Recently on TTT we've been inviting students to join us. Our recent interest in putting young people at the center of our conversations was re-sparked on this episode of Youth Night on TTT.
Our guests are:
Monisha Nelson Jeff Lebow Kelsey Shelhart
Cristian Buendia Jackie Morgan Tommy Buteau
Perhaps you know a student, a son or daughter, brother or sister who might want to join our efforts on TTT to turn our show over to youths to plan impromptu and scheduled webcasts via Hangouts On Air that will allow them to deepen their conversations with each other and to amplify their voices.
Enjoy this week's open, chaotic, ground-level planning session, and invite a student to join us soon in this ongoing set of conversations.
On this episode of TTT teachersteachingteachers.org/feed/podcast, find out what Digital Storyteller/Maker/String Arts Master/3rd Spacer, Fred Mindlin is up to with Metal Sculptor, Ed Martinez at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.
Last week, Ed Martinez started a 5-week series of workshops with students to create another in a group of mobiles he’s been working on representing the forage species of the local marine environment in Santa Cruz, California. Fred MIndlin is facilitating student sharing of reflection and analysis about the process and its meaning. Read more about this project at http://forage.storyreach.com/, and see more about Ed’s work at http://junkartscramble.com/
This is a relaxed, reflective, and insightful conversation, thanks in large part to the comments and questions from 8th-grader, Kelsey Shelhart.
Please join our dialogue by adding your comments on this Vialogue:
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers we talk with Charles Kouns and David Loitz and a wonderful panel of students about the listening sessions Charlie and David create for teens to raise their voices on school change. The student voices you hear on this podcast are Sierra Goldstein, Jay Smith Chisley, Mackenzie Amara, Nikhil Goyal, Kelsey Shelhart
We invite you to be reminded of the importance of starting with youth voices when we consider what to do next as educators.
Our conversation on this podcast is about how important it is to listen to students, and we learn more about David and Charlie's methods of doing that. David Loitz writes:
Charlie's focus is in helping to bring the voices and visions of youth people to a national stage. He is both a teacher and an visionary. He is a dear friend and mentor. He created Imagining Leaning four years ago, and has traveled up and down the west coast and as far as New Zealand to host listening session with groups of young people.
To get the full effect, take a moment to find some string before you listen to this episode of TTT. How much? Fred says, "About two meters or a little over 6 feet is usually a good length. Hold the string between your two hands stretched out as wide as they go, then add about 6 inches."
Fred explains that he was "inspired by the session we had with teachers using Minecraft, where we explored an online game world via another virtual world, http://edtechtalk.com/node/5102 and I was intrigued by whether it would be feasible to explore a meatspace game in our virtual Teachers Teaching Teachers forum." He sees "string games as a gateway to keyboarding and creativity or finger calisthenics, and computer keyboarding: media magic for tradigital storytelling."
Playing games with string is a human cultural universal. This ancient art form is surprisingly helpful in developing both the manual dexterity and strength needed for computer keyboarding. The approach I use for teaching string games to groups also provides a helpful practice ground for some of life's essential skills: creativity, resilience, cooperation, and storytelling.
And that's not all. Here's an excerpt and a couple of photos from a post that Diana wrote shortly after this episode of TTT:
There were some great quotes that Chad, a fellow participant, shared via Twitter. (I can't recall them all - they were things like "it's important to model failure" and "string games are 'digital' fun".) What I realized was how potent teaching string games would be to analyze your own teaching practice. Listening to Fred teach the group how to make a 3-pronged spear made me hyper-aware of how important detailed, clear instructions are, and the different learning styles at play. The first time I tried it, I failed. The second time, when Fred re-explained and added a few "notice this part here" tips, I did it! I cheered pretty loudly when I succeeded. My webcam wasn't working on Google +, so I convinced my daughter to take a photo of my accomplishment.
I made a 3-pronged spear! Here's proof!
A less complimentary shot of me, with my string jedi master Fred on-screen
Fred mentioned that there are several books and YouTube videos that explain, step by step, how to make different shapes. I think I need a person near me to give feedback (though the string collapsing in unrecognizable shapes is pretty immediate feedback too). I gave myself a goal - to teach the kids in my SK and Grade 7 classes how to make the 3-pronged spear and do it to music at a June assembly. I'm repeating it here so it'll be my contract to myself to try it out and report what results.
With a wonderful mix of thoughtful people we explore how questions about “engagement”—even what it means—help us have productive dialogues about what good teaching and learning looks like and what might change in our schools. Each of us in this conversation are working to reconsider our assumptions and to recast our questions about student engagement in high school and beyond. Please add to this mix by listening in and adding to the comments below.
Learn more about +Todd Finley and his colleague Shari Steadman’s research into how student teachers at East Carolina University think about student engagement.
Take in +Kelsey Shelhart's comments about what it's like to be a seventh grader these days.
And listen to +Nick Perez explain why his unrecognized talents led him to leaving high school, and into the new life working at a technology start up.
Nick found our conversation and had this poignant, detailed response, which I can’t figure out how to excerpt, so here it is in full. Nick wrote to us:
I don’t think high-school is for everyone - just like college isn’t for everyone. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’d love to see more of a focus on alternative forms of education for dropouts, and less of a focus on forcing them to stay in schools where they don’t feel productive. A little background on how I formed that opinion:
I’m a high-school dropout. I wrote my first program when I was ~10 years old, and spent my time coding instead of doing schoolwork. Everyone knew that I was educating myself, but I was still treated like a troublemaker because of my grades. After being placed in a horrible, kind of humiliating special-ed program in middle school (I had someone following me around all day, making sure I was paying attention), I started skipping school because I felt alienated. I’ve never been allowed in a regular high-school classroom (I was in a small program for troubled kids, where it wasn’t unusual for a student to be out for weeks/months due to jail-time), which made me feel further alienated, and motivated me to skip class more often.
So eventually I left. I think there should be more of a focus on our unique needs, and more of an understanding of the fact that “unique needs” doesn’t necessarily equate to learning disabilities or behavioral problems - some of us prefer to work without a standardized curriculum, some of us prefer to work alone, some prefer to work in groups, some want complete guidance, and some just want independent study with extra help on-call.. and yeah, some are stubborn enough to reject any form of education that doesn’t meet their needs/desires/expectations, like myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I love self-educating, because I love freedom and self-accountability. If I fail to learn the things I need to learn, it’s an issue that I deal with on my own, instead of facing disciplinary action, or getting an “F”, or being placed in a box of “bad kids”. I have a job. I pay taxes. I’ve never had issues paying my rent. I’m still self-educating at every opportunity and always will be. Life goes on. I’d love to help other dropouts feel like they haven’t missed their chance.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
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