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New York City Writing Project

Teachers Teaching Teachers #188 - A snow day in NYC gives us a chance to do some collaborative planning - 02.26.10


41:54 minutes (9.59 MB)

Because of a rare snow day in New York City, four NYC Writing Project teachers used some of our "found time" to do some impromptu thinking together. Our students are using Youth Voices, and recently we agreed to build a new curriculum this Spring.  We got together on Skype today to discuss our budding plans for teaching "I-Search, Diigo, and Gaming."

What you will hear us discussing on this podcast is the beginning of a plan for a research and gaming curriculum and a proposal for a series of three or four professional development sessions this Spring that are focused on some portion of the game-playing and game-building curriculum that Global Kids has developed. We also have a plan for inviting other interested New York City Writing Project teachers to join us by experimenting with gaming themselves and by developing this curriculum with us.

What our small study group, the New York City Writing Project's "Tech Thursdays" group wants to do is to create a curriculum that has modules that can fit into different types of for classes, especially core subject areas. For now we are doing this work in the following content areas:

  • Computer Arts (Susan Ettenheim)
  • English (Paul Allison and Chris Sloan)
  • Technology (Shantanu Saha and Madeline Brownstone)
  • Art (Renee Dryg and David Marini)

We are creating a curriculum that assumes that teachers will be able to commit to doing it two times a week for at least 10 weeks (or similar parameters).

Those  of us working on this curriculum this Spring will build successful collaborative game-based learning experiences for our students and we will learn from our failures. At the same time, we will be constantly building the rationales and the theoretical framework for including a curriculum like this into core classes in grades 6 -12.  We are thinking about how we might involve other New York City Writing Project teachers in this work, perhaps in summer institue that integrates gaming into our current Advanced Summer Institute model. We are also planning for day-long workshops and regular study groups like our Tech Thursday groups in the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011.

We would also welcome your participation! As we say in this podcast, we will be using the What's Up? section of Youth Voices to have our student-gamers become more reflective about gaming, and we'll ask the students to contribute to the knowledge based of serious gaming by developing analyses by adding Discussions to Youth Voices, for example here are Comparative Essays from the first week of our new curriculum. If you have been looking for a way for your students to join Youth Voices, perhaps you could adapt, adopt, and contribut to this curriculum as well. Please join Youth Voices, and let us know!

In the meantime, we welcome you to eavesdrop on this impromptu planning session shared by four New York City public school teachers enjoying a rare snow day in New York City: Paul Allison, Susan Ettenheim, Madeline Brownstone, and Shantanu Saha.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #159 - 07.08.09 - Learning with Technology in a Writing Project Summer Institute


38:45 minutes (12.66 MB)

For this podcast, we invited five New York City educators who, at the time, were in the middle of a 3-week Summer Institute with the New York City Writing Project. Paul Allison and Shantanu Saha were the facilitators for this Institute in which participants were invited to:

Spend 12 days this summer with other New York City Writing Project teachers who use technology in their classrooms. Share the ways we use the Internet to make student-to-student connections. Learn about a curriculum currently being developed and collaborated on by teachers across the nation. Explore how we use blogs, wikis, images, videos, podcasts, and other tools to inspire young people to do research into their own questions.

These are five of the teachers who joined us:

  • Charlie Freij, Technology/English Teacher, East Brooklyn Community High School
  • Doug Condon, Art Teacher, Academy of American Studies in Queens
  • Julio Benitez, English Teacher, High School for Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture, Queens
  • Karen Levy, Library Media Specialist, Christopher Columbus High School, Bronx
  • Michael Dodes, Library Media Specialist, samuel Gompers Career/Technonogy Ed High School, Bronx

We also had a wonderful surprise guest, Suzie Boss. Just before going live with this webcast (that is recorded here as a podcast), Paul noticed that Suzie Boss was online in Skype. Since we had been talking about her book earlier in the day, Paul took a chance and invited Suzie to join them. What an thoughful, supportive, informed guest she was!

And that's not all. We were also joined by Mike from Central Texas. He's been teaching for 40 years, using inquiry, Great Books Discussions, and the New Jersey Writing Project (in Texas) as his touchstones, and recently he has been exploring Web 2.0 tools. This was his first skype call.

How wonderful it was to add these names to our list of guests:

Please enjoy the podcast. Find out what happens in a tech-focused Advanced/Open Summer Institute in the New York City Writing Project.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #38: Teaching Blogging

EdTechTalk: Teachers Teaching Teachers #38
Teaching Blogging
January 31, 2007
Download mp3 (52:23, 25 MB)

The night before she started her Spring Semester classes at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in New York City, Susan Ettenheim participated in a dialogue via skype with teachers from four different Writing Projects: Paul Allison (NYC), Matt Makowetski (South Coast, CA), Bill O’Neal (Trenton, NJ), and Bob LeVin (Area 3 in CA). This is a podcast of that conversation.

Along with Chris Sloan in Salt Lake City (Utah WP), the six of us are beginning a complex, exciting collaboration with our students in an elgg, YouthVoices.net. Listen as we plan, take a look at Susan’s introduction to her students, and consider joining us. You might leave a comment here, then go over to YouthVoices and see what all the excitement is about.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #37: Rethinking Journalism with Chris Sloan

EdTechTalk: Teachers Teaching Teachers #37
Rethinking Journalism with Chris Sloan
January 24, 2007
Download mp3 (70:58, 34 MB)

Writing like the post that we’ve copied here makes it easy to listen to what our students think about our work with them. Here’s what a 9th grader in Chris Sloan’s class thinks about blogging at YouthVoices.net:

What makes a good blog post, by Parker at Judge Memorial High School, Salt Lake City

To create a really good blog post, I really think that people need to open up to the readers. Honesty is most effective, because the actual emotion that others put down is probably something that others have experienced, or can relate to. For example, i just read a letter a girl wrote to her father, but he passed away four years ago. It was the most personal, morose, true example of sadness that i have ever read, let alone on youthvoices. I don’t know anything like that personally, but the raw openness made it something that i felt, not just read. I’ve also published some poems on the site, and i’ve gotten some varied, but positive, responses to those, and that’s encouraging.   more below

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