Teachers Teaching Teachers

Teachers Teaching Teachers #64 - What if our students started using Goolge Reader?

­ In Medias Res: Research, RSS and Google Reader

We invite you to join us in the middle of what promises to be a series of conversations about research, RSS, and using Google Reader in the classroom. Although we tried to stay focused on Google Reader we did stray into other topics, such as: evaluating easily accessible online resources (blog, podcasts, news articles, magazine and journal articles, Wikipedia entries, web sites...). We also plan to discuss using library database (or the Deep Web) later this month.

We've been here before, especially last spring on Teachers Teaching Teachers:  http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?cat=13

Take note of this podcast: http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?p=88

Also, now we have Eric Hoefler's "Research 2.0" as a resource: http://hoefler.wikispaces.com/Research%202.0

So if you want to find out where we've been. There are some resources for you!

To follow where we might go next, listen to the podcast attached to this post. On this webcast, TTT 64,  the teachers (and Lee Baber's student, our special guest, CJ) began talking about how we want to do the "research, RSS, Google Reader..." thing better this year. Joining Paul Allison, Lee Baber, and Susan Ettenehim were:

  • Donna Bragg, Lehigh Valley Writing Project, Pennsylvania
  • Gail Desler, Area 3 Writing Project, California
  • Barbara (Bee) Dieu, Sao Paulo, Brazil ( whose students are aggregated at http://dekita.org/orchard )
  • Tricia Scott, Delaware Writing Project

Please join us!

We're working on a wiki page to capture our planning for the fall. We would love for you to take a moment and read our thoughts so far, to follow a few of the suggestions, and to add to this page.

Using Google Reader

And, of course, you've got to join us on this Wednesday's Teachers Teaching Teachers (at 9:00 pm Eastern / 6:00 pm Pacific on EdTechTalk.  Help us form a collaborative project around Google Reader and blogging.

Taxonomy upgrade extras:

Teachers Teaching Teachers #63 - 07.20.07 - From Collaboration to Revolution at Tech Matters`07

­This is our third, and final installment of Teachers Teaching Teachers webcasts from the National Writing Project's Tech Matters`07 in Chico, California. Today, Jason Hando from Sydney, Austrialia and Donna Bragg, from the Lehigh Valley Writing Project in Pennsylvania joined six teachers to discuss Google Docs, wikis, collaboration, and the changes that are happening in learning for both young people and for many teachers, even if these changes are happening more slowly for school systems. This is our discussion at the end of a day focused on how collaborative tools have changed the ways we write and learn in and out of schools in the 21st Century.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #62 - 07.19.07 - Podcasting, RSS and more from Tech Matters`07

­This was a special webcast from the National Writing Project's (NWP) ­Tech Matters`07 -- an annual summer institute sponsored by the Tech Liaisons Network of the NWP. In addition to several teachers who are working together in Chico, CA as part of Tech Matters, we were joined by Writing Project teachers Bill O'Neil (Trenton WP) and Bud Hunt (Colorado State University WP). Also two Writing Project teachers who were participants in Tech Maters`06 joined us, Donna Bragg, Penn State Lehigh Valley Writing Project and Lynne Culp, UCLA Writing Project. Thanks also to Susan Ettenheim who streamed for us and edited this podcast, Lee Baber who added more music to our lives, and Doug Symington who was there to remind us about his show EdTech Brainstorms, which on on Thursdays nights(Americas)/Friday (Asia,Oceania) 2amGMT.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #61 - 07.18.07 When do students feel compelled to use multimedia?

Five teachers from the National Writing Project's Tech Matters`07 Institute joined Victoria, a soon-to-be 9th grader from Virginia, and Danielle, an 18 year-old student from Australia, to discuss what leads to effective learning with technology. The teachers from Tech Matters had been working with the theme of "compelling communication" in the hours before this webcast, and they were right to suspect that Victoria and Danielle might have pretty clear thoughts about how we teach students to use communication tools in schools now. On this webcast, we learned once again that teachers might benefit from listening more to what students say makes some assignments compelling and others not so compelling. The 2007 Horizon Report claims that "there is a skills gap between understanding how to use tools for media creation and how to create meaningful content. Although new tools make it increasingly easy to produce multimedia works, students lack essential skills in composition, storytelling, and design." The conversation on this webcast between Victoria and Danielle and the teachers from Tech Matters would seem to confirm this claim. These girls suggested that many of their teachers had a lot to learn about how to use the tools, and that teachers could learn from the students. At the same time, Victoria and Danielle seem to appreciate the teachers who had worked with them on "composition, storytelling, and design." Most of all these students seem to be saying that two of the most important elements in any school assignment were to be able to connect to real people outside of the school and to create projects are are personally meaningful for students. On this webcast, learning seemed to be happening in many different directions. Here's how one teacher Scott Floyd, from the Bluebonnet Writing Project in Texas described the webcast:
Yesterday, after a long, first day of learning, Janelle and I joined the Teachers Teaching Teachers
podcast with Paul Allison.  It was an incredible experience to be a part of this very diverse group of folks.  I can't say teachers because we had the benefit and privilege of two students joining us.

One, a ninth grader, was about to become the most connected student in her county.  Out of need, she is being given a loaded laptop that will allow her to be a seamless part of the classroom.  Her goal in life is to be a writer.  Good for her.  Her district seems to be doing what needs to be done to help her in every way possible.  I can’t wait for her to start honing her skills on her own blog.  

The other student, an eighteen year old from Australia, was not shy in the least bit.  She was asked hard questions about what teachers need to do to engage students with new tools.  She fired back answers that made us pause and reflect about our own actions in our instruction and how they alter the learning environment.  While she says her teacher, Jason Hando , is the best, she discussed how it was not an across the board feeling in all of her classes.  Then she asked what it would take to teach teachers how to be more in tune with technology and integrating skills.  Ouch.  Can anyone say, PD Bingo?  

Overall, the six of us that joined together here in Chico, CA, were very impressed with the student input.  The chat room, as usual, provided some great questions and running commentary about the conversation.  It bounces me back to the reflections from Karl Fisch and others about NECC: Where are the students at these events?   Bravo to Paul and the TTT folks for including them in the webcast.  We should all strive to include these most important voices in our tech planning.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #60 - Why Technology Matters

On this weeks Teaching Teaching Teachers webcast, we were joined by four National Writing Project teachers who were selected last summer to participate in Tech Matters — a 4-day summer institute sponsored by the Tech Liaison Network of the National Writing Project.  Joe Bellino, Bonnie Kaplan, Kevin Hodgson, and Donna Bragg discussed moments they remember from Tech Matters`06, and they talked about five issues they faced after they returned from Tech Matters. These teachers talked about learning to turn these separate challenges into strands of a web of support for change in their teaching and in their local Writing Projects:

  • creating a personal learning system to continue learning about important new technologies
  • bringing personal learning and experiences with Web 2.0 technologies into their classrooms
  • working with other teachers in their buildings and in other schools in their area to them to begin their learning about Web 2.0 as well.
  • staying connected with other teachers in the National Writing Project's Tech Liaison network, developing projects for their own learning together
  • working alongside the leadership team of their local Writing Projects, helping these leaders to take their own personal next steps with important technologies.

Thats an outline of what these teachers learned last summer. What did you learn last summer? Did it make a difference in your classroom? How are you learning this summer? Join us to share one of your memories about summer learning.

For example, here is a part of Cynthia Calvert’s story:

Being at TM 06 was one of the best things that ever happened to me both professionally and personally. If I had not been invited to TM06, I would not have met Jason, Tracey, and Paige–my fellow Common Threads collaborators and my life would not have been as full. I now count them among my closest and dearest friends. Then I wouldn’t have met Kevin who inspires me to take risks and try new technology tools that until TM06 I did not know existed. I could go on about each and every person who was involved in TM06. I am a better person and a better TL for having been a part of the institute. I know this sounds corny, but it’s true. Finally, I have a better handle on what my job as Alcorn WP’s TL is. I have more confidence and speak with more authority when I talk about technology. I’ve learned to take baby steps, thanks to Peter and Betty, and not try to do everything at once, so I’m less overwhelmed.

Tech Matters`07 starts within hours. We have already invited all former TM participants to join the Technology Matters website (a DrupalEd site that Bill Fitzgerald and Will Banks have been helping us to build). If you were a Tech Matters participant in  `03, `04,`05, or `06, and we missed you. Please register on our site now: http://nwptechmatters07.org/user/register

We would also like to invite anybody who is reading this now to subscribe to the work of Tech Matters`07. We want you to hear the podcasts, see the videos and pictures, and read the texts published by this years invited participants of Technology Matters.
  Subscribe to Technology Matters in a reader (and receive all text, audio, and video that is made public.)

Add Technology Matters Podcast (audio only) to your iTunes


Subscribe to Technology Matters Videocast (video only).


Finally we want to invite you to join us live on webcasts that we will be streaming from Chico, California through the help of Susan Ettenheim, Jeff Lebow, Dave Cormier and others connected with http://edtechtalk.com. Here are the times when we want you to join us. All you need is Skype, a microphone, and a headset of ear buds to join us on any of these afternoons:

  • Tuesday, July 17 - 5:00-5:45 Pacific / 8:00-8:45 Eastern
  • Wednesday, July 18 - 4:00-5:00 pm Pacific / 7:00-8:00 pm Eastern
  • Thursday, July 19 - 4:00-5:00 pm Pacific/ 7:00-8:00 pm Eastern
  • Friday, July 20 - 4:00-5:00 pm Pacific / 7:00-8:00 pm Eastern
  • Saturday, July 21- To Be Announced
Please join us at http://edtechtalk.com. Help us to widen the conversations we are having at Technology Matters `07.


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