Category Archives: In the News

Say True Things: 5th Graders On Audiences On and Off the Grid

A couple of years ago, I posted about talking to my niece and her fifth grade class about audiences on- and offline. This week, in a graduate course I am teaching, the topic of teaching about online interaction and audiences with elementary students was raised...and I realized I never hit "post" on this companion post. So, here is a major #tbt to something that has been sitting in draft mode for too long.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a fifth grade class about audience using a mini-lesson and guided practice that is probably familiar to many teachers.  We then extended that discussion into considering what writing for an audience means in contemporary times. The young people in that class shared great advice for the demands on writing in a digital, networked age.

Audience Offline

We started our conversation with a guessing game comparing two texts that were talking about a pair of shoes online:

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We talked through the criteria the school was using in on online writing platform and saw that depending on the audience, every aspect of a piece of writing might change depending on the audience.

Message Continue reading Say True Things: 5th Graders On Audiences On and Off the Grid

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EXCEL Academy @ NYU Graduate Featured in PBS Documentary The Graduates/Los Graduados

I just received word from Nancy Mann, principal of Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, in the South Bronx, that one of FLHFHS’s graduates and our EXCEL Academy @ NYU participants will be featured in the PBS documentary The Graduates/Los Graduadosa film following Latino students and their road to college.

Meet Chastity. My life has been enriched by just knowing this bright, articulate and dedicated young woman. The fact that I was able to be a part of her developmental pathway from high school to college, and especially in finding her confidence to share her writing with others is a highlight of my career.

Continue reading EXCEL Academy @ NYU Graduate Featured in PBS Documentary The Graduates/Los Graduados

The Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity

photo-11I am pleased to announce that in my final doctoral year, I have been invited to be a part of NYU’s Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity led by the great thinkers and scholars Niobe Way, Carol Gilligan and Pedro Noguera. This year I will be writing posts after each of the monthly public lectures and think tank meetings in order to continue the conversation online with interested others from around the world.

The Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity (PACH) is an emerging think tank, funded by the NoVo foundation and based at New York University, that is designed to engage researchers, policymakers, practitioners, activists, educators, artists, and journalists in a series of conversations focused on what we have learned from science and practice regarding what lies at the root of our crisis of connection and what we can do to create a more just and humane world. Presently, PACH entails a public lecture series and monthly conversations with 50 senior level professionals.

Tweets from just our first meeting promise this will be an engaging and important project to follow! Here is a list of a few members of PACH who use Twitter. Continue reading The Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity

#AERA13 or What I’m Up To This Week–Other Than 37,989 Feet Above Iowa

I am currently 37,989 feet above the middle of Iowa sending digital messages to people around the world. The next generation will be unfazed with this phenomenon. I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be amazed. Continue reading #AERA13 or What I’m Up To This Week–Other Than 37,989 Feet Above Iowa

Don’t Blink! My NY Comic Con Report is Here!

UPDATE: Post is now live! (That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the little cosplay vid below though…) Here’s the Post: New York Comic Con and the Literacies of Fandom

On Sunday, a field report from my first New York Comic Con will be featured on Peter Gutierrez’s Connect the Pop site, a School Library Journal blog exploring pop culture, transliteracy and critical thinking.

Until then, enjoy this clip of my encounter with a most dedicated Weeping Angel cosplayer who frightened convention-goers (including me, I turned just in time!) for hours as they moved their way across the convention floor. If you don’t know the reference, “Don’t blink!” you’re missing out. I’ve heard that Doctor Who Seasons 1-6 are available on Netflix. Time to do your pop culture homework.

My Month as a “Disconnected” Educator–Part I

In Part I, I describe the Connected Educator Month and what activities I’d participate in if I were not so “disconnected” right now. In Part II, I describe what I have learned from being a “disconnected” educator this month.

Apparently, August is Connected Educator Month.

This is a project funded by the US Department of Education to support educators in building their personal learning networks (PLNs). Their site explains:

Online communities and learning networks are helping hundreds of thousands of educators learn, reducing isolation and providing “just in time” access to knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. However, many educators are not yet participating and others aren’t realizing the full benefits. In many cases, schools, districts, and states also are not recognizing and rewarding this essential professional learning.

I consider myself part of the “hundreds of thousands” who have definitely benefited from the generosity and intellectual curiosity of colleagues around the world who use the Internet, digital devices, apps and social media sites to work and think together.

This month, however, I have purposefully disconnected. I have a massive writing project that needs sustained attention and work to finish, and so I not only unplugged, but I headed out to the mountain deserts of my youth, and next week off to a sleepy, coastal Mexican village.

Like today, I check in every once in a while (and for good reason, my bank has called, there was an issue with a grad student’s grade posting, and on and on). The occasional check-in is the only reason I have become aware of this month’s focus.

The Connected Educator’s Month site has created a (not so) user-friendly calendar of events. The New York Times has posted a quick read in which they asked 33 connected educators two simple questions that resulted in a great resources list—especially since several more educators answered the same questions in the comments section. And the P2PU (peer to peer) network has provided a starter kit that includes daily introductions to several types of social media and digital means of connection. (I’m posting that below, because I am a fan of its daily design. You can also download the entire .pdf at the starter kit link above.)

If I were truly plugged in this month, I’d participate in a few other things going on right now. These are things I’d fully support you doing for me in proxy:

  • I’d be a participant in Hybrid Pedagogy’s MOOCMOOC, which is a Massive Online Open Course about Massive Online Open Courses. These have been in the news quite a bit and it would be great to try one out from the inside, as well as have colleagues with whom to think about the affordances and constraints of the MOOC.
  • I’d be tweeting (@writinglit) and Facebooking (AERA Writing & Literacies SIG) for AERA’s Writing and Literacies Special Interest Group. This is a great group of educational researchers who continually push my thinking in writing and literacies.
  • And speaking of literacies, even though the #literacies chat is currently on hold until September, I would be tweeting with the #literacies hashtag via Twitter and connecting with colleagues about the demands and dimensions of contemporary literacies.
  • I’d check out the link a friend and colleague through a Facebook group sent me. It is to the new public-use, interactive online storytelling technology from the developers of the interactive online games The Night Circus and Fallen London. It’s called StoryNexus and I can’t wait to try it out when I return!
  • And the reality is that I would be engaged and learning in several other unexpected, serendipitous ways.

So, why not take advantage of this month’s focus and try out a few new ways to connect?