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
A conversation about the new projects that we are working on at our schools this year. Inspired by: K12Converge: From the Trenches. We discussed iPods, Video, Podcasting, Tablet PCs, SmartBoards, Faculty Professional Development and many other topics. We also started a new segment: Heard in our Schools. Check out the audio for details…
Our conversation this evening began innocently enough with Gail Desler, the technology liaison for the Area 3 Writing Project in and around Sacramento, California, describing her work over the past four years with blogging in the classroom. Last year 3 different Writing Projects and 5 schools joined together in a project called “Youth Voices: Coast to Valley.” Given that we have stolen their name, “Youth Voices” in an attempt to broaden our network of schools, we are delighted to include Gail and her teachers in the elgg at http://youthvoices.net! Last night Gail said that some of the same teachers from last year’s work would be joining the new Youth Voices. A great question that Gail has been asking is, “How can we sustain and deepen online conversations on a blog?” And part of this has to do with finding the right balance between personal blogging and common blogging around a theme or text.