NC-ACTE 2015: Literacy and Letterland: Fostering Literacy Based on Teacher Perspectives

Unfortunately I lost my voice, so I wasn’t able to present this presentation at this year’s NC-ACTE Fall Forum today. But, here is the presentation in case folks are interested.

Basically, this presentation is discussing how there are inherent beliefs in the teaching materials we use, in this case in Letterland, but teachers can use their own set of beliefs to counter those beliefs, if needed, when they use the materials in their teaching to better meet the needs of their students.

Literacy and Letterland: Fostering Literacy Based on Teacher Perspectives from Damiana Gibbons Pyles on Vimeo.


Media Literacy Lesson Using Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire”

I admit it: I love just about everything Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. So, when I started thinking about storytelling and media, I thought I might try to teach an introduction to media literacy using Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire from the second Hobbit movie.

I just love how the song itself tells its own complete story. But, when you pair it with the movie (and even the book), it adds a whole new dimension. One media artifact links to so many others in this one video, which makes it fascinating for a media literacy lesson.

With this in mind, I created a Versal lesson (or click on image below). I’m thinking of beginning by playing the song itself, then move into the lyrics, the video, then the larger picture. I’m trying it out tomorrow, so fingers crossed.

Screenshot of my Versal lesson

Screenshot of my Versal lesson

Useful Web 2.0 Resources for Teaching and Learning (compiled with links)

For a Professional Development workshop I am doing tomorrow for Wilkes County Schools, I compiled a visual, hyperlinked list of Web 2.0 resources, all of which are school appropriate. Some cool resources are not for schools and/or cost too much for teachers, so I did not include them. But, are there any good resources that are free and COPPA compliant that I am missing?



Workshop for Course (Re)Design Institute at AppState: Using Media Tools to Provide Audio or Video Feedback to Student Assignments

Tomorrow I will have the honor of speaking with creative, wonderful faculty at AppState who are working to design or re-design their courses as part of AppState’s Course (Re)Design Institute, a four-day institute where chosen faculty revise and/or create courses through a series of informative and engaging sessions. This year’s institute is facilitated by Dr. Tracy Smith, and it is sure to be a treat. In this institute, I was asked to be part of Concurrent Conversations in which different faculty have a mini-workshop on a variety of topics. Given the broad range of faculty, each with their own expertise and pedagogical know-how, I’m sure I will learn as much as I teach.


Teachable Moment: Boxing, Typography, and Illiteracy. Wild! And, lovely.

I love anything that approaches literacy in a new way, but I must say that when I first opened this video, even I was surprised. In it, a Ukrainian boxer named Wladimir Klitschko is fighting illiteracy through typography, art, and boxing. It’s worth a look, and it would spark some really interesting conversation in classes, especially with younger kids.

Klitschko vs. Illiteracy from Klitschko vs. Illiteracy on Vimeo.

See also this blog post in Fubiz: