I teach 8th grade lang.arts/literature. I am looking for some ideas on how to incorporate any or all of the following into my literature lessons: webcams, podcasts, or virtual worlds.
I'd appreciate lesson ideas or websites that could help me with this.
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- Teenagers always have something to complain about (I kid... I kid...) so why not write diatribes? In order to inspire them, you can use "Rick's Rants" from The Rick Mercer Report. This is a Canadian satirical news program, but the content is much more PG then The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. You can check him out here: http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport/. Or just search "Rick's Rants" on youtube.
After kids have finished writing them, the can record them using webcams and post them up on youtube! Or, you can just record them and post them as a podcast! You could event tie this into media study!
There are a number of ways to incorporate such new technologies into our literature instruction. One of my favorites--and a great way to help students visualize the physical settings and locations of a story--is with Google Lit Trips <http://www.googlelittrips.org/>. Using Google Earth, students can navigate the various locales of a story and trace the plot geographically, particularly useful for such works as The Odysseywhere diverse locations are used and students may be unfamiliar with the settings. From this, students could create their own lit trips, and use webcams and podcasts to depict a story for others.
I think that the wealth of interactive web resources and groups are a fantastic place to start. Just look at this community as an example. Here we have a place where educators from all over the globe can interact with students from all over the globe in one continually flowing learning environment. What kind of connections can be forged uin the classroom that are similar to this? Can your class explore the literature of another culture by sharing their own literature with a group of students somewhere else?
I also suggest that you take a look at some of the videos that have been made available on You Tube. There are a number of excellent amateur videos that have been created as class projects to analyze everything from history to novels. Perhaps your class could do their own video lesson after watching some of the ones that have already been put out there.
Could students perform sections of particular scenes of plays and then upload them onto youtube to get a wider reception of their work? Also, could students do the same with poetry they have written, but "perform" it to be uploaded in a similar fashion? Great work has been done by some universities in the use of alternate worlds such as second life, but I am not too sure how or if Literature is covered in these alternate existences.
If you haven't ever considered it you might try to find some resources on digital storytelling. This incorporates writing, photography, videography, and other elements of technolgy. In addition it provides editing and revising opportunities. Your students can take pride in creating their own piece of history.
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