Conversations among teachers often lead to better clarity, deeper understanding, and renewal, and you’ll find some of these qualities in this podcast. Sometimes teacher talk can lead to action. Such was the case this Wednesday when Lee Baber and Paul Allison invited their colleagues Madeline Brownstone and Sharon Peters to come up with some ideas for collaborating with middle schoolers on blogs in the Personal Learning Space. (Clarence Fisher also joined us late in the webcast.)
Take at look at this week at this week’s Google Notebook TTT 39 if you want to see what all the excitment is about setting up global collaborations between students. Get to know more about Madeline and Sharon in there.
Our plan is to find five themes around which to organize the students’ communication with each other. And instead of coming up with these oursleves, we are going to use James A. Beane’s strategey of asking students to write 10 questions about themselves and 10 questions about the world. Then we will guide our students to study their questions to find socially relevant, personally engaging themes to suggest to each other for creating images, text, flash, and video on the blog. It will be interesting to post 5 questions on the home page of the Personal Learning Space, and then to watch as tags from the students’ blogs begin to give these questions texture.
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.
EdTechTalk: Teachers Teaching Teachers #37
Rethinking Journalism with Chris Sloan
January 24, 2007
Download mp3 (70:58, 34 MB)
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
Teachers Teaching Teachers #35
January 10, 2007
This was the kind of conversation that needed more time. Listen as nine teachers from six states — Paul Allison, NY, Lee Baber, VA , Glen Bledsoe, OR, Susan Ettenheim, NY, Kevin Hodgson, MA, Eric Hoefler, VA, Matt Makowetski, CA, Chris Sloan, UT, and Ken Stein, NY (plus a father from China) — who use blogs, discussion boards, and other Web-based communication tools in their classrooms tell stories about the first half of the academic year. We report on what we have been learning about blogging (and using wikis) with students. We also begin to talk about what our plans are for the remainder of the year.
In the comments at the bottom of this post, please join us with your thoughts about what you’ve learned teaching students to communicate online. What are your stories? Let’s see how many more states — and countries — we can add to the list as we check in with colleagues from all over the globe.
We also want to talk about how to help students who will be ending their classes with us in January can find some closure with their blogs without closing off the possiblities of keeping an ongoing blog.
And please join us next week — and every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern — in the text chat room at EdTechTalk.com.