Teachers Teaching Teachers #205 -Three teachers from Louisiana talk about a dull ache - 2nd in a series - 06.16.10

Post-Show description: 

Obama seems to have missed another opportunity in a major address that he gave about the BP oil spill last month (June 15). Earlier he was right to call the Gulf Oil Disaster our environmental 9/11. Both are life-changing disasters that have many of us asking where we need to stop compromising.

On Teachers Teaching Teachers this summer, we are asking what needs to change in our schools and in our lives as teachers. We hope that Thomas L. Friedman’s comments in May 2010 won’t be the last word on the 9/11 comparison. “Sept. 11, 2001, was one of those rare seismic events that create the possibility to energize the country to do something really important and lasting that is too hard to do in normal times.”

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we talked about what we can do now that we might not have done before this disaster or failure. This is the second of a series of shows we will be doing on the Gulf oil disaster.

In the previous podcast (TTT 204), we had a thoughtful, productive conversation with history teacher Diana Laufenberg about responses in our curriculum to the Gulf Oil Disaster.  One of her ideas was to set up Skype connections for our students with people in Gulf states to personalize and more deeply understand the impact of this ongoing disaster. To move this idea forward, we were joined by teacher-consultants from the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project  — Carolyn Kirk, Tasha Whitton, and Ellen Steigman — on this podcast.

On this podcast, we wre also be joined by teachers Matt Montagne and Andrea Zellner — two of our favorite angry, young environmentalists!

Won’t you join us too? We will continue our conversations about what needs to change all summer on Teachers Teaching Teachers. We want to know what you are thinking. Join us in the chat room or get ready to join us on Skype at http://EdTechTalk.com/live at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA Wednesdays / 01:00 UTC Thursdays World Times

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

20:30:17 DaveC: hi everyone
20:31:06 thefishpoisoncon: I just did
20:31:16 Jason41: fishpoison....nice
20:31:21 janet zhao: :) :)
20:32:15 Jason41: now we can talk about him
20:32:20 kristenp: haha
20:32:43 thefishpoisoncon: dropping like flies
20:33:14 Jason41: i miss fishpoison
20:33:42 Jason41: I win!
20:48:48 Paul Allison: http://paulallison.tumblr.com/post/703017949/were-still-upset-afraid-ang...
20:48:59 Paul Allison: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=s&utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-b...
20:49:10 Paul Allison: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-del...
20:52:26 Paul Allison: Hi Andrea
20:52:35 Andrea Z: Hi Paul :)
20:52:39 Paul Allison: Do you want to join us via Skype tonight?
20:52:45 Paul Allison: Hi Susan.
20:52:50 SusanEttenheim: hi everyone
20:53:04 Andrea Z: Sure :)
20:53:23 Andrea Z: I just hope my wifi is up to the task: a bit crabby of late.
20:53:46 Paul Allison: cool... Susan do you have the skype names?
20:54:20 Paul Allison: Hi Matt. Wow, you've been rubbing elbows with interesting people.
20:55:10 Paul Allison: Andrea - what's your skype name?
20:55:19 matt montagne: hey paul...
20:55:31 matt montagne: yes, we had a good last week of professional dev...it was really fun
20:55:34 Andrea Z: andreazellner
20:55:42 Paul Allison: clever
20:55:45 Andrea Z: I like to make it complicated
20:57:46 SusanEttenheim: hi all
20:57:53 SusanEttenheim: andrea is your skype on?
20:58:29 matt montagne: Hi Susan
20:58:38 SusanEttenheim: paul... put your skype on!
20:58:40 SusanEttenheim: :)
20:58:53 Andrea Z: My skype is on.
20:59:02 Paul Allison: It's been on.
20:59:10 matt montagne: I don't see you on skype susan
20:59:22 SusanEttenheim: it has a grey x and keeps saying you are not online could you restart it?
20:59:29 SusanEttenheim: I'll restart mine too
20:59:47 Andrea Z: I am restarting mine
20:59:48 matt montagne: I'm restarting skype too
21:00:43 Paul Allison: I've restarted
21:00:56 matt montagne: I've restarted as well.
21:01:08 Andrea Z: I'm up and at 'em again myself.
21:03:22 matt montagne: hello tasha
21:03:31 Tasha Whitton: Hi, Matt.
21:04:13 Paul Allison: Hi Tasha. SusanEttenheim will call you momentarily.
21:04:32 Tasha Whitton: Great, I think I'm ready.
21:04:39 Andrea Z: I can hear you guys.
21:04:43 Andrea Z: I might be my mic.
21:05:38 matt montagne: hi janet
21:06:03 matt montagne: we're running a little late tonight
21:06:05 matt montagne: Hi Sheila
21:06:12 Sheila: Hi Matt!
21:06:21 janet abdoulaye: that's fine - i''m new and tryihng to find my way around anyway
21:07:55 matt montagne: hey mrkimmi
21:08:20 mrkimmi: hey
21:09:00 matt montagne: mrkimmi, you are in LA or AL correct??
21:09:14 mrkimmi: KS
21:09:17 matt montagne: ahh...
21:10:25 mrkimmi: streaming on a or b?
21:10:27 matt montagne: hello Ellen
21:10:37 matt montagne: Stream is starting in 60 secs
21:10:41 matt montagne: On A
21:11:00 mrkimmi: great, thought i'd missed the beginning
21:11:07 Ellen Steigman: Thanks. Is the tech here or is it actually Skype?
21:11:09 matt montagne: click the little speaker icon under EdTechTalk A to listen in...the audio will play in your iTunes or Win media player
21:11:14 Tasha Whitton: Ellen, are you on Skype?
21:11:22 Ellen Steigman: yes
21:11:55 matt montagne: ellen, what is your skype ID??
21:12:00 Ellen Steigman: steigmantino
21:12:31 Tasha Whitton: Susan should be adding you to the call.
21:12:48 Ellen Steigman: Great, thanks! Sorry for the delay, we had technical issues.
21:13:12 SusanEttenheim: Ellen is your skype on?
21:14:39 Andrea Z: Sorry: my wifi went down momentarily.  Too many neighbors playing WOW.
21:15:07 SusanEttenheim: andrea - we lost you again!
21:15:17 SusanEttenheim: ah ok I'll call you back
21:15:23 Andrea Z: Okay :)
21:15:35 Andrea Z: Fingers crossed!
21:15:55 SusanEttenheim: ok hi everyone! I think we are up and running now!
21:16:05 SusanEttenheim: hi mrkimmi and sheila!
21:16:27 Tasha Whitton: Looks like we are all here.
21:16:30 Sheila: Hi Susan!
21:17:19 SusanEttenheim: sheila I haven't talked to you in so long!
21:17:32 Andrea Z: I wonder if our blind faith in technology is part of why people aren't as outraged.
21:17:33 Sheila: So true! 
21:17:38 Andrea Z: As if the tech will save us.
21:20:43 Tasha Whitton: I just think that it isn't real.
21:20:55 Tasha Whitton: We see the pictures, but it hasn't registered.
21:21:20 Sheila: Is the impact of the spill too abstract for ppl to wrap their heads around?
21:21:26 matt montagne: @tasha... there seems to be an element of "cover up" to this...I hate to hear the stories of BP buying out the fisherman and silencing them...
21:21:28 Andrea Z: I've been thinking a lot about the high price of oil in general, worldwide.  Tales of Nigeria come to mind...
21:21:55 Andrea Z: @montagne Have you been following the On the Media coverage of that issue?
21:22:13 Tasha Whitton: @Matt -- agreed, my father worked with a lawyer who went to Alaska and did undercover filming after the Exxon spill.
21:22:17 Tasha Whitton: Frightening stuff.
21:22:20 matt montagne: @andrea...I haven't...but I just read an NWF blog post about it...it totally angers me.
21:22:22 Andrea Z: The podcasts have been great to explain the media coverage of the spill...what's going on, etc, with access.
21:23:17 matt montagne: Hello Geloomis...we're talking to teachers in Louisiana about the spill
21:23:20 SusanEttenheim: hi geloomis welcome!
21:23:27 geloomis: hello
21:23:48 Sheila: Hi Gaile!
21:24:01 geloomis: Hi Sheila!
21:25:29 Andrea Z: Thinking about how people don't relate when the crisis feels removed: some news reports bring up that more oil is spilled in Nigeria every year than has been lost in the Gulf (which the truth is hard to verify when we actually don't know how much has beens spilled), but the point resonates.
21:26:19 SusanEttenheim: sheri welcome!
21:26:31 matt montagne: @andrea...people don't connect the dots between their behavior and these disasters...Jimmy Carter tried to get people to consider leading a lower impact lifestyle and failed miserably.
21:27:08 SusanEttenheim: hi sheri welcome!
21:27:10 Andrea Z: I was listening yesterday to Jimmy Carter's oval office speech re: gas lines/OPEC embargo.
21:27:22 Tasha Whitton: @Matt -- good point.
21:27:24 Andrea Z: It actually seemed like a good speech to me.
21:27:32 Andrea Z: But I wasn't alive then...
21:27:34 matt montagne: Carter was ahead of his time...a real innovator. Reagan undid it all.
21:27:56 geloomis: I just participated in an elluminate session on critical thinking session-perhaps we need to question these news reports
21:28:47 matt montagne: @geloomis...excellent idea and point
21:29:20 mrkimmi: To try and make this a little more real I've been trying to think how to recreate this disaster in a fish tank, or one of those landscaping ponds.
21:29:37 SusanEttenheim: wow interesting idea mrkimmi...
21:29:44 Andrea Z: With real fishies?
21:29:55 mrkimmi: Probly without the fish
21:29:59 Andrea Z: Phew.
21:30:03 geloomis: virtual fish
21:30:05 Andrea Z: I was a tad worried.
21:30:08 SusanEttenheim: ugh the pictures are sooo sad
21:30:11 Andrea Z: I know.
21:30:17 Andrea Z: The pics are heartbreaking.
21:30:26 mrkimmi: but I think a lot of learning can take place when they see what it looks like and how it gets into the soil and sand,
21:30:26 Sheri Edwards: If it were in my home map: http://www.ifitwasmyhome.com/
21:30:27 matt montagne: the photos are gut wrenching and heart breaking susan
21:30:36 mrkimmi: and what it would be like to try and get it out
21:30:50 Andrea Z: @mrkimmi a good question might be: why is oil bad? examine biochemistry of it.
21:31:03 Andrea Z: Maybe: why is oil bad for living creatures?
21:31:27 Andrea Z: I've been worrying about the dispersant, too.
21:31:54 mrkimmi: Did you notice that Dawn has gotten their oil spill commerical back into heavy rotation, are they even part of the relief effort?
21:32:03 Andrea Z: The companies are blocking scientists from taking samples because they are claiming that it's proprietary information. (source: NPR yesterday, I think)
21:32:17 matt montagne: hard to believe that the deepwater horizon exploded on Earth Day, April 22nd
21:32:30 matt montagne: 50+ days this has been going on...
21:32:40 Sheri Edwards: Add your ideas to the critical thinking wiki of Howard Rheingold to make that info real: http://critical-thinking.iste.wikispaces.net/
21:32:42 Sheila: Realizing now how powerful the school is for a sense of community and getting through disasters. Most disasters happen while in session. Never thought about summer leaving students unable to connect.
21:33:23 SusanEttenheim: thanks sheri for the link
21:34:35 Andrea Z: Beyond giving them a voice, give them an argument.  Give them the scientific literacy to explain why this is such a big deal. The science is often beyond people. 
21:35:17 geloomis: A big deal and how to fix it: what does everyone think about Kevin Costner's centrifuges?
21:35:25 matt montagne: good point, Andrea...and have them ask questions...I'm guessing the questions will lead to more questions...
21:36:24 mrkimmi: Should we express?  Wouldn't that pass our opinions on to our students?
21:36:52 geloomis: yes and let the students splice and dice
21:37:05 matt montagne: @mrkimmi...I actually remain nuetral for the most part, particulary in the area of politics...I want youth to think for themselves.
21:37:17 Tasha Whitton: I agree, as a Biology major.
21:37:25 mrkimmi: Me too, I think we need to frame it in a way that they can discover for themselves the problems.
21:37:52 Sheri Edwards: For Andrea and Matt: How could this best be started? A wiki to rant, a voice thread to explain, National Gallery of Writing for poetry and stories?
21:38:03 Tasha Whitton: Did you see Colbert make the Dawn connection?
21:38:04 matt montagne: Why shouldn't we rant though?? Especially with things like this going on...someone has to blow the whistle http://blogs.nwf.org/arctic_promise/2010/06/silence-spreads-as-bp-signs-...
21:38:14 Paul Allison: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-del...
21:38:56 geloomis: we can't sugar coat it though
21:39:18 mrkimmi: rant as a teacher or as a citizen though?
21:39:31 Tasha Whitton: Why not just create a focus area in the National Gallery of Writing?
21:39:35 Sheri Edwards: No surgar coating; how to help us be "not helpless"?
21:40:02 Tasha Whitton: I have figured out my mute! But I still have far too many windows open!
21:40:19 Tasha Whitton: And I can type loudly again!
21:40:42 SusanEttenheim: just remember to unmute when you want to talk :)
21:40:47 Andrea Z: I don't think we shouldn't rant, but we also need to make sure that our students can move towards understanding the full extent of the issues and move towards solutions.
21:41:08 Tasha Whitton: Right!
21:41:13 Andrea Z: I think one of the ways to chanel our anger is to think about solutions.
21:41:23 Tasha Whitton: I find that students don't get the rant. Then, they get lost.
21:41:36 SusanEttenheim: so true tasha
21:42:02 Tasha Whitton: I think that you have to lead the students to the rant.
21:42:02 geloomis: see ya folks ! :)
21:42:07 Andrea Z: I am really dedicated to taking the conversation above the level of the rant.
21:42:28 Tasha Whitton: Let them rant some and feed them the information. They will get there.
21:42:41 Andrea Z: Noting the BP response: have you been following the satirical BP twitter feed?
21:42:54 Tasha Whitton: No, what's the address?
21:42:55 Andrea Z: I think that has illuminated a lot of what BP is doing.
21:43:11 Andrea Z: @BPGlobalPR I think
21:43:15 Andrea Z: Let me double check
21:43:15 mrkimmi: me too
21:43:24 Tasha Whitton: Thanks.
21:44:08 Andrea Z: That's it: twitter.com/BPGlobalPR
21:44:32 Andrea Z: BP wanted them taken off of twitter, but they prevailed.
21:44:39 Andrea Z: Satire is another powerful tool.
21:47:13 SusanEttenheim: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24669697@N05/4706665781/
21:48:19 SusanEttenheim: http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2010/06/11/new-orleans-krewe-of-dead-pelic...
21:49:56 Andrea Z: Having an honest conversation is a really important place to start.
21:50:14 Tasha Whitton: I'm wondering about faith.
21:50:37 Tasha Whitton: Many of our students are very concerned about this issue from a faith perspective.
21:50:43 Sheri Edwards: Primary Source: your students are our history now.
21:50:49 mrkimmi: how so?
21:51:06 mrkimmi: @tasha: how so?
21:51:10 Tasha Whitton: The issue of "using" the earth or being a "caretaker."
21:51:19 mrkimmi: ahh
21:51:30 Tasha Whitton: Maybe I have more latitude here since I teach college, but we often talk about those sorts of issues.
21:51:47 Tasha Whitton: I just finished a course on the Bible as Literature and we discussed the oil from a Biblical perspective.
21:51:49 Andrea Z: Okay, not to be a total podcast junkie, but the Speaking of Faith podcast just had one on there discussing just that issue...
21:51:51 Sheri Edwards: Their stories share the truth -- from the water-lives and the oil-lives.
21:51:52 mrkimmi: I'm el ed, so we steer clear
21:52:06 Tasha Whitton: Right, I can see that.
21:52:29 Andrea Z: Land, Life and the Poetry of Place.
21:52:56 Andrea Z: That's the title of the show that looked at the Biblical perspective. Really fascinating.
21:53:00 Sheri Edwards: Andrea, that's a such a powerful idea
21:53:08 Tasha Whitton: I'll have to take a look at that.
21:53:17 Andrea Z: I'm afraid to get links for fear of bombing out my wifi again.
21:53:59 Andrea Z: @Sheri I do want to keep thinking about a web space to do some of this work.
21:54:07 Paul Allison: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=s&utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-b...
21:54:09 Andrea Z: You had some good ideas listed.
21:54:18 Sheri Edwards: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/land-life-poetry/
21:54:25 Andrea Z: Thanks for finding it!
21:54:40 SusanEttenheim: Ellen that would be great - my students were so upset reading some of the posts in Youth Voices - that would be so great for them - they had so many questions
21:54:59 Sheila: Good idea - youtube video or voicethread
21:55:19 SusanEttenheim: a voicethread could gather all the comments
21:55:22 Sheila: Also a way to use their voice and be heard.
21:55:36 SusanEttenheim: and in voicethread you could draw on the map
21:55:49 Andrea Z: Voicethread is a good idea.
21:55:56 Sheri Edwards: Would a ning work? A PBWorks wiki? Weebly? or http://grou.ps/  many ways to tell the story
21:56:18 SusanEttenheim: Could we post it in Youth Voices because we already have students talking and asking there
21:56:24 mrkimmi: oh that'd be great
21:56:27 SusanEttenheim: and sharing a lot of photography
21:56:38 Sheri Edwards: Photo essays
21:57:07 Sheila: Too bad school is out of session. Lost opportunity for the students to process.
21:57:28 SusanEttenheim: andrea - trying to call you back
21:57:59 matt montagne: we just worked with Wes Fryer at my school last week...he talked to us about his "Storychasers" project...perhaps the youth in the LA classrooms could be storychasers for us.
21:58:38 mrkimmi: Maybe the StoryCorps type of thing
21:59:10 mrkimmi: HAve students going out and interviewing elders in the community about the implications of the oil, Katrina, and how the persist
21:59:15 matt montagne: yes, something like storycorps mrkimmi...just gathering stories of the average person about their experiences and how the spill is impacting them.
21:59:17 Sheri Edwards: Matt -- is this it http://storychasers.org/ 
21:59:50 matt montagne: yep, that is Wes' project
22:00:15 Sheila: Actually my students asked why don't the people move. Then I asked them why they lived where they do when we've had some local weather related problems. . .
22:00:54 Sheri Edwards: Maybe a section on National Gallery of Writing would be a good place for the stories and poems and essays
22:01:36 Sheri Edwards: Are any of the students on facebook? Could a group be formed there?
22:01:52 matt montagne: that is a good idea Sheri...
22:02:05 Tasha Whitton: I have seen a number of FB groups on the crisis in general, but none devoted to writing.
22:02:10 Tasha Whitton: We have an SLWP fan page.
22:02:25 Tasha Whitton: Perhaps we could make it a place for this discussion.
22:02:27 matt montagne: I think the issue of "oil dependence" is too big...it has to be broken down into smaller, more attainable parts and questions for our kids to work on
22:03:18 Tasha Whitton: Agreed, Matt.
22:03:40 Sheri Edwards: Perhaps also referring to the http://thisibelieve.org/   format
22:04:12 SusanEttenheim: andrea - you're back in
22:04:19 SusanEttenheim: can you hear ok?
22:04:24 Andrea Z: Wifi died again--thanks Susan!
22:04:26 Andrea Z: Yep
22:04:27 Sheila: Thanks so much for a great show! Need to head out!
22:04:59 matt montagne: bye Sheila!
22:05:51 SusanEttenheim: oops andrea we lost you again
22:06:10 Andrea Z: Uh oh: lost the Skype :(
22:06:16 Sheri Edwards: Our Land, Our Loss; Our Force, Our Future
22:07:34 Tasha Whitton: I'm still shocked by Sheila's comment that people should move.
22:08:21 mrkimmi: I think she redirected the question to her students, why don't they move when there is bad weather?
22:08:41 mrkimmi: Then why should LA people move?
22:08:44 matt montagne: Ellen, Tasha and Carolyn...do you have a twitter ID???
22:08:49 matt montagne: mine is @mjmontagne
22:09:21 Sheri Edwards: Thinking of things: A question for students to ask others of their stories: What's the connection?   or Six Degrees idea -- how does this connect all over the US, etc. ?
22:10:37 Tasha Whitton: Yes, I'm tashawhitton
22:11:11 matt montagne: I was disappointed with Obama's talk...I think he needs to ask Americans to sacrifice...but that is political suicide
22:12:45 Andrea Z: Sorry: I am having serious connectivity issues.
22:12:53 SusanEttenheim: thanks for sticking with us!
22:13:11 Sheri Edwards: Thanks, Paul and Susan for creating this format for expression of our anger and sadness, and trying to help in some way.
22:13:41 Andrea Z: I agree: thanks for giving us a chance to hear such thoughtful discussions about this issue!
22:13:43 Andrea Z: Night!
22:13:52 Paul Allison: To be continued.
22:13:53 Tasha Whitton: Yes, thanks, and for teaching me that Skype has a mute button!
22:13:56 Tasha Whitton: Sorry about that!
22:14:36 Sheri Edwards: just lost my sound...
22:14:52 mrkimmi: Good night, was great to talk
22:15:11 Sheri Edwards: Thanks again...
22:21:46 Ellen Steigman: This was very cool; thanks for the opportunity, Susan. Goodnight.