lunedì 28 marzo 2016


Mooc-ed  Course   by  Friday  Institute 
Disciplinary  Literacy for  Deeper Learning
Session  Spring  2016  
More information about the courses sun by Friday Institue Mooc-ed can be found online:

I had enrolled last year- in  2015 but  I was not able to finish the course. I thought that the  issue presented could be interesting for me too but the course was  run for American teachers. I did enrol to check and see how it would work.I enrolled in January and  did the  6 week course from February to March. I could follow all the sessions and I must confess that I loved the ideas of learning about  a topic which is really important for educators and students. Here in Europe we still need to struggle as reading and writing skills need improvement . This is true in a digitalized society and for learners who are  living in the XXI century. Our students need to be able to read, understand and ask themselves questions about what they are learning.
The video with the presentation online was catching and  made me decide to enroll a second time.


Unit 1: What is Disciplinary Literacy and Why Is Important?
Defining disciplinary literacy in the context of 4th - 12th grades with the purpose of preparing students for success in college, careers and civic life in the global digital age. 


                                                              Struggling  Readers

Unit 2: Relating Inquiry to Disciplinary Literacy
How inquiry relates to disciplinary literacy by understanding the Model for Inquiry-Based Disciplinary Literacy (IDL). Experts conceptualize disciplinary literacy and inquiry for the classroom and student learning.

Unit 3: Getting Close to Close Reading
 IDL project: a text selection for a close reading.a short, worthy passage that  students can “chew slowly and digest completely.”

-  (Close reading the suitcase)

Unit 4: Going Digital with Disciplinary Literacy
How digital technologies can support inquiry. Given the number of technology tools available for teachers, it is important to be thoughtful when making decisions about what to use. The TPACK framework can support teachers to make productive decisions when planning to use technology.


Image source :
Credits : “Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by”

The TPACK explained


Other resources

Unit 5: Assessing Disciplinary Literacy
Assessing disciplinary literacy. Assessment is a critical aspect of student learning. Having formative assessments in place as an integral part of the inquiry-based disciplinary literacy (IDL) process is essential for a high quality student product.

Resources   ( evaluating  projects) ( LDC)
Unit 6: Take Action! Be a Teacher Leader With Disciplinary Literacy
Being a teacher leader with disciplinary literacy. Teacher leadership continues to be a critical aspect of education. Teacher leaders may assume a variety of roles, all contributing to a dynamic learning culture.

Resources ( professional development in inquiry-based practices)

What I really appreciated were the videos and the resources with lots of links to websites and materials online for going deeper into  DISCIPLINARY LITERACY. I chose  English and subjects related to it. It was the discovery of interesting paths into reading, learning and using web tools. These are some importantant document that were presented and which helped me understand the importance of  DISCIPLINARY  LITERACY.
We also had to plan an activity which I am sharing here and which is my inquiry-based project.
                                                           TIPS FOR  TEACHERS
                                                             UNIT 1


Key Ideas about   Project Based Learning  ( PBL)



                                               CLOSE  READING   FROST

                                               CLOSE  READING  NON-FICTION

                                                              THINKING NOTES

                                       UNIT 4 ON LINE RESEARCH COMPREHENSION 

                                      UNIT  4   21st CENTURY  LEARNERS

                                         UNIT 6     RESOURCES   " THE POWER OF LEADERSHIP"    

I teach English and German and I like teaching languages while I am also teaching about issues and topics for  discussion. I usually present  topics like WW1 and WW2 and the Holocaust  to my students in the last year of secondary school.
I chose  the topic " War and Peace and education" as this is a theme that usually meets the students' attention. Last year marked an important anniversary about WW1 and I decided to choose " sentences" about war, videos about WW1 and  the theme of today's wars.  I choose Sarajevo in the 1990s and a song  which is related to the sad years in Sarajevo.
The slide is a summary of the documents that I would use in class and out of class to brainstom the topic.

In week 3 we had to plan activities for close reading and chose to present two poems about WW1 :  I chose a reading with some  videos and  two poems  by important poets - OWEN  and   BROOKE.

The idea was to engage the students into a deeper meaning and two  different  attitudes towards war.

The next step would be to get into the 1990s  and  read about the experience of war by a teenager- ZLATA- who lived in Sarajevo . Her diary became an important document about the war in Bosnia and the link to today's reality was by reading documents about the sufferings of children in Siria ( document online  by SAVE THE CHILDREN).


Before submitting the project we were asked to work on the issue of evaluation and we were suggested some tools for evaluating projects .
This is the link to the tool online which  I used  :

But we were also suggested this  tool :

I created two rubrics : one for checking the students' understanding  as regards the two poems about  WW1, while the second rubric is for  the students' group presentation after they had carried out their own research.  The skills involved were  reading, learning by sharing materials, collaborating and making presentations.  The final product would be an online presentation with the students describing what they had learnt.

This is the link to my two rubrics


Here is the link to the pdf of what I had to upload to submit  at the end of the MOOC.  The quality is not good as we had problems in writing in the document provided by  tutors in the MOOC.

I am working in Italy and we work in a different school system from the  USA but  the issue of  disciplinary literacy is important for us too.
I have learnt how to work in a different  way and  I am going to share it also because I would like to work on  PBL activities with my students. I like the idea of getting the students involved and in choosing to work on a project and making their own presentations.
 New tools are really important and we should all work in class and at home with these tools which  can enhance the students' learning and understand.

A document which is worth sharing ( web 2.0 tools):

Thanks to the tutors and to the other  teachers who shared their work online!

And here is my  certificate which showcases my  engagement and what I did online:

domenica 6 marzo 2016

EVO 2016 Teachers creating digital textbooks


I wrote about  EVO 2016 and  the sessions I did in the posts  I wrote last month.  This week I am going to write about the experience I had in  January and February when I could create  my ebook and  I shared ideas  about it among teachers and tutors online who were working in the session.
The session was   presented online in January 2016 and I enrolled to do the  5-week session course:

Before starting it I thought about the many changes we have had in education: the learning environment has  turned into  a community and teachers have become " facilitators" and "helpers" . More and more we learn by using new devices. Books have not disappeared but we work  by using new tools in presentations, in writing and in creating ebooks .
 The short story " The fun they had" by Asimov came to my mind when I thought about  ebooks.
 The protagonists of the story work alone from home and do not know what a  real  book meant for their ancestors.When I read the story I thought that education would not change: at that time I was studying at school and  my learning environment was  the teacher's desk, the blackboard and the book.  The first  CD-players were used when I was at  secondary school but I would never think about how we can work and learn now.
Books have always been my passion but now  I have learnt that teaching implies finding new ways for meeting the different learners and their  needs. In reading we can add now videos, songs and books are " cool" or they can become  cool. Engagement is the key word for creating  new books where our  students can widen their horizon and learn. We are the teachers but we are supporting them.
Watch the video: how will school change in the next decades?  Now our students work online and more people have access to new tools which can make their learning more engaging and they can also be connected.............

I belong to a generation of  readers and lovers of books , my education was based on the written text and some television but I feel that technology has enhanced our  way of learning and  teaching.
I have learnt about  e-books, but currently I am not using them with my students because the  internet is not working well and some of them do not have access to internet at home.   In spite of the drawbacks  I chose to do the course  and  learn about the  best ways I can create my ebooks and which tools we can use. More and more we will have to work by using tablets and works and materials in the cloud: I told  myself: " Just try and see what you can do".  

The experience was  great: I wish to thank all the  tutors online who facilitated our work and provided great tips and  suggestions while we  were thinking about our  ebook, we designed a plan of the ebook and we wrote it.  The final week was dedicated to the publishing of our activities and I must admit that  we were really great! We used different tools and  wrote books about grammar, stories and education. A great community online of learners.............. educators who were working on their  CPD.
The course was run by  Shelly  Sanchez Terrell and the team work created by  Janet Bianchini, Lucia Bartolotti, Sue Annan, Sylvia Guinan, Andrè J. Spang, Rosmery Ribera, Ozge Karaouglu, Natasa Bozic Grojic, Michelle  Worgan, Walton Burns, Tanya Trusler,  Debora Tebovich, Tyson Seburn, Peggy George and Maria  Irene  Albers De Urriola.

Key ideas and what I have learnt in the course

1) Think about what you want to write: how will your students get access to the book?  This implies that you need to choose the  ebook editor that can meet your  students and the devices that they can use to get access to the book online
2)  When choosing images, pictures, documents , videos or music  you need to give credit to the creators and most material is copyrighted. This implies that I do need to check and use  public domain material or creative commons.
3)Ebook creators can be many online but you are not sure about the future. Remember to keep a backup copy of your file with all the information.  In my case I used GOOGLESLIDES and saved a copy of the document in pdf too.
4) Before planning you  need to think about a tool which can help you  visualize what content you want to put in  your book. I have collected a lot of mind map  tools which I will use with my students- just check the page  
5) An ebook is not only a written text : it contains videos, activities and images. If you want to create your ebook remember to  write and design activities that can be engaging for your learners. 

I have checked online and used some ebook editors.I am still learning so I am sure that I will work online with the new EVO 2017  session.

I am presenting part of what I have done and hope that more people will be online next year.

1) My ideas about  ebooks- I  used 

2) This is the link to the first  ideas which I had when I thought about my ebook

I  will have to learn how to work on this tool as the presentation was not so interesting and successful.

And here you can find my online presentation: I started after one week to work on it: 

I wanted to write a lot and I was asked to concentrate on one chapter: I decided to work on Romeo 
and Juliet and   William Shakespeare.

3) I found Lucia  Bartolotti 's video interesting as she suggested  how to work and organize our files

I must admit that I usually keep a file in word but what she suggested was helpful as sometimes ebook creators do not exist anymore and you risk losing your work!

4) This is the final book: I used  GOOGLESLIDES and  I created my ebook about studying  Romeo and Juliet: the book is online but you can  download it in pdf

5) This is my ebook online:  I chose

I wrote only  chapter 1: the topic is ,Love and  I chose to work on " Romeo and Juliet".
I tried to add videos, pictures and online activities for the students. It needs improving but I have worked hard and now I can start writing more e-books and check  the other editors which are free online.

 I have also created a student's feedback by using  Google  Forms as  the idea of the ebook is to meet  the students' needs and what they would like to do when they are learning online and reading an ebook:

Here you can find my collection of the tools which I need to use when working online and creating e-books:

E-BOOKS AND HOW TO CREATE THEM, by italianteacher

The tools which we can use for designing our ebooks: which chapters?  How?

Mind Mapping Tools, by italianteacher

We need to check and choose materials online: here you can find a list of important resources and materials which can be used or need attribution.

OER, by italianteacher


IMAGES AND VIDEOS, by italianteacher

Sometimes we need to use  images and create  wordclouds: here is a list of weblinks which can help us work online and make also presentations

Web 2.0 Tools : word cloud tools, by italianteacher

Useful references online
Images Bank:  -  a tool for creating quizzes online

I am looking forward to the next EVO SESSION in 2017!