Changing the education system is difficult, but tangible.
For the past three months I have focused on integrating social media into the education system and, surprisingly, have found countless administrators, teachers, and social media gurus alike that are passionate about assisting me in my mission.
My social media education mission began with a simple Twitter account and blog on WordPress, yet my ultimate goal is to film a DVD to sell to school administrators that will explain why social media is beneficial in the classroom and how it can be incorporated into the curriculum.
Paige also writes (in an email):
I am really interested in students’ responsibility on social media and why they should monitor what they share, as college admissions and future employers alike research you on social media before accepting you into their college/university or allow you to represent their business.
I am also advocating for social media usage in the classroom because it exposes students to countless opportunities unavailable to them in their school district. As an example, without the use of social media and networking, I would not have made a presentation to Howard Rheingold’s class at Stanford University.
This is a special episode of TTT, edited from a recording of a session at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in Boston on November 21, 2013. In addition to the presenters, listed below, we are joined by Johanna’s amazing students and the thoughtful participants in this session.
Here’s how we described this session:
B7: Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age
1:30pm – 3:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 104
How do we help youth understand the potential for writing to have impact, leveraging authentic purposes and today’s online platforms? How do we prepare youth to be informed, engaged civic actors—community ready, in other words—and not simply college and career ready? The National Writing Project is partnering with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College to undertake a district-wide effort called, “Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age.” Join Paul Allison of the New York City Writing Project, and Jo Paraiso and Young Whan Choi of the OUSD, as they discuss—in person and virtually—a working partnership that leverages the Youth Voices platform as a means to support civic engagement in schools.
Presenter(s): Paul Allison, New York City Writing Project Paul Oh, National Writing Project Johanna Paraiso, Oakland Unified School District Young Whan Choi, Oakland Unified School District
On March 29, 2013 Paul Oh blogged in dComposing
What’s significant to me about the Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age effort, beyond its mission of youth civic engagement, is that OUSD teachers have taken on a great deal of the leadership – so there’s a grassroots, locally informed relevance to the work- and that it joins together in-school and out-of-school educational opportunities. Youth have gotten to work with nearby partners like KQED http://blogs.kqed.org/lowdown/ and far-flung partners like Youth Voices http://youthvoices.net. Ultimately, the hope is that all HS youth before they graduate will be able to engage in a capstone project that demonstrates the skill of issue analysis, the ability to take action, and a reflective stance. As one of my EDDA colleagues from OUSD, Young-Whan Choi, has said, we want our youth to come away from this educational opportunity – and their entire school career – not just college and career ready, but community ready. http://dcomposing.com/2013/03/29/educating-for-democracy-in-the-digital-age/
We are planning a follow-up TTT webcast with Young Whan Choi, Paul Oh, and teachers involved in “Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age” at 9PM Eastern/6PM Pacific on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. Please plan to join us at EdTechTalk/ttt https://edtechtalk.net/ttt
Recently on TTT we've been inviting students to join us. Our recent interest in putting young people at the center of our conversations was re-sparked on this episode of Youth Night on TTT.
Our guests are:
Monisha Nelson Jeff Lebow Kelsey Shelhart
Cristian Buendia Jackie Morgan Tommy Buteau
Perhaps you know a student, a son or daughter, brother or sister who might want to join our efforts on TTT to turn our show over to youths to plan impromptu and scheduled webcasts via Hangouts On Air that will allow them to deepen their conversations with each other and to amplify their voices.
Enjoy this week's open, chaotic, ground-level planning session, and invite a student to join us soon in this ongoing set of conversations.
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers we talk with Charles Kouns and David Loitz and a wonderful panel of students about the listening sessions Charlie and David create for teens to raise their voices on school change. The student voices you hear on this podcast are Sierra Goldstein, Jay Smith Chisley, Mackenzie Amara, Nikhil Goyal, Kelsey Shelhart
We invite you to be reminded of the importance of starting with youth voices when we consider what to do next as educators.
Our conversation on this podcast is about how important it is to listen to students, and we learn more about David and Charlie's methods of doing that. David Loitz writes:
Charlie's focus is in helping to bring the voices and visions of youth people to a national stage. He is both a teacher and an visionary. He is a dear friend and mentor. He created Imagining Leaning four years ago, and has traveled up and down the west coast and as far as New Zealand to host listening session with groups of young people.
With a wonderful mix of thoughtful people we explore how questions about “engagement”—even what it means—help us have productive dialogues about what good teaching and learning looks like and what might change in our schools. Each of us in this conversation are working to reconsider our assumptions and to recast our questions about student engagement in high school and beyond. Please add to this mix by listening in and adding to the comments below.
Learn more about +Todd Finley and his colleague Shari Steadman’s research into how student teachers at East Carolina University think about student engagement.
Take in +Kelsey Shelhart‘s comments about what it’s like to be a seventh grader these days.
And listen to +Nick Perez explain why his unrecognized talents led him to leaving high school, and into the new life working at a technology start up.
Nick found our conversation and had this poignant, detailed response, which I can’t figure out how to excerpt, so here it is in full. Nick wrote to us:
I don’t think high-school is for everyone – just like college isn’t for everyone. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’d love to see more of a focus on alternative forms of education for dropouts, and less of a focus on forcing them to stay in schools where they don’t feel productive. A little background on how I formed that opinion:
I’m a high-school dropout. I wrote my first program when I was ~10 years old, and spent my time coding instead of doing schoolwork. Everyone knew that I was educating myself, but I was still treated like a troublemaker because of my grades. After being placed in a horrible, kind of humiliating special-ed program in middle school (I had someone following me around all day, making sure I was paying attention), I started skipping school because I felt alienated. I’ve never been allowed in a regular high-school classroom (I was in a small program for troubled kids, where it wasn’t unusual for a student to be out for weeks/months due to jail-time), which made me feel further alienated, and motivated me to skip class more often.
So eventually I left. I think there should be more of a focus on our unique needs, and more of an understanding of the fact that “unique needs” doesn’t necessarily equate to learning disabilities or behavioral problems – some of us prefer to work without a standardized curriculum, some of us prefer to work alone, some prefer to work in groups, some want complete guidance, and some just want independent study with extra help on-call.. and yeah, some are stubborn enough to reject any form of education that doesn’t meet their needs/desires/expectations, like myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I love self-educating, because I love freedom and self-accountability. If I fail to learn the things I need to learn, it’s an issue that I deal with on my own, instead of facing disciplinary action, or getting an “F”, or being placed in a box of “bad kids”. I have a job. I pay taxes. I’ve never had issues paying my rent. I’m still self-educating at every opportunity and always will be. Life goes on. I’d love to help other dropouts feel like they haven’t missed their chance.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
A couple of years ago VeloCity asked Katherine von Jan: What key accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
My amazing family. Teaching disabled kids to swim and saving a child’s life when I was a life guard in my teens. Taking a hiatus from college and moving to Hawaii on my own at 19. Starting my own company at 20. Creating a mobile humanitarian aid prototype to collect war stories in Kosovo and use them to prosecute war criminals at the Hague. Advising the UN on global communications strategies with the former advisor to Gorbachev. Creating a surprising new path for an industry-leading plastic producer. Being the voice of the culture in executive suites across the globe, and reframing consumers as “becomers”.
…Most people who go to college don’t graduate. If you gave every student in America a full scholarship to college, most students would fail or drop out. Would any other company stay in business if they failed to serve more than 60% of the market buying their product? … We put students in the center; seeking to serve today’s students in these modern, complex times. Our work revealed unexpected ideas to help students attain a quality academic degree. We called this work “101 Wacky Ideas for Reinventing College”. You can see a glimpse of our findings here on CEOs for Cities website: http://www.ceosforcities.org/101_wacky_ideas
“Michigan Tech Lode” is a window through which Jodhbir expresses his “culture shocks and makes newcomers aware of what should and should not be done. And Jodhbir says that he writes for “The Daily Bull,” as a humour writer. I write about the American culture, people, India, language, student lifestyles, pencil, or anything that is now playing on your mind. I write stuff that should not be taken seriously….. like this description!”
The underlying thing is not to do something extra but to do something different. In a decade of academic inflation when many people are going to college, getting a job is becoming a challenge; it means we should not prepare our students for the future based on present methodologies. We need to bring something new into the system only then we can create a whole new field of competition- like how many companies will be started each year by students at an engineering college.
Lisa Nielsen, an educational technologist for the NYC Department of Education
In addition to her blog (http://TheInnovativeEducator.blogspot.com
), her work is published in “Learning and Leading,” “Tech & Learning,” and ISTE Connect. An outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education Lisa Nielsen is also covered by local and national media for her views on “Thinking Outside the Ban” and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students.
When I arrived at Michigan State University freshman orientation, we had to choose our class schedules for the upcoming semester. I was paired with a “summer orientation volunteer,” and we began scheduling my classes. It may have been because I was hung over, but I somehow didn’t notice when she convinced me to take a class that would turn out to be pure hell.
“So, you’ve got four classes so far” she said, “Do you want to schedule one more?”
“Yeah, why not” I said.
“Okay. We could de!nitely plug CSE101 in here on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00am.”
“A lot of times, it’s better to get classes like this over with during your first semester, just to get them out of the way.”
“I can’t take it any later?”
“Well if you did, you would have to move the Interpersonal Communications course to another semester, and you said that you really wanted to take that class, right?”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“I mean you can make an eight a.m. class twice a week, trust me.” Sounding like a veteran on the subject she followed up with, “Anyways, 22 One Page At A Time the other days of the week your earliest class is 10:20am, so you can sleep in on those days.”
“Yeah, you’re right” I said. “It shouldn’t be a problem twice a week.
Holy shit was I wrong.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
to join Chris Sloan @csloan and me @paulallison to introduce why we need lab spaces to disrupt and redefine school (Lab Connections). The goal is to facilitate self-directed learning. Here’s how Monika and others introduce their work in an in-progress book they are writing:
Students in Loveland, CO crafted a four year plan of disruption to redefine school. We are just beginning year two. Year four has community/life as school, with the city as the floor plan. Who, what, when, where, how, and with whom you learn, per choice. The premise… nothing is for everyone. We’re redefining success per individual/community. We’re respectfully questioning everything, especially what public education deems as normal. Imagine if the 7 hours a day we currently call school would/could awaken indispensable people. It’s a quiet revolution.
There has been plenty of theory/research invested in what we are doing, and that will be ongoing. But mostly, we have had the privilege and delight to indulge in experimentation/failure/prototyping/etc. The following is our best attempt to capture the key elements learned from key failures. If you are so inclined, shuffle along with us. It’s a kick. You might just fall in love with it.
This was a first, exploratory conversation, and one that we hope will inspire you to join as well. We’ll be continuing our conversations with Monika Hardy and her colleagues in the coming weeks on Teachers Teaching Teachers. Join us every Wednesday at edtechtalk.com/live where you’ll hear and see a Livestream broadcast of our conversation, and be invited to chat and ask questions as well.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
On this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers, we have some of our current and former students on the podcast to talk about the high school-college transition. We are also joined by a couple of National Writing Project teachers who have been involved with the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” that came out a few months ago. These frameworks include this amazing list that we invite you to explore:
Habits of Mind
The Framework identifies eight habits of mind essential for success in college writing—ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines:
Curiosity: the desire to know more about the world.
Openness: the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
Engagement: a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
Creativity: the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
Persistence: the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
Responsibility: the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and
understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
Flexibility: the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands.
Metacognition: the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well
as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.
What is College Readiness in Writing? and How Do We Get There?
Every year, we have far too many students like Ian. They aren’t the AP kids (though they might be), and they aren’t the students who fail our classes. They do OK, even sometimes receiving excellent grades in our high school classrooms. But when they get to college, they place into Developmental English classes, or worse (like Ian) they crash and burn and drop out of college. They fall off the bridge between high school and college. This site is devoted to local efforts to help more students graduating from high school place directly into college level writing classes, and importantly—do well in freshman composition. It is meant both as a resource and a professional community of practice dedicated to doing more to prepare our students for college and for helping these students do well once they are in college, for “college readiness” and “student success” in college are really two sides of the same coin.
Kirsten Jamsen whose affiliations include being the co-director of the Minnesota Writing Project.
Kirsten presented on the “Frameworks for Success in Postsecondary Writing” at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in November, where she discussed the statement’s purpose, and recounted the process of composing it. We’ll ask her do some of that again. We’ll also use some of her questions from that session to guide our discussion on Wednesday evening: “What is your response to the statement? How might you use it to promote effective writing instruction at your school? How could this statement help you design thoughtful professional development?”