Susan Ettenheim

Teachers Teaching Teachers #153 - Girls Rule (2 of 2): Meet three glib feminists! - 05.27.09

41:57 minutes (4.8 MB)

This is the second of two shows we've done recently that featured young high school women. On TTT#152 we enjoyed learning from the young women at Matt Montagne's school who are involved with tthe Gator Radio Experience.

On this podcast, we feature three amazing teenagers, three glib feminists who have begun to make their voices be heard on a group blog, "Womens Glib."

File this one under student self-initiated work that gives you hope for the future — and the present too!

The young women who started a feminist blog recently to join us on Teachers Teaching Teachers. We learned so much from them that we can't wait until we play this for our students in this fall when we introduce them to blogging.

Women’s Glib is a community of nerdy, foul-mouthed youth. Miranda started the adventure in January, after many months spent wondering if she was up to the task of maintaining a blog. She was very quickly joined by Katie, Ruth, Zoe, Phoebe, Shira, Silvia, and Kyla. Guest contributors also help spread the feministy love now and then.

Here’s what they say on their about page:

Women’s Lib[eration], a.k.a. feminism: n., belief in the social, political, and economic equality of all people regardless of gender or sex

glib: adj., performed with a natural, offhand ease

Women’s Glib is a blog by and for young feminists and womanists. Contributors are teenage New Yorkers, writing about what matters to us with a focus on feminism and other progressive values. We cannot and do not speak for all teenagers or all young feminists; we simply speak for ourselves and write our own truths.

Listen to the podcast and be inspired with us by this new generation of feminist bloggers.


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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #151 - 05.13.09 - Resiliency: What are we learning from our students? (Part 1)

44:00 minutes (14.23 MB)

This is the first of a two-part podcast. Please listen to part two as well: Teachers Teaching Teachers #154 - Resiliency: What are we learning with our colleagues (Part 2 of 2) -06.03.09

Please consider this podcast to be an invitation, perhaps even a request for you to join us in the National Writing Project in this conversation about resiliency, writing, and teaching in these difficult times. We ask that you listen to this podcast, then add your own story (by posting a comment) about a student who exhibited the qualities of resiliency that we are seeking to nurture in our classrooms. What specific structures, decisions, books, approaches, projects or technologies have you learned to employ in your classroom to provide the "protective factors" that enable "at-risk" students to develop the resiliency they need to succeed?

Our guests on this podcast are:

  • DeWayne Dickens, Oklahoma State Writing Project
  • Suzanne Linebarger, Northern California Writing Project
  • Sandra Hogue, Louisville Writing Project
  • Irina McGrath, Louisville Writing Project
  • Lynette Herring-Harris, Thinking Partner for Rural Sites Network
  • Vanessa Brown, Thinking Partner for the Urban Sites Network, Philadelphia Writing Project

Resiliency theories have been shared for over a decade. These teachers are just a few of the members of the National Writing Project's Urban and Rural Sites Networks, who have been discussing the implications of resiliency research for classroom practice. On this podcast you will hear what they see and do when stakes are high, supports are limited, and odds are tough—and kids rise above it all.

  • DeWayne tells us about a woman in her late-30's who has failed Composition II three times, but is not giving up.
  • Suzanne describes Jermaine, the Mayor of Liondot Avenue, and a video project that draws him into school.
  • Sandra relates a story about six-year-old "Richard" who had been removed from his home and placed with his aunt, but who finds himself in literature.
  • Irina tells us about her work with English Language Learners, her Spanish-speaking students who found community by telling their stories in Spanish.
  • Lynette talks about a letter she wrote to her students with a quarter for a phone call. Many of her rural students used these quarters, connecting with a teacher who cared. They were kids who had the odds against them, but they found success.

This podcast is the first of a special two-part Teachers Teaching Teachers sponsored by the Urban Sites Network and Rural Sites Network of the National Writing Project. The next webcast will be on Wednesday June 3, 2009 right here at EdTechTalk at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA Wednesday / 01:00 UTC Thursdays World Times.

After the webcast, DeWayne sent around a statement by a student that represents his thinking on resilience: "Overall, I feel as though I have accomplished the impossible. I has not been easy, nor has it been without failure, but it has been the hardships that have made the successes not only more important but much more meaningful."

Another example from DeWayne:

A student from this semester with visual impairment represents the resilience needed to make it through school. Some days he was angry. Some days he seemed lost because he could not see the white board, the classroom text books, or the computer screens. He had to learn how to make requests of staff, faculty, and students--in a mature and respectful manner that placed people in a mode of wanting to help him. At the beginning of the semester, most comments were angry and forceful. Toward the end of the semester, the comments shifted to engaging others in helping him solve his problems by his suggesting possible alternate ways for others to provide him work. He had moved to appreciating his academic skills and his need to master even subjects he detested. This young father became an agent in his learning, not just a bystander hoping to gather some crumbs from what others distributed at will. I call him my "Seeing Better Now" student.

Suzanne wanted to add to the conversation that she found the webcast to be "inspirational...much needed right now!" She continues, "I've been thinking about the development of the resiliency research. It began, I believe with Emmy Werner's work in Kauai. Bonnie Benard built on that work, and later researchers like Tim Burns and Nan Henderson built on Benard's work. My husband did his doctoral work by creating a sort of backward resilience study with students in a small rural high school who had been in the community since kindergarten."

Suzanne also points us to what might be next:

I'm wondering if there's a place for new thinking... where to from here... in our next conversation [June 3]. Is there a place for us to continue the work? Dewayne's study of persistance is powerful, as is thinking about the far reaching results of Kentucky's professional learning community. Around here [Northern California], many of our schools used to use Dorothy Rich's book MegaSkils to foster resiliency, but shifted to a weekly list of character traits, which everyone is finding not nearly as effective as people had hoped. This is certainly a perfect time to revisit resiliency. New applications...New ideas...California teachers for sure are hungry for any hopeful thinking!

Finally, Suzanne point us to an article, "Fostering Resiliency in Kids," Bonnie Benard, Educational Leadership Vol. 51, Number 3 November 1993. Other resources for Benard's work can be found at this National Writing Project resource: The Importance of Resiliency in Learning and Writing, by Art Peterson.

It's probably evident that this is an ongoing conversation between theory and practice. We would love to include your story of what you have learned from your resilient students. How has working with students such as the ones in this podcast transformed your teaching? We would be pleased if you would take the time to describe the students in your classroom by leaving a comment.

And, of course, please join us again on Wednesday June 3, 2009 right here at EdTechTalk at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA Wednesday / 01:00 UTC Thursdays World Times.


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


Teachers Teaching Teacher #150 - SproutBuilder Meets VoiceThread - 05.06.09

50:45 minutes (16.04 MB)

Susan Ettenheim just started using Sproutbuilder this spring and is always happy to work with VoiceThread, an all time favorite application, so we decided to introduce them to each other with you joining us in the conversation. Trudy Marquardt from Sproutbuilder joined us with Justin Ellsworth, a Sprout using educator, and Ben Papell and Steve Muth from VoiceThread.

From VoiceThread: With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install. A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies.

Steve and Ben, aside from sharing with Trudy and Justin and our listeners, introduced the amazing new VoiceThread Library. The Digital Library is a database of articles about successful VoiceThread projects. It creates a resource that offers guidance and inspiration for people undertaking new projects.

Sprout Builder is a web-hosted, visual authoring solution that allows creative professionals to quickly and easily create branded, rich-media content and widgets. So, why are we interested in it for education? Our students want to build, build, build - who wouldn't want to "make a website" and publish it?

When Harold Rheingold posted  a tweet about SproutBuilder, Susan was intrigued, having followed his work for many years since his very first books about online community.

Susan's students had been asking to build websites and since becoming a Google Apps school, students had access to Sites. Could they start a Site that could grow to be a digital portfolio over the four years of high school? Could Sites be interesting enough to them to hold their attention? They started a main page and then were frozen. What could they talk about? They were "only" in 9th grade. They needed to gain some confidence and validate the interests and passions that they did already have. Every student found a topic about which they wanted to learn more and built a Sprout to explore the topic. Along the way, they learned about fair use, developing a point of view and a hook into a story, citations and rss feeds. They started to learn about widgets and social media and saw how a giant like Pepsi, and a 9th grade student could explore using the same tool.

Trudy Marquardt at SproutBuilder started answering Susan's help questions and introduced her to Justin who has started an amazing wiki about SproutBuilder.
Here are some links that Justin shared:

Here are some links to get you started:

Here is a link to a YouTube Video that Trudy made on Sprouts and Education:

oh and... the link to the VoiceThread Moodle embed plugin -

Thank you Harold Rheingold for your Twitter posts! One of Harold's college students has even corresponded with one of Susan's students about building Sprouts.

Where are the intersection between widgets, commercialism, education and those amazing creations like Voice Thread and Sprout who seem to knit it all together? Please add your thoughts and experiences to our discussion. Keep it real!

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


Teachers Teaching Teachers #146 - What does Obama's Online Town Hall Meeting have to do with our classrooms? 04.01.09

32:30 minutes (10.63 MB)

Our guest on this Teachers Teaching Teachers podcast is David Colarusso, developer of communityCounts and a moderator of Ask the President.

A few weeks ago, as soon as Paul Allison had finished reading about “Ask the President” in The Nation, Barack Obama was conducting his first online town hall. Obama answered questions that had been voted to the top at, an exciting new process which was molded on a project that was created and is being hosted by our guest, David Colarusso, “a 30-year-old law student and former high school teacher.”

When Paul read that this web innovator and activist was a former teacher, he started thinking that David may have some thoughts about how my students and the students involved in our social network,, might get involved in the “Ask The President” project or other communityCOUNTS projects.

Listen to our conversation with David Colarusso about “leveraging your voice for change.” We asked him how to “spark, collect, rank, and compel discussion for an assortment of web-content from Flickr to YouTube” using communityCounts.


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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #145 - Discussing Fundamentals and Building Plans Together - 03.25.09

64:10 minutes (20.62 MB)

Susan Ettenheim and Paul Allison welcome colleagues Ron Link (NYC Writing Project), Gail Desler (Area 3 Writing Project in California), and Fred Hass (Boston Writing Project) for a conversation about collaboration, publishing, and building a responsive community of students, mainly within our work together on Youth Voices.

Please listen to how we talk to each other, then plan to join us in the future.

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

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