TTT#355 What education stories need to be told? with Karen Fasimpaur, Jim Nordlinger, and Marina Lombardo (Youth Voices) 7.3.13

On this episode of TTT, @kfasimpaur @JimNordlinger @paulallison @monk51295 and Marina Lombardo consider what video or videos might come from the Youth Voics Summer Program.

This is a planning-in-public episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers, which we held less than a week before we launched into the three-week Youth Voices program this July, which was the New York City Writing Project's participation in the Summer of Making and Connecting and part of the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator.

The week before this episode of TTT, with my colleagues in the New York City Writing Project, Grace Raffaele, Jim Nordlinger, Noah Gordon, and Aliyah Hayes, we had been individually meeting 13 high school students were joined by five teachers for a three-week summer program focused on and

What an exciting group of youths we were lucky enough to gather for this program! And thank you to all of our supporters who contributed to make this possible!

On this episode of TTT, Jim Nordlinger our video production lead and Karen Fasimpaur (who joined us in the third week) and I continue an ongoning conversations we've been having about the story we want to tell with a video that Jim has been shooting about the deep learning students and teachers do together on Youth Voices. Even as I type these notes for the podcast (from my one-week vacation in mid-August) Jim is working to finish editing the many, many hours of video that he captured during our work together in July. Reviewing this episode of TTT and seeing your comments should at least inspire Jim, and might also suggest an angle that he had forgotten.

From the intake interviews in the last week of June (and even before in a teacher's classroom) to the final exhibition on July 25th Jim has been pointing his camera at our interactions. On this episode of TTT we be talk about what story we want to tell with this video project.

Please take the time to listen to this podcast, then we would love for you to add any insights you might have about what audience we should be aiming to connect with (the average civilian?) and what message we want to convey about the way teachers and students can work together in an online learning space built on National Writing Project values and beliefs.

Enjoy this episode of TTT, as we make transparent our planning process. We would love to have you challenge us and support us, to make us re-think and to be inspired as well.

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast.

July 3, 2013

20:58karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi, there Grace. We'll be starting in a few minutes.
20:59Peggy George: Hi Karen and Grace.
20:59karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi Peggy.
20:59Grace: Great. I may not stay the whole time. Great to be here at last.
20:59karen (@kfasimpaur): Hot enough for you Peggy? Have you had rain?
21:00Peggy George: I am still recovering from ISTE :-) Have gotten way behind with Making Learning Connected! Amazing things happening there!
21:00Peggy George: no rain at all and very HOT!!!
21:00Peggy George: I'm excited to hear your discussion tonight!
21:01karen (@kfasimpaur): Grace, do you want to join us in the hangout?
21:01Grace: Thanks Karen - I will stay in the chat.
21:01karen (@kfasimpaur): Peggy, we FINALLY had rain! Not a lot but a bit.
21:02Peggy George: audio & video are coming through great!
21:03karen (@kfasimpaur): No problem, Grace. I'll help relay in between if needed.
21:03Peggy George: is Jim sitting in the dark? :-)
21:03karen (@kfasimpaur): THx Peggy
21:03Sheri42(@grammasheri): Hi Peggy and Karen
21:03karen (@kfasimpaur): Hey there Sheri.
21:03Peggy George: Hi Sheri! Great to be here with you!
21:04Sheri42(@grammasheri): So glad I could come tonight; I always learn so much here
21:04karen (@kfasimpaur): me too
21:04Peggy George: I'm really excited to hear about what has been happening in the summer program!
21:05Peggy George: Hi Christina :-)
21:05Peggy George: Hi Monika!!
21:05karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi, Chritina. You want to join the hangout?
21:06Christina: Hi Peggy! Hi all. Karen -- I just grabbed food because I haven't eaten ... maybe after I finish?
21:06karen (@kfasimpaur): sure. you should have the link, but let me know if not
21:07Peggy George: Karen what does your shirt say? :-)
21:07Peggy George: I'm proud to be a supporter of the Summer Program!!!
21:07karen (@kfasimpaur):'s an acoustic guitar festival in Silver City
21:08karen (@kfasimpaur): Peggy, we so appreciate your and everyone's support!
21:08Peggy George: :-)
21:09Peggy George: what kinds of things are you expecting to shoot via video this summer?
21:09Grace: And bringing teachers into the conversation seems a new and important component...
21:10karen (@kfasimpaur): Grace. I agree. I think a lot of this is about teacher voice...something I'm thinking a lot about right now. (btw, are you a tchr participating in this?)
21:11Peggy George: Hi Chad. Great to see you!
21:11karen (@kfasimpaur): Peggy, passing that question on...we'll get to it :)
21:11karen (@kfasimpaur): Hey Chad. Long time no see. :)
21:12Grace: I am facilitating the summer program with Paul. I am a teacher Consultant working with teachers in a school. I also bring Youth Voices and tech stuff to other teacher consultants in the NYC Writing project.
21:12chadsansing: Hello :)
21:12Peggy George: awesome Grace!!!
21:12karen (@kfasimpaur): Awesome Grace. (Sorry I didnt' make the connection. I'm a bit overloaded w/#clmooc right now)
21:12Grace: I have also been a big part of initiating the etters to the Next Mayor Project.
21:13Christina: JIm's lighting is very theaterical!
21:13Christina: Hey Chad and Grace.
21:13unnamedchad -come on the hangout - no?
21:14Sheri42(@grammasheri): Hi Chad
21:14karen (@kfasimpaur): I'm kind of feeling like we're all in a big house together this summer :) #clmooc
21:15chadsansing: Hi, Christina & Sheri & wonderful #TTT audience :)
21:15Peggy George: a making, connecting, learning summer house :-)
21:15Grace: I still prefer the other side of the camera... this may expand my horizons so thanks for making this an option for now.
21:16karen (@kfasimpaur): no problem...I often feel the same
21:17karen (@kfasimpaur): I love that modifying the template...benefit of openness and sharing
21:18Christina: I am thinking about openness Karen ... since they are 4th graders that might need to be unpacked a little bit by the adults here. Just a thought for the film.
21:18Christina: (small note ... don't want to distract)
21:18Peggy George: I'm wondering how much of a lag there is in the streaming. He just mentioned using the template after you typed about it Karen
21:18karen (@kfasimpaur): I wondered about that, Peggy....
21:18Christina: great to also hear how she edited this template too and adjusted it for her students
21:19Grace: Thinking ahead to this evening's conversation, I am curious what people would want to hear from students and teachers in such a program. What do you want to know from them? We always do reflection questions - is there anything we should be asking to help you understand their experience?
21:19Christina: this story Aliyah is sharing is really interesting.
21:19karen (@kfasimpaur): I personally am very interested in teacher voice as it relates to connected larning
21:20chadsansing: (@unnamed: no hangout for me; between putting kids to bed & making dinner, but the invite is appreciated))
21:20unnamedk. it's monika. can't get myself signed in to chat tonight..
21:20Christina: Marina. ... Sorry, not Aliyah.
21:20Peggy George: I'm especially interested in how this passion-based experience compares to/differs from school experiences for both teachers and students.
21:21Sheri42(@grammasheri): both teacher and student; how did they think of the project; how did the teacher help? how did the work flow?
21:22Sheri42(@grammasheri): Like a writer sharing their flow -- it won't be linear --
21:22Christina: And how does one tap into their passions in the first place (I'm still figuring that out :)
21:22unnamedgrace - can you hop on the hangout?
21:23Peggy George: one kind of video experience that I think would be really fun to have a student capture--use and have them use it to capture 1 second or two every hour throughout the entire 2 weeks. Only requires a mobile dvice with the app on it.
21:24Sheri42(@grammasheri): I started using Angela Maiers question: What in the world breaks your heart?
21:24Christina: What is the craft that teachers bring to this work ... that's another thing I'd include.
21:24Peggy George: I love that question Sheri because it prompts action!!
21:24karen (@kfasimpaur): Sheri, that reminds me of Monika's "what is the thing that you can't not do."
21:25Grace: Thanks Karen...
21:25Sheri42(@grammasheri): Great question, Monika
21:25Peggy George: I know how important reflection is but I think it's important to ask who is the reflection for? Is it documentation for teachers and the project for for helping students deepen their thining and understanding?
21:25Christina: The parallel between passion drive-work and mre traditionally academic skills and knowledge is probably important to get to ...
21:26Sheri42(@grammasheri): I think kids need these doing, thinking projects are more important -- they are learning skills they will need from today on.
21:26Christina: ... and, in the connected learning frame, I think it's important to show the connections beyond the academic too.
21:26Peggy George: Chistina I think that may be critical for teachers who might be wanting to offer a similar experience
21:26Christina: ie. communities larger than themselves and the school -- their communities, mentors, etc.
21:27Sheri42(@grammasheri): I just answered this in another group -- how soft skills are more important, and then Edutopia just published this great post on soft skills as crucial --
21:27Christina: Yes Peggy. And I also wouldn't want to stop there. Youth VOices is so much more than school but also school, which I think is powerful.
21:27Peggy George: Great link Sheri!! I love the posts from Edutopia!!
21:28Christina: I'll check that out Sheri. I always worry about "soft" though because I think the skills youth are learning are quite "hard" ... you know? real life stuff in many ways.
21:28Peggy George: I think soft means "not tested" :-)
21:28Peggy George: but critical
21:28Sheri42(@grammasheri): I agree Christina, but the standards people call them "soft" skills because they can't do a simple measure of it!
21:29Grace: From a policy perspective, i am interested in making this work speak to the belief that keeping student voice and student choice in the performance task environment will help them in their academic achievement. Marina is speaking to this so well.. how can our video help others see this perspective?
21:29Sheri42(@grammasheri): Soft skills are soft because they cushion us to belong and to have the social / emotional knowledge to use and share the skills. They are by far the most important skills to learn. Hard skills? I can look them up.
21:29Christina: I know ... but I guess I feel like we should push, sometimes, against this. And I think it's really important to show that Youth Voices really can move to impact and not just stay "soft" but really engaged.
21:30Sheri42(@grammasheri): "I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living." John Dewey
21:30Grace: Maybe that is a way to think about our video...
21:31Sheri42(@grammasheri): You are right, Christina, we need to transform the term! They are critical skills
21:31Peggy George: Do you follow this blog: HS Principal who discusses these issues a lot
21:31Christina: I don't think so Peggy. I'll check it out! Thanks.
21:31Sheri42(@grammasheri): Thanks, Peggy.
21:32Grace: My last comment was about showing a way to balance the have to and the want to...
21:32karen (@kfasimpaur):Http://
21:32Sheri42(@grammasheri): And this project is so important for all the teachers (like geniushour) trying to hold on to their principles because they are in the place to know what is important to students
21:32Sheri42(@grammasheri): another blog today:
21:34Christina: I do think Connected Learning is a really useful frame here. It's about connecting to larger academic, community and economic systems ...
21:34Sheri42(@grammasheri): Think about what students are doing / thinking / solving in these projects that will prepare them more for their futures than just learning standards that break things apart; these kids are pulling together.
21:35Christina: ... I think Yotuh Voices can honestly show all of those things.
21:35karen (@kfasimpaur): Christina, to be a wet blanket, but would you agree than many, many schools would never consider doing connected learning?
21:36Grace: I want us to show the public and teachers that students in front of a computer is not a picture of mindless engagement but that it CAN be engaging and active learning.
21:36karen (@kfasimpaur): that was "NOT to be a wet blanket"
21:36Christina: got it @karen ...
21:36Sheri42(@grammasheri): Are teachers afraid? And do they have the broadband access and technology to be connected learners?
21:37karen (@kfasimpaur): hmm...Grace, I never thought about this being about the tech (and I used to be an "ed tech" person)
21:37Christina: I'm not sure one has to use those terms really even ... so if we take that language away, I think most schoolswould want the work kids do would connect them with these same systems of academic, community and economic. Don't you?
21:37Christina: Grace, say more about that.
21:37karen (@kfasimpaur): I wish I did. Teachers...maybe. Schools...not really.Not the ones I'm in anyway
21:38karen (@kfasimpaur): Others?
21:38Grace: "What do you want to inquire about" is an important concept. Reading the Common Core... it is about all of this...
21:38karen (@kfasimpaur): Common Core isn't the main issue to me. Testing is.
21:39Sheri42(@grammasheri): Yes, Grace - and Yes - Karen
21:39Christina: In terms of Common Core I think a focus on digital literacies might be most helpful ... connected to inquiry, I agree.
21:40Sheri42(@grammasheri): But won't using these types of projects help students be better at the "skills" because they will be applying and synthesizing the skills -- and evaluating and revising as they work.
21:40Grace: Christina - yes!
21:40Christina: Good talk by Joe Wood at his SI today that might be useful locally btw around Common Core:
21:41Christina: I think we can even take "digital" out eventually and really focus on what is means to be literate today.
21:41karen (@kfasimpaur): we've been having these conversations about digital for 20 yrs....
21:41Sheri42(@grammasheri): Yes, Christina. and thanks for the link
21:41Christina: There is a great quote from Chris Lehman that might help around the tech .. brb ...
21:42Sheri42(@grammasheri): digital is just one of the tools for doing, gathering, analyzing, connecting, sharing, presenting, etc.
21:42Christina: "Technology should be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible"
21:42Peggy George: I heard the most amazing interview on Social Media Girlfriends to with Linda Arroz, the woman who founded Makeover Media and she told amazing stories about how she used connections to get where she is today way before there was internet and social media. Making connections are essential to success!
21:43Sheri42(@grammasheri): Yes, Peggy. Like Christina says, take the "digital" word out.
21:43Grace: Yes, Marina! They can be doing Common Core tasks in real world writing projects!
21:43Christina: and real world literacies!
21:44Peggy George: I think digital tools are critical in the 21st century regardless of what you call them.
21:44Christina: It would be great if the film eventually lets the technology disappear I am thinking
21:44Sheri42(@grammasheri): "impact their lives" is what makes the learning happen
21:45Christina: also impacts our collective lives ... I think the film is going to halso have to show how this has impact beyond just these youth and these teachers
21:45karen (@kfasimpaur): I agree, C. The tech really isn't the point to me...but I could be wrong.
21:45Grace: We have teachers there to help us articulate that "need."
21:46Christina: Showing the learning. Yes ... interesting how best to do that.
21:46Sheri42(@grammasheri): How to show the learning? The reflections that show how the student ideas flow and develop -- it would show the thinking, sharing, discussing, revising, trying
21:47karen (@kfasimpaur): How to show it does seem to be central.
21:47karen (@kfasimpaur): Needs to be real.
21:47Sheri42(@grammasheri): students talking during the project with their artifacts/ tools
21:47Grace: How do teachers feel they can make this real in their teaching environement?
21:47karen (@kfasimpaur): student artifacts are big...lots of good stuff that way on YV
21:48karen (@kfasimpaur): Good q Grace
21:48Christina: Yes, Grace. I love hearing Marina talk here ...
21:48Christina: so great to think about thematic teaching from a community building place.
21:49Sheri42(@grammasheri): see "go with the children" -- their talking about their research or a common piece that inspires them
21:49Grace: Could we ask Marina how or if she engaged her administration in supporting this work?
21:49Christina: I think there is interesting work that Paul's talked about regarding Youth Voices where you have students working from their passions ...
21:49karen (@kfasimpaur): yes...hang on
21:49Christina: ... and then also going deep into current events that are in common and brought from "outside" somewhat.
21:50Sheri42(@grammasheri): Do you think there needs to be more discussion of topics before studying to inspire questions to find answers to?
21:50Grace: I love that it came from a test prep activity!
21:51Sheri42(@grammasheri): Discussion helps the teacher see where their interests are
21:51Christina: Oh, did it Grace? Oops, I missed that. :)
21:53Sheri42(@grammasheri): They get art? Wow!
21:53Christina: Muppets!
21:54Peggy George: I think the big questions are really important. There was an excellent issue of the Question Mark by Jamie McKenzie this week--great tips for asking good questions whether asked by teachers or students
21:54Sheri42(@grammasheri): Love that a young teacher has this philosophy
21:54Peggy George: I agree Sheri!
21:55Christina: I agree with Paul!
21:55Peggy George: interesting terms!! citizen and civilian
21:55Christina: teachers aren't the target. the citizen's needs to see the craft of the teachers ....
21:56Sheri42(@grammasheri): Yes, Christina!
21:56Christina: ... and the brilliance of the students where their passions can lead them.
21:56Christina: (when their passions, that is)
21:57Sheri42(@grammasheri): another article I read that tries to show another side of teaching most people don't know:
21:57Christina: There is a quote I captured from one of the Youth Voices teachers ...
21:57Christina: ... where she described that a students interests started with basketball but then they realized they are really writing about racism.
21:58Christina: those stories are really important I think.
21:58Peggy George: thanks Sheri! that article looks great!
21:58Sheri42(@grammasheri): Yes -- those stories are so important -- the stories that help open mind
21:59Peggy George: their stories are so important and if it can make their thinking transparent when they are involved in a project based on their own passion and choice about learning. that says a lot!
22:00Christina: good point, Peggy.
22:00Sheri42(@grammasheri): Little boxes made of ticky tacky
22:01Sheri42(@grammasheri): That is very important, Karen.
22:02Sheri42(@grammasheri): Priority Schools are put back in the box through mandates.
22:02Sheri42(@grammasheri): Relationships are key.
22:03Sheri42(@grammasheri): We took away the one-room-school-house and built a factory.
22:03Peggy George: I still love the video/song by Tom Chapin "It's Not on the Test" :-)
22:03Sheri42(@grammasheri): This part is good for teachers to hear.
22:05Christina: nicely said, Monika!
22:05Peggy George:
22:05Sheri42(@grammasheri): "how to make it happen more" let's spread the word
22:06Peggy George: the conference sounds fantastic!!
22:06Christina: I can't come to IDEC this year but would like to think about it next week.
22:06Grace: Signing off - thank you guys so much for an amazing conversation!
22:06Sheri42(@grammasheri): This video will be such a positive force for transforming education!
22:06Christina: next year, I mean! <grin>
22:06Peggy George: I agree Sheri!
22:07Peggy George: Can't wait to hear from Troy Hicks about his new book!
22:07Christina: Crafting Digital Writing:
22:07karen (@kfasimpaur): Thanks for the lively chat all!
22:07Sheri42(@grammasheri): Thanks
22:07Christina: Thanks everyone@
22:07Peggy George: fantastic conversation tonight! Thanks to all!!!