Teachers Teaching Teachers #143 Videos to the New President! - 03.11.09

Post-Show description: 

Listen to this podcast to learn about an exciting opportunity for your students to make videos that address the Obama Administration.

David Cole from the Pearson Foundation and Paul Oh from the National Writing Project joined us on this episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers. We invited them to talk about the latest iteration of the Letters to the Next President project that involves video.

A National Writing Project teacher,

Chris Sloan

, who had already registered for the project, joined as well to talk about his purposes and motivations for involving his students in the project.

Ron Link

, a video teacher from the Bronx added his perspective as well.

Got a video project? Wish you did? Want to provide a platform for your students’ videos?

Listen to this podcast to learn about an exciting opportunity for your students to make videos that address the Obama Administration.

David Cole from the Pearson Foundation and Paul Oh from the National Writing Project joined us on this episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers. We invited them to talk about the latest iteration of the Letters to the Next President project that involves video.

A National Writing Project teacher, Chris Sloan, who had already registered for the project, joined as well to talk about his purposes and motivations for involving his students in the project. Ron Link, a video teacher from the Bronx added

On this podcast you'll learn more about -- then you'll probably want to sign up for:

Letters to the Next President: The Video Campaign Encourages Teen Filmmakers to Address Obama Administration - National Writing Project

Letters to the Next President: The Video Campaign, sponsored by the Pearson Foundation and the National Writing Project (NWP), encourages filmmakers ages 13–18, with the support of their teachers, to voice their points of view by creating and sharing digital videos about the issues they want President Obama and his new administration to address.

The video campaign extends the popular Letters to the Next President letter-writing campaign launched in 2008 by NWP and Google Docs, which engaged over 6,500 high school and middle school students across the United States, as well as the hundreds of teachers and mentors who guided them. Students identified topics that reflected their specific personal, regional, and age-related interests, and with the help of Google Docs published their work online for their peers, parents, and the public on the Letters to the Next President: Writing Our Future website: www.letters2president.org.

The new initiative is open to all young people whose teachers register their class to participate. The deadline for registration is March 27, 2009. Full registration and publication guidelines can be found at www.digitalartsalliance.org. In early April, participating teachers will be able to upload their students’ videos and publish them for the global community. The complete collection of student work will be posted at www.digitalartsalliance.org and www.letters2president.org.


Enjoy the pocast, and sign up this week!


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

 21:04:21 Paul Allison: We're getting started in just a minute with David Cole from the Peasron Foundation
 21:04:27 pen.campbell: I'm not getting any message.  I've opened Skype.
 21:05:07 Paul Allison: Welcome all. Here's a place to do a bit of homework before the show starts: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2802
 21:06:39 Gretchen: when are we starting?
 21:06:55 Paul Allison: Hi Peggy.
 21:07:08 Paul Allison: We're talking about video tonight.
 21:07:17 Paul Allison: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2802
 21:07:45 PeggyG: Hi Paul-excellent!! Can't wait to talk about video.
 21:08:17 PeggyG: audio is coming through great for me
 21:08:18 Melissa: huh, still can't get sound--worked fine last week...
 21:09:47 csitterley: Kyli-are you on iChat now?
 21:09:51 PeggyG: just listened to Liz Kolb's guest on her radio show who talked about how her students use cell phones to create videos explaining how to solve math problems to post to a class wiki. Fantastic!
 21:10:14 Paul Oh: hi all ... just to add to what Paul posted, here's a link to Pearson's Digital Arts Alliance page with information about the Letters to the Next President video project:
 21:10:19 Melissa: someone just said Hi Chris, but I can't hear anything else. . . should I?
 21:10:23 ksitterley: csitterley - yep
 21:10:33 PeggyG: seem to only be hearing you Susan--the other voices are very soft
 21:10:36 Sarah S: I can only hear Susan . . .
 21:10:41 SusanEttenheim: ok you should be able to hear almost everyone now!
 21:10:51 Melissa: I can only hear Susan
 21:11:07 csitterley: Susan-you are good, but others are not coming thru
 21:11:19 Sarah S: Hey! There's Paul.
 21:11:21 PeggyG: now I hear Paul
 21:11:22 csitterley: I have Paul now
 21:11:29 Melissa: Paul, check
 21:11:51 SusanEttenheim: Pen - what is your username on skype?
 21:11:59 SusanEttenheim: are you listed as being in shoreham?
 21:14:48 Paul Oh: hi Pen
 21:14:54 Paul Oh: we're still trying to find you on skype
 21:15:33 SusanEttenheim: pen can you skype chat me?
 21:15:43 SusanEttenheim: for some reason I'm not finding you on skype
 21:15:44 PeggyG: the background hum disappeared when you lost Paul-interesting..
 21:15:46 pen.campbell: Well, I heard Paul a minute ago--the only thing that changed was that I opened this chat
 21:16:00 SusanEttenheim: can you all hear Paul now?
 21:16:02 pen.campbell: Susan--I'll try it
 21:16:08 PeggyG: yes can hear Paul now
 21:16:19 SusanEttenheim: thanks Peggy
 21:16:31 PeggyG: the challenges and joys of technology! still worth it!!
 21:17:11 pen.campbell: Susan--sent you a message on Skype at 9:16--a second ago.
 21:17:14 PeggyG: "the current President" :-)
 21:17:36 SusanEttenheim: wo this is so frustrating!
 21:18:02 Paul Allison: pen.campbell
 21:18:35 ksitterley: susan - we've all been there so it's no problem! smooth sailing from here on in :)
 21:18:54 csitterley: Some of our students participated in the letters to the president project
 21:19:22 SusanEttenheim: yes ! I remember you noting that at your Google presentation!
 21:19:31 TerrySmith: General tone of messages to Duncan?
 21:19:47 PeggyG: can you drop that link here? missed it when he said it
 21:19:55 PeggyG: for the google doc?
 21:20:11 Paul Oh: www.letters2president.org
 21:20:17 PeggyG: thanks
 21:20:21 Paul Oh: np
 21:21:28 PeggyG: the collaborative publishing is such a great idea!
 21:22:11 Paul Oh: here's the page with info about the video extension, including registration, that David is talking about: www.digitalartsalliance.org/partnerships/nwp/letters2pres.html
 21:22:43 TerrySmith: These are the mechanics - what is the objective? Lots of kids are doiinghtis on wikis already.
 21:25:06 PeggyG: it's hard to get the media to understand the power in this kind of collaborative writing when they report on it
 21:25:16 SusanEttenheim: everyone - could you please introduce yourself? where and what do you teach?
 21:25:56 PeggyG: I'm from Phoenix AZ and am a retired elementary principal/university teacher education instructor
 21:26:16 Melissa: Melissa Lynn Pomerantz, St. Louis, MO USA, High School English
 21:26:21 TerrySmith: teach grade 4 - www.smithclass.org and edtech at Antioch University, LA
 21:26:22 PeggyG: I'll bet the video project will be very engaging for the students!
 21:26:25 Sarah S: Art and tech teacher in Maine, hs level
 21:26:46 ksitterley: Kyli from Saegertown PA - Tech Department/Instructional Technology
 21:26:47 lukeka: kathy luke, i teach at a small school in NYC.
 21:26:53 csitterley: I am Director of  Instructional Tech for PENNCREST School District in NW PA- Connie Sitterley
 21:27:02 Mariel: I'm from Mexico, and I'm not a formal educator (am actually a student still), but I am the admin of a website that promotes the use of digital media for the understanding of global issues - ymex.org
 21:27:08 Melissa: we are working on a class film about living a sustainable life (recycling/renewalbe stuff)
 21:27:17 chris sloan: English and media, high school, salt lake city, utah
 21:27:21 SusanEttenheim: welcome Terry have you joined us before?
 21:27:33 TerrySmith: yes
 21:28:09 PeggyG: @Melissa--that sounds really interesting!! will you be posting it online anywhere?
 21:28:53 Melissa: @Peggy--yes--after our official showing at school
 21:28:55 SusanEttenheim: hi Jason - please jump in and introduce yourself and cnelson - where and what do you teach? and welcome back Terry!
 21:29:05 PeggyG: great answer David! audience is such a powerful motivator!
 21:29:11 SusanEttenheim: welcome Mariel
 21:29:13 TerrySmith: a focused audience can be more effective than a general audienc, don't you think?
 21:29:22 Mariel: Thank you, Susan :)
 21:29:25 SusanEttenheim: hi Linda N welcome where and what do you teach?
 21:29:29 [email protected]: Taught English for ten+ years--public and private, secondary level. Founded MobileEd.org, creating learning objects for mobile platform.
 21:29:34 TerrySmith: sya in a project format vs just broadcasting to the world
 21:29:44 cnelson2: Director of IT at North Syracuse Schools NY
 21:29:56 PeggyG: I think an audience beyond their peers in the classroom can be very valuable
 21:29:58 Melissa: my students have decided that their audience is other teens, but interested adults would learn something as well
 21:30:14 [Action] Jason R: in Florida
 21:30:57 SusanEttenheim: welcome Jason! I grew up in Orlando!
 21:31:11 SusanEttenheim: hi JPerino welcome - where and what do you teach?
 21:31:19 cnelson2: Visit  our district tv studios - http://www.nscsd.org/district.cfm?subpage=15993
 21:31:21 TerrySmith: when the public responds to akids work, especially experts or other kids, the content creator benefits form the notice
 21:31:51 Jason R: Just got done reading: "Social Media is Here to Stay... Now What?" http://www.danah.org/papers/talks/MSRTechFest2009.html
 21:31:54 PeggyG: it's very powerful to see how many viewers/listeners you have for your posted work--including video and to see their comments
 21:31:57 Melissa: I have posted my kids' poems on my website, but they are disappointed that they won't be getting feedback.  I'll have to rethink.
 21:32:15 TerrySmith: Melissa - kid blogs solve that problem I've found
 21:32:17 LindaN: Hi Susan I'm a gifted support teache hailing from Chester Springs, PA  USA
 21:32:45 SusanEttenheim: Hi Gail! Hi bmcnaboe welcome
 21:32:47 JPerino: @susan I teach literature and tech classes - high school...peoria, IL
 21:32:53 bmcnaboe: hello
 21:33:05 Gail Desler: Hi Susan.
 21:33:25 Melissa: @Terry--I do use them in other classes, but my poets seem so fragile--I would hate for them to get inappropriate feedback.  I guess I could mediate, but ugh.
 21:33:27 TerrySmith: ok -good point if good writing wasa blend with kid perspective - thta would fly with teachers
 21:33:29 SusanEttenheim: lukeka I'm at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in NYC
 21:33:35 Mariel: Melissa - I think that it should not be hard for you to find an audience for your students' work if you aim at posting it on international media sites
 21:33:47 PeggyG: Thanks for that link Jason. Danah Boyd has written some incredible things related to teens and technology!
 21:33:58 lukeka: I'm at the Monroe Campus-High School of World Cultures
 21:34:12 Melissa: @Mariel do you have ideas?
 21:34:15 Mariel: Agreed with Peggy - danah really, really has some superinsightful content on her site.
 21:34:19 SusanEttenheim: is that a NYC public school?
 21:34:23 lukeka: yes
 21:34:43 Mariel: I think I do, Melissa, although I have to warn you that my background is not academic :p
 21:34:44 SusanEttenheim: Melissa what ages are your students?
 21:34:46 PeggyG: they can be posted in multiple places :-)
 21:34:58 TerrySmith: conneciton - 1001 Tales project last year did something similar using persuasive writing, kids collaborating in a wiki space, and kids offering evaluations on each others writing
 21:35:15 Melissa: 10th grade (documentary film) 11th and 12th grades (poetry)
 21:35:36 PeggyG: Yes Terry!! great example--1001 Tales Project--was very impressed with that
 21:35:36 SusanEttenheim: Melissa - have you seen Youth Voices? http://www.youthvoices.net
 21:35:59 SusanEttenheim: We sent letters for the first part of the project!
 21:36:16 Melissa: @Susan--Yes--that's how I got in contact with Paul for our TIG session last week.
 21:36:29 SusanEttenheim: oh of course!!
 21:36:30 Mariel: Oh, Melissa - are you in TIG too??
 21:36:34 SusanEttenheim: :)
 21:36:37 lukeka: cnelson2 I visited your web page. It's looks very comprehensive. what age group is it mostly for?
 21:36:41 Mariel: And Susan - do you run youthvoices.net?
 21:37:00 Melissa: Just starting. . . my kids are going to post begin to post at the beginning of April
 21:37:52 TerrySmith: Yes - my kids love to embed in their blogs
 21:37:53 cnelson2: @lukeka 5-12 in 4 different buildings
 21:37:55 PeggyG: http://ms1001tales.wikispaces.com/  was this the project your kids participated in Terry?
 21:38:01 Mariel: Melissa - I frankly don't know what limitations you face as a teacher when it comes to choosing the environments where your students' works can be posted, but I think that one of the most popular poetry-sharing communities among high school students is Deviant Art
 21:38:02 TerrySmith: Yes
 21:38:21 Melissa: My students used TIG in their research--most posted in their blogs links on www.pomerantz09.edublogs.org
 21:38:58 Melissa: @Mariel--Deviant Art--I'll check it out, thanks
 21:39:11 TerrySmith: 1001 got going with Clay Burrel, Jeff Duncam and myself , then exploded
 21:39:29 TerrySmith: amazing
 21:39:32 PeggyG: Taking IT Global is such an incredible project!!
 21:39:50 Mariel: Melissa - you're welcome. Do spend a few minutes browsing material there if at some point you consider it, as it may fall out of bounds
 21:39:58 Mariel: PeggyG - I am glad you think so :D
 21:40:01 PeggyG: @Terry-it is an awesome project and a great model for others!
 21:40:51 Melissa: @Mariel--I can always tell them that it is there, not assign it as a requirement
 21:41:05 Mariel: @Melissa - haha, that works. :D
 21:41:28 SusanEttenheim: hi pharesr welcome!
 21:41:35 SusanEttenheim: where and what do you teach?
 21:41:38 Melissa: Do we know how long the film length is for the president project?
 21:41:50 Mariel: Susan - do you run youthvoices?
 21:42:33 SusanEttenheim: welcome back gail!
 21:42:37 pharesr: I am from Ohi and I am a Technology Integration Specialist. 
 21:42:48 Gail Desler: Yea! I have audio now:-)
 21:42:49 SusanEttenheim: Mariel - I"m one of the administrators
 21:42:52 Melissa: editorial decisions--I think it really is your idea--what you choose to leave in, leave out, tell the story and the images and music that go with it.
 21:42:54 pharesr: I stumbled on this through twitter
 21:43:11 pharesr: What is the topic?
 21:43:12 Gail Desler: Hello phresr - I have the same job title as you
 21:43:42 Mariel: Susan - oh, that's great. I found out about the site because YMEX received an e-mail from Paul, and he linked us to it. I just wanted to congratulate you because the amount of work that is visible in it is amazing
 21:43:44 pharesr: Gail: This is my first year.  What grades are you responsible for?
 21:44:06 pharesr: My name is Robin.
 21:44:12 Gail Desler: K-12 - and doing filmmaking with 4th graders right now
 21:44:18 PeggyG: funny answer! won't be "feature length" :-)
 21:44:28 Gail Desler: Hello PeggyG!
 21:44:44 pharesr: I am 6-12....
 21:44:45 PeggyG: Hi Gail-so glad you have audio now :-)
 21:44:45 SusanEttenheim: Mariel - will you and your students be able to join us in Youth Voices?
 21:44:49 TerrySmith: honing to a min is a good lesson
 21:44:52 Melissa: Our class is working on a 30 minute film--is that OK?
 21:45:20 Gail Desler: @Robin would be happy to connect and talk about similarities in our jobs:-)
 21:45:23 pharesr: 30 minutes?  That is a long video.
 21:45:41 pharesr: Would LOVE LOVE LOVE that!  [email protected]
 21:45:47 Mariel: Susan - I'm not a formal educator - I am the admin of a website owned by TIG that promotes the use of digital media for the understanding of global issues
 21:45:57 Melissa: @pharesr--5 groups--5 minute clips--2.5 intro 2.5 conclusion
 21:46:01 PeggyG: last week in Bernajean Porter's ISTE webinar about the videos for the ISTE 20th celebration she said they should be long enough to give your message and no longer.
 21:46:02 TerrySmith: are we talking about individual vids? seesm that they must be short to be effective
 21:46:03 Gail Desler: I just met a 3rd grade teacher who submitted a project to BrainyFlix - with their permsission - It was awesome!
 21:46:30 Gail Desler: Thanks Robin. - I'm at [email protected]
 21:46:42 pharesr: Oh, that makes sense
 21:47:12 Mariel: Susan - we are working right now on shaping the community on the site, but if you consider there's any way in which we can contribute to the goal of youthvoices, we're all ears :D
 21:47:38 TerrySmith: Could be short takes on comments combined, cuts from student to student or students do a message as a small team
 21:47:44 SusanEttenheim: Mariel what do you mean by shaping the community
 21:48:03 Gail Desler: @Mellssa - Just saw a great Slideshare on the "grammar of video" I've bookmarked it on delicious (delicious/gailhd
 21:48:19 Mariel: Susan - that is going to be some long explanation. Do you prefer it here or on e-mai? :p
 21:48:21 TerrySmith: yes - agree - kid choice
 21:48:22 Melissa: @Gail-thanks
 21:48:41 csitterley: The same teacher who did the letters to the president also did the brainy flix videos-she is really working on doing different things with the kids
 21:48:50 pharesr: Did I miss the discussion on storyboards?
 21:49:28 PeggyG: No pharesr--haven't mentioned storyboards but seems like a great idea!!
 21:49:33 Gail Desler: @pharesr - for storyboarding, I love Mathew Needleman's video.  Hang on and I'll find the link
 21:50:16 TerrySmith: thx all - have to go to class
 21:50:27 Mariel: Have a good one, Tery!
 21:50:32 Mariel: Terry*
 21:50:33 TerrySmith: bye
 21:51:13 LindaN: I really love Jason Ohler's work for storytelling
 21:51:24 Gail Desler: Here's the link for Mathew Needleman (a teacher/filmmaker in Los Angeles USD) http://www.needleworkspictures.com/ocr/blog/?p=439
 21:51:33 Mariel: Thanks, Gail!
 21:51:48 Melissa: @Gail iI love that one, too
 21:52:01 PeggyG: Thanks Gail! Mathew has done some fantastic work in the area of digital storytelling and video!
 21:52:08 Melissa: @Linda-do you have a link?
 21:52:21 pharesr: BRB:  Going to watch.:D
 21:52:25 Gail Desler: He has raised E/LA scores in LAUSD school improvement sites via video in the Open Court curriculum
 21:52:42 LindaN: Link for Jason Ohler's site and resources http://www.jasonohler.com/storytelling/
 21:53:04 Gail Desler: @PeggyG - Alice M shares my extreme respect for Mathew's strategies and tips
 21:53:16 PeggyG: I can see why!!
 21:53:41 Mariel: Haha - when I log off, I will have a massive list of new resources to check out. Thanks, all!
 21:53:45 PeggyG: @LindaN-I also love Jason Ohler's digital storytelling resources. Heard him on an ISTE webinar.
 21:54:01 Melissa: does anyone know an online storyboarding site?
 21:54:03 Gail Desler: @PeggyG Mathew will be providing Skype feedback to 4th graders in my EETT grant on their filmmaking efforts
 21:54:16 Mariel: I do, Melissa - the author posted it on our site
 21:54:21 Mariel: Let me find you the link
 21:54:23 csitterley: Jason Ohler spoke at PA Tech Conference in February
 21:54:55 pharesr: Does anyone have his book?
 21:54:58 Gail Desler: @Melissa - AtomicLearning has a free online storyboarding program
 21:55:01 PeggyG: Would VoiceThreads be an option for sharing video in this project? would be great to be able to add comments to their work :-)
 21:55:12 Mariel: www.lightningbug.com.au is it, Melissa
 21:55:20 Melissa: @Gail--thanks @Mariel thanks
 21:55:54 Mariel: :D welcome
 21:56:12 PeggyG: @Gail-that's really exciting! how were you able to arrange that??
 21:56:53 Paul Oh: fyi, here is a Pearson-NWP collaboration re: digital storytelling: www.pearsonfoudation.org/NWP/ProfilesInPractice/2008/index.html
 21:57:11 pharesr: OK... You are going too fast.  What is lightniningbug?
 21:57:41 Melissa: @pharesr online storyboarding--also storytelling
 21:58:04 Melissa: gotta go--thanks for great info tonight
 21:58:08 Gail Desler: @Paul Allison - Bob LeVin's latest round of students videos - I'll ask him to upload to YouthVoices.  I helped judge in a regional video contest today.  I didn't review Bob's, but heard they were excellent entries.  Bob = English teacher incorporating video into high school E?LA curriculum
 21:58:43 Mariel: Pharesr - It's a resource for creative writing. The author posted it on our website, so I shared it as Melissa requested it :D
 21:58:49 pharesr: Here are my digital storytelling links.  http://www.needleworkspictures.com/ocr/blog/?p=439
 21:59:19 pharesr: Can someone tell me about these chats...are they weekly?
 21:59:46 Mariel: They are, pharesr. It's the first time I come to one, mind you, but from what I've read, they are.
 21:59:57 Mariel: They have different speakers each week addressing ed-related topics
 22:00:02 Gail Desler: One of my favorite sites for digital storytelling = CogDogBlog - 50 Ways to Tell a Story
 22:00:47 LindaN: Oh @Gail, yes that is a good one!
 22:00:52 Gail Desler: Here's the link = http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/50+Ways
 22:00:59 Paul Allison: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2802
 22:01:41 pharesr: Are they always Wednesdays?
 22:02:10 csitterley: yes they are- and there are other programs on other nights as well
 22:02:13 PeggyG: @pharesr-Yes Wednesdays at 9:000m EST
 22:02:46 pharesr: Gail:  I just sent yu an email but must have your address wrong because it was returned. 
 22:03:15 pharesr: This is very cool stuff.  Thanks
 22:03:22 Gail Desler: @pharesr - [email protected] I'll try emailing you
 22:03:43 PeggyG: What an exciting project! I'll look forward to following it!
 22:05:12 PeggyG: Thank you all!
 22:05:35 csitterley: Thanks Susan and  Paul and others for a wonderful show.  See you next week
 22:05:51 Mariel: Thanks for the input tonight - I'm looking forward to seeing your project grow. :D
 22:05:55 Paul Oh: good night everyone! thanks!
 22:06:00 SusanEttenheim: thanks everyone see you next week!
 22:06:10 chris sloan: thanks for all the resources!
 22:06:12 Gail Desler: Good night Paul Oh
 22:06:19 Paul Oh: good night, Gail!
 22:06:23 Gail Desler: Good night all
 22:06:23 Paul Oh: see you soon i hope!
 22:06:27 LindaN: Night and thanks everyone!
 22:06:35 Mariel: Thanks :)
 22:06:38 Gail Desler: See you in Berkeley in April?
 22:07:13 Mariel: Peggy - are you Peggy from the SL educators' community?
 22:07:31 PeggyG: No I think that's Peggy Sheehy
 22:07:52 Mariel: Yes, I think that's her surname - but I had to try, haha
 22:08:12 PeggyG: flattered to be connected with her name :-) she's amazing!
 22:09:02 Mariel: I can't say I am very familiar with most of the educational work that is being donein SL these days, but I've heard very good stuff about her
 22:09:43 PeggyG: Yes she is an incredible educator on SL! I'm not very active there but have learned a lot from her.