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National Writing Project

Teachers Teaching Teachers #199 - Bitstrips Creators and Writing Project Teachers Talking Comics - 05.05.10


69:27 minutes (15.89 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we enjoyed a lively conversation with two guys from the Toronto-based  interactive design team who created Bitstrips for Schools, Shahan Panth and Jacob BlackstockJacobAtWork-Candid-300x221.png

We were also entertained by a couple of Writing Project teachers: Kevin Hodgson from Western Massachusetts and Larry Neuburger from the Ozarks in Missouri.

In September 2009, Bitstips launched a “new educational site, Bitstrips for Schools!

Soon after we launched Bitstrips.com, we found that teachers everywhere were using Bitstrips as a teaching tool, engaging their students with the exciting power of comic creation.  So, we decided to build a new version of Bitstrips, tailored specifically for teachers.  Bitstrips for Schools has all the awesome tools from Bitstrips, transplanted into a safe and secure environment, with additional administrative features that put the teacher in control.  Teachers can create a virtual classroom, where their students can become cartoon characters and then complete activities by making comics.  It’s an amazing way to promote literacy while having fun.

And, to start things off with a bang, we’ve licensed the service to the Ministry of Education for our home province of Ontario.  This means that all 5000 publicly funded schools now have access to Bitstrips – that’s over 2,000,000 students!  We can’t wait to see what they come up with.

So, go check out Bitstrips for Schools – learning with comics has never been so much fun!

 Earlier this spring, the National Writing Project invited their teachers to try Bitstripsfor free until the end of the summer.

Have you thought about using comic strips as a new way to engage your students? It seems like a perfect step along the continuum of multimedia use in composition, but the artwork aspect of it may be daunting. Enter: Bitstrips for Schools.

Kevin Hodgson wrote a review:

I am always interested in the various online, but protected, sites offering students and teachers a way to make webcomics. I use ToonDooSpaces with my students, and I love the variety of artwork and other options at ToonDoo, but I keep an eye out for other sites, too.welcome.jpg?w=500&h=183

Recently, the National Writing Project finagled a deal with Bitstrips to let NWP teachers give the Bitstrips for Schools a trial run, so I jumped right in (big surprise) and started up an account, established a “classroom” and began making a comic. Later, I created an “activity” that will show up in any student account that I create.

Perhaps you do comics with your students, or would like to consider the possibilities! We hope you enjoy this conversation!

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #191 - Katherine Schulten and the Learning Network AND "...making the case for the NWP - 03.10.10


67:03 minutes (15.35 MB)

In the first half of thKS1larger.jpgis weeks episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we had an inspiring conversation with Katherine Schulten editor of The Learning Network at the New York Times.  Our theme for this week's Teachers Teaching Teachers was about increasing teacher voice in public debates. Katherine suggested how we might use The Learning Network for that.

In addition, we were joined by:

  • Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, director of National Programs and Site Development at the National Writing Project, University of California, Berkeley
  • and Andrea Zellner a leader at the Red Cedar Writing Project, Michigan State University's site of the NWP.

Andrea and many o

thers in the chat room during the webcast gave witness to why we want to maintain federal funding for the NWP to continue -- an example of a time wh

en we need to get our voices to be heard! 

"It's been a heady week for teaching and learning discussion on the Times site," writes Katherine Schulten, our first guest on this podcast. One of Katherine's jobs as an editor of the New York Times Learning Network is to moderate the comments that come in on education-related articles.

A Student Opinion post from earlier this week, "Where Do You Stand on Unconcealed Handguns? "received many lively responses from "students 13 and older," who "are invited [to the Learning Network] to comment on questions about issues in the news."

If you just clicked on those links, your head is probably spinning: so many issues so little time! That's what it feels like to have a conversation with Katherine Schulten, who before she became an editor for the Learning Network was a NYC teacher and a consultant for the New York City Writing Project. Katherine was worried that she was talking too much, because she is so excited about managing the Learning Network.

We'll turned Katherine loose, then we interrupted her with a few questions. We think you'l learn a lot about the New York Times Learning Network on this podcast:

Currently, they are offering these features:

  • Lesson Plans — Daily lesson plans based on New York Times content.
  • Student Opinion — News-related questions that invite response from students age 13 and older.
  • Word of the Day — Vocabulary words in the context of recent Times articles.
  • 6 Q’s About the Newss — An activity in which students answer basic questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) about an article.
  • News Quiz — Interactive daily news quizzes on current top stories.
  • Student Crossword — Topical puzzles geared toward teens.

The award-winning Learning Network was created in the fall of 1998. In October 2009, they re-launched it as a Times blog.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #185 - Did Educon 2.2 Make Us Smarter? - 02.03.10


64:48 minutes (14.83 MB)

On this podcast a few of us who attended Educon 2.2 reflect on our learning there. Appropriately enough, we were guided in this reflective conversation by:

On this podcast you'll hear what four teachers, three of us from different Writing Projects, had to say just a few days after ther conference. You'll hear from:

  • Paul Allison, New York City Writing Project
  • Joe Conroy, NWP at Rutgers University Writing Project (Don't miss Joe's video, below.)
  • Gail Desler, Area 3 Writing Project in Northern California
  • Dolores Gende, Academic Technology Coordinator and Physics teacher from Dallas, Texas

If you were at Educon, we hope you'll be able to compare notes with us. If you were not able to make it, perhaps this podcast can suggest why there's so much interest in Educon!

Here's how the organizers of EduCon 2.2 describe the conference:

What is Educon?

EduCon 2.2 is both a conversation and a conference.

And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from the very practical to the big dreams.

The Axioms

Guiding Principles of EduCon 2.2

  1. Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members
  2. Our schools must be about co-creating — together with our students — the 21st Century Citizen
  3. Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around
  4. Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate
  5. Learning can — and must — be networked

Enjoy Joe Conroy's Video!


Watch What is EduCon? in Educational & How-To  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #177 Reflections on the National Writing Project's 2009 Annual Meeting at a Seminal Moment - 12.02.09


59:35 minutes (13.64 MB)

Before the Thanksgiving turkey there was…

After coming home from these conferences in Philadelphia, we invited a few friends from a recent show —

TTT #175 - Looking Forward to the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting with 3 Presenters - 11.04.09

— to join us again, this time to reflect on the workshops, presentations, meetings, and conversations in the hallway that might still have been fresh in their memories. We wanted to find out what they had learned at the NWP's Annual Meeting this year, and what they were planning to do with all of the connections and ideas they had brought home with them.

This podcast, co-sponsored by the New York City Writing Project and the NWP Technology Liaisons Network, featured:

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #175 - Looking Forward to the National Writing Project's Annual Meeting with 3 Presenters - 11.04.09


68:22 minutes (15.65 MB)

If it’s November, it must be time for the National Writing Project’s (NWP's) Annual Meeting. This week, many Writing Project teachers from across the United States (and some around the world) will be gathering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for our annual conference. National Writing Project's Annual Meeting - Philadelphia, PA - 2009

In connection with the National Writing Project's Annual Meeting, we invited a few teachers who will be presenting in Philadelphia to join us on this episode. Paul Oh, an associate with the NWP joined us as well. In addition, this same cast of characters will be joining us for a follow-up show after the Annual Meeting on December 2.

This podcast, co-sponsored by the New York City Writing Project and the NWP Technology Liaisons Network, features:

As presenters of Annual Meeting sessions that focus on 21st century literacies, these writing project teachers and colleagues shared stories about the exploration of new composing practices, especially podcasting and video-making. Robert and Chuck teach 4th graders and Joe teaches 6th graders. It was and exciting, informative show.

 

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