Muddling through the blogosphere

Back from NYC


nyc.jpgNational Writing Project and Nat’l Council for Teachers of English hosted their annual conferences last week in New York City. What a treat! I managed to squeeze in some sightseeing coming and going from the hotel to the Crowne Plaza and the Javits Convention Center, and each evening, and all day on Sunday. And even managed a side trip to The Dalton School to visit with Monica Edinger‘s 4th graders.

From each NWP and NCTE session, I gained resources and ideas for presenting Web 2.0 tools to teachers and students. Here’s a smattering:

  • My kick-0ff Thursday session was an outstanding presentation by NWP Tech Liaisons sharing projects under the umbrella of Writing in a Digital Age. Starting with Kevin‘s link to the Pew Internet and American Life Project stats — and ending with Petter Kittle‘s amazing “multimodal” piece on the art of unicycling (note to self: check with Peter to see if he has posted this and samples from his composition class to the web), this session was a great way to start the conference.
  • Friday morning started with Nancy Patterson’s NCTE session. This was my first time to meet Carla Beard ( and Lisa Rozema. Carla started her session on wikis by playing Lee Lefever’s Wikis in Plain English, which drew the audience right into Carla’s humorous, informative presentation (note to self: ask Carla for links to sample teacher wikis shared). Lisa Rozema ended the session with her original screencast on Google Reader (note to self: ask Lisa if she has posted this clip online).
  • Saturday’s Technology Roadshow, organized by Sandy Hayes, was a blast. I wanted to drop in all six table discussions. During the opening presentations, I listened in awe as Sarah Kajder talked briefly about Google Lit Trips. Although I’ve visited the site before, had not considered how dramatic this site is when projected onto a full screen. (Note to self: ask Nancy Patterson if she has posted her student-done “digital narratives” to the web.)
  • Monday’s ACE (Assembly on Computers in English) session – well worth the added cost of two more days in NYC!
    • Got to meet Ted Nellens (, who hosted the session at his Westside HS campus.
    • Got to hear Lisa Rozema present again – this time joined by her husband Rob Rozema (whose student-done podcasts I share with teachers and students alike). To their Google Reader intro, Rob and Lisa added a piece on having students use RSS both for news feeds and blogs to support students in their research projects (note to self: ask Lisa for student samples of blog posts and responses supported by links to articles and posts from their GR accounts).
    • Got to hear Troy Hicks demonstrate the “frustrating parts of wikis” with his reassurance that the “frustration was reversible.” (Note to self: ask Troy for permission to share the wiki he created for this workshop.)
    • Got to work with Ewa McGrail on Copyright and Fair Use Issues for Educators (note to self: ask Ewa for permission to share her activity sheet, which is a hands-on approach to PD on this important issue).

I’m back home now, fighting a terrible head cold but excited to bring with me such great resources to share with my California colleagues, along with memories of the NYC experience.


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