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Teachers Teaching Teachers #138 - Using Role Play to Nurture Activist Rhetors - 02.04.09

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  • Length: 49:55 minutes (16.43 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 46Kbps (VBR)

Richard Beach, Liz Boesler, and Candance Doerr-Stevens were our guests on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers:

  • Richard Beach is a professor of English education at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches and conducts research on media literacy methods, digital writing and identity construction. Richard recently published a new book, Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and other Digital Tools
  • Elizabeth (“Liz”) Boeser is an English/language arts teacher, Jefferson High School, Bloomington, MN, a teacher featured in Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and other Digital Tools who conducted the online role-play activities.
  • Candance Doerr-Stevens is a former English teacher, and current graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Candance is also a staff member at the Minnesota Writing Project, and she is studying online role-play with Richard.

Want more? Here are several more links about our guests:

Please enjoy the podcast.

Click Read more to see a transcript of a chat that was happening during the webcast.

 20:55:59 Paul Allison: Hi
20:59:12 PeggyG: Hi Susan and Paul
21:00:07 SusanEttenheim: hi peggy - how are you tonight?
21:00:14 PeggyG: Great thanks!
21:00:14 SusanEttenheim: how is our sound tonight?
21:00:40 PeggyG: Just finished listening to the interview with Carol Broos on Future of Education. Very interesting!
21:00:57 PeggyG: very soft audio for me
21:01:03 SusanEttenheim: how is our sound peggy?
21:01:18 PeggyG: I have it turned all the way up but still a bit soft
21:02:01 PeggyG: Susan is louder than others to me
21:02:19 SusanEttenheim: ok peggy is it louder now?
21:02:25 SusanEttenheim: I changed one setting...
21:02:29 Lorna: what are you using to stream
21:02:31 SusanEttenheim:  hi lorna - welcome!
21:02:33 Lorna: mac or pc
21:02:39 SusanEttenheim: nicecast and mac
21:02:40 PeggyG: Hi Lorna
21:02:50 Lorna: HI Peggy
21:02:57 SusanEttenheim: just haven't had time to get ustream going yet...
21:03:07 Lorna:  volume is fine for me
21:03:11 SusanEttenheim: how does it sound now please?
21:03:17 PeggyG: I like it this way--ustream requires more bandwidth
21:03:28 Lorna: I agree Peggy
21:03:30 SusanEttenheim: peggy is it better?
21:03:39 PeggyG: I can hear everyone
21:03:49 SusanEttenheim:  great thanks peggy
21:03:55 SusanEttenheim: hi fred welcome!
21:04:00 fred_haas: Hello.
21:04:15 Lorna: what is the topic tonight
21:04:23 SusanEttenheim: hi bob welcome
21:04:25 bobcaro: every vol control on my laptop is all the way up and i can barely hear you
21:05:10 SusanEttenheim: what are you using bob?
21:05:16 SusanEttenheim: hi jackie welcome!
21:05:30 jackiegerstein: Hi Susan
21:05:36 bobcaro: dell precision m65, and it's usually pretty loud
21:05:49 jackiegerstein: Peggy - we are "cast" jumping - aren't we?
21:05:51 SusanEttenheim: humm jackie how is the sound for you?
21:05:57 PeggyG: yes definitely!
21:06:00 jackiegerstein: A little low Susan
21:06:08 bobcaro: ...headphones it is...
21:06:12 PeggyG: Great to hear from the Minnesota educators!
21:06:14 jackiegerstein: - and I have everything turned up
21:07:00 PeggyG: do you have a link for his book? sounds great!
21:07:21 PeggyG: does it address the teaching of writing in all grades K-12?
21:07:38 SusanEttenheim: Richard Beach, a professor of English education at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches and conducts research on media literacy methods, digital writing and identity construction. Richard recently published a new book, Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and other Digital Tools
21:08:06 SusanEttenheim:     * Elizabeth ("Liz") Boeser, an English/language arts teacher, Jefferson High School, Bloomington, MN, a teacher featured in Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and other Digital Tools who conducted the online role-play activities.
21:08:16 SusanEttenheim:    * Candance Doerr-Stevens, a former English teacher, and current graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Candance is also a staff member at the Minnesota Writing Project, and she is studying online role-play with Richard.
21:08:24 PeggyG: love teaching hybrid classes at the university!
21:08:57 SusanEttenheim:   * Examples of the online role-play:           o University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux mascot debate (used with Montana, 1948): http://roleplaymascots.blogspot.com and http://mascotroleplay.blogspot.com/
21:09:28 SusanEttenheim: bob can you hear ok now?
21:09:36 PeggyG: I never tried online role playing! very interested in this!
21:10:03 bobcaro: yes, but only with headphones
21:10:10 jackiegerstein: @Susan - it is low; @PeggyG - it does seem very interesting!
21:10:16 SusanEttenheim: humm what a mystery!
21:10:21 bobcaro: sorry - i was getting involved with the audio conversation
21:10:35 SusanEttenheim: bob what and where do you teach?
21:11:04 SusanEttenheim: and jackie and peggy - please introduce yourselves... even if you are regulars here!
21:11:23 SusanEttenheim: oh and lorna! too!
21:11:34 SusanEttenheim:  Resource wiki created for Montana, 1948: http://jhscollegewritingmontana.pbwiki.com/     * Censorship role-play http://schooledthewriteway.blogspot.com/     * NCTE 2008 presentation, San Antonio http://docs.google.com/Presentation?id=dfzwnznz_8djj37cgq     * K-12 Online Conference 2008 presentation http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=326  
21:11:34 PeggyG: I'm a retired elementary principal and university teacher education instructor in Phoenix AZ
21:11:42 SusanEttenheim: some links... :)
21:12:40 bobcaro: I'm the "Gateway to Technology" teacher for 6th graders (Project Lead the Way course)
21:13:03 SusanEttenheim: bob - what state?
21:13:28 bobcaro: Corpus Christi Texas
21:13:46 fred_haas: I teach high school English in Hopkinton, MA.
21:14:00 SusanEttenheim: that's right! I remember telling you that my brother lived in Corpus Christi
21:14:05 SusanEttenheim: welcome fred!
21:14:17 PeggyG: so the role playing is sort of online debating on an issue?
21:14:24 bobcaro: I'm in Austin right now, at the TCEA conference
21:14:38 bobcaro: ...in a very smelly La Quinta hotel room
21:14:52 SusanEttenheim: are we streaming live somewhere bob? ;)
21:14:58 bobcaro: (didn't have any non-smoking rooms left)
21:15:11 SusanEttenheim: yuk
21:15:19 bobcaro: not video, just audio
21:15:41 SusanEttenheim: but I mean do we have an audience with you? :)
21:15:52 PeggyG: thank you for that explanation-the role playing asks them to take on other perspectives by playing a role--not necessarily their own point of view
21:16:04 bobcaro: ?"with me?"
21:16:11 SusanEttenheim: yes
21:16:36 bobcaro: no, just listening in before I get some dinner
21:16:48 SusanEttenheim: glad you are able to join in!
21:17:29 jackiegerstein: This is real cool - what a great variation of a Socratic seminar!  Sparked my interest -
21:17:39 PeggyG: interesting point about the differences between the Ning and blog!
21:17:49 SusanEttenheim: jackie where do you teach and what ages?
21:18:24 jackiegerstein: 3rd through 5th gifted AND online Masters education students
21:18:24 PeggyG: that's a very exciting, intriguing process! I can see it would be very motivating.
21:18:34 jackiegerstein: @Peggy agreed
21:18:47 SusanEttenheim: and what state jackie?
21:19:21 jackiegerstein: Arizona for the kids - Nationally for Kaplan Teacher Education - You, Susan??
21:19:24 SusanEttenheim: have any of you done some online role playing?
21:19:50 SusanEttenheim: I'm at a NYC public high school :)
21:19:59 SusanEttenheim: in Manhattan
21:20:18 jackiegerstein: No - I can see applications for a classroom management I am teaching now - have the college students take on the role of one of their most challenging student
21:20:36 PeggyG: I wonder if this process would work with teachers in professional development?
21:20:54 SusanEttenheim:     * Examples of the online role-play:           o University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux mascot debate (used with Montana, 1948): http://roleplaymascots.blogspot.com and http://mascotroleplay.blogspot.com/     * Resource wiki created for Montana, 1948: http://jhscollegewritingmontana.pbwiki.com/     * Censorship role-play http://schooledthewriteway.blogspot.com/     * NCTE 2008 presentation, San Antonio http://docs.google.com/Presentation?id=dfzwnznz_8djj37cgq     * K-12 Online Conference 2008 presentation http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=326
21:21:01 SusanEttenheim: more links! :)
21:21:26 jackiegerstein: The NCTE Google docs presentation is great, Susan!
21:21:33 fred_haas: I haven't used the role playing online, but I regularly use  Role-Audience-Format-Topic writing assignments that allow the students to choose from a variety of options in each category.
21:21:49 SusanEttenheim: hi james welcome!
21:22:04 SusanEttenheim: please jump in and introduce yourself... what and where do you teach?
21:22:20 PeggyG: @fred_haas--that sounds similar and also very effective!
21:23:10 Elizabeth: You can see some of our class assignments with links here: http://docs.google.com/Present?docid=dcgh2hcn_2dsbst8g6&skipauth=true&nc...
21:23:15 fred_haas: @PeggyG - It can be and typically the students really dig it.
21:23:41 PeggyG: I'll bet they do!
21:23:51 James Sigler: hi, I teach 3rd grade in SW MO
21:24:20 PeggyG: I like to ask college students to take on roles of school board members, principals, superintendents, etc. to help them see the bigger picture
21:24:47 jackiegerstein: It would be good for a professional ethics course
21:25:14 fred_haas: @PeggyG - Actually some of the coolest writing I have seen from students usually is from one of these kinds of assignments. Oddly enough, I discovered it in a middle school book on writing strategies. Yet, it has been pretty succesful at every level I have taught.
21:25:15 James Sigler: Role plays are great ways to involve students in historic, literary, or real-life stories without needing written scripts
21:25:36 Elizabeth: You can see some toher work here with links about hybrid classes and blogs: http://mwpwiki.pbwiki.com/Elizabeth-A-Boeser
21:26:08 jackiegerstein: How do you reflect in an online format?
21:26:12 PeggyG: excellent point about the reflection phase following a role play!
21:28:26 fred_haas: One of the most powerful aspects about role play, seems to me, is the sense of profound liberation that can occur for the writer, which can help breakdown a lot of inhibitions.
21:29:24 PeggyG: that's a great story about a real-life situation where the ability to communicate effectively brought about change!
21:29:30 James Sigler: Role playing would allow students to explore the story even if they have trouble reading or writing.
21:29:38 SusanEttenheim: how is the audio now everyone?
21:29:55 fred_haas: Everything sounds pretty clear to me.
21:30:02 bobcaro: a little better - I had to turn it down a bit
21:30:06 PeggyG: audio is ok but full volume for me so Susan comes in very loud
21:30:10 James Sigler: good
21:30:19 SusanEttenheim: oh great - humm I'll be more quiet! thanks
21:30:33 PeggyG: no no Susan--it's ok
21:30:58 SusanEttenheim: I just mean I will be careful to talk quietly :)
21:31:05 PeggyG: ok
21:31:24 jackiegerstein: @Susan - I heard you the best so far - you are the only speaker that I didn't have to sqwink my ears.
21:31:51 PeggyG: I like that you're using the tools like Ning to help them be better writers--not just to learn to use Ning
21:32:25 SusanEttenheim: absolutely... I agree Peggy!
21:33:04 fred_haas: @Susan - You always come in a bit hotter on the mic. It reminds me of the radio producer in the booth who comes in loud over the talent in the studio.
21:33:09 PeggyG: I was just going to ask about collaboration and he read my mind!
21:33:27 SusanEttenheim: yikes fred!
21:34:15 fred_haas: It not really that bad. That's just what I always think of.
21:34:27 PeggyG: I'm so impressed with how well you know your students and I'm sure this process supports that!
21:34:41 bobcaro: don't get me started on principal's credibility
21:37:39 James Sigler: We the role-playing all text-based.  
21:37:40 PeggyG: I've used discussion starters with univ. students but it didn't get the real engagement you are describing--I think the roles are the key!
21:37:46 James Sigler: Sorry I missed the beginning
21:38:08 James Sigler: *were
21:38:26 James Sigler: *?
21:38:26 PeggyG: @James-hybrid class so some online and some f2f I think
21:39:02 James Sigler: Any in a online virtual environ like SL Teen Grid?
21:39:11 bobcaro: anonymous posting on the internet has been abused since the internet was invented
21:39:18 PeggyG: no they used Ning and blogs
21:39:58 SusanEttenheim: hi maureen welcome!
21:40:04 SusanEttenheim: where and what do you teach?
21:40:29 PeggyG: that sounds so creative and motivating!
21:40:36 Maureen: Hi Susan. I teach in Lenox, MA- gr 1-3 science and 6-9 computer
21:41:05 SusanEttenheim: maureen what do you teach in the 9th computer? I teach that too...
21:42:52 PeggyG: Did the students communicate in the threaded discussions with short phrases in their writing? How did you encourage more detailed persuasive writing?
21:42:56 Maureen: A little InDesign, some work with Frames and Voice Thread, Alice and if I have time- InspireData. I only get the 9th graders once a week- seems like on snow days. So I am not going to get to anything after Alice this year.
21:43:54 SusanEttenheim: what is Alice?
21:44:22 fred_haas: So, were the students aware of who was who or were they in the dark as to who was which character? Regardless, are there any thoughts about the impact of both ways?
21:44:24 PeggyG: InspireData is incredible software! really powerful!
21:44:32 SusanEttenheim: Maureen we are looking for some InDesign advisors for our literary magazine - would you have any students who would like to work with our students in NYC on this?
21:44:58 SusanEttenheim: good questions fred!
21:45:06 SusanEttenheim: we'll sneak those in asap
21:45:21 PeggyG: great question Fred!
21:45:21 Maureen: Alice is free 3D programming- comes from Carnegie Mellon- was a Randy Pausch thing- now continued by Wanda Dunn- was from Ithaca.
21:45:36 SusanEttenheim: ahh how interesting
21:45:41 James Sigler: Alice is a 3D programming environ http://www.alice.org
21:45:54 SusanEttenheim: thanks james.. have you used it?
21:46:34 Maureen: I can ask them- they are pretty busy- oldest at our school.
21:46:38 PeggyG: the YouthVoices novel posts are interesting but not nearly as interactive as is being described tonight
21:47:04 James Sigler: I tried but more conplex than I wanted to mess with.  Did run well on my laptop
21:48:12 Maureen: It is a whole lot harder to animate in 3D- lots of unexpected movements. But this is a drag and drop interface- you can see the Java underneath on the new version which will come out soon.
21:48:16 James Sigler: *didn't
21:49:04 PeggyG: what great ways to connect the literature to their personal lives!
21:49:07 Maureen: @James- it fills a cache pretty quickly- but I've used it on older machines and it's OK.
21:50:13 James Sigler: I've messed around some with Edusim, but still in alpha http://edusim3d.com/
21:51:05 PeggyG: framing the online role play around student-centered issues--very powerful!
21:52:07 James Sigler: gives a whole new spin in internal verses external character
21:52:25 fred_haas: Interestingly, Robert Scholes' book [i]Textual Power[/i] addresses teaching literature in the academy and one of three key strategies he mentions is writing within the text, which essentially means using the world of the text as a foundation for the student writing. So students might write the same short story from a different POV, for example. It is pretty interesting stuff, despite the book being a bit professorial wonky.
21:53:17 PeggyG: I'm really interested in the quality of the writing in these online debates? How did you grade them?
21:53:22 James Sigler: Maybe writing a new character into the story
21:53:23 Maureen: @Susan- what's your 9th grade computer curriculum like? How often do you see them?
21:53:49 SusanEttenheim: I see them 3 times a week for 50 min for one semester/half year
21:55:36 SusanEttenheim: we do some blogging, some research , some Flash
21:55:39 James Sigler: So in the role plays, each had a setting, character, and task/situation?
21:56:02 Elizabeth: We have some rubrics.  You could probably contact me or Rick if you want to see who we graded them.
21:56:25 Elizabeth: HOW we graded them
21:56:34 SusanEttenheim: great Elizabeth
21:56:48 PeggyG: I would love to see the rubrics--how to contact??
21:57:00 Elizabeth: eboeser@bloomington.k12.mn.us
21:57:18 PeggyG: Excellent! Thanks Elizabeth!
21:59:06 SusanEttenheim: LIttle Brother is AMAZING!
22:00:04 SusanEttenheim: I met Cory Doctorow in the context of the book - great speaker!
22:00:12 PeggyG: can't hear very well now
22:00:29 SusanEttenheim: peggy that's funny it just got louder... how is it now?
22:00:34 SusanEttenheim: oops just got quieter
22:00:40 PeggyG: better now
22:00:49 Elizabeth: I want to meet Cory Doctorow.  You think if I keep talking about his book he'll come over for tea?
22:01:15 PeggyG: the sound varies by speakers
22:01:30 SusanEttenheim: and time peggy... oops just got louder... hummm
22:01:57 SusanEttenheim: Elizabeth he was a great speaker-WHERE ARE YOU?
22:02:17 Elizabeth: Minneapolis.  I teach in Bloomington, MN.
22:03:18 SusanEttenheim: 2nd day of new semester..... I'm just very tired!
22:03:22 SusanEttenheim: :)
22:03:36 PeggyG: ery hard to separate identities with the argument
22:04:01 SusanEttenheim: how interesting... in what way Peggy?
22:04:45 PeggyG: responding to his point about trying to get students to look beyond the identify of the person to what they were actually saying--like Russ Limbaugh
22:06:01 Lorna: That was a really quick hour  - excellent conversation
22:06:35 SusanEttenheim: so glad you could join us lorna - there are so many shows that I plan to listen to live then have to do one thing or another!
22:06:49 SusanEttenheim: at least we can all listen to the podcasts!
22:07:08 James Sigler: @Peggy separating discussor from discussion is a drama/debate skill what involves intentional abstraction of self
22:07:21 PeggyG: I am so excited about the information and conversation tonight! I can't wait to share it!
22:08:39 SusanEttenheim:      * Liz Boeser's current Spring, 2009 courses     * Examples of the online role-play:           o University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux mascot debate (used with Montana, 1948): http://roleplaymascots.blogspot.com and http://mascotroleplay.blogspot.com/     * Resource wiki created for Montana, 1948: http://jhscollegewritingmontana.pbwiki.com/     * Censorship role-play http://schooledthewriteway.blogspot.com/     * NCTE 2008 presentation, San Antonio http://docs.google.com/Presentation?id=dfzwnznz_8djj37cgq     * K-12 Online Conference 2008 presentation http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=326  
22:08:49 SusanEttenheim: one more set of links for you! :)
22:09:11 James Sigler: rhetorical strategies add power to the message
22:09:19 PeggyG: I love the concept of collaborative argument!
22:09:43 SusanEttenheim: do you all know the book Collective Intelligence? I loved that book!
22:10:01 PeggyG: What a great show! Thank you all!!
22:10:04 SusanEttenheim: by Pierre Levy
22:10:06 James Sigler: Great show!
22:10:15 SusanEttenheim: thanks for coming everyone!
22:10:32 Elizabeth: Another thing if you are interested: http://wiki.ties.k12.mn.us/059.  This is a presentation on setting up a hybrid class.
22:10:56 SusanEttenheim: thank you Elizabeth
22:11:04 fred_haas: This was really great stuff. Thanks for bringing me in Susan.
22:11:13 SusanEttenheim: thank you fred!
22:11:27 PeggyG: very comprehensive process! I'm soooo impressed!
22:11:48 SusanEttenheim: digitalwriting.pbwiki.com
22:12:35 PeggyG: Thanks for that link--definitely want to check out the book!
22:13:19 PeggyG: What powerful professional development!
22:13:26 SusanEttenheim: night everyone! thanks for coming!
22:13:35 PeggyG: Good night all
22:13:37 James Sigler: very interesting.  night