Teachers Teaching Teachers #69 – Getting Rolling with Youth Voices and the Personal Learning Space

As the school year gets rolling in North America, we want to invite any interested teachers, grades 5-12, to join our community of teachers committed to connecting our students in school-based social networks. We use blogs, wikis, podcasts, video, Google docs, Google reader, flash, and other tools to develop projects that follow our students’ inquiries into questions and issues in their lives.

Last year, over 2000 students from California, Florida, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Utah joined Youth Voices (grades 9-12) and the Personal Learning Space (grades 5-8). We would love to have your students join us in these safe, exciting blogging spaces. In addition, we are inviting you to join a growing community of teachers who are using these similar Web 2.0 tools to connect with each other and build curriculum throughout the year.

Click Read More to see details about how to join us. Or leave a comment here about your interest, and we’ll contact you.

These are the guidelines for joining the high school elgg. (The PersonalLearningSpace.com is available for grades 5-8 students. Interested elementary and middle school teachers should contact Lee Baber [email protected] or Paul Allison [email protected] for more information.)

We are glad to have teachers and students join YouthVoices to begin blogging with us!

There are a few things you need to know:

1. Please have all students register using the following format:

Names should be: First name and first initial of last name and initials of school, city, state

Examples:     ThomasP at  ERHS, NYC
                    AngieG at TCHS West, Trenton, NJ

User Names should be the student’s first name and last initial (For example:  thomasp or angieg).

We specifically ask that all schools follow this format to make it very clear who a student is communicating with in the elgg. Thank you!

For adults, please use your first and last name, then please use the same school identification (For example Susan Ettenheim at ERHS, NYC).

2. Next we ask that everyone fills out a profile. One important reason is that as soon as students enter likes and dislikes, interests, favorite books and authors and illustrators, they find other students with shared interests. Most of us (teachers) have required 5-50 entries in each category in the profile (depending on the category!). This way, students connect in a meaningful way easily. They really like this feature and it teaches them about networking online and databases (since that’s what makes it work!)

3. We ask that students and teachers do NOT post photographs of themselves. Please have your students remove photos. You will find a lesson plan for making avatars/icons below. If you would like to use it, feel free!

4. We are trying to share and develop elgg and blogging lessons together. Please feel free to use what we have posted and edit and add your own lessons!

5. We also ask that you are careful about using copyright free or creative commons photos in any elgg work. You can find a clear description of this, and many other things at: Be a Blogger!

A lot of conversation about working in the elgg takes place at our blog: http://www.teachersteachingteachers.org
Please visit and comment!

Please join and “practice” at the “teacher’s elgg” at http://www.educationbridges.net

Feel free to drop a note to us with questions! Welcome!

Still interested? Then please register for YouthVoices.net here.

Please send us your thoughts and questions.
Paul Allison [email protected]
Lee Baber [email protected]
Susan Ettenheim [email protected]

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