Teachers Teaching Teachers #195 - Spring Curriculum Share - 04.07.10

64:59 minutes (14.87 MB)

It’s Spring in the northern hemisphere. Some of us have five or six, others nine weeks left in the academic year. It’s a great time to try out something new or to reflect on what we tried this year. What are you doing this academic season? Listen to this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, then let us know what you are doing this spring.

  • You will <fill in the blank>
  • Paul Allison and Rachel Smith report on how Evoke is going, perhaps with a student or two.
  • Susan Ettenheim and Chris Sloan talk about how their collaborations in digital photography classes are going.
  • Matt Montagne and a student discuss Goggle Apps and the plans, at the time, for Earth Day, which was a success again this year.

Photo: Uploaded on April 12, 2010 by AnnaBanana628

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #159 - 07.08.09 - Learning with Technology in a Writing Project Summer Institute

38:45 minutes (12.66 MB)

For this podcast, we invited five New York City educators who, at the time, were in the middle of a 3-week Summer Institute with the New York City Writing Project. Paul Allison and Shantanu Saha were the facilitators for this Institute in which participants were invited to:

Spend 12 days this summer with other New York City Writing Project teachers who use technology in their classrooms. Share the ways we use the Internet to make student-to-student connections. Learn about a curriculum currently being developed and collaborated on by teachers across the nation. Explore how we use blogs, wikis, images, videos, podcasts, and other tools to inspire young people to do research into their own questions.

These are five of the teachers who joined us:

  • Charlie Freij, Technology/English Teacher, East Brooklyn Community High School
  • Doug Condon, Art Teacher, Academy of American Studies in Queens
  • Julio Benitez, English Teacher, High School for Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture, Queens
  • Karen Levy, Library Media Specialist, Christopher Columbus High School, Bronx
  • Michael Dodes, Library Media Specialist, samuel Gompers Career/Technonogy Ed High School, Bronx

We also had a wonderful surprise guest, Suzie Boss. Just before going live with this webcast (that is recorded here as a podcast), Paul noticed that Suzie Boss was online in Skype. Since we had been talking about her book earlier in the day, Paul took a chance and invited Suzie to join them. What an thoughful, supportive, informed guest she was!

And that's not all. We were also joined by Mike from Central Texas. He's been teaching for 40 years, using inquiry, Great Books Discussions, and the New Jersey Writing Project (in Texas) as his touchstones, and recently he has been exploring Web 2.0 tools. This was his first skype call.

How wonderful it was to add these names to our list of guests:

Please enjoy the podcast. Find out what happens in a tech-focused Advanced/Open Summer Institute in the New York City Writing Project.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #65 - Is blogging a new way of seeing how to teach?

33:49 minutes (7.73 MB)

[Listen to This Blog Text Here] Blogging in the classroom isn't an experiment anymore. It may still be new to many teachers, and we may still have plenty to learn about how to take the most advantage to this new genre, but many of us have been blogging with our students for several years now. We've grown more and more clear about why blogging in a social networking is central to our curricula, and we are more confident in the tools we can use to do this work.

One of the things we say to each other in this podcast is that this work is exciting because it has a history (and a theory) and a future. As schools begin again this fall, over a dozen teachers will be joining together to plan curriculum for two school-based social networks. Last year we started collecting together our plans on a wikispaces site, Elgg Plans. Our high school students' work can be found on an elgg, Youth Voice and on another wikispaces site, Youth Wiki. Our middle school students' blogs are on an elgg, the Personal Learning Space, that is a "walled garden."

Can you imagine blogging with your students? Want to join us? We would welcome you, especially now! Please respond to this post. Let us know of your interest, and we'll help you get started. Also, take a look at these Guidelines for Joining

We'll show you how we use James Beane's "10 self and 10 world questions" to build curriculum with out students. (See this Trailfire for more information.) We plan to also mix in a healthy dose of Paulo Freire's "generative words" and "generative themes." (See a description of "generative themes that discusses images in a book, Brave New Schools. And find "generative" in the third chapter of Pedagogy of the Oppressed.) There's also some business about Peter Elbow's notions of freewriting and focused sentences, and so much more!

At the end of this podcast, Lee Baber shows how blogging has changed her way of teaching:

"I'm looking forward to this year. I feel like I understand now that in teaching my technology class, I need to start with this blog, and in joining with the other teachers in this space first, and fit my curriculum in around it. Because this is probably the most important skill that they're ever going to leave my computer technology class with, which is how to work the same kind of thing that we do in our community. So I'm really excited about re-working my whole year, and laying this thing out to be more participatory and to be more on time with the lessons with everybody else.... This is going to be a new way of seeing how to teach this curriculum. Again, just first teach them how to put it into practice and build community and how to write in their blog spaces and join with these other students. Second, all these other standards will fit in to that. That is why we teach them. It's life skills. It makes perfect sense. It's just just not the way anyone teaches it now."
Why would we make these kinds of changes, and invite you to do the same? In this podcast, Gail Desler answers:

"It's nice that [this blogging] project has a history. It has a past. It has a future, and it just keeps building. And it really is about engaging kids, and using tools that have something to do with how they actually learn today."
Please listen to this podcast, and consider joining us. Give your students a voice this year! Please express your interest or ask questions in the comments attached to this post.

Doctoral Dissertation and WebQuests

Hi Bloggers, Wiki writers, WebQuesters, and online learners,
I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Phoenix online program in education, leadership, curriculum, and instruction. As much as I love researching and writing papers, I have to come up with a problem statement for my dissertation. I am interested in online learning, WebQuests, and ways of integrating technology into the EFL/ESL classroom. My EFL high school students are not motivated to learn in the classroom because they learn English from TV, the Internet, and through music.

I am also interested in coaching and relationship education as a way to improve learning. The WebQuest seems to have everything I am interested in: teamwork and social skills, higher order critical thinking skills, and learning by means of technology. But, I can't come up with a research question/problem.

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