Teachers Teaching Teachers #158 - 07.01.09 - Inside Youth Voices: What does the site do well? What does it not need to do?

Post-Show description: 

Join three of the facilitators of Youth Voices, Paul Allison, Susan Ettenheim, and Chris Sloan in a conversation with each other and five other teachers who have recently begun to use the site (or plan to soon):

  • Carolyn Stanley, a tech integrator in Conneticut
  • Sherry Edwards, an English teacher Washington
  • Fred Haas, an English teacher in a school near Boston
  • Jennifer Bahle (now Razor), an English teacher in Omaha
  • Michael Dodes, a librarian in the Bronx.

As we begin to plan for the coming fall semester, we talk about some of the things that went well, some of our common goals, some things we don't agree with, some new possibilities in our work together.

Listen to this podcast to learn more about what we talk about when we talk about Youth Voices. If you might want to have your students work on this school-based social network, this might be a good way to find out what our community of teachers and students is all about.

These videos also help fill in some of our thinking:


View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

These videos, along with the podcast, and the chat log (below) might whet your appetite for joining us this fall in Youth Voices.


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

20:49:32 Paul Allison: Hi.
20:51:49 carolteach4: Hi, Susan and Paul. Do you have a bunch of people who went to ISTE on board?
20:52:05 carolteach4: I mean NECC - next year it's ISTE
20:52:06 SusanEttenheim: hi carol!
20:52:14 SusanEttenheim: did you go?
20:52:30 SusanEttenheim: somehow I thought we both went virtually
20:52:39 carolteach4: I went virtually. I watched some of the live feeds and some of the recorded ones.
20:53:19 SusanEttenheim: carol do you have your skype ?
20:53:23 carolteach4: I just finished watching the intro and the keynote by Gladstone this afternoon. It's amazing what furor was raised in the blogosphere.
20:53:26 SusanEttenheim: can we call you in?
20:54:03 carolteach4: I am ashamed to say that I still haven't downloaded it. You can call me on my brandie new iPhone. I can give you the number in private chat.
 21:09:16 SusanEttenheim: hi all
21:13:35 SusanEttenheim: michael welcome!
21:13:39 jbahle: Is that neck or net?
21:13:51 SusanEttenheim: I'm going to bring you into the skype and just listen for a sec ok?
21:13:55 SusanEttenheim: necc
21:14:48 SusanEttenheim: jenny there's a ning and a ustream site
21:14:53 jbahle: what are live feeds?
21:14:54 SusanEttenheim: although I think it's over now
21:15:08 SusanEttenheim: we could watch the presentation virtually
21:15:57 SusanEttenheim: hi peggy!
21:16:08 PeggyG: Hi everyone-I've been listening but couldn't get the chat to open. Trying a new browser.
21:16:18 SusanEttenheim: michael we're getting feedback so I put you on hold for a minute
21:16:25 PeggyG: Great to see you!
21:16:33 SusanEttenheim: peggy did you go to necc?
21:16:40 PeggyG: I'm still at NECC :-)
21:16:52 SusanEttenheim: can we skype you in for a live update?
21:17:11 PeggyG: I can't really talk because I'm sharing a room with 2 sleepy people
21:17:14 M. Dodes: ok I should be fine now
21:17:21 SusanEttenheim: ah ok peggy
21:17:22 PeggyG: I'll try to type fast though :-)
21:17:30 SusanEttenheim: lol has it been great?
21:17:41 SusanEttenheim: michael - just mute when you're not talking, ok?
21:17:44 M. Dodes: Muting my microphone until I need to speak
21:17:46 PeggyG: It has been FABULOUS!!!!
21:17:48 jbahle: what is necc?
21:18:06 SusanEttenheim: national education computing conference
21:18:13 jbahle: thanks!
21:18:16 PeggyG: I am so renewed and inspired from all of the amazing people and information!
21:18:24 SusanEttenheim: just google and check out the site and ning!
21:18:57 PeggyG: There are lots of videos and podcasts on the NECC site where you can see some of the presentations
21:19:02 SusanEttenheim: peggy did you go to vicki davis' session onitouch? i watched it
21:19:13 PeggyG: No I missed that session.
21:19:37 SusanEttenheim: there was soooo much information!
21:19:50 PeggyG: Yes definitely!!
21:20:19 SusanEttenheim: carolyn - this is great for you to hear
21:20:27 PeggyG: I think the video streams are available here: http://www.istevision.org
21:20:29 SusanEttenheim: to help you get your teachers involved this fall!
21:20:56 carolteach4: yes-
21:21:24 M. Dodes: an example of teachers using nings can be found at http://teachnetnyc.ning.com/ and also Joyce Valenza's at http://teacherlibrarian.ning.com/ for anyone who's interested
21:21:48 M. Dodes: These are professional uses - not with students
21:23:12 PeggyG: Students have to be over 13 yrs to join a Ning community
21:23:43 M. Dodes: If it's a closed community I don't really see the issue but I know the EULA
21:24:25 PeggyG: I'm so happy to hear Carolyn talk about this!
21:27:33 PeggyG: I got to meet the 7th grader who created the Civil War wiki at NECC unplugged. She is amazing!! http://civilwarsallie.wikispaces.com/  Have you seen it? Excellent example of a student-created wiki.
21:31:11 PeggyG: I think the digital photography posts were really interesting and students gave each other good feedback.
21:32:45 PeggyG: I actually learned how to do some photoshop editing from one of the student screencasts. :-)
21:33:16 M. Dodes: I'm thinking that on one hand it sounds like we need a structured environment for projects but also a lively self driven community.  Personally I think one of Youthvoices strengths is providing that kind of directory-type closed community for locating other educators interested in working together and connecting students.  In my opinion where youthvoices will excel is working on better ways to fill that need as the need grows and providing a digital environment that supports PBL projects as well as not necessarily school related topics.
21:33:30 SusanEttenheim: that's great peggy!
21:33:45 jbahle: I think one of my problems is that I am considerably behind many of you with getting my students involved with some of the digital work you all are doing with your classes.  I am just starting my technology journey, so I don't have my students doing the digital projects yet and that might help my students be more involved.
21:34:30 SusanEttenheim: but jenny we want our students to be thinking and collaborating more than just making things with technology!
21:35:36 M. Dodes: It's combination...students need to be able to identify problems, discuss solutions, and use technology (if appropriate) to solve them.
21:36:04 jbahle: Yeah, I definitely want both.  What you are talking about right now sounds great, I am taking a class this fall called Place Conscious teaching where it is about getting kids to write about where they live
21:36:15 PeggyG: just using Youth Voices to collaborate and share is using technology as a tool--the best way!
21:38:07 M. Dodes: so many tools though - students need to learn many different tools and then how to select appropriate ones - one thing I see too often is using  technology in artificial ways - not the most effective ways possible.  Many times just using the computer instead of a pencil.
21:38:14 PeggyG: If you get a chance, listen to the final keynote from NECC-Erin Gruwell who wrote the book and did the documentary called "Freedom Writers"
21:38:29 PeggyG: :-) She just mentioned the Freedom Writers as I was typing that
21:38:53 PeggyG: That was an incredible story about how their writing changed their lives
21:39:04 jbahle: why are kids not allowed to write about their blocks-Susan?
21:40:07 SusanEttenheim: jenny it's just about not posting private info
21:40:10 SusanEttenheim: online
21:40:13 jbahle: oh, i see
21:40:50 SusanEttenheim: there have actually been cases of divorce where a parent doesn't know where a child is.. of course there can be a false sense of anonymity but still we try to be smart
21:41:33 SusanEttenheim: i suppose they could write about it as attitude but not by name
21:43:00 jbahle: yeah, i was thinking about them writing about their neighborhoods because we have kids from such different worlds that live in the same city and I think it's powerful to see the differences and help them be more aware of it and what it means culturally and politically
21:43:38 SusanEttenheim: jenny the issue for us then is to what end? what do you want them to be able to do when they are done?
21:44:20 PeggyG: I saw a really great project on the images4education Ning where everyone submitted photos from their areas/cultures and told a story that went with the photos--very creative!
21:44:53 jbahle: I don't know, connect, realize, be a part of their city more, be involved and aware of the disparities in our student's lives...I don't know if I really know what I want them to do exactly...
21:45:36 SusanEttenheim: that's interesting jenny because that's exactly where we want to go
21:45:58 SusanEttenheim: but we don't have the answer either!
21:46:49 jbahle: I would love to see kids put everything in perspective, see greater connections between their situations and those nearby and those far away.  If that makes sense!
21:46:50 PeggyG: Look at some of the ideas here: using photos to communicate http://images4education.pbworks.com/Week2
21:47:01 SusanEttenheim: we have a senior quality of life project where the students are supposed to draw upong their 4 years of community service to identify an issue in their community and take action through research on it
21:47:21 SusanEttenheim: our students generally hate the project!
21:47:46 jbahle: that's great, we don't have something like that at our school, but we are currently working on creating a senior final project and this might be a way to go
21:47:57 jbahle: well hating it isnt great!
21:48:01 jbahle: why do they hate it?
21:48:03 SusanEttenheim: i'm try to get rid of it!
21:48:04 PeggyG: people shared their poems and photos with each other on the Ning and then responded to each other--very collaborative and motivating
21:48:21 SusanEttenheim: what motivated them to respond peggy?
21:48:50 PeggyG: when you look at the photos/poems and read the comments it's easy to see why they were motivated
21:49:38 carolteach4: @Susan -When will chat be posted. I've been tryig to listen actively, so I really haven't followed the chat. It looks to have some good resources.
21:49:39 SusanEttenheim: i will look!
21:50:02 SusanEttenheim: it is all posted online when the audio goes up!
21:50:11 SusanEttenheim:  don't worry about missing anything here
21:55:03 carolteach4: I'm still not clear on how to get a project started.
21:55:28 PeggyG: you can see some of the photos/poems they shared in that course here--I think your students might enjoy this project http://www.flickr.com/groups/images4education/discuss/72157612713700726/
21:56:19 PeggyG: This is the description of the activity: http://images4education.pbworks.com/Week2#Task2YourOriginsPhoto
21:57:22 carolteach4: A directory of projects would be helpful.
21:57:49 PeggyG: I think you're onto something carolteach4
21:58:23 SusanEttenheim: yes
21:58:35 PeggyG: it really would help to see a table of contents/directory/list of projects with links to describe the projects and assignments to help others who might like to try it
21:59:36 carolteach4: If I had a class of my own, it would be easier. But I have to find something that will fit in with our curriculum. We are very curriculum driven at this point.
22:00:24 carolteach4: Can you drop a link to the academic page of wikipedia?
22:01:18 carolteach4: Appropriate is the key word. In middle school we have to be careful.
22:02:30 SusanEttenheim: ah let me see if I can find it..
22:04:40 PeggyG: are you talking about the wikipedia for schools?
22:04:55 PeggyG: http://schools-wikipedia.org/
22:05:19 SusanEttenheim: having trouble finding it right now
22:06:29 SusanEttenheim: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schools_and_universities_project
22:06:48 SusanEttenheim: isn't that an interesting list?
22:07:25 PeggyG: Definitely!! I don't think I've seen that before
22:09:08 PeggyG: That's a great suggestion!
22:09:36 jbahle: Thanks for that link!
22:12:50 PeggyG: some excellent brainstorming from all of you! thanks!!
22:12:57 PeggyG: good night everyone
22:13:15 M. Dodes: Thanks for the discussion - I hope my contributions were helpful.
22:13:22 carolteach4: Thanks. I still have a lot to learn, but every session helps.
22:13:31 M. Dodes: Good Night.
22:14:05 SusanEttenheim: night all!