I am fortunate that I have been able to be part of Area 3 Writing Project's Summer Institute two years in a row and they keep inviting me back to meet the new group of fellows each summer. Typically, I return the first week of the institute to talk to teachers in my community about the digital kids in our classroom and the new digital ways in which they can publish to meet the demands of Common Core. This year when I showed up there was a television crew from our local educational cable station, SECC, ready to record the workshop. Feel free to watch it and let me know what you think. Below are links to some of the resources mentioned during the workshop.
I am currently the instructional Technology Coordinator for Natomas Charter School in Sacramento, California. In my current role I work as a coach and staff developer on a variety of topics including digital writing, disciplinary literacy, writing workshop, and technology integration, while also overseeing the IT department. Originally a middle school science teacher, much of my work has also involved identifying methods to effectively integrate a variety of technology including blogs, wikis, online learning, cell phones, and multimedia resources to provide quality, effective teaching and learning experiences for all students. I am also a teaching consultant with Area 3 Writing Project at UC Davis.
Writing Project Site
At Area 3 Writing Project we used Because Digital Writing Matters as a foundational text for our 2011 Summer Institute. Throughout our conversations many times I found myself referring to portions of the Common Core Standards where digital text or digital writing is mentioned. The attached document attempts to highlight those areas by calling out six of the 32 anchor standards where these concepts are described and looking at how they progress over the K-12 grade span through the lens of 4 particular grade levels. While this document certainly does not summarize all of the places where digital writing and digital text correspond with the Common Core Standards, it serves as an anchor document for beginning the conversation about the role digital writing plays in our classrooms as we move into the future.
Over the past year, The Atlantic Wire has posted first-person accounts from journalists, political leaders, and authors about the media they consume each day under the topic Media Diet. Finding the pieces fascinating, I used The Atlantic’s model to catalog my own daily media diet. Since I always strive to create instructional environments that mirror real life, this piece is just another example of why digital writing (and reading) matters.
I remember two things about 7th grade Texas American History - the maps hanging on my teacher's wall and the flour & water topographical map we constructed at home. Yes, there was something about the Alamo, Sam Houston, and the fact that the original Six Flags amusement park in Arlington, Texas was named after the historical influence six different countries have had on Texas, but what I really remember is the maps. As I look back on any history class from middle school through college, I believe the maps hanging on each teacher’s wall have probably provided to me just as much content as the instructor. Maps have always fascinated me - the geography, the landmarks, the relationships between communities and their landscape depicted in a multimodal fashion. As a result, it should probably come as no surprise that I was completely enamored the moment I originally explored Google Earth.
Believe it or not, I wouldn’t consider myself a very techie person. I can’t set up a server, can barely understand the wireless network in our house, and have enough blackened sockets to know I should never be trusted with any electrical handy work. However, friends, family, and colleagues often call me for computer or cell phone technical support. No longer can I attend a family function without spending some time working on a computer problem. Recently, I purchased an iPad just because so many people were asking for help and yet I had never played with one for longer than five minutes at the Apple Store. Rather than calling myself a “techie,” I tend to think of myself as a “fearless explorer.”