Skip to Content

Alicia Blair

Teachers Teaching Teachers #214 - VoiceThread and Teaching the iGeneration after the BP Oil Spill - 08.18.10


66:35 minutes (15.24 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Steve Muth and Ben Papell founders and on-going co-conspirators at VoiceThread join Susan Ettenheim and Chris Sloan to talk about what’s new at VoiceThread AND how they can imagine VoiceThread supporting our efforts with http://voicesonthegulf.org.

In addition, Bill Ferriter, a sixth grade science teacher in North Carolina, joins us. Bill has just published a great book, Teaching the iGeneration. There are a lot great ideas in this new book, but there’s one that is perfect for a VoiceThread discussion: Collaborative vs. Competitive dialogue. In an email, Bill writes:

Collaborative and competitive dialogue is something I talk about in Teaching the iGeneration and something that VoiceThread facilitates nicely.  We could talk about how our world emphasizes competitive dialogue—-kids are surrounded by marketing messages and celebrities and politicians screaming for attention and unwilling to listen to other viewpoints——but collaborative dialogue is essential for solving the kinds of global, cross-border challenges our world is facing. 

Alicia Blair, a colleague and science teacher at an alternative school in Mississippi, and Gail Desler, who works with teachers in Northern California, join us as well. Alicia and Gail have been helping us to keep it real all summer.

Enjoy!

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #210 - Eywitnesses to the largest oil spill in U.S. history - 07.21.10


45:46 minutes (10.48 MB)

The series of podcasts about the Gulf oil spill that we started at the beginning of June continues on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.

We are joined by Alicia Blair a 5th grade science teacher from Mississippi who has been an important voice on many of these podcasts this summer.

It was also a delight to listen to Ann Dobie, author, professor, and former Writing Project Director from Louisiana.

 

Ann Brewster Dobie taught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for thirty-eight years, where she is now professor emerita of English. She directed graduate studies in rhetoric and the university’s writing-across-the-curriculum program. She is the author or coauthor of six college writing textbooks and author of numerous articles on literature and composition. She is the editor of Something in Common: Contemporary Louisiana Stories, Uncommonplace: An Anthology of Contemporary Louisiana Poets, and Wide Awake in the Pelican State: Stories by Contemporary Louisiana Writers. Ann received her doctorate in the teaching of writing from Columbia University.

Biography on http://anndobie.com Given our interest to work with teachers in the Gulf to collect the stories of students there, take a look at this description of Ann Dobie’s newest book, Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter, which was published in 2008.
View at Amazon.com

Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed thousands of homes, schools, and businesses across the Gulf Coast and changed the face of southeast Louisiana forever. However, nearly a hundred miles northwest of New Orleans, in Lafayette, Louisiana, a different story was unfolding. As men, women, and children waited on their roofs for rescue, executive director Greg Davis hurried to prepare the Cajundome in Lafayette as an emergency shelter.

The workers and volunteers in the Cajundome provided food, showers, and medical care to more than eighteen thousand evacuees that came to Lafayette. From the first busloads of newly homeless to the disasters caused by Hurricane Rita, “Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter” shares personal accounts of heartache and joy, tragedy and triumph. For the first time, here is a collection of the stories of the volunteers and evacuees. Their heroism, courage, and despair are etched into these stories as they endured the first few weeks in a hurricane-ravaged world.

Retold here is the bravery and leadership of Donald Williams as he took charge and led a convoy of handicapped and elderly to safety. Readers will also be captivated by the unforgettable story of the Prevost family as they climbed their way to the roof of their home and their heartbreaking journey to dry land on I-10. The author includes her own personal accounts of what really happened in the aftermath of Katrina and the bravery and selflessness of countless people who struggled to make a difference.

We are excited about the number of teachers who have joined us this summer for this exploration into how we can be good neighbors with our friends in the Gulf Coast. Al Doyle, a NYC teacher of gaming, joined us from the woods of a summer camp in Maine, and a new teacher Rebecca from Pennsylvania, had some things to say as well.

Some of the things to listen for in this podcast are some of the reasons we have been working with Bill Fitzgerald at FunnyMonkey to build an extension of our Youth Voices site. Two quotes from this podcast help define our mission for Voices on the Gulf:


I think sometimes when your there at that Ground Zero, if I can borrow that phrase, it's a little overwhelming. But I talked with several people and got together with our [Writing Project] director, and we just had a real brainstorm. And we went back again to our experience with Katrina. What did we end up doing? Not that we ever planned any of these things. It was more the spontaneous improv sort of thing. So we went back and we looked at the things that had been successful, and thought about what we would like to do for the oil spill. This time planning, with the goal being: We want to publish! We would like to do that this time.... This whole experience that we've had this summer in trying to brainstorm how to bring student voices out has really inspired us to take the initiative, instead of waiting until we see it through like we did with the hurricane, to make those efforts.
--Alicia Blair, high school science teacher and member of the Live Oak Writing Project, University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast


In Louisiana after Katrina and Rita our [Writing Project] sites published any number of anthologies of student writing about those hurricanes, and about what it meant to live through the hurricanes, but even more so, through the clean up and the rebuilding. I have no doubt that that's going to happen again because our teachers always capitalize on those things which are happening in students' lives and their families' lives, and use those as sources of writing and a kind of catharsis. I have no doubt that it will happen.
--Ann Dobie, professor emerita of English, University of Louisiana, director of the Louisiana Writing Project State Network and former director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana


Also, please read:

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #209 - Rethinking school with four Gulf Coast teachers - 07.14.10


44:46 minutes (10.25 MB)

Our guests on this episode of  Teachers Teaching Teachers are:

  • Kyle Meador, the Director of Education at Our School at Blair Grocery, New Orleans. To learn more about Our School at Blair Grocery, check out this video. Then click here to visit their photo slideshow. This is well worth your time! And while you are there, please contribute to their construction efforts. You'll find a donate button on the right side of the site.
     
  • We met Kyle on Edutopia’s “official PBL Camp kickoff” this Monday. This was a webinar led by Suzie Boss, and it was “attended by more than 100 campers. If you missed the live event, you can view an archived recording, and/or download the slide presentation.” Suzie also joins us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teacher. There was a lot of synergy between Edutopia’s Problem-Based Learning Camp and our webcast this summer. It was great to be a small part of this work. All of of the materials of this camp areopen to everybody and there is PBL wiki.
     
  • On this episode, we also welcome two teachers from the Live Oak Writing Project which is on the coast in Mississippi. High school science teacher, Alicia Blair who had been with us the week before returns with a colleague, Stacey Ferguson who teaches 5th grade.
  • Middle-school science and technology teacher, Jeff Mason joins us once again to give us his perspectives from Pensacola, Florida.

On this show, we talk about getting a website ready in time for the students on the Gulf Coast, to make it easy for them to share their stories, poems, photographs, essays, and cartoons with us. Bill Fitzgerald and his colleagues at FunnyMonkey pulled it off! Students are coming back along the Gulf Coast this week and next week. "Voices on the Gulf" is ready. We expect that student voices will dominate on this site eventually, but we invite you to join now, and add a discussion. What are you thinking about the BP oil spill? How will this event change your teaching?

Please plan to join us to plan curriculum and make connections with teachers in the Gulf. Browse over to http://EdTechTalk.com/live at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA every Wednesday in August./ World Times. We’ll see you then!

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #208 - Wondering about fossil fuel and enjoying the power of twitter in the NWP - 07.07.10


44:32 minutes (10.19 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Alicia Blair, a science teacher who lives near the beach in Mississippi, asked us to think of her the next time we pump Fowl Language by Paul Jacksongasoline into a gas-guzzling automobile. Later in the show her heart went out to an art teacher, April Estep, who lives 20 minutes from the site of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mining disaster. Casey Daugherty, a co-director of the Ozarks Writing Project, observed, "We'll think of April every time we switch the lights on."

Sandwiched between these ongoing conversations about how to respond to the BP oil spill and similar disasters such as the Big Branch disaster, we talked about how to raise teacher voice and how to push out audio and video on social networks like Twitter.

This summer our guests brought twitter and social networking to and from their local Invitational Summer Institutes of the National Writing Project. Paul Oh leads us in this discussion of how the face-to-face, intense summer work widens when social networks become part of the mix.

Our guests on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers were:

Learn more from these folks and others on this recent NWP resource page, Tweeting in the Summer Institute and Beyond:

Writing Project teachers have found Twitter to be a serious learning tool. Many sites across the country integrated Twitter into their summer institutes this summer, and teachers have built "personal learning networks"—groups of people who casually join together to communicate and collaborate on common topics—where they discuss serious educational issues.


Story behind the image:

As an ornithologist’s son, watercolor artist Paul Jackson grew up spending Christmases in the park ranger’s cabin on Horn Island, Miss. Over several weeks, he turned his outrage into “Fowl Language,” in which a least tern, stilt, egret, cormorant and other Gulf birds sit atop a dropping-streaked BP sign as an oil rig smokes in the background.

He posted a photo of the painting on his Web site while the paper was still damp. Within two hours, it was selling as a T-shirt on the art-sale Web site Zazzle.com.

The Columbia, Mo., painter has since created his own site, “Art vs. Oil Spill.” About 100 artists from as far away as India and Malaysia have offered works, with all proceeds going to nonprofit groups working to clean up the oil or oiled animals.

Artists find ways to protest Gulf spill | Associated Press | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

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