mentoring

As any teacher can attest to, trying to be innovative in an industrial-era model of school is challenging. This blog post details some of the issues I faced as my students moved forward with their projects and negitiated the new model I set up. Some things we were able to work around with grant money and a little brainstorming, other things like school policy, stymied their progress. From January...
As I continued with my 20 Time journey last Fall, I realized how important it is for students to see somebody who has walked the walk with following their passion. We watched lots of TED Talks and discussed how to find and follow a dream, but there is no substitute for live mentorship. This post come from October 2014: My students are clicking right along with their 20 Time projects and we got...
They keep telling me I have to tell the story of my work. They keep saying, "You have to write it down or the moment will pass.  Someone else will write it.  And it will no longer be yours." In the last year, my inkwell has been quite dry, used up by difficult days in teaching, graduate school, presentations, changing jobs, learning new systems in new places.... The list continues. Over this...
I am researching research. I know, it all sounds very meta. But following my tenth grade English students' completion of our 20% time research projects, I wondered just how much of a difference, if any, this type of inquiry-based research writing assignment made for my practicing writers. And so I ended up undertaking a type of research that was quite similar to the research writing that I was...
"We need to think hard about how we talk about writing to our colleagues, to our students, to ourselves. Language, as the linguists tell us, is also the language of thought." Ralph Fletcher As Christine and I embarked on this journey, she shared that although her students were comfortable consuming digital media, they seemed reluctant to produce on their own at least in the educational...
"Connected learning takes root when young people find peers who share interests, when academic institutions recognize and make interest-driven learning relevant to school, and when community institutions provide resources and safe spaces for more peer driven forms of learning.” Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design The San Diego Writing Project has had a focus for the past few...
When my colleagues and I redesigned our school’s senior project, dubbed Project Connect, we wanted to emphasize connected learning concepts (see Helping Kids Get Connected). Doing so meant beginning to change our conversations about the texts we create in our classes and for their projects, so that students can begin to shed the notion that writing is a stagnant interaction between students and...
These Connected Learning TV webinar archives form a mini-series related to the release of the Connected Learning: An Research and Design Agenda report. Jean Rhodes - Effective Mentorship Through Shared Purpose and Interest Sonia Livingstone - The Realities of Youth and Peer Culture: Balancing Learning Opportunities and Risks Craig Watkins & Juliet Schor - Connected Learning As Pathway to...
Reflecting on the "Forage III: Arts-driven instruction" experiment that Ed Martinez and I continue to elaborate, the current focus of my thinking is on how best to extend this workshop series so that we reach more students and provide usable models for integration into regular classrooms. We’re set to launch Forage IV: a two-dimensional art exploration, where classes get the opportunity to take...
Recently, a friend called me with concerns about her daughter's disinterest in the writing she was doing in school. Like many parents, she has fears about writing skills and what this might mean for her child's future. Most of our conversation was spent alleviating those concerns. We spoke about the various writing practices that youth engage with in our current culture and I assured her that the...

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