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Teachers Teaching Teachers #278 - Maybe Detox is a Curriculum - 1.4.12


43:00 minutes (9.84 MB) On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, learn more about the co-hosts of our webcast, +Chris Sloan @csloan, +monika hardy@monk51295, and +Paul Allison @paulallison 

Recently, Monika had a meeting with Jared Polis, U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional districthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Polis . She shared with him her efforts in Loveland, CO at the Be You house and http://labconnections.blogspot.com . Perhaps this could become a true experimental lab to the state. “Perhaps we might get funding per census, as we crowdsource communities of practice.” Monika explains more, and gives a deeper history of the work she has been doing over the past four years.

Paul has recently updated a guide he uses to organize a passion-based curriculum with students using http://youthvoices.net and he would love thoughts about this document as well: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1eqLUXP6TXxrtor-HnXOobZEVmwTMfex9TxOlnN5Z3iU This guide, which animates Paul’s classroom is part of a wonderful collection on NWP’s Digital Is: http://digitalis.nwp.org/collection/assessing-multimedia-compositions and Paul explains it in this resource on NWP’s Digital Is: http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/1259 

Chris talks about a survey he recently conducted with his students who are also using Youth Voices.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #275-Walk Out Walk On & Occupy w/ Mary Ann Reilly, Liam O'Donnell, Ann Leaness, Fred Mindlin-12.7.11


65:12 minutes (14.92 MB) teachers275pic

Below the video here are notes and links on some of the threads we weave together on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers (Please subscribe: http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2 ). Participants in this episode’s Hangout are: Monika Hardy, Mary Ann Reilly, Scott Shelhart (and his daughter) , Liam O'Donnell, Paul Allison, Ann Leaness, and Fred Mindlin

We begin a conversation about Margaret Wheatley’s and Deborah Frieze’s book, Walk Out Walk On [ http://walkoutwalkon.net ], and we explore how the Occupy movements and Educamps might reflect some of the principles in this book.

Monika Hardy wrote recently that she is “absolutely swimming in Walk Out Walk On.” She goes on to explain:

We have been working on a quiet revolution the last four years in Colorado [ http://labconnections.blogspot.com ], both outside and in the public school system, in order to create the communities the authors, Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze share and describe so poignantly, so beautifully in their book.

Mary Ann Reilly joins us this week. Mary is also be inspired by Walk Out Walk On, and has been trying to get a group of teachers together to talk about the book. Mary is a progressive educator, artist, photographer, and writer of Deepening Literacy Learning: Art and Literature Engagements in K-8 Classrooms. [ http://infoagepub.com/index.php?id=9&p=p4b917a12e9f4a ] We are delighted when she is able to join our conversations at Teachers Teaching Teachers.

Ann Leaness joins us as well. Ann is a high school English teacher in Philadelphia, and she is a member of the edcamp foundation [ http://edcampfoundation.org ] board. Ann’s team began edcamp in Philadelphia [ http://edcampphilly.org ] in May of 2010. Walk Out Walk On is on Ann’s bookshelf too, and recently she wrote about “The Dissenters” [ http://lifewithl.com/2011/12/04/the-dissenters-part-1 ] in her blog:

I wanted to spark some interest and also to make this unit relevant for my students. To get started, I showed the students these two videos: “UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed” [ http://youtu.be/6AdDLhPwpp4 ] and “UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to car amidst protesters” [ http://youtu.be/nmfIuKelOt4 ] These videos sparked some interesting discussion about non-violence and the violent reaction. Some students were shocked by the violence of the direct pepper spraying on the docile students, and the lack of reaction on the students’ part. Why did they just do nothing? Why didn’t they fight back? They also remarked about the silence on the second video. We talked about the impact of that silence and the effect of the sounds of the heels hitting the pavement. Again, someone questioned why they didn’t get up and get in the Chancellor’s face.

Reading Walk Out Walk On, one can’t help but wonder if the Occupy Wall Street movement might a place to find “Communities Daring to Live the Future Now,” as it’s put in the subtitle of Walk Out Walk On.

One of the authors of the book, Deborah Frieze also wonders in a blog post last month, “Is Occupy Our Opportunity?”

In Walk Out Walk On, we found ourselves often in the conversation about “building the world we want today.” The communities we wrote about were walking out of failing institutions and walking on to experiment with new ways of feeding and sheltering themselves, of creating health and safety, of learning together and rebuilding relationships. This has never been about creating utopia. It’s about confronting the reality of our situation with new eyes, being willing to abandon limiting beliefs about what’s possible and who’s qualified to make a contribution. Walking on is an invitation for a different kind of social order to emerge in community. So, too, is Occupy. Dewey Square [Boston] is in some ways a microcosm of our society—for better and for worse, it amplifies our gifts and diseases. It places our social impoverishment under a microscope and invites us to do something different. It challenges us to re-learn what it means to be citizens who take responsibility for one another. [ http://www.deborahfrieze.com/2011/11/understanding-occupy-as-a-space-to-... ]

Also joining us on this episode of TTT is Liam O’Donnell, an award-winning children's author and educator [ liamodonnell.com/graphic-novels-books ]. He will help us wonder about communities and to talk about his work as an educator in the Occupy movement. He writes:

I’ve been bringing the Occupy movement into my work with Grade 5/6s studying government and protest (with videos, twinke fingers in the classroom, etc) As a member of the OccupyToronto Education work group, I can speak to the curriculum we're developing for schools around issues of social justice, and poverty.

Also, in a recent blog post, “How Twinkle Fingers turned my classroom into a General Assembly” Liam writes:

Instead of shouting out agreement or disagreement, students showed their “Twinkle Fingers” of agreement or their down low twinkles of disagreement. Confusion or questions were shown by making a letter ‘C’ shape with their hand. This “General Assembly Guide” [ http://www.nycga.net/resources/general-assembly-guide ] from the New York City General Assembly shows what each symbol looks like. And to ensure all voices were heard, not just the loudest, a “stack” or speakers list was put on the chalkboard. [ liamodonnell.com/feedingchange/2011/11/how-twinkle-fingers-turned-my-classroom-into-a-general-assembly ]

Fred Mindlin also joins us to reflect on his nine years of “living at Black Bear Ranch, one of the original 60's "back to the land" hippie communes, and perhaps the only one which survives on the same terms on which it was founded: radical free.”

Enjoy and plan to join us for follow-up episodes on Walk Out Walk On in the coming weeks.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #272 - City as Floor Plan with Ron Link, Andrea Zellner, Mary Ann Reilly, and David Wees - 11.16.11


55:16 minutes (12.65 MB) teachers272

In a busy week with conferences and conventions--physical and and online--going on all over, it was good to stop and think about what we want schools to look like. On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Paul Allison introduces his Assistant Principal, colleague and friend Ron Link to Monika Hardy and Mary Ann Reilly. Ron is cooking up ideas for a new school, and many of his thoughts have seemed parallel to some of what Monika and Mary Ann have been talking about at labconnections.blogspot.com. Andrea Zellner and David Wees are always a delight to hear from! Enjoy this conversation, and let's keep talking about what we want schools to look like. Joining this episode are: monika hardy,  Ron Link,  Andrea Zellner,  Mary Ann Reilly,  David Wees, and Paul Allison


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Teachers Teaching Teachers #203 - Visualizing information and Envisioning New Schools - 06.02.10


58:46 minutes (13.45 MB)

For this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we asked Suzie Boss to come on to help us have a conversation with:

  • an amazing young high school student who has developed his own project-based learning by creating info-graphics.
  • a dynamic teacher who has been working all year to help open a new public school in East Brooklyn.

We learned a lot, both about visualizing information and about integrating technology into a new, alternative school.

Michael, Amazing Student
Chris Sloan joined us with one of his amazing students, Michael, from Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City. Michael has a blog called Graph the Info.

Click on this image to see a recent post where Michael explains his creative process:

Ski-Utah-Graphic-Small.jpg


Charlie, Dynamic Teacher

We were also joined by Charlie Freij a teacher we meet in the New York City Writing Project’s Advanced Summer Institute last year. Charlie has been working this year to create a new school, East Brooklyn Community High School, in Canarsie. And his students have been using Youth Voices.

East Brooklyn Community High School is a small, academically rigorous high school that is committed to preparing students for college, meaningful employment, healthy personal and family relationships and participation in the life of their communities. East Brooklyn Community High School is a transfer school that is designed to help students who have fallen behind in credit accumulation get back on track and earn a high school diploma. East Brooklyn Community HS is a collaboration between the DOE and SCO Family Services; our curriculum and programs build on SCO’s comprehensive range of neighborhood and community based services that sustain families and children. The academic program will utilize innovative and project based instructional strategies that prepare students to pass Regents exams and develop the skills needed for post secondary options.

We hope you enjoy this podcast, and that you will join us each Wednesday this summer as we develop curriculum together that will address the BP Gulf Oil Atrocity.

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

Teachers Teaching Teachers #198 - David Niguidula and Bill Fitzgerald Give New Life to Digital Portfolios - 04.28.10


70:09 minutes (16.05 MB)

We asked two of our favorite software developers/consultants/activists/dreamers, Bill Fitzgerald and David Niguidula to talk to us about digital portfolios on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.


Bill Fitzgerald and FunnyMonkey

At an Educon 2.1 session in January, Bill Fitzgerald showed us a Durpal-based digital portfolio system that he and his colleagues at FunnyMonkey had been developing. As always with Bill, it was more than a software demonstration. With this project, he is leading us in a process of “Rethinking Portfolios.”

The promise of the portfolio is that the demonstration of learning remains as close as possible to the process of learning, while allowing individual elements of the learning process to be highlighted and discussed as part of evaluation. This type of assessment creates a nuanced picture of how a person is developing as a learner.

Portfolios have been around for a while, yet they are still largely viewed as an “alternative” means of assessment. What are some of the barriers for adoption that exist? What are the arguments against using portfolios?

When used effectively as part of ongoing professional development:]

  • A teaching portfolio shows what and how a teacher is teaching;
  • In conjunction with a student portfolio, organic ties can be made between student learning and the role of the teach
  • The process of creating a teacher portfolio accomplishes (at least) two things
  1. it transforms curriculum development from an individual endeavor into a community endeavor; and
  2. after maintaining a teacher portfolio for one year, a teacher will have created a fully portable outline of their entire course, which has the potential to eliminate the need for a textbook.

We were happy the opportunity in this podcst to learn more about FunnyMonkey’s Digital Portfolio project.

David Niguidula and Richer Picture


Fifteen years ago, Paul Allison and Shantanu Saha were working at University Heights Secondary School in the Bronx when we had the opportunity to begin building a digital portfolio for our school. David Niguidula was the leader of this project with the Coalition of Essential Schools. That project was a life changer for both Paul and Shantanu. It was the experience with technology that would put each of us on our own journeys into educational technology that continue today. Occasionally our paths meet up. Both Shantanu’s and Paul’s students work on Youth Voices, a Drupal site developed by Bill Fitzgerald.

We were excited to have this opportunity to catch up with David Niguidula! This is how his site describes their work:

Richer Picture® products and services help schools use technology to personalize teaching and learning. Our digital portfolios provide a new way for your students to show that they are meeting standards — while celebrating who they are as individual learners.

We have the most extensive experience in developing and implementing electronic portfolios in K-12 schools. In the 1990’s, Ideas Consulting Founder David Niguidula led the first research project on digital portfolios while at the Coalition of Essential Schools. Since then, we have accumulated over a dozen years of experience working in elementary, middle, and high schools across the country and around the world.

We provide both technology tools and the professional development to help you use them effectively. Our software is customized for your school and is designed to fit your needs. Our professional development goes far beyond learning how to use the tools; we help your staff address the essential questions of assessment and school change.

These tandem descriptions made us wonder if these two guys had ever met before. Well, they didl meet, on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. Enjoy!

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

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