Teachers Teaching Teachers #54 - 05.23.07 How do we keep it real in school blogs?

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  • Length: 63:48 minutes (29.21 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)
We invite you to listen in as eight Writing Project and WorldBridges teachers from five different (U.S.) states reflect on our students work in Youth Voices.
  • Alice Barr, Yarmouth HS, Yarmouth, Maine
  • Barbara Mehlman, Humanities and the Arts High School HUM, NY. New York
  • Bill Oneal, Trenton Central High School, West, Trenton, New Jersey
  • Ken Stein, Satellite High School, Midtown, NY, New York
  • Lee Baber, F. Hillyard Middle School, Broadway, Virginia
  • Matt Makowetski, MHS, Lompoc, California
  • Paul Allison, East Side Community HS, NY, New York
  • Susan Ettenheim, Eleanor Roosevelt HS, NY, New York
After welcoming our newest members of the community, we spent some time celebrating what is going well in this school-based community of about 1000 student writers/bloggers. We discussed ways we might collaborate more over the summer and into next fall. And we began to make plans for next year. We are a community of teachers, focused on fostering a social network where students can become compelling bloggers. Some of our questions include:
  • How can we cover all of the required skills and topics of our various curricula (technology, global studies, art, English...) and still allow students to blog about topics of their own choosing?
  • Could we select a group of books and invite students to form communities (reading groups) around each of these? How could we have a common text or common texts available as an option for students to blog about... without loosing our environment of student choice?
  • How do we continue to nurture our ethic of student peer response. Do the sentence starters we've been using work? Can they be more open?
  • Can we use the elgg to share multimedia work, art, or visual work more? How do we sponsor peer response to this work? Can we all learn to use the wiki more, following Susan Ettenheim's lead on Gallery pages like Flash Creations Page 2? Will an update to the new elgg profile pages (see Paul Allison's example) be part of the solution?
  • How do we remain a community of teachers that is open to new teachers jumping in with their students, yet maintain a transparent support structure where we can share tips and community standards (e.g. "only Creative Commons images, please, and no pictures of the students themselves... and... and...)?
  • What role might our wiki play: http://elggplans.wikispaces.com? How might we organize this site better? How do we get everybody to contribute to and use this site?
  • Could we use our new Gcast to stay in touch on a regular basis? (Email Susan Ettenheim -- SEttenh@schools.nyc.gov -- to learn more.)
  • What can we do this summer to build this community? (Step one. All of us should register at the elgg: EducationBridges.net - We'll form a community or communities there.)
Come hear us talk about these and other questions. Hear what teachers talk about when they talk about their students blogging in an elgg. Join the conversation! Leave a comment if you would like to join Youth Voices, and start blogging in your classroom.