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Teachers Teaching Teachers

Teachers Teaching Teachers #53 - Can we use mapping to build our school social networks?

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42:54 minutes (19.64 MB)

Follow along in this week's Google Notebook

We are coming to the end of an academic year in which many of us involved with Teachers Teaching Teachers -- with the support of Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow at WorldBridges.com --have begun two elggs (social networking sites): PersonalLearningSpace.com and YouthVoices.net. PersonalLearningSpace has about 1000 middle school students blogging, and Youth Voices has the same number blogging on the high school level. Paul Allison, Lee Baber, Chris Sloan, Susan Ettenheim and others have been following Mike Pegg's Google Maps Mania for for some time, and last summer we planned a project with Jared Cosulich's CommunityWalk that we call Entry Points. We gave our map this title because each of the about 200 markers on our map go (or should go) to a profile in the social networks mentioned above. All fine, but... We're not happy with how this project has turned out, and in this podcast we review our work with this mapping service... and with maps in general. What is our purpose and what tools would fit best for what we are trying to do? We are activist teachers willing to take risks and bring the best tools available to our students. We plan to continue discussing our use of maps -- retrospectively and prospectively. Do you use Google Maps? Let us know what you are doing. Perhaps you will put us on the right trail for bringing mapping into our social networks in ways that capture our students interest in maps and build our online communities.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #52 - How do I work blogging into my daily curriculum?


55:17 minutes (25.31 MB) ­

Bud Hunt asks the question like this: “How do I work Youth Voices [a school-based social network of 1000 student bloggers] into my daily curriculum? How do I use it either to replace existing writing or to support the writing instruction that I want to do?”

Like many of us, Bud is convinced that he has the tools he needs (Elgg is just one example.) to bring blogging and social networking into into the center of his writing, reading and research curricula. Teachers like Bud have learned that students who are asked to blog weekly (or thereabouts) about issues and topics of their own choosing achieve and go beyond the goals we have for them when we teach writing in more traditional ways. (If you’re not yet one of the “convinced,” please take a look at our students work on Youth Voices.Perhaps you’ll find evidence that supports our convictions. Also checkout what the students themselves say when they write in our “How am I doing?” community blog.)

The problem is, how do we make it work? Although each teacher has a unique situation, many of us face constraints that are similar to the ones Bud points to when he asks, “How do I fit Elgg into my language arts curriculum? More specifically, how do I do so in neat, nine-week chunks? (My courses are all on the quarter system.)”

Bud sums up with these kind words: “I love, love, love what y’all are doing with YouthVoices. I want my students to be involved in a strong writing community — I just don’t know how to practically do so. ”

Many teachers find themselves, like Bud, on the brink of using student-centered (because the topics come from each individual student) blogging. And perhaps it’s not too bold for those of us who have been involved in creating Youth Voices–a community of practice for high school bloggers–to say that we can show that this kind of blogging both engages students and helps them to reach toward higher and higher standards of writing and multimedia communication. We are ready to encourage those of you on the edge to find ways to solve your very real logistical problems. It’s worth it.

Teachers Using Drupal (and Wordpress, and...) Teachers Teaching Teachers 55 - 05.02.07

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66:01 minutes (30.22 MB)

Our guests this week were two Writing Project teachers who use Drupal in their work with students and teachers.

  • Jason Shiroff is a 4th/5th Grade teacher at the Odyssey School in Denver, Colorado. Jason is also the Tech Liaison for the Denver Writing Project.
  • Will Banks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at East Carolina University, and he is the Director of the Tar River Writing Project.

Check out some of what we talked about in this week’s Google Notebook.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #50 - Guest, Pat Ferrel, Trailfires CTO and Our students blog about Virginia Tech

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70:09 minutes (32.11 MB) Madeline Brownstone, a teacher Baccalaureate School for Global Education, NYC, kicked off this episode by talking about how she has begun to us Trailfire in her classroom. ...Pat, and his co-founder John O’Halloran had noticed that Madeline was using Trailfire for teaching a couple of weeks ago. They were interested to follow Madeline’s work Since they “are currently focusing on the education market for Trailfire.”

Teachers Teaching Teachers#49 - How Do Local EdTech & Writing Projects Create a Web Presence?

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62:19 minutes (28.53 MB)

April 18, 2007

How do local Writing Projects create a web presence? What changes when they do? What tools might we consider? Joomla? DrupalED? We discussed these issues with our guests Bill Fitzgerald, Paul Oh, Troy Hicks, Felicia George, Madeline Brownstone,  Lee Baber and Paul Allison.  Bill Fitzgerald also gave us an update on his release of a new DrupalEd profile.

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