From the Community

Teacher helps students write and find inspiration from art
blog

Our group of high school students had arrived via van, to the world famous home of monumental outdoor sculpture: Storm King Art Center. They had been told their English class would focus on Art and Social Justice, and this was part of the class.  Once a week we would visit the center and write.

We arrived in the early afternoon.  The late summer warmth and smooth breezes were refreshing and familiar.  We were all grateful for this weather, stretching the sunny warmth into the encroaching fall air.  This was a day to be outdoors.

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on Sep 23, 2017
by Kate Fox
blog

How do you teach to, teach for, embody, inspire, or facilitate discussions about civic engagement in your context, subject area, or space?

That’s the question I posed to a group of 10 Writing Project teachers and site leaders seated around the table from me at an interpretive circle in Denver, Colorado at a multi-program research design retreat. If that sounds like a mouthful, the long and short of it is that Writing Project folk from across the network recently came together for a week to create and collaborate with the aim of leaving Denver with a set of resources that would serve educators into the future.

At the retreat, I worked on curating a collection of civic engagement resources, but I quickly realized I didn’t know much about how, in these especially fraught times, educators were talking to their learners about civic engagement.

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on Sep 1, 2017
by Liana Gamber-Thompson
collection

Years in the Making with Connected Learning seeks to offer lessons on the evolution of Connected Learning through the vantage points of mentors, community collaboration, and interest-driven learning.

>
on Aug 16, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
resource

Almost 50 years ago from this moment, Grace Lee Boggs began to reflect on the power of education as it relates to the power to shape community. In this resource around community collaboration, we return to Detroit to see how educators have put these ideals into practice, as well as expand beyond Detroit to see how teachers in other parts of the country are partnering with local communities to extend the scope of student learning and impact.

>
on Aug 1, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
resource

Nicole Mirra challenges deficit narratives to “remind us that children are complex beings who are not simply interested in childish things; instead, they are citizens in the making who offer sophisticated observations and critiques of the inequalities and injustices around them that educators need to honor and build upon. We have an urgent need to utilize students’ voices and interests in order to help them develop expertise and agency.” Building upon this critical insight, I have compiled recent examples of strong interest-driven projects that cultivated a deep commitment to youth choice and voice, as meaningful ingredients to transformative learning experiences.

>
on Aug 1, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
resource

“Brother Mike” Hawkins served as a beacon of light during his time with the Digital Youth Network and the YOUMEDIA space at the Harold Washington Library. The power of mentors, like Brother Mike, has been most frequently connected to the informal learning spaces across a community, yet in this resource, we seek to position mentorship in coordination with classroom educators as a powerful resource in cultivating critical connections and relationships beyond the bells and walls of the school day.

>
on Aug 1, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
Marginal Syllabus at a Glance
resource

The image below is a one page .pdf intended to illustrate conceptually The Marginal Syllabus project at a glance. In the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, the project will continue in partnership with NWP's Educator Innovator network. Read more about the first year of the project on the pages associated with this resource, or take a more in depth look at marginalsyllab.us, the project website. For those interested in joining and spreading the word about this annotated conversation, the .pdf is available for download below. 

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on Jul 26, 2017
by Joe Dillon
blog

This past semester, I invited several folks who participated in the past to come and share with my current class about their work and reflections on Connected Learning and teaching. I also had a chance recently to hear from several of past ED677ers in a panel discussion at Arcadia University in relation to a meeting on Connected Learning in Teacher Education. Below then is a set of compiled thoughts, notes and quotes from this work and those discussions.

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on Jul 17, 2017
by Christina Cantrill
resource

If our students care about who reads/sees their work, they will put more effort into making it the best work possible. While we teachers like to think we are an important audience, the truth is that the opinions of peers are often far more important to our students than a teacher’s grade.

>
on Jul 13, 2017
by Laura Bradley
resource

Funded in part by a LRNG Innovator grant, students in a Northern California middle school run a daily news broadcast. They produce all the content and operate all the technology for the show, building valuable career, technical, and digital litearcy skills. Resources here detail ways that you can bring media literacy to your students, with or without a studio program.

>
on Jul 13, 2017
by Laura Bradley
collection

This collection shares resources created by educators across the Educator Innovator network who are working to transform their teaching in order to promote connected learning. 

>
on Jul 12, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
blog

“I need someone to be the victim.” Laughter echoes through the elementary STEM lab on a frosty Saturday morning in Grand Haven, Michigan. Two girls giggle, surrounded by wrinkly chart paper full of messy writing, as they attempt to recruit actors for their anti-bullying video. A third girl rushes over, and the trio huddles around an iPad. The space is fairly noisy, maybe more so than a typical classroom, with pockets of kids spread out around the room. Looking beyond the mess and the noise, you might notice ten third and fourth grade students all highly engaged in learning. You might also notice a few adults coaching kids and asking questions. What you would have a hard time seeing is who is in charge.

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on May 16, 2017
by Christopher Working
blog

I thought I'd mark the occassion. This year marks my 2nd year in Writing Project World.  I'd just returned to teaching.  My thinking at the time was, How long am I doing this?  Am I in it for the long-term? Then the National Writing Project led me to understand that there was a way to marry my love for writing and creation to teaching. Now I'll be a learner all my life.. and nothing, absolutely nothing will get old in my classroom... I'm very happy to be here, and I look forward to being an active member of this community.  It's taken me 2 years to find you.. for me, it's a relief to be among friends. :)  

NWP
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on May 16, 2017
by Veronica Estrada
blog

I’m a science teacher.  I didn’t immediately embrace this identity, as I began my career a passionate English teacher.  It didn’t take long before I was bouncing back and forth between English and science classrooms, and I quickly grew to love both equally.  ... I am always looking for opportunities to incorporate new literacy skills into my science classroom.

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on May 8, 2017
by Carrie Nobis

Pages

Teacher helps students write and find inspiration from art
blog

Our group of high school students had arrived via van, to the world famous home of monumental outdoor sculpture: Storm King Art Center. They had been told their English class would focus on Art and Social Justice, and this was part of the class.  Once a week we would visit the center and write.

We arrived in the early afternoon.  The late summer warmth and smooth breezes were refreshing and familiar.  We were all grateful for this weather, stretching the sunny warmth into the encroaching fall air.  This was a day to be outdoors.

>
on Sep 23, 2017
by Kate Fox
blog

How do you teach to, teach for, embody, inspire, or facilitate discussions about civic engagement in your context, subject area, or space?

That’s the question I posed to a group of 10 Writing Project teachers and site leaders seated around the table from me at an interpretive circle in Denver, Colorado at a multi-program research design retreat. If that sounds like a mouthful, the long and short of it is that Writing Project folk from across the network recently came together for a week to create and collaborate with the aim of leaving Denver with a set of resources that would serve educators into the future.

At the retreat, I worked on curating a collection of civic engagement resources, but I quickly realized I didn’t know much about how, in these especially fraught times, educators were talking to their learners about civic engagement.

>
on Sep 1, 2017
by Liana Gamber-Thompson
blog

This past semester, I invited several folks who participated in the past to come and share with my current class about their work and reflections on Connected Learning and teaching. I also had a chance recently to hear from several of past ED677ers in a panel discussion at Arcadia University in relation to a meeting on Connected Learning in Teacher Education. Below then is a set of compiled thoughts, notes and quotes from this work and those discussions.

>
on Jul 17, 2017
by Christina Cantrill
blog

“I need someone to be the victim.” Laughter echoes through the elementary STEM lab on a frosty Saturday morning in Grand Haven, Michigan. Two girls giggle, surrounded by wrinkly chart paper full of messy writing, as they attempt to recruit actors for their anti-bullying video. A third girl rushes over, and the trio huddles around an iPad. The space is fairly noisy, maybe more so than a typical classroom, with pockets of kids spread out around the room. Looking beyond the mess and the noise, you might notice ten third and fourth grade students all highly engaged in learning. You might also notice a few adults coaching kids and asking questions. What you would have a hard time seeing is who is in charge.

>
on May 16, 2017
by Christopher Working
blog

I thought I'd mark the occassion. This year marks my 2nd year in Writing Project World.  I'd just returned to teaching.  My thinking at the time was, How long am I doing this?  Am I in it for the long-term? Then the National Writing Project led me to understand that there was a way to marry my love for writing and creation to teaching. Now I'll be a learner all my life.. and nothing, absolutely nothing will get old in my classroom... I'm very happy to be here, and I look forward to being an active member of this community.  It's taken me 2 years to find you.. for me, it's a relief to be among friends. :)  

NWP
>
on May 16, 2017
by Veronica Estrada
blog

I’m a science teacher.  I didn’t immediately embrace this identity, as I began my career a passionate English teacher.  It didn’t take long before I was bouncing back and forth between English and science classrooms, and I quickly grew to love both equally.  ... I am always looking for opportunities to incorporate new literacy skills into my science classroom.

>
on May 8, 2017
by Carrie Nobis
blog

via http://van-life.net/ I don't know what to make of the piece by Rachel Monroe in The New Yorker about #VanLife, which focuses on people who have taken to living in their vans (mostly VW vans) for all sorts of reasons -- economic, lifestyle, etc. These #VanLife folks then share their travels and world via social media, often with the hashtag of #VanLife, and mostly on Instagram. That's fine. Our world is one built on sharing and community practice (yes, there is a #VanLife network of people) but where I started to shake my head and wonder is when the article shifted to the money being made by those who are living in their vans.

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on Apr 29, 2017
by Kevin Hodgson
blog

A hashtag home #CCourses A funny thing happened on my way to the Rhizome sometimes last year ... the hashtag got switched. Now, normally, this would not be a big issue. But I have come to realize more and more how much I rely on the columns of my Tweetdeck app (sorted by hashtags) as a place to keep connected to various projects. So, when someone switches a conversation from one hashtag (say, #rhizo16) to another (say, #resilience16), I suddenly feel disorientated. Lost. And I depend on the kindness of strangers. A few rhizo folks had made some initial tweets with both hashtags (which is quite generous because together, they take up a good portion of the 140 characters to begin with, you know?).

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on Apr 29, 2017
by Kevin Hodgson
blog

 

 

Colleagues of mine from the Philadelphia Writing Project asked me recently if I had suggestions about ways that they might think about extending their Summer Institute (SI) beyond the summer and into spaces, on and offline. The goals were to allow for beyond-the-summer discussions as well as to support others in joining in and participating beyond that particular SI cohort. Below are a set of Whys followed by a list of Hows ideas that I put together for them; sharing them here as a resource for other writing project sites and colleagues across the country. Feel free to add to an editable version of this list!

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on Mar 9, 2017
by Christina Cantrill
blog

Starting something new is perpetually a complex endeavor: exciting and challenging; confusing and frustrating; fun and eye-opening; and important and mysterious --- think first day as a freshman, think mid-week of the first week of the Summer Institute (as part of the National Writing Project), think first day on the job. Being a member of this team of teachers (see links, below) working on creating curriculum for Youth Voices was just as amazing.

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on Mar 6, 2017
by Aram Kabodian
blog

PeaceLoveBot I had been writing about diving into the world of Twitter Bots for Networked Narratives, and my interest in creating my own Twitter Bot, if only to understand the process of how it is done. Well, I did it. Check out the PeaceLove&Bot bot. Every six hours, the PeaceLove bot will send out a new tweet that begins with the lines made famous in the Elvis Costello song (but written by Nick Lowe) with random word replacing "Understanding" in the lyrics. I've included the #NetNarr hashtag in the code, too, so that the tweets get sent into the NetNarr twitter stream. Phew.

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on Feb 11, 2017
by Kevin Hodgson
blog

This past summer I attended our local chapter of the National Writing Project, Red Cedar Writing Project, leadership meeting. During the meeting, we were given the opportunity to join projects that were either in progress or just starting up. I found myself intrigued by the description of both YouthVoices.live and LRNG.org. I decided that these two projects sounded interesting and fulfilled my need to combine learning with technology. 

Little did I know what an awesome team I would join. There are seven of us, and our leader has taken to calling us the Magnificent Seven (but without all the violence, of course). I have to admit that never in my wildest dreams did I expect this team to be as productive and driven as it has proven to be. So what has it been like for me?

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on Feb 10, 2017
by Dianna Baldwin
blog

 

Langston Hughes said it best when he expressed his feelings in the masterpiece, “I, too”:

Tomorrow, 

I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”

Then.

 

Besides,

They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed—

 

I, too, am America.

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on Feb 8, 2017
by Jessyca Mathews
blog

Sometimes innovation is about having a sense of the big idea, then paving the way one step at a time. Creativity and exploration certainly is part of the learning process.

As an engaged digital literacy educator, I invite my students into powerful opportunities to engage in conversation with other learners across the country through the Youth Voices Community. Through this professional learning space, several dedicated teachers, including National Writing Project teachers, engage students in conversation through written discussion and video conferences, as well as support with guides for writing and learning with shared curriculum.

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on Feb 8, 2017
by Dawn Reed
blog

A profile on the evolution of educator innovator, Joe Dillon, 11th grade English teacher and instructional coach at Rangeview High School in Aurora, Colorado.

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on Dec 6, 2016
by Howard Rheingold

Pages

resource

Almost 50 years ago from this moment, Grace Lee Boggs began to reflect on the power of education as it relates to the power to shape community. In this resource around community collaboration, we return to Detroit to see how educators have put these ideals into practice, as well as expand beyond Detroit to see how teachers in other parts of the country are partnering with local communities to extend the scope of student learning and impact.

>
on Aug 1, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
resource

Nicole Mirra challenges deficit narratives to “remind us that children are complex beings who are not simply interested in childish things; instead, they are citizens in the making who offer sophisticated observations and critiques of the inequalities and injustices around them that educators need to honor and build upon. We have an urgent need to utilize students’ voices and interests in order to help them develop expertise and agency.” Building upon this critical insight, I have compiled recent examples of strong interest-driven projects that cultivated a deep commitment to youth choice and voice, as meaningful ingredients to transformative learning experiences.

>
on Aug 1, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
resource

“Brother Mike” Hawkins served as a beacon of light during his time with the Digital Youth Network and the YOUMEDIA space at the Harold Washington Library. The power of mentors, like Brother Mike, has been most frequently connected to the informal learning spaces across a community, yet in this resource, we seek to position mentorship in coordination with classroom educators as a powerful resource in cultivating critical connections and relationships beyond the bells and walls of the school day.

>
on Aug 1, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
Marginal Syllabus at a Glance
resource

The image below is a one page .pdf intended to illustrate conceptually The Marginal Syllabus project at a glance. In the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, the project will continue in partnership with NWP's Educator Innovator network. Read more about the first year of the project on the pages associated with this resource, or take a more in depth look at marginalsyllab.us, the project website. For those interested in joining and spreading the word about this annotated conversation, the .pdf is available for download below. 

>
on Jul 26, 2017
by Joe Dillon
resource

If our students care about who reads/sees their work, they will put more effort into making it the best work possible. While we teachers like to think we are an important audience, the truth is that the opinions of peers are often far more important to our students than a teacher’s grade.

>
on Jul 13, 2017
by Laura Bradley
resource

Funded in part by a LRNG Innovator grant, students in a Northern California middle school run a daily news broadcast. They produce all the content and operate all the technology for the show, building valuable career, technical, and digital litearcy skills. Resources here detail ways that you can bring media literacy to your students, with or without a studio program.

>
on Jul 13, 2017
by Laura Bradley
resource

High school English teacher Scott Glass at Glenbrook South in the suburbs of Chicago had always been interested in art and creating, but didn’t do a lot of it himself until he started teaching a humanities class.

>
on Mar 13, 2017
by Howard Rheingold
resource

While I think the goal of providing equitable access to educational technology is laudable, I am consistently amazed at the lack of foresight demonstrated by districts when it comes to what teachers and students should do with the devices once they have been distributed. As I have ranted before, the devices do not magically transform learning — strong pedagogy does that. And, I do not see much evidence of sustained, meaningful professional development being offered to teachers so that they can create strong, technology-enriched pedagogy.

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on Jan 14, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
resource

This post was written by all the teacher-leaders in Sandboxes for Learning who attended the meeting described below December 9-11, 2016: Paul Allison, Christina Cantrill, Joe Dillion, Jenny Lockie, Jo Paraiso, Dawn Reed, Shantanu Saha, Chris Sloan, and Trixie Smith.

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on Dec 17, 2016
by Paul Allison
resource

For the past several years, PhilWP has partnered with the Independence National Historical Park  to offer a two-week summer program for students in grades 9-12, giving them the opportunity to explore the history of their city, think critically about American history, and use their experiences to inspire their writing and art.  In addition, the partnership provided an opportunity for middle-school students to explore the importance of creating arguments using evidence as part of their ongoing learning.  In 2015,  the Philadelphia Writing Project, the National Writing Project and Independence National Historical Park completed a video called The Power of Argument, featuring Philadelphia eighth-graders and highlighting the Declaration of Independence as an argument.

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on Nov 14, 2016
by Diane Waff
resource

Fun and play can create a more engaging learning environment. One of the units in eighth grade science that exemplifies learning through creative, playful, engagement is the Rube Goldberg unit. A Rube Goldberg device is a machine that uses a chain reaction of steps to accomplish a simple goal in a complex and whimsical way. At Friends’ Central School (FCS), the eighth grade students, in groups of 2-3, build Rube Goldberg devices to learn about energy.

The prompt for the Rube Goldberg device project is as follows:

“Your device must have at least five different steps.

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on Oct 18, 2016
by Patricia Zaradic
Tule Lake Fence and Sign
resource

With a 2013 NPS Japanese American Confinement Sites grant, the National Japanese American Historical Society in collaboration with the Bay Area Writing Project, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the Tule Lake Committee used newly accessible primary documents, secondary sources, photographs, oral histories, and artifacts to develop a web-based inquiry curricula for grades 4-12.

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on Oct 12, 2016
by Grace Morizawa
resource

YOUmedia is a teen learning space in various libraries, museums, and afterschool spaces throughout the country. This Case Study focuses on the flagship in the Chicago Public Library’s downtown Harold Washington Library Center. YOUmedia is dedicated to the interests of young people, and supported by librarians and mentors with expertise in digital media production.

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on Feb 26, 2016
by Connected Learning Alliance

Pages

collection

Years in the Making with Connected Learning seeks to offer lessons on the evolution of Connected Learning through the vantage points of mentors, community collaboration, and interest-driven learning.

WeAreLRNG, interest-driven, community, connected learning, LRNG, mentoring, mentors
>
on Aug 16, 2017
by Christopher Rogers
collection

This collection shares resources created by educators across the Educator Innovator network who are working to transform their teaching in order to promote connected learning. 

LRNG Innovators, connected learning, DML, LRNG
>
on Jul 12, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
collection
The 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing is a satellite of the annual 4T Virtual Conference (teachers teaching teachers about technology), which is sponsored by the University of Michigan Schools of Education and Information and Oakland Schools.  The 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing focuses on the research, pedagogy, and tools of writing in digital spaces in the K-12 classroom
4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing, 4TDW, digital writing, virtual learning
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on Nov 23, 2016
by Delia DeCourcy
collection

Resources in this collection have emerged from a growing partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Writing Project (NWP) designed to bolster connected learning opportunities within the national parks and reach more young visitors and educators.

National Parks Service, National Writing Project, connected learning, professional development, teaching writing, writing
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on Oct 25, 2016
by Judy Buchanan
collection

This collection of case studies features three communities who build on fan interests and engagement to unite, inspire, and drive social change. These communities include Harry Potter enthusiasts, StarCraft gamers, and wrestling fans who use their shared passions as springboards for creative production and building peer-supported communities of learning.

case study, CL.tv, connected learning
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on May 16, 2016
by Connected Learning Alliance
collection

This collection of seven personal stories showcases educators who are trying to reimagine both the role of educators as learners and develop new methodologies for teaching students in this increasingly digital age. 

CL.tv, connected learning, personal story
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on May 11, 2016
by Connected Learning Alliance
collection

This collection of ten personal stories features individuals who use their personal passions to engage with their communities.

CL.tv, connected learning, personal story
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on May 4, 2016
by Connected Learning Alliance
collection

This collection of six personal stories documents the different ways that educators are utilizing aspects of both design and play in their curriculums. Their hands on approach to learning allows students to physically manifest their ideas by constructing, designing, and executing a plan to create something new either on their own or as a collaboration.

CL.tv, connected learning, personal story
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on Apr 29, 2016
by Connected Learning Alliance
collection

This collection features four case studies which showcase a range of spaces where learners are pursuing their interests and passions alongside peers and mentors. These case studies, which showcase the work of both schools and community organizations/collaborations, were originally featured on Connected Learning TV, which now airs on NWP's Educator Innovator. 

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on Apr 29, 2016
by Educator Innovator
collection

This collection of five case studies features a selection of schools, organizations, and collaborations focused on using a connected learning approach to educational and social outreach. This collection spotlights communities of learners and educators developing unique programs that can expand educational experiences beyond the four walls of the classroom.

case study, CL.tv, connected learning
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on Apr 27, 2016
by Connected Learning Alliance
collection

This collection draws together blogs and resources that follow my experience implementing the 20 Time project, Innovation Hour, in my high school classroom.

LRNG Grant, 20 time, genius hour, project-based learning, student choice, student-centered classroom
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on Aug 27, 2015
by Carrie Honaker
collection

This collection features the work of three Teacher Consultants from the UNC Charlotte Writing Project who explored and reflected upon how a "maker" approach to teaching English Language Arts worked to empower students in the classroom and connect them with the community. 

hacking, Maker Movement, activism, #connectedlearning, make
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on Jul 30, 2015
by Steve Fulton
collection

This collection highlights six case studies centered on evidence the authors have uncovered through teacher inquiry and structured conversations about students’ digital writing.

digital writing, protocols, #lookingclosely, connected learning, inquiry, student work, teacher inquiry
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on May 13, 2015
by Troy Hicks
collection

How are we bringing the #BlackLivesMatter movement into our classrooms?

#BlackLivesMatter, conversations, curriculum, racism
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on Feb 10, 2015
by Paul Allison
collection

At the 2014 NWP Annual Meeting, a group of us participated in a "messing around and geeking out" session on Playing with Open Designs for Professional Learning.

The idea of this session was to think about how connected learning meets professional learning through open play experiences.

clmooc, connected learning, open, professional development
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on Nov 22, 2014
by Karen Fasimpaur

Pages