Annotated Bibliography of Generic Tools.

These Podcasts, Videos, Data Visualization Tools, Collaborative Productions, and Blogs focus on multimodal connections between students, parents, and educators.

Artsonia Kids Art Museum — The Largest Student Art Gallery on the Web! Art Sonia, LLC, Dec. 2010. Web. Dec. 2010.
Collaborative Production. Art Sonia has a beautiful goal of creating an online portfolio for every learner.
Affordances: This site is visually attractive and easily navigable. Includes an unobtrusive option way to order print materials. Friends can leave a message in the artist's guestbook. Artwork is displayed with a message about the purpose of the piece and a brief bio of the artist. Artists can choose to type a brief description of their artwork.
Constraints: Voice messages/ the voice thread concept would make this amazing.
Relevance: I've seen quite a few sites where kids have uploaded their own books, but have yet to see/ create the perfect space with a component this site's quality and simplicity. If I am able to create something like this I would like to include the educator's blurb like on this site. Art Sonia includes a section on Art Education and Social Justice- Art Sonia has included an animoto slide show is on that page. This site serves as an inspiration!

"Buddy 2 The Next Generation of Teaching and Learning." resourcecentral Family Literacy Backpacks. Cooperation for
Educational Technology, 2009. Web. Dec. 2010. <>
Sponsored Resource Site, Collaborative Production Buddy 2, The Next Generation of Teaching and Learning
Affordances: Each topic has multiple titles and takes from a variety of classrooms. The site is also a resource for project based learning with links for concepts and models and resource links. It seems the classrooms that make submissions to the family literacy backpacks are on the same wavelength of deep learning. I would imagine one of the reasons this site is so thorough is that the project been around for 21 years. Similar to an experienced teacher, there are some things that wonderful new sites haven't provided yet.
Constraints: It's a bit tedious to go through each example, and it might be nice to have teachers vote on which is the best, so someone who only has a minute could economize on time. On the home page is a letter from Nancy A.S. Miller saying that after 21 years of existence, the buddy project and The Writing Site will soon close. This is a shame.
Relevance: This is the first space I came across that had almost exactly what I was originally looking for. The questions and prompts for the family literacy backpacks can be used or explained in class and then taken home. I was specifically looking at Bugs, because I'll be producing Story Sacks for the ELC unit MiniBeasts. I was able to contact Nancy and we've chatted on email.

Cairney, Trevor. "Visual Literacy." Literacy, Families, and Learning. N.p., 6 Dec. 2010. Web. Dec. 2010.
Blog Post by Trevor Cairney: Literacy, Families, and Learning
Affordances: Trevor begins by saying that he is wary of new terms such as "visual literacy" but ends up giving a clear definition for literacy in general: is representational and interpersonal, and has composition. Many of his posts are backed by references, a novelty. Trevor writes as an academic, and I appreciate getting a male perspective on family literacy. His links come from around the world, which makes me think he is well read and has compiled some of the best information.
Constraints: Trevor is the Master of New College, meaning that his hands-on experiences with kids may be limited to his five grandchildren. It would be nice if Trevor used his experience to reference more academic sources available online.
Relevance: Trevor's references are a helpful reminder that I'm aiming for an evidence-based literacy campaign. He seems to focus on the early years and it seems that what works for the least experienced or developmentally delayed students is probably the best for most of us!

"Creating a Home Reading Program." IRA Podcasts. International Reading Association, 2010. Web. Dec. 2010.
Archived Podcast Class Acts Podcasts from the IRA: Creating a Home Reading Program
Michelle J. Kelley and Nicky Clausen-Grace discuss teachers', students', and parents' involvement in R4: Read, Relax,
Reflect and Respond based on R5 in Your Classroom: A Guide for Differentiating Independent Reading and Developing
Avid Readers.
Affordances: Includes a free PDF file demonstrating an R4 journal. The narrator uses clear speech and wording.
Constraints: The podcast was geared for educators and parents of children in the fourth grade.
Relevance: This is a good summary of a program where students read independently at home. R4 gives weekly at home reading assignments after students know the process and expectations. Parents know it is best to distribute reading time throughout the week and they initial minutes read each day. Students respond in journals based on weekly prompts from teachers. These reflection topics to help students think deeply about the text they have read during the week, reinforcing what the class has been working on. (e.g. Describe how one of the characters in this book reminds you of someone you know, have seen, or have read about.) Teachers inspire students by reading and responding to journals with as little as a sentence and choosing a few responses to share with the class each week. The "Double Journal" (reserving a space for teacher comments) seems like it would be the easiest format. This would also be applicable to ELC, as reading implies words or pictures. I like the idea of a parent Literacy Night."

Discovery Backpacks. Web. Dec. 2010. <>
Video Advertisement or Product Description: High Museum of Art Atlanta: Discovery Backpacks
Affordances: The short informational video is inspirational and portrays a sense of confidence to parents and children. An art museum is an ideal setting for a shared family experience. High's Discovery Packs are multimodal, allowing children to look at art from an artist's viewpoint and experience being an artist.
Constraints: Although the Discovery Backpacks are free to checkout, kids and their parents need to be available to visit the museum when it is open. They also need to be able to afford transport and admission tickets. It would be brilliant if the Publix Supermarkets Charities could also sponsor online experiences for kids. Eg. show a different painting each month, and have downloadable activities parents and children use to follow along. Free public libraries could provide a perfect spot for visiting the High's online space.
Relevance: We could bring
Questions: How many pieces of art do children look at in 30-45 minutes? Does the museum rotate the activities?

Livro Aberto. N.p., June-July 2010. Web. Dec. 2010. <>.
Website: Livro Aberto: Biblioteca de Crianças, Language and Literacy Center
Affordances: Overview; Information on Mozambique; Information on Literacy in Mozambique; Child Rights; Beliefs; Values; Mission; Information about contributions to show transparency; Contact information.
Constraints: Visually unstimulating which is ironic because Livro Aberto has many good photos. Not updated- perhaps the contributions page could be linked to a gDoc; Each page could include logo; Each page could include Creative Commons information; Could create favacon; Could include "How to Participate" document; Could include some curriculum and activities; Could have a schedule of events; Could have "Links to Meeting Minutes" for members; Could include "articles of association;" Could include links to Story Spaces and Digital Stories.
Relevance: This is the organization I volunteer for. I'm also interested in getting into web design. As I can't volunteer for the mobile libraries because of school hours, helping out with the website may work perfectly.

Smith, Victoria. "Discovery Packs." Welcome to KinderKorner! N.p., 2006. Web. Dec. 2010.
Website: Victoria Smith's Discovery Packs Take home packs promoting literacy.
Affordances: Victoria's online space keeps coming up in internet searching. She sells her own educational tools, but keeps hat business on the side. She shows the grant she wrote requesting/ earning $1000 for Discover Packs for her school.
Constraints: It would be nice to be able to click on each of the packs to get a list of tools, or even pictures. Right now viewers need to go to a separate list to find a materials that are in a few of her packs
Relevance: I appreciate how Victoria keeps her own business on the separate from the free resources. Her resources are layed out in a way that attracts readers.

Valenza, Joyce. New Tools Workshop. N.p., Dec. 2010. Web. Dec. 2010.>.
Visual Mapping by Joyce Valenza: New Tools Workshop
Affordances: I appreciate the look of Joyce's tools poster. She's decided to put her information on a wiki, and the list of pages on the left is a helpful anchor. I appreciate her links to other sites (e.g. Alisa Miller's Online College Blog .
Constraints: It was not always clear weather a link belonged to Joyce or not until I realized the New Tools Workshop logo in the upper left hand corner of her sites. I would love to see the same format on Joyce's linked pages as on her home page. In general, it would be great to be able to surf back and forth over the tools as in prezi, to really see all of them as part of a map, linking to each other. Maybe that is a challenge for myself! The pearltree is nice to look at, but I didn't see the common thread in the circular tree. Navigation is a bit of a maze, at least for me. For example, I saw a link to a new blog post on another site. After visiting the other site, I couldn't find the original reference again. This may have more to do with the quantity of information rather than the organization; after all, Joyce is an Information Literacy Specialist!
Relevance: When I see the quantity and quality of Joyce's links, I wonder why I took the time to put together my own site! Then, I remember that for all of us to process information in our own way is important. I liked Joyce's challenge of "piecing together" the "8, or so"2.0 pieces! I suppose that's why Joyce chose "workshop" rather than "sit back and relax!" I would like Joyce to be in my PLN.

Wonderopolis. The National Center for Family Literacy and Verizon Thinkfinity, Dec. 2010. Web. Dec. 2010. <>.
Online Space or Website, Updated Daily. Food for thought for parents and students to share.
Wonderopolis is "brought to life" by The National Center for Family Literacy and Verizon Thinkfinity
Affordances: the main page of the online space gives an illustration and bite size question/ hook. This is a great idea that could be easily adapted to work with Units of Inquiry on a class website.
Constraints: Ideally the topic could be not only presented but also defined in about a minute on the first page. Going to "read more" may be a bit overwhelming for parents. There could be more links on the "read more" tab. It could be more reader navigable. The "read more" tab could include levelling or grading and color coding, as well as a translation or separate version for English Language Learners.
Relevance: This would be a great place to start if we designed the wonderings around our Units of Inquiry. I think this would make parents feel good if we realize that some families may choose to spend five minutes or less on homework with their kids. If we wanted activities to be more hands on, we could send home or ask parents to prepare a supplementary kit with materials for activities that the question creator defines.

Young, Scott H. "The Goal of Learning Everything." Scott H. Young. N.p., Dec. 2010. Web. Dec. 2010.
Blog and eBooks by Scott H. Young
Affordances: Scott discusses the benefit of learning for the sake of learning "When ideas are linked together, the facts themselves lose importance. What truly matters is the spaces between linked ideas. The understandings that arise as more than the sum of their parts." This is counterbalanced with his writing on productivity and time management. For those of us who have not yet subscribed to his RSS feed, he sends an email every couple of works.
Constraints: While Scott offers free eBooks, he also sells eBooks and courses, making me feel like I am missing out as I have never purchased anything from him.
Relevance: Scott brands himself very well and I feel like we are connected by common purposes of learning and living purposefully. His wisdom is all the more unique because it comes from someone fairly young. I appreciate how he links his general philosophies with specific examples. He even asserts that, at times, Stephen Covey is misleading (e.g. when discussing how he can get away without learning about technology he fails to mention that increasing his knowledge is not vital to his work and he can 'outsource' his weakness). Transdisciplinary, multimodal education makes intuitive sense,
but raises questions about traditional educational structures. Scott's postings reinforce the idea of deep, student lead
learning, for myself and my students. I've responded to some questions he's posed on the site and I consider him part of my PLN.