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Teachers Teaching Teachers #217 Low floors, high ceilings, wide walls: Using Scratch and learning about the BP Oil Spill 9.08.10

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  • Length: 51:45 minutes (11.85 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 32Kbps (CBR)

More about Scratch! More about gaming. More about social networking. Youth Voices. Voices on the Gulf. And we invited a couple of students too!

This was our fall semester kick off.

On this episode, you'll hear:

  • Paul Allison, Susan Ettenheim, and Chris Sloan
  • Stacey Ferguson, 5th grade teacher in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
  • Rafi Santos, graduate student at Indiana University
  • Michael, a senior at Chris Sloan's school, Judge Memorial High School
  • Laura Fay, 8th grade reading and Scratch teacher at Fisher Middle School in Ewing, New Jersey
  • Tim Kong, a teacher who uses Scratch with his 10-year olds in New Zealand
  • Kylie Peppler, an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University, Bloomington.


Kylie Peppler is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. As an artist by training, Peppler engages in research that focuses on the intersection of the the arts, media, and new technologies. A Dissertation-Year Fellowship from the Spencer Foundation as well as a UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship supported her early work in these areas. Peppler has published numerous journal articles that will or have appeared in E-Learning, Learning, Media and Technology, Teachers College Record, and The Cambridge Journal of Education on the arts, new media, and learning. She also has a recent book titled, The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities (Teachers College Press, 2009). Peppler is currently a co-PI on two National Science Foundation funded studies on creativity in youth communities as well as a PI on a grant to study the development of systems thinking dispositions through the design of digital arts projects funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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

20:49:36 Paul Allison: Hi Martha. So glad you are here.
20:49:47 Martha: Hi
20:50:13 Martha: I got Farisa, Kevin and Kawaku waiting to get in the show
20:50:32 Paul Allison: Wow. It's like you are thinking for me.
20:50:45 Paul Allison: Do you hae their usernames?
20:51:26 Paul Allison: farisa_eastwest
20:51:27 Martha: farisa ahmed, darkdragonx512 and 0m3g4
20:52:35 Martha: that's farisa, kwaku and kevin
20:52:43 Paul Allison: Thanks. Have them join us here too.
20:53:11 Paul Allison: Hi susan.
20:53:41 SusanEttenheim: hi rafi
20:53:46 SusanEttenheim: skype on?
20:59:29 christina: what channel are you streaming on tonight (or will be?)
20:59:42 christina: hello, btw! (sorry :)
21:00:21 Martha: Hi everybody! =]
21:02:53 Rafi Santo: Hi Folks!
21:03:06 SusanEttenheim: hi all we're having a little broadcast trouble - stand by please!
21:04:14 christina: be right back ... getting headphones
21:04:24 Tasha Whitton: Okay.
21:06:42 christina: Hello all.
21:06:54 SusanEttenheim: working on it - hopefully we'll be broadcasting soon!
21:06:55 christina: Hi Tasha! Long time no see. :)
21:07:20 Laura: http://highered.commandprompt.com/film
21:08:13 christina: http://voicesonthegulf.org/
21:08:57 Tasha Whitton: Christina, it has been awhile!
21:10:33 Paul Allison: Students of mine. Introduce yourselves.
21:11:03 Martha: Hi I'm Martha. I'm a senior as of today and I'm in Mr. Allison's English class. =]
21:11:21 dave: hi folks
21:11:24 Paul Allison: I'm so excited this year to have seniors who I had when they were sophomores. (I hope they don't mind having me and http://youthvoices.net again.
21:11:30 Paul Allison: Hi Dave.
21:11:37 Paul Allison: How's the server?
21:11:45 dave: @paul server seems fine
21:11:57 MIGreenberg: My name is Michael and I am a senior in Chris Sloan's English class.
21:12:21 Paul Allison: Hi Michael. Did you get a chance to look at this? http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/infographics/
21:12:24 dave: try the audio now?
21:13:25 dave: i think that worked?
21:13:27 MIGreenberg: Yes, that was really interesting!
21:13:40 Paul Allison: You should teach infographics.
21:14:35 Paul Allison: Seriously, I'm trying to figure out how to have my seniors teaching each other and other students in the school more.
21:14:38 dlaufenberg: hi, all.
21:14:45 MIGreenberg: My brother recently gave me this book on information for my birthday:
21:14:51 Paul Allison: Hi Diana.
21:15:23 MIGreenberg: Hmm, I am having a hard time pasting in the Amazon url into the chat box.
21:16:30 Laura: I just dosconnected, can you call again?
21:16:31 MIGreenberg: It is called Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte
21:16:48 chris sloan: hi michael
21:16:50 Laura: I mean disconnected.
21:16:58 MIGreenberg: Hello Mr. Sloan
21:17:14 chris sloan: thanks for being here
21:17:21 MIGreenberg: No problem.
21:18:34 dave: :)
21:18:50 dave: 7eight9?
21:18:57 SusanEttenheim: hi everyone - can you hear now?
21:19:03 dave: you guys sound great
21:19:09 dave: so nice to hear you again
21:19:09 SusanEttenheim: thanks dave
21:19:25 SusanEttenheim: when are you coming to nyc???? you are overdue!
21:19:30 SusanEttenheim: come for the maker faire!
21:20:26 christina: Hi Susan ... I'll be at Maker Faire -- maybe we can connect
21:20:28 Martha: Hey Mr. Allison, Farisa can't make it tonight. She has to go to sleep early and wake up super early tomorrow.
21:20:44 SusanEttenheim: hi martha! welcome back@!
21:21:03 SusanEttenheim: oh wow!
21:21:04 Martha: Hi. It's nice to be back. =]
21:21:11 SusanEttenheim: both days?
21:22:43 christina: @Susan I'll be there Sunday if you are asking me re: MF
21:22:48 SusanEttenheim: margaret - are you there?
21:23:07 SusanEttenheim: ahh I may only go sat - but maybe I'll go sun - why did you decide on sun?
21:23:41 Laura: http://highered.commandprompt.com/film
21:24:27 Kwaku: hello
21:24:35 SusanEttenheim: hi kwaku welcome!
21:24:41 SusanEttenheim: please introduce yourself!
21:25:15 Kwaku: Hi my name is Kwaku and i am a senior at East-West
21:25:34 SusanEttenheim: welcome kwaku - have you joined us before?
21:25:43 Kwaku: yes
21:25:49 SusanEttenheim: everyone else - please jump in - where do you teach/go to school?
21:26:16 Martha: I go to East West and I'm in Kwaku's class
21:26:36 Rafi Santo: <waves to michael>
21:27:12 Martha: We're Mr. Allison's students.
21:27:41 christina: http://voicesonthegulf.org/
21:28:20 MIGreenberg: To be honest, I think I even had the rarely seen senoritis during junior year.
21:28:34 SusanEttenheim: hooray! welcome to Mr. Allison's students!
21:29:10 Paul Allison: a little embarassing... I love them (though).
21:29:13 chris sloan: How's Mr. Allison treating his students?
21:30:28 chris sloan: no response.  Must be treating them all well
21:30:49 MIGreenberg: Or at least teaching them to not respond well.
21:31:08 christina: http://highered.commandprompt.com/ijims/cafev3/public.php
21:31:09 Kwaku: lol. he treats us well
21:31:39 Martha: even if he makes us freewrite for ten minutes the first day back. lol
21:32:40 SusanEttenheim: that sounds very familiar martha!
21:32:56 Martha: it's been a while since i freewrited, though...
21:33:39 Martha: I re-learned how bad I am at them.
21:34:51 christina: http://scratch.mit.edu/
21:35:40 tim: hi from nz
21:35:53 SusanEttenheim: hi tim! welcome!
21:35:59 SusanEttenheim: have you used Scratch?
21:36:09 tim: hey susan - yep - have just started teaching it this year
21:36:14 tim:  to my 10 year olds
21:36:16 MIGreenberg: From what I am hearing, Scratch sounds similar to Alice. alice.org
21:36:36 Rafi Santo: ha, never seen a talk show on Scratch. Love to see a link!
21:36:51 MIGreenberg: Alice might be a little more advanced, but the idea is to teach kids programming through telling stories and creating games.
21:37:00 tim: students love playing and breaking with scratch
21:37:34 Rafi Santo: what do you mean by breaking?
21:37:39 SusanEttenheim: tim is your skype on?
21:37:51 SusanEttenheim: can you tell us about what you've done with it?
21:37:53 tim: they "break" their code - and run it to see how/why it's not working
21:37:59 tim: sure
21:38:02 tim: my skype is on
21:38:41 SusanEttenheim: what's your user name again please?
21:38:42 tim: do you still have my account susan?
21:38:45 tim: hah
21:38:47 tim: teachakong
21:39:34 tim: should i see worldbridges on my skype account?
21:39:48 SusanEttenheim: tim I'm looking for you now
21:39:55 SusanEttenheim: what user name comes up?
21:40:02 SusanEttenheim: what's your last name again?
21:40:08 tim: Kong
21:40:16 SusanEttenheim: right!
21:40:18 tim: i have your susan account and worldbridges
21:40:28 tim: but they're not online
21:40:31 tim: that i can see
21:47:32 MIGreenberg: Also, to the students living in NYC looking for topics to write about on Youthvoices.net, I would love to see a debate on the "Ground Zero Mosque." That debate has been pretty heated even here in Utah.
21:49:35 tim: susan - i have to just check in with my daughter - but will stay online and try to get back in a few minutes
21:51:12 SusanEttenheim: hi diana welcome!
21:51:16 chris sloan: Hi Tasha.  How's the Voices on the Gulf writing coming for your students?
21:51:38 Tasha Whitton: Chris, I don't seem to have that many affected students.
21:51:59 Tasha Whitton: It has been strange. They seem very tied up over tuition increases and economic issues, not the oil spill.
21:51:59 Paul Allison: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/infographics/
21:52:44 chris sloan: Those are all probably related, but maybe they don't want to talk about it.
21:53:00 Tasha Whitton: I've had to take an overload this semester because faculty positions have been slashed, so I am interacting with 145 students at this point and have had no one interested in joining the site yet.
21:53:31 Tasha Whitton: My 101s are doing a memoir, so I encouraged memories of the gulf related to the spill. No takers yet.
21:54:09 Paul Allison: But are there other stories that they might want to tell for the site?
21:54:17 Tasha Whitton: I understand that disconnection of the literature students and I have a course on Twilight, but I am going to try to get my 102s working on argument related to the spill.
21:54:24 Tasha Whitton: We will see what happens.
21:54:31 chris sloan: Maybe the memoir form doesn't lend itslef.  The argument might work better
21:54:31 christina: just fyi you guys are going in and out on teh stream -- at least for me.
21:54:55 SusanEttenheim: thanks christina - yes I've heard it too
21:54:57 chris sloan: I'm noticing that some of the voices on the gulf want the moratorium lifted, for instance
21:55:15 SusanEttenheim: so christina - why did you decide to go to the Faire on Sunday?
21:55:20 Tasha Whitton: Yes, Chris, I think I may have to go with the research angle since some of them seem very disconnected from the issue.
21:55:25 SusanEttenheim: instead of sat?
21:55:33 chris sloan: but others are questioning further drilling because of the impact on fishing jobs for instance
21:56:04 christina: @Susan I am going for a meeting conneted to the Faire actually ... and I'm traveling back from the west coast Sat so I can't be there that day, unfortunately.
21:56:15 SusanEttenheim: ahhh
21:56:19 christina: I went to Bay Area MF this year -- it was great.
21:56:30 SusanEttenheim: let's try to connect even if not at the faire!
21:56:34 SusanEttenheim: i may go sat
21:56:36 Tasha Whitton: @Chris -- I'm not wrapping my head around this yet. We were all affected by Katrina, Rita, Gustav, but this oil spill is not the same.
21:56:38 SusanEttenheim: but maybe not...
21:56:58 christina: Sometimes there is a teacher meet-up at the Faire on the west coast, btw.
21:57:09 chris sloan: I agree.  It's hard to wrap my head around it from far away.
21:57:14 margaretsmn: Tasha, I agree.  There is a huge disconnect with the oil spill.
21:57:17 Tasha Whitton: @Chris -- Of course, we do all get to see the BP commercials. So, maybe that is the way in.
21:57:18 christina: I would love to meet you. I'll write you email about this soon.
21:57:43 margaretsmn: My students didn't really care until I put them on it in class.
21:58:00 Tasha Whitton: @Margaret -- Glad to hear that you are seeing it too. I thought I must be doing something wrong.
21:58:18 MIGreenberg: The continuation of offshore drilling was the most interesting debate that I read about on Voices on the Gulf.
21:58:28 margaretsmn: I talked to a teacher who went to Grand Isle this weekend and she said all was back to normal.
21:58:37 chris sloan: One of my students expressed similar dismay. http://voicesonthegulf.com/discussion/whose-prose-do-you-believe#comment...
21:58:57 Tasha Whitton: @Margaret -- That's what I am sensing. Hey, they cleaned it up. Everything is fine.
21:59:16 margaretsmn: I want my students to do an opinion survey.
21:59:27 chris sloan: As a starting point, I had my students just comment on what people have already written on Voices on the Gulf.  That's easier to do for some people.
21:59:30 Tasha Whitton: Of course, we know that is not true, but I think as people stop going to the beaches as much, it is falling out of public view.
21:59:35 margaretsmn: When they see the pictures of the animals, that is what gets to them.
21:59:53 Tasha Whitton: @Chris -- good idea.
21:59:54 tim: one of the neat things with Scratch - is that you can import other media - stills and audio
22:00:17 tim: great for presenting and sharing any aspect of learning - like gardening etc..
22:00:19 Tasha Whitton: Everything has to be for a grade, though, right?
22:00:23 margaretsmn: Tasha, do you see BP ads in your local newspaper, weekly?
22:00:51 Tasha Whitton: @Margaret, YES -- and the heavy rotation of TV ads is getting a little ridiculous. How much did they spend on all this?
22:00:52 margaretsmn: I teach gifted kids in small groups, so we plan a project and create a rubric.
22:01:01 Tasha Whitton: I guess that is my job, right? Following the money trail?
22:01:07 SusanEttenheim: margaret shall i try to call you again now?
22:01:20 MIGreenberg: I have a question for teachers in the gulf-- do you think the oil spill has brought out the subject of getting off all fossil fuels in kids' minds, or is the debate about the immediate repurcusions and what to do with BP?
22:01:22 tim: there was a report on radio here this morning - saying BP basically couldn't find anyone at fault for the spill
22:01:24 margaretsmn: Sure. Susan.  Give it a shot.
22:02:05 tim: their statement was a wonderful example of verbal obfuscation...  it was quite frustrating
22:02:05 SusanEttenheim: says you're not online :(
22:02:07 Tasha Whitton: All I'm hearing is that no one should have helped because BP isn't going to reimburse them for the full lose of wages if they already paid them for clean up.
22:02:14 margaretsmn: Sorry Susan, failed again.
22:02:16 SusanEttenheim: oh well we'll talk to you here for tonight
22:02:58 Tasha Whitton: @MIGreenberg -- Not sure about that. My college students don't seem eager to have that conversation.
22:03:07 margaretsmn: One of my students has an uncle who told him he goes out on a BP barge and gets paid to do nothing.
22:03:13 Tasha Whitton: I get further with my 6 year old in terms of climate change than I do in the college classroom.
22:03:19 margaretsmn: don't know if that's true or hearsay, though
22:03:34 Tasha Whitton: @Margaret -- what's your sense about those stories though?
22:03:42 margaretsmn: I hear you, my 4th grader is the most concerned.
22:03:47 chris sloan: I do see now what a challenge this must be for you. Trying to bring an issue into the curriculum that many people wish would just go away.
22:04:03 Tasha Whitton: I don't appreciate the painting of Louisianans as wanting to be paid for everything or they will just sit around.
22:04:12 MIGreenberg: @Whitton Why do you think your students aren't eager to talk about renewable resources? Is it because they're families live off jobs created by oil?
22:04:21 margaretsmn: I like the challenge, Chris, because it is what we should be doing right? Current research.
22:04:22 Tasha Whitton: Did anyone hear the story on NPR about Grand Isle and outsiders/racism?
22:04:39 chris sloan: can you put a link to the story in?
22:04:40 margaretsmn: Yeah, that was embarrassing.
22:05:10 Tasha Whitton: @MIGreenberg No, I think that it is the opposite. They are disconnected from the issue entirely. Most communities don't recycle. They don't think about long term effects, and if they do they feel helpless.
22:05:50 Tasha Whitton: @Chris I'll try to find it for the website. I kept hearing the promo and missed the show. Couldn't remember the day and sometimes NPR.org is a labyrinth.
22:06:35 Tasha Whitton: @MIGreenberg I don't think that any of my students have parents high in the oil food chain. It is a regional University that had open admission until 2000.
22:10:24 chris sloan: Is this the NPR story? http://www.wrkf.org/batonrouge&newsID=298
22:11:38 Tasha Whitton: Yes, Chris, that looks like it. I remember the quote about working for 20 minutes and being paid for 60.
22:12:11 margaretsmn: There's a parable in that, Tasha:)
22:13:07 chris sloan: @ Margaret & @Tasha: Thanks for your work on the Voices on the Gulf site.  It's hard work, but what you do is an inspiration for us all.
22:13:43 Tasha Whitton: Such an embarrassing article. This would be one that I think would start some talk in the classroom. Maybe I can figure out how to work it in.
22:14:14 chris sloan: I bet that article would evoke some strong responses
22:16:05 chris sloan: @Tasha.  I mean "inspirational" about what you're doing because you show that teaching is hard and challenging, but that we've got to keep on keepin on
22:16:29 Tasha Whitton: Yes, I am going to test the waters with my online students and see where the discussion goes.
22:16:51 chris sloan: @Margaret. Your students are doing some great work.  Let them know that my high school students are very impressed
22:16:54 MIGreenberg: I forgot to say thanks for having me on during my final thoughts; I will do it here. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and letting me share some of mine.
22:17:24 Tasha Whitton: I've lost audio again, so I am going to go ahead and log off. Enjoyed the conversation everyone! See you later.
22:17:40 Martha: It's over?
22:17:41 margaretsmn: Great to chat with you all.  Sorry I missed out on the call. Thanks for the compliments.
22:18:20 Martha: Mr. Allison, you lied to us. :/
22:18:31 Martha: lol jk
22:18:31 Paul Allison: Next week.
22:18:36 Martha: it's ok
22:18:52 chris sloan: Martha, my students would like to hear more from you
22:19:28 Martha: Okay, but I can't promise anything great.
22:19:34 chris sloan: @diana.  Great work with the infographics on the NY Times Learning blog
22:20:00 tim: thank you susan and all.
22:20:14 tim: welcome back to school up there in the north!
22:20:19 chris sloan: Thanks for being here Tim.  I'd like to hear more from you too
22:20:43 tim: cheers. tim.kong@seatoun.school.nz
22:20:46 dlaufenberg: @chris... thanks... it was quite a learning experience
22:20:57 tim: is best way. happy to share my meager scratch experience
22:21:21 chris sloan: I'd like to hear more from you Diana.  I somehow missed infographics week
22:21:45 dlaufenberg: @chris  dlaufenberg@gmail.com or dlaufenberg on twitter
22:21:58 dlaufenberg: night all.
22:22:02 chris sloan: I'll be in touch night
22:22:18 christina: night everyone!
22:22:22 tim: cheers.



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