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.
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
Please check this shows Google Notebook for links and additional materials: TTT32. Erick Hoefler and Richard Stohlman joined us to give us updates on their work with blogging and discussion forums in the high schools where they work.
Eric seems to be in the middle of adding to his technology repertoire. In addition to the committed, rich writing that he is having his students do on forums on a Joomla site, he is moving toward the use of an an elggspaces account in his creative writing classes.
Listen in as we discuss how blogs and discussion forums are folding into other cirricula. Some of the questions have to do with how to get other teachers in our buildings to buy in to these new technologies… and in particular, how to think about the process, less finished nature of blog posts when teachers are feel the need for finished products and projects. We talked about how much time blogging takes to develop. Many other issues came up as well, including how to bridge the gap between MySpace problems (although a student joined us to say that we exaggerate these) and the formal writing instruction found in many of our classrooms. Oh… and research. We plan to talk more about that soon.
Paul Allison calls in from the airport in Atlanta on the way to Nashville for the annual meeting of The National Writing Project and Susan Ettenheim, Teb Locke, Madeline Brownstone and Lee Baber host a conversation about this week’s challenges with students and online communication and collaboration. Sharon Peters shares her first adventures as her students join in the online conversation. Teb shares a very exciting discovery about introducing the mapping projects into the wiki. Here is an example of wiki with an embedded media player: http://theneighborhoodschool.org/wiki/index.php?title=Madison%2C_CT
We had an excellent conversation with Bill Fitzgerald, from FunnyMonkey.com, OpenAcademic.org and the brand spankin new DrupalEd Distribution on how Drupal fits into education. The goal of the show was to create a cookbook for a conference site with Drupal — we got to it in the last 10 minutes! Thanks to Bill for his time and the excellent conversation.
This week, we discussed the Read/Write web enabled conference. Alex is on the planning committee and arvind is the Blog manager for the NYSAIS Managers of Information Technology conference at Mohonk Mountain house in New Paltz, New York this November (where EdTechTalk’s very own Dave Cormier will be presenting). We discussed how to extend and enhance the conference with Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, Webcasts, and other web 2.0 tools. No clear decisions were made, but you can track our progress at NYSAIS Mohonk 2006 Wiki page