Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going Paperless

On the last day of school, I spoke with my vice-principal, Mr. King about the idea of our high school going paperless next year. By going paperless, I said, we could foster a learning space where students, teachers and administrators could share in the creation of a diverse, scholastic archive of student work that would include essay writing, research projects, collaborative works and multimedia projects. We would also help students to better understand and build those ever so important personal learning networks that everyone is cheering about now.

I told him that when teachers and administrators go paperless, when we think digital, when we think green, we help students to create an easily accessible and transparent record of their scholastic productivity over a given period of time. I told him that even the most organized and meticulous teachers in our building would have a hard time finding a specific report of a particular student from five years ago. It's just too much paper to keep up with. On the other hand, if we start now to digitize all student work through blogging, wikis, twitter, FaceBook, podcast and YouTube, then that work would be instantly accessible for decades!

I suggested to my vice-principal that it might be a good idea if our students, teachers and administrators were required to use an online office suite like Google Docs or ZOHO for all school related business - papers, reports, projects, memos, announcements, e-mail, surveys, slideshows and more. I told him that If we could agree, as a school, on a single delivery method for works shared between students, staff and administrators, at the very least, we could avoid the mad rush of students frantically trying to prepare and print final projects and other reports ten minutes before the start of their next class. I must have heard "can you print this for me?" a hundred times during the last two weeks of school. (I haven't seen an Ami Pro or Word Perfect document file since 1995)

The good news here is that Mr. King agreed with me. He agreed that we need a single delivery method for students to get work to teachers and for teachers to share work back with their students. He was quite receptive and open to the idea of using blogs, wikis and podcasts to create and share work. But even better than that, he liked the meta idea of our school going totally paperless next year.

I'll keep you posted.

On that same note, here is a link to an outstanding blogger who, too realizes the enormous potential of going paperless.

H Songhai

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Electronic Books On Your iPhone

School, the building, the halls, the passes, the time sheets is all over. The students, their iPods, their cell phones, their questions, their ideas, all finished - at least until September.
Everybody take a five. It's summertime! ...and the learning is more compact, more accessible and more convenient than ever. Today, learning is ultra portable and cell phones are the lightest and brightest gadgets in the class. Today's cell phones can take you around the world and beyond the stars.

Last weekend while browsing through Wesley Fryer's blog I read how he was using Stanza, a free application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Stanza is a wireless electronic library for the iPhone which once installed on the iPhone or iPod Touch, allows you to download full length books, newspapers and blogs onto your mobile device and read your books anytime and anywhere you are. Downloads are sent directly to your iPhone or Pod in a matter of seconds. It's a breeze to search through the thousands of free and for-pay books. You just tap your finger on the screen, download and read.

As I scrolled through the various eBook shops (BooksOnBoard, Fictionwise, O'Reily Ebooks, Feedbooks, Project Gutenberg, Random House and many more), I recognized that at least half of the classic literature being taught in high schools today was available for free to download.

Stanza's online catalog

Stanza's books by subject

The reading experience is very good. You can adjust the font size to fit your particular needs. The type looks as good, if not better than book or newspaper type. Choose from thousands of books with just the tap of your finger. What's really powerful is having access to your complete library anywhere and at anytime. You can even create your own documents on your computer and upload them to your phone and read them on Stanza.


Ebooks and readers are starting to get a lot of attention from universities, school administrators and teachers around the world. Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader Digital Book Eucalyptus and InterRead's COOL-ER are just a few of the ways that readers can take their digital books, audio files and other paperless documents with them wherever they go.

Related articles

Will Richardson on Cloud Books

Wesley Fryer on Irrelevant Paper

Google Notebook listing of eBook and eReader resources

H Songhai

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

SPACE: International Poetry Journal

The fourth edition of SPACE features current and past Media Literacy/Digital Archiving students from HOPE Charter High School, as well as students from Colorado, Mississippi, Australia and Vietnam. HOPE Charter High students featured in SPACE include Cindi Gil, Tiana Whitaker, Neary Prang, Brittany Turner, Kendall Woods and Johnathan Williams.
Special thanks to SPACE editor, George Mayo for putting it all together. Nice work Mr. Mayo!

H Songhai


Monday, June 08, 2009

Digital Archiving/Media Literacy End of Year Reflection


Thursday, June 04, 2009

My School Looks and Sounds Like

What does our school look like today?
What sound does our school make on a Monday morning, on a Wednesday afternoon?
What sound does our school make on Fridays in the cafeteria?

In a few years school will be wherever you are - in your kitchen, on your porch, on a train or even in another country.
By the time many of you are seniors, school will be able to fit in the palm of your hand. You can literally do that now!
You will be able to watch and listen to your instructors and classmates anywhere and at anytime.
These are very exciting times to be a student.
Take advantage of it.
Seize the day!

H Songhai


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Changing Face of Schools Today

H Songhai


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Share video over the web with

Okay, so I'm not Denzel Washington, I promise, I'll stick to blogging. But you've gotta check out what a cool way to share video over your twitter network. CORRECTION: In the above video I incorrectly referred to Air France flight 474 as flight 477. The correct flight number is 474.

H Songhai

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Monday, June 01, 2009

How To Create the Digital Archiving/Media Literacy Final Exam

H Songhai

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