Teachers Teaching Teachers #97 - Foxfire for the Firefox Generation - 03.26.08

This podcast begins with a focus on the work of two technology teachers and two students from The Baccalaureate School for Global Education (BSGE) in Astoria, NY. Madeline Brownstone and Shantanu Saha describe their two-year technology curriculum that has students doing global, multimedia projects.

Madeline and Shantanu have been working with schools here in the US through the New York City Writing Project and World Bridges/EdTechTalk. And their students have been participating in a project with a school in the Netherlands with iEarn.

More recently their students have also begun working with teachers and students involved with the Horizon Project, which was founded by Vikki Davis and Julie Lindsay. Listen to hear how these teachers and students integrate these national and international projects with the curricular expectations of a technology concentration that leads to an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

That might be enough, but Madeline and Shantanu and their students also found wonderful ways to relate their work to the collaborative study of rural culture that is being planned by Lee Baber in Virginia and Woody Woodgate in Alaska. Woody tells his students that they are natives of Alaska and the digital worlds.

In this podcast we explore all of these ways of connecting urban, rural, global, and digital youths!


Hello, I've enjoyed numerous podcasts here, but was especially interested to hear this one about Woody's program, and the connection with diverse, like minded educators. I am the Director of Educational Technology for another Alaska school district. The Bering Strait School District is about the size of the country of Great Britain, and has 15 Yup'ik, Siberian Yup'ik and Inupiaq Eskimo communities that are not connected by road to each other. All travel is by small airplane, and you can see Russia with the naked eye from four of the villages. We have about 1,700 students K-12. Subsistence hunting and fishing, and whaling from small boats, native dance and the the whole range of traditional folkways are still intact here. Our department is actually part of the Curriculum and Instruction division in our district, and nearly all our staff are former classroom teachers, not "IT" folks. The concept of "Place Based Education" is a cornerstone to our instructional model, and we need an "authentic audience", just like Wiggington's Foxfire students did to make production of content meaningful. Instead of cameras, typewriters, mimeographs and tape recorders, we use digital video, MP3 audio recorders, a wiki database, blogs, and social networking tools ;-) We have been working with teachers for six years now to apply a "Digital Foxfire" approach across subject areas, and have numerous ways to share content. All of our content is student produced and Creative Commons licensed. Our Open Content wiki installation has over 8,600 pages of content, files and so on linked to our Curriculum Standards..and we have many other sites with digital media about the culture and history or our region, including Vodcasts, QuickTime movies, audio files, sled dog racing coverage, video documenting whaling, hunting, reindeer herding, and so on. Just recently we had students and teachers send out Iditarod Sled Dog Race coverage to over 10,000 students around the world via 12 "IditaProject" shows broadcast on video conference (H.264), live Flash stream and QuickTime. We are ONLY JUST BEGINNING to document the richness of our region. There is an incredible amount of potential we see for next year in collaboration at the classroom level, but we need like minded partners. Some of our teachers would love to participate in collaborating over distance with schools that are interested in leveraging Web 2.0 technologies for instruction. Interested teachers or program administrators can contact me for additional information, or send an email to our group at [email protected]. Keep up the great work here. Regards, JTC...in the Bering Sea

IB is a political indoctrination program. Kids have been doing rigorous school work in private schools for years. Public schools have left many kids behind. You don't need IB to raise standards, all you need is a set curriculum that allows the teachers to require more writing projects, etc. This is done all the time in private and parochial schools without having to pay the enormous cost associated with IB. We have a family member who attended one year in an IB program and then transferred to a Catholic High School. She acknowledges that the Catholic High school/college prep was far more challenging than IB. Parents are being fooled again that their kids are getting a solid academic education. It's one fad after another in public schools. When will they simply raise the standards for all students starting in Kindergarten?

I see my comment is in for moderation. Duh...forgot to give links: My Email Address: [email protected] BSSD Links: BSSD Website http://www.bssd.org BSSD Curriculum Wiki System http://wiki.bssd.org/index.php/Main_Page Video About Diomede School http://mushing.bssd.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=82 Live Steerable Webcam Across International Dateline The cliffs you see from the school are Russia...in tomorrow's time zone! Thanks, and look forward to future podcasts from your site. Regards, JTC...in the Bering Sea Skype User ID: Johncn2