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ERIC gets social (5 new ways to do ed research)

Posted by joycevalenza on August 13th, 2011

While many of us weren’t watching, ERIC, the granddaddy of education research, has grown a lot more social.  As we prepare for a fall filled with professional development, it might be a good idea to share some of ERIC’s new coolness with the faculty.

In case you never had the pleasure . . .

Sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, ERIC, or the Education Resources Information Center:

is an online digital library of education research and information. ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. ERIC provides ready access to education literature to support the use of educational research and information to improve practice in learning, teaching, educational decision-making, and research.

The ERIC mission is to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information that also meets the requirements of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.

So what’s new with ERIC?

1. MyERIC A new free tool allows you to personalize your ERIC experience, by managing your searches, sources, and citations.

Each My ERIC user can create and use up to 10 custom folders to store as many as 50 citations each from ERIC search results. Saved citations can be printed, emailed to yourself or a fellow researcher, or formatted for import into many popular citation management tools.

Participants may opt to share their saved searches with communities of interest.  Users may also sign up to receive email alerts.

2. The ability to submit your own work for inclusion: In an open and particularly democratic move, participants may now submit their own non-journal writing, relevant to education– conference papers, dissertations, research reports, etc.–for consideration for the ERIC Collection through an Online Submission system.

3. ERIC now does RSS

It is easy to automatically push current material on your personal educational specialty or interest to your reader, browser, or mailbox. Build a customized RSS feed or select from among 20 pre-established feeds from the list of currently available topical RSS Feeds, on the ERIC site.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Community Colleges
Classroom Management
Financial Aid for College
High School Student Motivation
Instructional Leadership
Parent Involvement and Elementary/Secondary Education 
Rural Special Education
School-Based Budgeting
Student Health Issues (Obesity)
Teacher Effectiveness

Using RSS Feeds in ERIC (1 min. 56 secs.)  is a 2-minute tutorial, explains how to set up and use RSS feeds to track material on specific education issues in the ERIC Digital Library. This tutorial, and many others, are available from the ERIC Web site (see Help > Tutorials).

And speaking of video help,

4. ERIC has a  YouTube Channel  offering a similar group of brief screen-shot based tutorials.

5. ERIC has a  Facebook page  where you get updates like those I am sharing here. Recent wall posts announced summer updates for the Thesaurus, the addition of 6,400 fulltext documents, and the suggestion: Thinking ahead to the new school year? Try an ERIC search using the Thesaurus terms “Parent Participation” or “Parent Associations.”

Search Literacy Webinar

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity

Bloom's Taxonomy 21st Century (Mohamed Kharbach)

1 – The Cognitive : The intellectual or knowledge based domain consisted of 6 levels . Associated with the verb to THINK
2 – The Affective : Emotional or attitudinal based domain and consists of 5 levels. It is associated with the verb to FEEL
3 – The Psycho motor : The physical skills based domain and consists of 6 levels.


Bloom created different levels for both the cognitive and affective domains but never fully detailed the psycho-motor domain leaving it for others to complete the task.

Let us now go through the different domains stated here. Apart from the diagram I created , all the other pictures and diagrams are taken from different sources. When you click on a picture it will direct you to its source.

1 - The Cognitive Domain

It involves knowledge and development of intellectual skills from Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS ) to Higher Order Thinking Skills ( HOTS ). They are arranged below in an increasing order from lower to higher order.


bloom taxonomy 

2 – The Affective Domain

Skills in this category describe the way people react emotionally and their ability to feel each another . The five major affective categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex.


3-The Psycho-motor Domain

Bloom did not create subcategories for the psycho-motor domain but others such as Simpson, Harrow, and Dave have. They have added:

  1. Perception: The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity
  2. Set :Readiness to act. It includes mental , physical and emotional sets.
  3. Guided Response : Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing.
  4. Complex Overt Response : The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns.
  5. Adaptation : The individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements
  6. Origination : Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem


In each of the three domains, Bloom’s taxonomy is based on the premise that categories are ordered in degree of difficulty. An important premise of Bloom’s taxonomy is that each category or level must be mastered before progressing to the next. Accordingly:

  • Before we can understand a concept we must remember it.
  • Before we can apply the concept we must understand it.
  • Before we can analyze it we must be able to apply it. 
  • Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analyzed it.
  • Before we create we must have remembered, understood, applied, analyzed, and evaluated.


Blooms Revised Taxonomy  ( BRT )


During the 1990s a new group of cognitive psychologists, lead by Lorin Anderson ( a former student of Bloom ) and David Krathwohl updated the taxonomy reflecting relevance to 21st century education. In 2001, they published Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy with some changes. The changes occur in 3 main categories:

1 – Terminology
They changed the names in the six categories from noun to verb forms 

2 – Structural Changes
Bloom’s original cognitive taxonomy was one dimensional form but with the addition of products , the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy becomes a two-dimensional table

cognitive table

3 – Changes in Emphasis

The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy places emphasis upon its use as a “ more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery and assessment.” This new taxonomy reflects a more active form of thinking and is perhaps more accurate.

bloom difference 

With the advance of technology into our lives and particularly into education , we started to talk about new emerging skills and competences that Bloom’s first taxonomy did not include. Below is a diagram i have created to include these new skills which corresponds to the  21st century learning.

bloom's digital taxonomy1 

Blooms Taxonomy for iPads taken from iPad Applications in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

blooms taxonmy for ipads 

Google tools to support Bloom’s Taxonomy taken from Bloomin Google

bloomin google 

Here is a model of learning objectives taken from Iowa State University

blooms taxonomy3 

My Webliography:

ISTE NETS for Students

Educator's Reference Desk

Teacher's Guide to Creativity (Educational Technology & Mobile Learning blog- Mohamed Kharbach)

The book is called Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Ken Robinson) and deals with the topic of creativity in education as has never beem dealt with.It is really inspiring and provides creative tips and methods of how teachers can make a change via simply understanding and knowing how creativity works. This book is not to be missed. I have already read the whole book and have summarized for you the most interesting parts into three topics : Teaching for creativity, Creative curriculum, and creative assessment.


I- Teaching for creativity

For Mr Robinson ( Pages269 to 277 ) there are three related tasks in  teaching for creativity : Encouraging, Identifying, and Fostering.

1- Encouraging
Many people do not think of themelves as creative and lack the confidence to take even the first steps. The first task in teaching for creativity in any field is to encourage people to believe in their potentail and to nurture the confidence to try. Other attitudes important for creative learning inclucde : high motivation and independence of judgement, a willingness to take risks and be enterprising, to be persistent and to be resilient in the face of false starts, wrong turns and dead ends.

2- Identifying
A second role is to help students discover their own creative  strengths. Everyone can learn the general skills of creative thinking. In addition, we all have personal creative capacities, a creative musician is not necessarily a creative scientist... Identifying people's creative abilities includes helping them to find their creative strengths, to be in their element.

3- Developing
The thrid role is to develop the skills of independent creative work. Teaching for creativity aims to encourage sel-confidence, independence of mind, and the capacity to think for oneself. In teaching for creativity teachers aim to :

  • Promote experiments and inquiry and a willingness to make mistakes
  • Encourage generative thought free from immediate criticism
  • Encourage the expression of personal ideas and feelings
  • Convey an understanding of phases in a creative work and the need for time
  • Develop an awareness of the roles of intuition and aesthetic processes
  • Encourage students to play with ideas and conjecture with possibilities 
  • Facilitate critical evaluation of ideas

Now that we have understood the basics of teaching for creativity let us have a brief look at the kind of curriculum that Sir Ken thinks can develop creativity and the kind of assessement teachers need to apply in their classroom to nurish creative minds.


The curriculum is the content - the ideas, skills, knowledge, information, values - that students are expected to learn. It has two basic functions: the first is to organize knowledge so that it can be taught and the second function is managerial meaning that schools need a curriculum so that they can organize and manage themsleves, know how many teachers to hire, what resources are needed , how to arrange the day...a curriculum is a management tool  that is translated into the schedule. Therefore, a balanced curriculum should give equal status and resources to literacy and numeracy, the sciences, the arts, the humanities, and to the physical education. Emphasis should be divided equally on each discipline and not as some schools do when they emphasize languages and the so called STEM disciplines ( Science, Mathematics, Technology and Engineering ) at the expense of the Arts, Humanities, and Physical Education. It is essentail that there is an equal balance between these areas of the curriculum because each reflects major areas of cultural knowledge and experiences to which all students should have equal access. Each address different modes of intelligence and creative development. The strengths of any individual may be in one or more of them. A narrow unbalanced curriculum will lead to a narrow unbalanced education.


Assessment is the process of making judgements about the students's progress and attainment. The problem for creative education is not the need for assessment but for the nature of it. Assessment should support students learning and achievement. In practice, it tends to dominate the priorities and the genral ethos of education.

Assessment has several roles  heere are the three main ones:

     1-The first is Diagnostic

Students may be given test and assignments of various sorts to help teachers understand their aptitude and  level s of development in  various areas.

     2- The second is Formative

The purpose of this is to gather evidence on students progress to inform teaching methods and priorities for further work.

      3- The third role is Summative

This is about making judgements on overall  performance at the conclusion of a program of work .

Methods of assessment can take many forms:  from informal  judgements in the classroom, to formal assignements and public examinations. They can draw on many forms of evidence : from students participation in class, to portfolios of work, to writen essays and assignemnts in other media. Assessing creative development is more complex and nuanced than testing factual knowledge. Creative work has to be original and of value. But there are different types and degrees of originality. Judging value depends on a clear sense of relevant criteria. Teachers are often unclear about the criteria to apply to students work and may lack confidence in their own judgement. They should keep in mind that the creative process usually passes through different phases. It may invlove false starts, trial and error, and a series of successive approximations along the way to the finsihed work. The educational value of creative work lies as much in the process of conceptual development as in the creation of the final product. Assessment  has to take this into account and teachers often need advice on how this should be done.

Insensitive assessment can damage students creativity and may encourage them to take a safe option, avoiding experimentation and never learning how to find and correct their mistakes.

I am actually reading his second book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything and once I am done with it I will brief you on the main points it discusses.

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