RSS Feed

A Day with Jason Ohler

This is a cross post from PWSD’s Community of Practice Blog.


The session was ” New media, new students, new literacies and new citizens” and if you do nothing else take some time to explore his website which is jam packed with fabulous resources.



What I learned? 

1.    Visually Differentiated Text (VDT) – value writing but realize that essay and written responses are not the only way.  Visually differentiated text is how we read on the internet.  These types of text allow you to bounce around the page and make choices about what you read.  It includes bold, breaks, bullets and beginnings.  Let’s get students creating these!

2.  Leave the clicks and tricks to students, let teachers concentrate and spend time on descriptive feedback.  Prioritize teacher time and spend it where it needs to be spent.  Lesson design and quality feedback.

3.   If you deliver both the content and the approach, students/teachers can never do it for themselves.  Just a reminder, you can’t deliver everything, but need to empower teachers and students to do it themselves. 

Next Steps:

1.    Narrative – I want to work on powerful topic sentences. I am thinking of getting students to script their topic sentence to “Is the Youth Criminal Justice Act fair and equitable?” and then record it using or

2.  First person narrative interview – building on the above activity, I want students to script and record an interview answering the same question. 

3.   Answering a question – I want to pose this to our math/science teachers. You know you have told a story when you have answered a question. “How do you determine the cost to carpet this room?” “How does the digestive system work?”

Must Remember to try…


Jason has a fabulous blog page of interesting tools to try .


1.    Simple Wikipedia – just like wikipedia but in student friendly language.

2.  Google nGram I know there is a lesson in here somewhere.    This tool allows you to “visualise the rise and fall of concepts across 5 million books and 500 years!

3.   Story Spine – great way to scaffold storytelling

Once upon a time…
But one day…
Because of that… (repeat three times or as often as necessary) Until finally…
Ever since then…
And the moral of the story is…(optional)


One response »

  1. Pingback: A Day with Jason Ohler « Jen Clevette | Tommy found a real book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: