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Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
Nov 12 2010

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5 Resources in this collection
The Digital Is community probably has more than its share of geeks in it, so there's lots of love for talk about the latest tool or gadget. However, the resources and collections we feature here are ones that get 'beyond shiny new tools' to invite the kind of teaching- and learning-focused conversation we practice with our colleagues. This short clip from Science Leadership Academy principal Chris Lehman captures the sentiment well.
At Digital Is, we hope to feature writing and production work by young people that inspires us, educates us, and challenges us. But we also want to know the story behind the work. The song and music video Oakland State Of Mind is one such example. Produced by Youth Roots, the story of how this video got made is as important as the video itself.
The rapid development of all things digital means that we need to work to maintain a longer perspective. This resource, from a keynote talk at the original Digital Is conference, is one of many in the Digital Is site that helps us slow down, breathe and think about what is continuing and what is changing.
At Digital Is, we assume that all of us need to take what we already know about the art and craft of writing, and then ramp it up. Are there new ways to think about and understand the rich craft knowledge that writers tap? What new arts are we learning to apply in digital environments? This video, part of Making Movies Happen resource, exemplifies the reflection on craft, this time by a high school student Harris.
What better context for learning to write than participation in something where our writing and composing represents a meaningful contribution.  In this resource, Robert Rivera-Amezola reflects on a fourth grade service learning project that created such a context for his English language learners.  At Digital Is, we aim to feature examples of such project- and problem-based learning experiences where learning to write takes on new meaning.

Digital Is...what exactly?

Uploaded by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl Admin on 2010-11-12 15:03

Here at the Digital Is website, we aim to collect and create resources, stories and reflections on what it means to write, teach, and learn today. We invite thoughtful educators from schools, universities, libraries, museums, and youth-serving institutions to join us in this effort. For all of us, this is a moment when new digital tools and Internet environments have given writers/learners a rich set of new opportunities to compose, create, and publish. As these new tools take their place alongside our beloved older tools—our pencils, our journals, our print publications—the National Writing Project seeks to host a place for educators and writers to stop and reflect on what it all might mean for our work as educators. Please join us.

But what, exactly, are we looking for? As we designed the Digital Is website, we were well aware that colleagues around the world have created an extensive and impressive set of how-to resources and guides for getting started with digital writing. And, there are many great educators who are now publishing about their teaching to wide publics through blogs and social media. Our aim is not to recreate what has done so ably elsewhere—though we welcome posts and curated sets that point readers to the best of it. Instead, we hope to contribute to the larger effort by supporting the Digital Is community in publishing resources that grow out of our inquiries into teaching and learning, our nagging questions, our happy surprises, and our current enthusiasms. We are always welcoming new resources that fit the site's interests.

But what does that mean? In this collection we point to a few resource entries on the site in order to capture elements of the Digital Is state of mind. Do these resonate with you? If so, join our community and explore how you might also contribute to Digital Is. You can always post resources through the blogging tool that comes with joining the community. If you would like to be a resource creator, learn more about this process here.

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<p>In this collection we state some of the elements of the Digital Is state of mind. But the website is intended to grow with its community. So what do you think? &nbsp;We want to hear your questions and bring your ideas into the site. &nbsp;So don't be shy.</p>
<p>Hi everyone! I am a new member, and I simply wanted to test this site, to see if my message goes through. I look forward to learning with everyone! This looks like a great and talented community.&nbsp; Thanks for letting me test this. Mary Ann Kerl</p>
<p>I am curious if I can put in a link for my website. So, I am testing that here also.</p> <p><a href="http://maryannkerl.wordpress.com/">http://maryannkerl.wordpress.com/</a>&nbsp; Feel free to get to know me better. I am anxious to learn how to share information about teaching and writing on Digital Is and also to learn a lot!</p>
<p>I am going to be using the "Digital Is" site in our Alaska State Writing Consortium SI-June. &nbsp;I am still thinking about how I can best use the site to guide inquiry in terms of 21st century writing. &nbsp;Are there places in the site that other SI leaders and TCs have contributed during their SIs? &nbsp;</p>
<p>I am a preservice teacher that is exploring Digital Is and trying to figure out how to contribute. What would you recommend for me or other preservice teachers that want to be involved, but don't have the classroom experience? </p>
<p>Really happy someone pointed me to this NWP online community--I've been hoping for a way to continue the conversations that started for me during Tech Matters in Chico some years back. Since Chico, I moved from GA to MS, just a few states over, but the a change in writing project sites and a new job. Add one saucy daughter to the equation and I've got a wonderfully rich plate spinning. Just got back from NWP's Scoring Conference in Chicago, where once again I'm reminded how much value NWP as an organization places on the professionalism of TCs and NWPers. So my post for now may lack a specific tech theme, but I will say that by the end of the scoring conference, aside from new thinkings about youth writing and how assessment might inform my teaching, I traded flickr, twitter, FaceBook, email and tumblr accounts with new teaching friends from across the country. </p>
<p>Hi,</p> <p>This is a great idea and one that the DI community would want to support. One perhaps you might want to connect with is Dave Boardman in Maine. I think the Maine Writing Project built working with the site into local professional development in Maine. He would have some thoughts. &nbsp;Christina Cantrill might be able to point you to others who could share their experiences.</p> <p>All of these people would be working during the school year, though, since the site only opened in November. So the designs for the work might have tilted toward the work we can do during school...teaching, reflecting, and sharing inquiry in process. &nbsp;In the summer, though, I wonder whether people might have the time/space to work on some lengthier projects. There are a number of folks who have posted nice pieces of video reflection and analysis...or have refined a slideshare with audio...or whatever. These might be things that would benefit from having a few more hours in the day. Perhaps there is a way for people to prepare demos and refine them for sharing online through DI?</p>
<p>Thanks for your ideas above Elyse. &nbsp;I will contact Dave and Christina and I really love the idea of possibly sharing our inquiry demos online. &nbsp;This would give our participants a tremendous audience, ya? &nbsp;I'll be back in touch soon with more ideas. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BTW Elyse, I just found and watched your vimeo and WOW! &nbsp;What a brilliant piece! &nbsp;I will be using this text on our SI kick-off day. &nbsp;This piece will not only be inspiring but equally fantastic to unpack and think about in terms of what makes a powerful digital text. &nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks for the inspiration.... &nbsp;Mary</p>
<p>Hello Erin-Beth. Thanks for writing and asking. In terms of the technical part of becoming a resource creator in this website, here is some basic information: http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/1278. If you are interested in having the capability to contribute your own resource/s and giving feedback to other resource creators, we would be happy to set you up to do that. So just let us know.</p> <p>However, I wonder if you are also asking about contributing from a writer/reader perspective. I would encourage others to chime in here, but as one person in this community, I would encourage you to contribute your inquiries and learnings about digital literacies work and practice. This website is open to everyone who is thinking about this work -- ie, what does it mean to write, teach and learn in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. And we encourage content that speaks to any of the main themes of the site too -- art/craft, teach/learn and provocations. So ... if you have thoughts about any (or all!) of that I believe that would all be valuable.</p> <p>Christina</p>
<p>Hi Erin-Beth,</p> <p>I agree; it would be great to have contributions from you, and from pre-service teachers more broadly. In addition to what you might share about teaching, there are many resources here (and more needed) about the art and craft of digital writing, about provocative ideas in the field, and about learning with digital tools. My guess is that you would also have much to contribute about these ideas too.</p> <p>Elyse</p>
<p>Welcome to the Digital Is Community, John! There is a wealth of fascinating work to explore and discuss. I look forward to learning from you.</p>
<p>I was sincerely relieved after reading your comment. </p> <p>The reason why I posted "growing pains" was because I really wanted to learn from this network of teachers, but quickly grew discouraged. I figured that since I didn't have the experience, I didn't have the clearance to participate. Without the experience (the trial and error process - to see if a theory read in an article really works), my input wouldn't be valid. I concluded that the best I could do was to ask questions. But your comment gave me hope - that I can actually be an active instead of a passive participant.&nbsp;</p> <p>Again, thank you for making the Digital Is community&nbsp;less intimidating&nbsp;and more approchable.</p> <p>Erin-Beth</p>