schools

I teach in an urban school in Austin, Texas. The last six years have been a struggle with out-of-touch standardized testing and forced transformations (and consequently administration and faculty purging) that are never quite given enough time to take hold. Our latest incarnation is that of a New Tech Network (insert link) school, by virtue of our name, we must be a technologically cutting-edge...
Pro's for (Wiki) Prose: Students who wouldn’t ordinarily share their work felt comfortable sharing. As you read in my first blog journal entry, one of the “lows” of Day 1 was a students asking if she “Had to put her work on there.” I can remember the fear and uncertainty in her eyes as she quietly asked the question. There were many like her—students who just don’t like sharing their stuff. I can...
Experiment Success? So, was my experiment a success? Did implementing a wiki in my classroom increase student authenticity in the task and process of writing? I deferred to my students to find out the answers to these questions. I told them that this project of mine was kind of one of their science experiments; I had a hypothesis of what I thought might happen but that their feedback would tell...
Whenever I'm asked what I like about teaching, I often comment on the pace and variation of the school day. I like that I see a different group of students every 45 minutes; it suits my restless temperament. A beloved colleague, whose energy level makes me look sluggish, is often heard appealing to her students to, "Let's just bang this out." My sentiments exactly. Who doesn't like to get things...
I like to think of myself as a thoughtful practitioner. When designing learning activities, I refer to state and national standards, consider the needs of my students, and scaffold instruction to nudge my students toward independence and higher order thinking skills. But lately I have been troubled by my reliance on technology to keep my students engaged rather than to support learning goals. To...
You've probably heard it before, that collective groan that comes with the mere mention of poetry. By the time I get to work with students at the beginning of 7th grade, many have developed some very definite feelings about poetry.  Since I deal with students for two years, I decided to see if I could get more of my 7th graders excited about this genre. I decided to set up an inquiry to see if...
Quest to Learn is a school that uses the underlying design principles of games to create highly immersive, game-like learning experiences.  Developed through a partnership between New Visions for Public Schools and Institute of Play, Quest to Learn (Q2L) is an innovative school in New York City for students grades 6 through 12. Q2L promotes 21st century learning skills in its integrated,...
Youth Roots, currently based at Arise High School, Oakland, California, is an out-of-school program in which "youth earn their rightful place in society by rooting themselves in their community as prominent leaders, culture producers, and change agents." Using new media production and literacy skills, Youth Roots members create artistic expressions that are also cultural critiques. As the Youth...
YOUmedia is a 21st century learning space for teens housed at the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago. Designed to inspire collaboration and creativity, YOUmedia connects young adults, mentors, books, media, and institutions throughout the city of Chicago. The center is a partnership between the Chicago Public Library and the Digital Youth Network, and provides teens access to...

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