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Paul Allison

TTT #290 - NYCWP Teachers Fostering Youth Voices with Jim Nordlinger, Amal Aboulhosn, Carla Cherry, and Valerie Burton - 3.28.12


59:59 minutes (13.73 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers we have a conversation with three teachers from the New York City Writing Project who are part of a study group that has been sponsored by the NYCWP to foster and reflect on the use of Youth Voices by these teachers. Paul Allison, Chris Sloan, Monika Hardy host a conversation with Jim Nordlinger, Amal Aboulhosn, and Carla Cherry from the NYCWP along with our colleagues Valerie Burton, and Fred Mindlin.
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As an introduction to this conversation, we offer these reflections posted by one of our listeners on her blog, "Short Quips: thinking in (hyper)text" (Check out here blog, to see this teacher's complete response, and view her About Me.):
Tonight I participated in my first live educational conference online through EdTechTalk. The conference is called “Teachers Teaching Teachers” and takes place every Wednesday night. I did not join the group via video, but rather just watched/listened to the other participants and participated through a live chat feature....

It took me a while to catch up to what was being discussed. Participants were throwing around the term “Youth Voices” and I thought at first that it was just a cool catch phrase for high school kids who were blogging. It wasn’t until i joined the live chat that I got a better idea of what Youth Voices is. Youth Voices, it turns out, is a huge site where the main purpose is to offer a space for youth to participate in discussion. It is a place where youth can post their thoughts and comment on other youth’s thoughts....

One of the discussions among the video participants revolved around how teachers should/are assessing their student’s contributions on Youth Voices. One educator shared how she is setting guidelines for how much/what her students need to contribute to Youth Voices within a specific time frame. For example, she will stipulate that her students need to write one post and make one comment within a week, and if they do both they get the marks for it. This particular educator works at a school in the Bronx and has found that participating in Youth Voices has empowered her students to have their voices heard. She noted how much time and effort can be put into a short comment, because the students are very aware of their online presence and ensuring they present themselves appropriately.

... It was an interesting experience to view it. I think the biggest thing I got out of the experience was that I was also able to network with educators from far and wide- always a positive when you are working on developing your professional learning network.

... I would love to come back to join in a conversation in the future, especially if I am looking for information specifically related to the topic being discussed. I am curious to know whether there are any live educator chats/conferences specifically for Early Childhood Educators. If you know of one, pass it on!

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

TTT #289: Connected Learning: Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Clifford Lee, Katie MacKay, Meenoo Rami, Lacy Manship, Antero Garcia 3.21.12


55:53 minutes (12.79 MB)

On this episode of +Teachers Teaching Teachers, we talk about Connected Learning/connecting-our-learning with Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and this amazing group of NWP teacher leaders listed here: Paul Allison, Chris SloanClifford Lee, Fred Mindlin, Katie MacKay, Chad Sansing, Meenoo Rami, Lacy Manship, and Antero Garcia

You can see some of what we discuss through the following links:

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Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

TTT #288 Looking at the embedded literacies: InstaGrok and Readitfor.me w/ Lisa Parisi, Steve Cunningham, Kirill Kireyev 3.14.12


59:57 minutes (13.72 MB)

We want to introduce you to the founders of http://InstaGrok.com and http://Readitfor.me on this episode of +Teachers Teaching Teachers.

The cores of both of these services have theories of action that emphasize literacy as we know it now. Both founders think that your students might find their services useful for learning, reading, doing research, managing information, and knowing the world.

We think you'll enjoy this conversation with +Kirill Kireyev and +Steve Cunningham.

Learn more about their online services that are being made available for free to schools. See if there might be a place for them in your work with students. Test your theories of literacy in 2012 next to those embedded in these new learning tools What search tools do you think might enable your students to engage in "safe and personalized learning?" (InstaGrok) What tools do you think might help your students to "understand and actually put the big ideas to work?" (Readitfor.me).


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

TTT #287 Losing fear with Steve Hargadon, Anne Simonen, Maribeth Whitehouse, Delia Downing, Chad Sansing, MaryBeth Hertz 3.7.12


54:58 minutes (12.58 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers Paul Allison and Monika Hardy host a convteachers287textpicersation framed by +Steve Hargadon's search for a new narrative to support educational change. We are joined by teachers who are actively protesting the disrespect and indignity they have recently been subjected to in New York City and in British Columbia.

One of our guests, +Maribeth Whitehouse was recently quoted in an article by Michael Winerip in The New York Times:

It’s not just the low scorers who are offended. Maribeth Whitehouse, a special education teacher in the Bronx, wrote me in an e-mail: “I am a 99th percentiler. A number of us are in touch with each other, united by nothing more than our profession and professional disdain for this nonsense.” She is circulating a letter of protest for others on the 99th percentile to sign. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/nyregion/in-brooklyn-hard-working-teachers-sabotaged-when-student-test-scores-slip.html

Maribeth Whitehouse joins us on this episode of +Teachers Teaching Teachers as we work toward defining a narrative of respect and dignity for teachers and students alike. And here's a link to her letter.

Steve Hargdadon's perspectives were recently detailed in a thought-provoking post on his blog that ends:

Those of us who really care about teaching and learning as ways of helping to liberate the passion and independence of learners are going to have to both recognize--and figure out how to avoid--the hidden compliance agendas of the big money being doled out. And also how to make sure we're building the kind of appreciative support networks that will help the Rudy's [a teacher in the Bronx] of the world. http://www.stevehargadon.com/2012/03/tail-of-two-ed-tech-agendas.html

In addition teacher +Delia Downing and a student (Delia’s daughter) +Anne Simonen join us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. They were fresh from a protest against their government's educational policies. They provide details about their fight for dignity and respect in British Columbia. http://act.bcfed.ca/whyyoushouldsupportbcteachers/

And that's not all. We are also joined by the powerful, teacher-activists Chad Sansing and MaryBeth Hertz.

This is an important conversation, and we invite you to join us by commenting below. We'd love to hear your stories of letting go of the fear and of finding spaces of dignity and respect both for you and your colleagues and for your students.


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

TTT#285 Who drops out? with Nick Perez, Todd Finley, Alex Pappas, Troy Hicks, Lisa Nielsen, Teresa Bunner, Lisa Nielsen 2.22.12


59:59 minutes (13.73 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers +Paul Allison +Monika Hardy, and +Chris Sloan welcome many different perspectives on the important question of Who drops out? Why? Does it matter? What alternatives are available?

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With a wonderful mix of thoughtful people we explore how questions about “engagement”—even what it means—help us have productive dialogues about what good teaching and learning looks like and what might change in our schools. Each of us in this conversation are working to reconsider our assumptions and to recast our questions about student engagement in high school and beyond. Please add to this mix by listening in and adding to the comments below.

Nick found our conversation and had this poignant, detailed response, which I can’t figure out how to excerpt, so here it is in full. Nick wrote to us:

I don’t think high-school is for everyone - just like college isn’t for everyone. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’d love to see more of a focus on alternative forms of education for dropouts, and less of a focus on forcing them to stay in schools where they don’t feel productive. A little background on how I formed that opinion:
I’m a high-school dropout. I wrote my first program when I was ~10 years old, and spent my time coding instead of doing schoolwork. Everyone knew that I was educating myself, but I was still treated like a troublemaker because of my grades. After being placed in a horrible, kind of humiliating special-ed program in middle school (I had someone following me around all day, making sure I was paying attention), I started skipping school because I felt alienated. I’ve never been allowed in a regular high-school classroom (I was in a small program for troubled kids, where it wasn’t unusual for a student to be out for weeks/months due to jail-time), which made me feel further alienated, and motivated me to skip class more often.
So eventually I left. I think there should be more of a focus on our unique needs, and more of an understanding of the fact that “unique needs” doesn’t necessarily equate to learning disabilities or behavioral problems - some of us prefer to work without a standardized curriculum, some of us prefer to work alone, some prefer to work in groups, some want complete guidance, and some just want independent study with extra help on-call.. and yeah, some are stubborn enough to reject any form of education that doesn’t meet their needs/desires/expectations, like myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I love self-educating, because I love freedom and self-accountability. If I fail to learn the things I need to learn, it’s an issue that I deal with on my own, instead of facing disciplinary action, or getting an “F”, or being placed in a box of “bad kids”. I have a job. I pay taxes. I’ve never had issues paying my rent. I’m still self-educating at every opportunity and always will be. Life goes on. I’d love to help other dropouts feel like they haven’t missed their chance.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
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