I’ll be honest. I have only played Pokemon Go once or twice, and not even on my own phone. But I will say that its application of technology illustrates a major concept I want to highlight in my workshop Collaborative Writing 2.0: Learning the Moves Writers Can Make. It's that our mobile devices have had GPS and maps for several years now, but in that time, they’ve been used as just that: GPS and maps. The developers of Pokemon Go have given GPS and Maps a new purpose, so that they are a means to a new end, not the end in and of themselves. As school districts everywhere immerse their students in digital platforms, teachers of writing must think creatively about practices that harness the unique features of digital tools to help students grow as writers.
I am an Instructional Coach in the San Leandro Unified School District, focusing on English Language Arts and strategic integration of technology in grades 6-12. In this role, I'm able to support teachers and administrators as they engage in work to develop authentic, personalized and rigorous reading and writing experiences for all students. Previously, I taught English Language Arts for 14 years, and am a co-founder of The Social Justice Academy at San Leandro High School, a small school program dedicated to empowering youth to become agents of change in their communities on personal, cultural and institutional levels. I'm also a proud 2014 teacher consultant of the Bay Area Writing Project, currently serving as the Technology Coordinator, where I work with brilliant colleagues to build a hub of innovation around tech-based writing instruction, especially with regard to new frontiers of collaborative writing in digital spaces and new approaches to research based writing. And it can not be overstated that I would not have found any of this success without my fantastic partner Anne and my two children, Asher and Isaac, who help me maintain orbit in Oakland, California.