Last week saw the release of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, a free Connected Learning report I edited. I’m hoping you’ll spend some time reading it — it features a plethora of powerful contributions by members of the National Writing Project. When you riffle through Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, what you’ll see is a series of narratives from educators from across the country sharing how they are already exemplifying connected learning principles in practice in schools.
I am an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University. Before moving to Fort Collins, I was an English teacher at Manual Arts High School in South Central Los Angeles and a member of the UCLA Writing Project.
Writing Project Site
Though Cindy O'Donnell-Allen and I will be sharing this resource, some of the discussions are specific to her class on "Teaching Composition" and some will pertain solely to our class on "Teaching Reading."
For instance, today (9/5) we are discussing three texts: Buffy Hamilton's DML post, a Digital Is resource my class made last semester, chapter one of Freire's book Literacy, and a selection from Other People's Children.
In our first week of public discussion, our classes are looking at how cultural differences and privilege impact how we teach reading and composition. Our classes are reading selections from Allan Johnson's Privilege, Power, and Difference. This class meets in exactly two minutes! I will be posting highlights of our discussion as well as audio from the class.
Increasingly, the process of learning to teach and build environments for learning is becoming an increasingly digitized space. From the online discussion spaces students are required to engage in for classes to the portfolios of preservice work that will be shared to assess the viability of an individual for a teaching gig to the ways we adapt and recycle ready made resources and texts, digital culture permeates the ways students become teachers.
*please play this song before continuing with this section
You may be wondering what a crudely thrown together song has to do with the topic of literacy. Quite a bit, actually, but if you still don’t believe me, then it is my hope that this short blurb can change your mind.
As educators today, we have seen a significant shift in what a “literate” student looks like. There are, in fact, many other types of literacy than what we might traditionally think of. These words are seldom treated as equally important to the traditional definition of literacy, yet I could safely state that they are just as important to our students in today’s society as morphology and phonology.