into the readings and be motivated to finish the readings.  If we had more female geared readings in high school maybe we could get the students more interested in the work.

Writing and technology

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In J.D. Bolter’s “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print”,(pdf) he says, “Those who tell us that the computer will never replace the printed book point to the physical advantages: the book is portable, inexpensive, and easy to read, whereas the computer is hard to carry and expensive and needs a source of electricity.”  Reading this made me laugh because we are see this happen right before our eye.  There is still a demand for the printed book but it is slowly dwindling.  I have an Ipad and a nook so when I read for fun I don’t go out and buy a book, I just download it.  Computers are becoming more affordable and transportable.  They are becoming lighter and more compact so that they can be carried around.  Yes the need electricity but, they have long battery lifes and are easy to recharge.  This quote just shows how much the world has changed in thirteen years since this was written.

In the article “Writing as a Technology”,(pdf) J.D. Bolter writes, “The technology of ancient writing is not only the papyrus, the ink, and the techniques of making book rolls; it is also the styles and genres of ancient writing and the social and political practices of ancient rhetoric.”  I agree with this, because there are letters that are no longer in the alphabet, such as the thorn, and because the thorn was not world wide when the printing presses were made they didn’t have a thorn so they used a y.  Writing technology of the past is not only actual things used to creating writing but also it is the actual language and writing itself.

“When in the history of writing a new technology appears, it may supplement an established technology or replace it.  Papyrus was replaced in the Middle Ages by parchment and paper.  In the late 19thand early 20th centuries, the typewriter replaced handwriting for business communications.”  We are seeing this happen right before our eyes with computers and handwriting.  We are using paper and pencil less and less and the computer more often.  The only time I use paper and pencil is in class to take notes, but other than that everything I do is on the computer.  I write all my papers starting on the computer and rarely do a first draft in a notebook.  I predict that in the next ten to twenty years we will no longer have a use for pencils and pens at all.