The Learning Keystone

Thinking, Reading, and Technology Equals Information Fluency


Annette Lamb


Check out the visual for the session.


The Foundations

Purchased hardware

Purchased software

Built elaborate infrastructure

Created immense list of STUFF

Taught basic skills

Developed rigorous tests

Created motivated, engaged,

information fluency learners????

 “It’s amazing that a man who is dead can talk to people through these pages. As long as his book survives, his ideas live.” - Eragon

Information Fluency

Ability to apply skills

information literacy

              computer literacy

              critical thinking

Solve problems across


information format structures

Danny Callison, Key Word, 2003


Visual Thesaurus


Information Fluency

Collect info to address issue

Employ critical thinking to info evaluation & analysis

Formulate logical conclusions and present ideas effectively , 2003


Introduce yourself

What looks familiar?

What areas are new to you?

What would you like to learn more about?

The Learning Keystone

21st Century Literacy

Thinking, Reading, and Technology

Technology-Rich Environments

Motivate: Springboards, Hooks, Interest

Interact: Communicate & Collaborate

              Discussions, Blogs, Power of Words

       Choice: Options, Themes & Lit Circles

       Engage: WebQuests

21st Century Literacies

Language Literacy   Visual Literacy

Historical Literacy    Cultural Literacy

Info Literacy             Political Literacy

Scientific Literacy     Math Literacy

Everyone Skills

Critical Thinking     

Creative Thinking

Content Area Thinking


Are these independent or interdependent ideas?

Independent Thinkers

In what ways do we encourage “mindlessness” in schools?

In what ways do we promote mindful, independent thinking?


Habits of Mind

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it

- Horace Mann

A willingness to use one’s mind well when no one is looking… We must develop habits of mind in our PK-12 students to provide a foundation for thoughtful inquiry.

- Theodore Sizer, 1964

Habits of Mind - Dispositions that …

Facilitate intelligent behavior

Promote thoughtful learning communities

Help students perform under challenging conditions Costa & Kallick, 2000

Habits of Mind - Across the Curriculum

Mathematics… If we want to empower students for life after school, we must prepare then to use, understand, control, and modify a class of technology.

Cuoco, 1995

Prioritize the Habits of Mind


Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision

Managing impulsivity

Gathering data through all senses

Listening with understanding and empathy

Creating, imagining, innovating

Thinking flexibly

Responding with wonderment and awe

Thinking about thinking (metacognition)

Taking responsible risks

Striving for accuracy

Finding humor

Questioning and posing problems

Thinking interdependently

Applying past knowledge to new situations

Remaining open to continuous learning

Habits of Mind

by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick 

Habits of Mind

Star the most important items.

Discuss how technology helps or hinders developing these habits of mind.


Info Skills to Fluency

Evaluating websites

Taking notes

Analyzing real-world data

Using news sources

Using reference resources

Citing sources

Analyzing a Controversial Topic


Viewpoint, biases, insights


What if?

Significance                          Debbie Abilock

Younger Students: SNAP

Source - Who created this?

Nature - Why was it created?

Accessibility - Does it function?

Page - Is the info accurate and reliable?

Trash ‘N Treasure

Notetaking is like a pirate’s map.

       You’re looking for the X.

Trash Words - extras, unrelated

Treasure Words - key ideas;

help answer questions

Barbara Jansen, SLMAM, 1996. Available:


Real-World Sources

What sources are available for gathering data and information:

              local access, remote access

Real-World Data

News Sources


Put it Together


Literacy Skill to Information Fluency

Understands the concepts

Identifies problems & questions

Applies the literacy skills

Exhibits positive disposition

Acts independently

Are your students fluent?




Attention - interesting questions

Relevance - meaningful examples

Confidence - challenge w/ success

Satisfaction - apply to real-world

John Keller (1983) used this model to account for performance differences in all ages.


What technologies do your students like best?

How earth changes…

Photographs      Games and simulations

E-books                     Videos

Changing Lands - What caused these?


Choose for Impact

When read book or online?

When watch video?

When play game?

When use photographs?

Springboard, Concept Learning, Closure


Simple Motivators

Books   Videos         Interactive Games

Digital Cameras              Word Processor

All in one hour by Susan Stevens Crummel

Includes Audio

Design an activity

       Uses digital camera

       Uses publishing tool

              (Word, PP, web, Kidpix, Inspiration)

       Gets students out of the room


Promoting Reading

Make reading fun

Use electronic books -fiction and nonfiction

Link books and cool activities

Reading Basics - Starfall


Serial Reading  

Reading Promotion - By Kids, For Kids

ThinkQuest        CyberFair

       Book Reviews   School Websites

Reluctant Readers

I hate reading…

              Pictures are okay, I like listening


Reading & Illustrations

Books & websites with borders

Graphic novels & comics

Political cartoons



Reading: Graphic Novels, Comic Books

Technology: Morphing Software

Painting Software                  

It was a dark and silly night by Art Speiegelman & Francoise Mouly

High School Graphic Novels,9565,547796,00.html


Interactive Learning

The Question…

How can technology be a motivator without being… ?

       a reward       a distraction

       a time waster       a substitute for thinking


Electronic Discussions

Reading              Analyzing

Synthesizing      Responding


Discussion Options

Teacher-facilitated    Student-guided

Project collaboration

Shared writing experiences

- creative writing

Class communication

Good Topics

Science insights

Book talks

Interesting vocabulary

Literature thematic discussions

Why e-Forums?

Different method than oral


Timely sharing

Thoughtful feedback

Archived writing samples

Supports writing process

Available anytime, anywhere


E-Discussion Tools

Asiaco                 QuickTopic

Board2Go           Voyforums

EBoard                World Crossing


Yahoo Groups

Discussion Projects



Teen Link

Book Clubs & Reading Groups

Author & Illustrator Visits

Book Review Projects

Book Award Ideas

Book Buddies

Read a few chapters, choose a question, post your answer

Respond to your peers at least twice per week

Don’t reveal anything if you get ahead in the book

WriteSite v2.0

Responding to Students & Peer

Southern Oregon Writing Site

I read…

Share what you think the author is saying

       What was the author saying?

       What was the main idea?

I noticed…

Share things that attracted your attention

       What worked well?

What details seemed especially vivid or striking?

       What will you remember?

I wondered…

What would you like to know more about?

       What else would you like to know?

       What did you anticipate?

What wasn’t clear or wasn’t understood? What bothered you?

What if…

Point the author in a direction

       What if the story kept going?

       What if it started earlier?

       What if, some detail changes?

              Goldilocks does fall asleep

              A story changes settings

Bartholomew by Rita Johnson

Quality Responses

Supportive, positive, on-topic

Demonstrates understanding of topic and thought to discussion

Insightful and in-depth

Complex sentences and ideas

Correct spelling and grammar

Specific and focused to posting

Assessing Discussions

6+1 Traits Writing

Ideas                           Organization

       Voice                          Word Choice

       Sentence Fluency     Conventions


The Power of Audience

Online Discussions

Online Posting

Interaction with Experts

About People – Biography

Authors, Heroes


More time to compose, edit, & refine

More in-depth discussion

More choice is discussion

Encourages links and hyper-extensions

Quiet students often excel

Students more open when option for pen names


Collaboration: Schools & Libraries

Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Booker Prize

Guides for Online Discussions

Use of caps, sentence structure grammar

Spirit of comments

Quality replies and feedback

When do e-forums make sense for you?

Controversial topics

Graded discussions

Thoughtful responses                      …Ideas?


Journaling for

Today’s Interactive Kids and Teens

Journal/Diary   Interactive Log

Portfolio             E-scrapbooking

Web Log - Blog


Blog Directories


Blog Tools

Blogger, MoveableType

              Just join an existing service

Or, add tool to your webserver


Free Choices


Blog City  






Blog Features

HTML Editor            Search Engine

User interaction        File space

Password access      

Customization - look ‘n feel

Bookmarking and linking


Learning Blogs

Ask meaningful questions

Stimulate new questions

Promote sharing of process and products

Encourage alternative ideas

Promote interaction


Blog Starters

Promote ideas

Add new information

Ask questions

Encourage reading

Adapted from Blogheads

Blog Starter 1 - Open with a question. Then, suggest a reading.

What would you do if you got lost in the mountains?

Blog Starter 2 - Open with a announcement. Then, suggest a reading.

We live in tornado country. Where would you go?

Blog Starter 3 - Open with a challenge or bold statement. Then, suggest a reading.

Regardless of what you think, being alone can be great!

Blog Starter 4 - Open with a quote from the book. Then, suggest a reading.

Eragon quote

Blog Starter 5 - Open with a riddle to consider. Then, suggest a reading.

What’s the …Knock knock …If I were a …

Blog Starter 6 - Open with a personal experience. Then, suggest a reading.

I’ll never forget the tiny fingers on my baby sister’s hands.

Blog Starter 7 - Open with a feeling. Then, suggest a reading.

I’ve never been for scared…

Blog Starter 8 - Open with a way to involve the reader. Then, suggest a reading.

Have you ever felt like…?


Vote for one or more…

       Cool, Motivational, Useful, A Time Waster

List the Possibilities

The Power of Words

What are our students thinking?

       Why learn about adjectives?

       Do words really matter?

       Why should I care about… ?

                                    Words We Choose

The Impact of Words

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary - What is an adjective?

To Root, to Toot, A Parachute – What is a Verb?

A Mink, A Fink, a Skating Rink – What is noun?

by Brian Cleary


Concept Map Challenge

Build a Venn diagram showing the advantages and disadvantages of using electronic concept maps vs paper concept maps


The Power of Words - Bullies

Reading + Thinking + Technology = Meaningfulness             

Can words really hurt?


Reading, Writing, Sharing, Discussing

How does technology help?

Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel

By Avi

7th graders, Newbery Honor

Understanding the Power of Words

Fact vs Opinion

Evidence: How do we know if a claim is true?


Empirical claim        

Analytical claim Valuative claim        

Metaphysical claim

Teacher Comment

With the threaded discussions..

 “all the student have the opportunity to be honest about their feelings without verbal retribution from peers”


5 topics:


Point of View

Nothing but the Truth  




There is conflict (clashing) in the book between Miss Narwin and Philip Malloy.  There are other conflicts as well, such as Mr. Malloy’s conflict with his boss at work.

How big a part do you think conflict plays in most people’s lives? (race, background, religious preferences, social & economic status, etc.)

Point of View

Two people may see the same event in different ways. 

How do our background and prior knowledge that we bring to an event affect our ideas about it?

Nothing But the Truth

Give ideas about how truths, half-truths, and lies affect the way you communicate with other people?


Philip calls himself “lucky” to have his parents’ support. 

Do you agree that he is “lucky”?  Why or why not?


How do you discover the “truth” in a complicated story or situation?


Assessing Threads

References to text/novel/article

References to other student postings

Predication, speculation, or questions

Encouraging remarks

Reference to literary features


Spoken Word

Oral discussion

Books on CD/Tape

Computer voice readers


Language Challenges

What ways do you accommodate students who face language challenges?

              Shy, quiet, easily overpowered

              Foreign language speakers


How can technology help?


Choice: Themes & Lit Circles

Reading Level   Fiction or Nonfiction

Time Period       Interest Area

Reading, Writing, Creating


One Hundred Hungry Ants by Bonnie MacKain
Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg



Nonfiction + Fiction = Meaningfulness

An American Plague: the True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, by Jim Murphy.  

Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Search for the Smallpox Vaccine, by Albert Marrin.  

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918, by Virginia Aronson.  

Life During the Black Death, by John M. Dunn.

Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi (black death).

Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson (yellowfever).  

Sweetgrass, by Jan Hudson (smallpox).

A Time of Angels, by Karen Hesse (influenza).  

Read, Examine, Analyze, Speculate, View


Time - No time to…Plan, read, discuss, think!


Nuclear Age

The Gadget by Paul Zindel

The Bomb by Theodore Taylor

Under the blood red sun by Graham Salisbury

Air Raid by Theordore Taylor

Sadako and the Thousand Papers Crane

Sadako by Eleanor Coerr

On the Wings of Peace

Is our time well-spent?

What do you know about…

              Atomic Bomb research?

              Pearl Harbor attack?

              Dropping the Bomb?

              Japanese Internment Camps?



How do you generate interest?


Thematic & Lit Circle Topics

Cultural Diversity                  Quilts

Underground Railroad          Civil War

Native American Legends   

Environmental Issues

It’s worth the effort!


Engaging Learners



Active Involvement

Real world

Resources, activities, assessments


Realistic WebQuests


Design Patterns
Alternative History

Hypothesize about fictional realities when turn out different from our own

Extrapolate a chain of cause/effect

Predict events

Analyzing for Bias

Analyze sources for bias

Articulate point of view

Demonstrate impact of view


Take on the role of a voter in a time & place

Decide how you’d vote

Explain your reasoning

Behind the Book

Learn more about time/place of literature

Focus on setting

Beyond the Book

Extending literature

Build on characters, plot, setting

Focus on thematic meaning

Develop creativity

Collaborative Design

Explore data and points of view

Build consensus

Resolve conflicting viewpoints

Explore an issue

Design a plan


Decide on appropriate way to commemorate an event or person

Comparative Judgment

Rank order



Assemble a body of knowledge

Organize structures and domains

Cookbooks, Field guides, Dictionaries

Concept Clarification

Analysis of abstract concept

Investigation of examples

Identification of attributes

Concrete Design

Design a physical space or object

Develop a good solution


Assemble objects into a space

Study a body of knowledge

Develop judgments and make selections

Develop rationale for selection, sequence, & framework of ideas


Analyze a form of creative expression

Use the analysis on a new product

Historical Story

Apply storytelling principles to dramatizing an historical event or personalities

In the Style Of…

Learn about a style

Recreate or adapt the style

Artist, Writer, Creator, Inventor

Meeting of the Minds

Assemble a group

Play historical roles

Discuss topic or debate issue

Dinner party

Special event

On Trial

Prepare and perform a mock trial

Build Venn diagrams

Focus on current events

Historical events

Characters from literature

Parallel Diaries

Write the diaries of two or more people

Specific time, Specific place

Common structure

Make comparisons

Persuasive Message

Research and analyze information

Form an opinion

Construct a research-based persuasive message

Read relevant information

Write ideas and arguments

Policy Briefing

Organize a policy

Focus on a global issue

Discuss views

Apply interviewing techniques

Deliver persuasive arguments


Build research


Consensus building

Make a group recommendation to solve a problem

Simulated Diary

Write daily account

Write from point of view

Individual from particular place

Individual from particular time

Time Capsule

Capture the essence of a time period

Survey the period

Develop judgment about importance

Select artifacts

Build capsule

Travel Account

Create an account of a trip

Develop knowledge of time and place

Write narrative

Travel Plan

Design an itinerary with realistic constraints

Explore factual information

Plan budget, time

Develop solutions

Pick a Pattern

Which design pattern would work best for the area where you work? Why?

Brainstorm some topics


The Keystone Idea


More Ideas?

Created by Annette Lamb, 10/05.