Enjoy this podcast, recorded 10 days ago, getting ready for ISTE. What are you looking for there? What are you bringing?
Click Read more to see Christina Cantrill's personal list of some of the events where National Writing Project (WP) teachers will be participating as well as the chat that was happening during this webcast.
What are your personal learning networks (PLN) online? What do your students do? Do we use different or similar tools to learn online? Do you use mobiles? Do students? What do students’ PLN’s look like now? What will they look like in 1, 3, and 5 years?
Samantha Adams and Meenoo Rami are two of our guests on this episode of Teachers Teaching
Teachers. Samatha Adams joined us for further conversations about the NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition, and Meenoo Rami let us know what’s happening at #engchat on Twitter on Monday evenings and beyond.
SamanthaAdams Director of Communications, NMC (www.nmc.org) SamanthaAdams came to the NMC with an extensive writing and research background in both print and digital publishing. After working with the top trade publishers in the world for a previous job digitizing content for ebooks, she fell in love with writing about emerging technologies. At the NMC, she works closely with CEO Larry Johnson to spearhead the NMC Horizon Project, which encompasses the The NMC Horizon Report series. In the recently released NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition, she was deeply involved in the research and writing of the report. As the lead writer at the NMC, Samantha also focuses on strategic communications within and outside of the NMC member community, promoting special events and publications, while managing the organization’s social media forums. In her free time, Samantha enjoys writing fiction and has recently published an anthology of short stories.
Meenoo Rami and a couple of her colleagues who helped make #engchat the place to be on Twitter on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern / 4:00 PM Pacific.
Click Read more to see a recent sampling of #engchat
and a copy of the chat that was happening during this webcast.
Do you garden with your students? Do they make things? And do they read and write about these experiences, and sometimes publish the results online?
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, you'll hear National Writing Project teachers from Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and California describe the gardens and writing projects they are doing with their students.
One of the guests, Patricia Paugh, recently did a session at the National Writing Project’s Urban Sites Network meeting in Boston.
Adventures in Text Analysis: Reading and Writing a Community Garden Project Mary Moran and Patricia Paugh,
This session investigates theories related to genre pedagogy enacted in a year-long project on community gardening in an urban neighborhood. The session will include analysis of multi-genre texts and sharing of artifacts related to purposeful writing by students who worked with an urban farming collaborative. (Patricia C. Paugh, is an Associate Professor Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Massachusetts Boston.)
We were also joined by an elementary school teacher, Denise Ferrell, who told us about the multiple garden projects she has been doing with Annie Ortiz and other colleagues at the Skyline Elementary in Stillwater, Oklahoma:
We are fortunate at Skyline to have several kinds of gardens. We have a butterfly garden, an 83 ft raised bed, 5 small square raised beds, a cistern, some small dwarf fruit trees. We also have an outdoor classroom.
Fred Mindlin, Associate Director for Technology Integration at the Central California Writing Project, joined us from a Whole Foods store! Fred has been working with gardeners and digital stories and videos, and more as part of the National Writing Project’s Makes project.
Marshall Woody from the Southern Colorado Writing Project who has just starting gardening with his students, was on the call with us as well.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
67:37 minutes (15.48 MB)
One of the more inspiring threads of our collective inquiry on Teachers Teaching Teachers (TTT) has been to explore how to bring gaming into our classrooms. (See some of our shows on gaming from the past 18 months.) With this episode, we add to that list of shows.
Janelle and her colleagues in Texas are filled with questions as they plan to bring gaming into their classrooms this fall. She sent me some of them. What better way to jump back into gaming than with a bunch of questions -- the kind of questions teachers often ask when they consider adding games to their classes.
Here are the questions we've been brainstorming in our study group on gaming:
How did you all begin including gaming curriculum in your classrooms?
What are some of your biggest successes? Challenges?
How much game playing goes on in your classroom? Do students only play in social action games? What does that conversation look like? What norms are set prior to this?
I'm thinking about using the games students play on a regular basis as media for students to deconstruct and analyze in terms of influencing identity. Should I be playing all these games to get a better idea? Or will observing the students play suffice? What does a teacher do if he or she is not good at playing those video games?
Designing games really requires deep content knowledge. How much experience with game design did you have prior to letting the students explore that avenue?
Could you tell us about Scratch? What are the benefits of this program as compared to Game Star Mechanic?
What kind of evaluation do you use around gaming?
Is it all informal discourse based assessment, or do you do something more formal?
Has your game playing been limited to computer games or have you also used standalone consuls?
How much time did you have to dedicate to help students understand how to utilize the game design tool before they began designing? Do you feel that this time has been detrimental to fulfilling your ability to satisfy state standards?
Joining us on this podcast to help us to explore these questions is Samantha Adams, the Director of Communications, at the New Media Consortium (NMC). Samantha is one of the writers of of the recently released Horizon Report: 2011 K12 Edition, which has a section on gaming:
Game-based learning has gained considerable traction since 2003, when James Gee began to describe the impact of game play on cognitive development. Since then, research and interest in the potential of gaming on learning has exploded, as has the diversity of games themselves, with the emergence of serious games as a genre, the proliferation of gaming platforms, and the evolution of games on mobile devices. Developers and researchers are working in every area of game-based learning, including games that are goal-oriented; social game environments; non-digital games that are easy to construct and play; games developed expressly for education; and commercial games that lend themselves to refining team and group skills. Role-playing, collaborative problem solving, and other forms of simulated experiences are recognized for having broad applicability across a wide range of disciplines.
As the lead writer at the NMC, Samantha Adams was deeply involved in the research and writing of the report. We can't wait to see what she has to say about gaming and the other items in the report: Cloud Computing, Mobiles, Open Content, Learning Analytics, Personal Learning Environments.
Given the questions coming form the North Star Writing Project's study group on gaming, we also invited Chad Sansing, from the Central Virginia Writing Project. This June, at ISTE's Unplugged, Chad plans to "take a closer look at student writing and multi-media compositions created in response to game-based learning on Digital Is, the National Writing Project's new media archive and initiative."
And that's not all! Fortunately, we were smart enough to ask Chad who else he thought we might invite. Thanks to his connections, Janelle and her colleagues (and all of our listeners) get to hear about gaming from these three educators as well:
...my partner, children's author and elementary teacher, Liam O'Donnell for this episode. He's currently using Minecraft with a spec ed class and taking an interesting approach (I'm biased of course). In addition to his experience as a teacher, he's been writing and advocating for games based learning for a very long time. As well he's written extensively about reluctant readers, boys and learning and many of his graphic novels are aimed at those readers - high action, lower vocab.http://liamodonnell.com
As for myself: I'm currently on a leave of absence from high school teaching to write my book and research *situated* informal learning (the out of school kind) of gaming and virtual worlds. While I still locate myself peripherally to the games based learning in schools/education, I quite intentionally chose to focus on "informal" and "situated" learning contexts rather than school examples. We're studying Minecraft for use with early childhood educators (post secondary) with small children. http://edgelab.ryerson.ca/2011/05/19/tinkering-with-minecraft-learning-from-the-edge/
Liam O'Donnell is on this podcast as well. Liam sent along this link:
For me, it was the perfect vehicle to build the literacy skills of seven grade 5 and 6 students who come to me for reading and writing support three days a week. For these students, motivation to read and write is a big challenge. Previously, we had done a writing unit around their Nintendo DSi’s, specifically Pokemon, where they had drawn maps of the game areas, profiled their favourite Pokemon and written strategy guides for specific Pokemon fights. I knew they loved video games and after screening a few Minecraft videos on youtube, they were totally eager to play.
We think you'll find this to be a provocative podcast! Janelle and her colleagues in Texas probably got some questions answered, and maybe they were inspired to ask a few new ones. Maybe you will be too!
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
66:16 minutes (15.17 MB)
On this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers, we have some of our current and former students on the podcast to talk about the high school-college transition. We are also joined by a couple of National Writing Project teachers who have been involved with the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” that came out a few months ago. These frameworks include this amazing list that we invite you to explore:
Habits of Mind
The Framework identifies eight habits of mind essential for success in college writing—ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines:
Curiosity: the desire to know more about the world.
Openness: the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
Engagement: a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
Creativity: the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
Persistence: the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
Responsibility: the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and
understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
Flexibility: the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands.
Metacognition: the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well
as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.
What is College Readiness in Writing? and How Do We Get There?
Every year, we have far too many students like Ian. They aren’t the AP kids (though they might be), and they aren’t the students who fail our classes. They do OK, even sometimes receiving excellent grades in our high school classrooms. But when they get to college, they place into Developmental English classes, or worse (like Ian) they crash and burn and drop out of college. They fall off the bridge between high school and college. This site is devoted to local efforts to help more students graduating from high school place directly into college level writing classes, and importantly—do well in freshman composition. It is meant both as a resource and a professional community of practice dedicated to doing more to prepare our students for college and for helping these students do well once they are in college, for “college readiness” and “student success” in college are really two sides of the same coin.
Kirsten Jamsen whose affiliations include being the co-director of the Minnesota Writing Project.
Kirsten presented on the “Frameworks for Success in Postsecondary Writing” at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in November, where she discussed the statement’s purpose, and recounted the process of composing it. We’ll ask her do some of that again. We’ll also use some of her questions from that session to guide our discussion on Wednesday evening: “What is your response to the statement? How might you use it to promote effective writing instruction at your school? How could this statement help you design thoughtful professional development?”
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