As my tag cloud shows, the National Writing Project is central to my personal learning network (PLN). In previous posts, I’ve referred to the growing bank of resources (think “mind prompts”) showcasing inquiry, best practices, collaborative projects, etc., from teachers across the nation, who also find themselves in tech leadership positions and/or needing to justify the integration of technology in a test-driven climate. In the past year, for example, I’ve revisited and directed colleagues to such powerful resources as Clifford Lee and Yumi Matsui’s documentation of Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling, Henry Jenkins’ white paper on participatory cultures, and the dynamic Letters to the Next President project.
It was my privilege to travel to Berkeley this last weekend to join an amazing group of NWP colleagues as part of the Digital Is initiative. As an opening activity, we shared personal stories of a “whack on the head” – experiences that brought the integration of technology into our personal teacher tool kits. For a starter, Liz Stevens, Director of the Central Texas Writing Project, shared her observation on the shift in the teaching of writing from being all about “stages” to being about “frames” – a huge “whack on the head” for me!
Over the next year, with additional input from the Digital Is Initiative, the NWP will be adding to their website, with a commitment to provide visitors with resources to enhance, shift, challenge their notions on teaching and to make visible the intersection between technology and writing. For example:
- Looking for an example to make visible the concept of composing multimodal texts? Checkout Peter Kittle’s Multimodal Documents Inquiry — and be sure to click on the video links!
- Trying to make visible what collaborative writing via a wiki might look like with high school students? Checkout Paul Allison‘s Latino Pride screencast video.
- Maybe you’re wondering how to join in a conversation about empowering students to use technology to change the world. Checkout a sample from the weekly Teachers Teaching Teachers webcast show (and join the Wednesday evening conversations!)
Based on the weekend conversations from Digital Is group, I can assure you the above samples are but a glimpse of thought-provoking resources to come.
How about you? Do you have a “whack on the head” to share?