From the Community

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Learning How To Search for Answers... Together

We are a week away from the big day! Today we spent time learning how to search more effectively on the internet. It is funny what you assume students know how to do. Students know how to "surf the web", but when it comes to a focused topic search, that has eluded many of my students.  My students have carefully crafted a question about their topic, but we have been at a standstill as to what to do next. 

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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Blogging is not an easy endeavor. With student choice comes the challenge of student focus.  There are days that the kids will actually ask me, "Mrs. Ilko, can't we just do a worksheet?" which is code for, " I'm frustrated, this is too hard." And so I push them, prod them, beg, and sometimes literally and figuratively stand on their heads to get something to the page.  Not every blogpost sings off the page, but that isn't the goal. With blogging comes repeated writing, and combined with an audience that has the potential to improve the content as well as writing fluency. But there are those days when the page just stares blankly back at you, and blogging together reminds me of that fact.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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Sharing Our Stories...

Tonight I was invited to share our story on NWP radio. I have never been part of an on-line radio show before. It is like a conference  call with friends. I learned so much from everyone who participated. I have been a fellow of NWP for some time now, and this is the first I have heard of the radio program. It is definitely something I will spend more time on in the coming months.  Check it out, it will give you quite an insight into the Digital Learning Day event.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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Today brings exciting news! The lesson and video are posted on the Digital Learning Day website. Please look for the lesson called Writing Powerful Blog Comments – Students develop their own blog site and learn the difference between academic and social comments.

http://www.digitallearningday.org/learn-and-explore/lesson-portals/

Meanwhile, the work at Cajon Valley Middle School will be exciting to watch on this day as well. Here is our agenda at CVMS:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

www.digitallearningday.org

Digital Learning Day, February 6, 2013

Cajon Valley Middle School 550 East Park Ave. El Cajon, CA. 92020

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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Sometimes we make assumptions about what our students know and are able to do in the digital world. I made that assumption this past week as we began our research projects. We carefully crafted our topic lists, and are still crafting our research questions. I turned them loose after a brief lesson on how to search for information about your topic. I was more concerned about having them create the right search terms to get them to the sites that would be beneficial. That didn't turn out to be much of an issue. Everyone got to a site that had information on their topic, but then we came to a standstill. Now what do we do?

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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When students are given a choice and the option to decide what they are going to do, it is empowering and complicated at the same time. My students spent a few weeks before winter break exploring blogs and topics of interest. They made lists of possible topics, and then narrowed that list to three possibilities. From there they discussed their options with a partner, and finalized their decision. Giving students ownership and responsibility for their own learning is crucial to creating a blog site that will work.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” ― T.F. HodgeFrom Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence

The past 72 hours have been a test of my patience and a tribute to my determination and belief in resiliency. One of the things I need to do is get a video prepared to share on Digital Learning Day. Now I have used iMovie successfully in the past. I met with my friends Holly and Ruth on Sunday and we recorded the script and planned the movie. I went home to finish up. Well that led to a 2:30 am bed time between Sunday and Monday, an afternoon of recreating the movie several versions, and then an early morning session again with Ruth this morning to create a video clip that was less than two minutes long.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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Cited from Writing in my Hand blogpost

Digital Learning Day is coming, and ready or not I will be going to Washington D.C. to share our work. I have been working and re-working the lesson plan I want to share with teachers at this event. It is so important to get it right, to share the work of my students and our philosophy that real writing, for real purposes, makes better writers. I have been meeting with a team of teachers all week bouncing one idea off another to try to create a lesson that reflects the best of our work. We have come up with an outline I think is going to work. I have several opportunities to share our work, a lesson demonstration live at the Newseum in Washington D.C. When you check out the venue, it is topical, ever changing, and one of the coolest places I have ever seen. Check out this video about the venue, called A Day in the Life of a Museum.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 8.07.31 PM

This week I am sharing some exciting news. I will be traveling to Washington D.C. to be part of Digital Learning Day live! I will be bringing my students along with me, well their digital work at least. It has been a long and interesting journey this digital road I travel.  If you are just joining the conversation, go back and review a few of the previous blog posts, and you will learn more about our digital writing journey.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
Image originally uploaded on 2013-03-07 14:58
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This year for Digital Learning Day, I was invited to present a lesson at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. As I was getting ready, I blogged about my preparations, both with my classes and for myself.

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on Feb 8, 2013
by Writing for Change
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyydwP0Q9Eo

The Connected Learning Report begins with a focus on equity as a means of putting it foremost in the call for an agenda and research around this work. Today there is a Connected Learning webinar featuring Craig Watkins and Juliet Shor with a focus on this topic as well as a related article in EdWeek looking at this too.

Craig Watkins & Juliet Schor - Connected Learning As Pathway to Equity & Opportunity
Live event: 10pm PT, February 7
Archive will be available post-event.

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on Feb 7, 2013
by Christina Cantrill
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Today is Digital Learning Day! To mark the occasion, let me take you through a quick walkthrough of the halls of Wamogo Regional Middle/High School and give you a snapshot on how digital learning looks in the English classrooms grades 7-12. We have 1:1 computers in grades 7 & 8; in grades 9-12, we have a "bring your own digital device" policy. Here are the digital learning activities on Wednesday, February 6, 2013:

Grade 7: Students responded to a short story they read, “The Amigo Brothers." They accessed the wiki (www.PBworks.com) in order to respond to “close reading” questions on the author’s use of figurative language. (Students are required to use evidence in their responses; digital copies of text helps student correctly add and cite evidence.)

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on Feb 6, 2013
by Colette Bennett
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Was participating in Digital Learning Day an overwhelming experience for you, too? When I looked at the #DLDay hashtag on Twitter, it felt like I was looking into a fire hose on full blast! Well, we have an opportunity for you to pause, reflect on, and extend your #DLDay conversations.

On the 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month from 8-9 PM you can find the #literacies chat happening on Twitter. You can find more about the chat here

This week, tomorrow, February 7th, the day after Digital Learning Day, we will be continuing a conversation we began during our last #literacies chat session on the ways literacies extend and are at times constrained to school, nonschool and online spaces.

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on Feb 6, 2013
by anna smith
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This #dlday, the author of one of my favorite projects is absent. I'm going to attempt to describe her work and then offer my own commentary on it. Once she returns, I'll ask her to add anything she'd like to this post.

Twine

Not too long ago, my students and I negotiated new learning plans. Most kids set up time to read, write, and work on projects each week. Some students negotiated short-term plans rather than container plans; they're at work finishing very particular and long-lived projects, like building a Minecraft controller and developing an Instructable on the process.

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on Feb 6, 2013
by Chad Sansing

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Why do you write? Digital Is folks spend a lot of time thinking about what writing can look like in the digital world, but does the digital world change the why of writing?

Writers of all kinds are contributing to the #WhyIWrite thread. Celebrate writing with us and post this week in honor of the National Day on Writing, October 20th. This could be a great opportunity to try out the new blog feature here on Digital Is. Tag your writing, wherever you post it, with #WhyIWrite and share it!

Need inspiration? Follow the thread on Twitter.

Or watch this - just one of many videos collected in the Why I Write playlist on YouTube.

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on Oct 19, 2011
by NWP Digital Is
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Earlier this week, John Seely Brown gave the opening keynote talk at the fifteenth annual 2011 Internet Librarian Conference. What a great choice of speakers! John Seely Brown is one of those visionary folks who seems to have been able to see for some time what the rest of us are still realizing and trying to integrate into our professional lives: That the digital shift is closely tied to trying-and-failing, to playing and tinkering, to making.

In his opening address, Brown said that the half-life of a given skill has shrunk to only 5 years. If that is the case, how can teachers and librarians help prepare students for the world?

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on Oct 17, 2011
by Kate Leuschke Blinn
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In a recent post on the New York Times' website, in The Learning Network blog, Katherine Schulten called attention to the way teachers are teaching each other over Twitter in "chats". Schulten interviewed three educators who have created EdChats about specific educational contexts:

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on Oct 11, 2011
by Kate Leuschke Blinn
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We hope the new look will better support content viewing and user navigation. There are also some new ways to add content to the site, which we hope further support your participation and sharing.

New features include:

Blogs

Digital Is now has a blog feature available for every member. Blogs are a way to share less formal content in the site that you think might be of interest to the larger community. The posts will display with other blog posts on the News and Blog Post page. They will also show up as an individual series of posts on your profile.

Messages

Digital Is now has a way for site members to send a message to another community member. You can access your own messages by clicking on “Read and Send Messages” from your Member Home.

Member Home

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on Oct 5, 2011
by NWP Digital Is
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Hello all.

Since there has been so much discussion and resource creation
recently on the theme of games and learning, I thought I would just
share this resource that came to my attention when I was visiting the You Media in Chicago:

Library of Games

This library is a blog created by youth at You Media along with their
mentor Taylor Bayless. It is one example of several youth created
content that is supported in its creation and then public dissemination
by mentors at the You Media center. in Chicago Other examples include:

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on Oct 5, 2011
by Christina Cantrill
blog

Can a person survive in this day and age without a Facebook page? Can I call myself truly savvy without one? I recently disengaged with FB and I deactivated my account. I haven't been on for a couple of weeks.

Here is my fear. Have people come to expect that I should know what is going on in their lives because it was posted on FB? Do they see it as an affront because I don't know something about them that they shared with the world?

One friend of mine asked me how I will continue to communicate without Facebook. I said that I would talk to people. She laughed at the absurdity of her question, but is that what FB has become?

Is there a Post-Facebook world, or are we all caught up in the idea of Social Networking to the point that everything else is obsolete? Right now I belong to several social networks online, but no one seems to use them nearly as much as FB.

Anyway... just wanted to share.

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on Oct 5, 2011
by Jeff Grinvalds
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Interesting and thought provoking discussions and resources continue to be added to Digital Is everyday! We wanted to make you aware of two new group projects that are happening now too – the first one connected to Indiana University’s work on Designing for Participation and, the second, by the teacher inquiry community at the UNC Charlotte Writing Project who are exploring Digital Narratives in Urban Classrooms.

Keep an eye out for several new resources to come live from these projects soon and we also encourage you to jump in to participate.

NWP Digital Is has also been featured recently at DML Central by Digital Is community member and UCLA writing project teacher Antero Garcia.

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on Sep 22, 2011
by NWP Digital Is
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Digital Is was recently featured in this post, Hacking the Digital Classroom with ‘Digital Is’, on the GradHacker blog by Andrea Zellner of the Red Cedar Writing Project and a PhD student at Michigan State University. Andrea writes, “If you want to hack your classroom with the best guidance out there, set aside an hour and point your browser to http://digitalis.nwp.org.”
 

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on Aug 8, 2011
by NWP Digital Is
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The new Speak Up 2010 survey has just been released with interesting results for educators curious about the adoption of digital technologies in schools. The project surveyed almost 300,000 students (as well as 43,000 parents, 35,000 teachers, 2000 librarians and 3500 administrators) from a sample of over 6500 private and public schools. the results show the continued adoption of digital tools and devices by youth at ever younger ages. They also show the challenges that students and teachers experience in school settings. In the survey youth identify two major barriers to tech use at school: 1) filters, and 2) bans on mobile devices.

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on Aug 4, 2011
by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
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This past week, Digital Is was featured in the post Share, Grow, Do: The Potential of Digital Age Learning posted by Barry Joseph of Global Kids, http://www.globalkids.org/, in the MacArthur DML Central weblog, http://dmlcentral.net/blog/barry-joseph/share-grow-do-potential-digital-age-learning.

Digital Is was also featured on Future of Education on June 9th by Troy Hicks, co-author of Because Digital Writing Matters and The Digital Writing Workshop. An archive of
the discussion is available here: http://www.stevehargadon.com/2011/06/thursday-june-9th-live-with-troy-hicks.html.

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on Jun 13, 2011
by NWP Digital Is
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If you’ve been waiting for the chance to try out that new design activity with your students, this just might be your shot. The ARIS Global Game Jam on April 18-20 invites you to make new augmented reality games for mobile phones from scratch in just 50 hours. Sound impossible?

Short for Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling, ARIS is a new tool that enables users to create place-based or narrative gaming activities designed for teaching and learning. The platform is available as both an iPhone application and as an open-source authoring platform.

The ARIS design team is inviting experts and novices alike to join the session. Their goal is 50 games in 50 hours.

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on Apr 10, 2011
by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
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Digital Is: Interdisciplinary Writing Resources, was recently featured in a Chronicle of Higher Education piece written by guest blogger Chad Sansing, a teacher consultant of the Central Virgina Writing Project, on the Prof Hacker blog.

Teachers associated with the University of Maine Writing Project participated in a course titled "Inquiry into Digital Literacy in the Classroom," and you will see many results of their work posted recently under Resources here in Digital Is (along with many others).

New Collections have been posted by Digital Is Curators too.

Finally, follow @writingproject on Twitter for regular Digital Is and other writing project updates.

Cheers!

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on Apr 7, 2011
by NWP Digital Is
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Michael Wesch, creator of the video essays "The Machine is Us/ing Us" and "A Vision of Students Today" is looking for collaborators who are teaching college courses related to dml and/or the Internet this semester. He's arranged for videos from the recent Wired for Change conference to be downloaded and freely remixed, and wants to initiate a video contest.

Students who submit the best video on building a more just and equitable Internet for the future will get a free trip to the next Wired for Change conference - a pretty inspiring event: http://www.fordfoundation.org/newsroom/events/451. This year's videos feature Tim Berners-Lee, Arianna Huffington, Spike Lee, Yochai Benkler, and more. Please contact Mike if you're interested in creating a class assignment that would get students making these videos: mwesch@k-state.edu.

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on Mar 23, 2011
by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
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In honor of the Digital Media and Learning 2011 conference, the good folks at MIT Press are providing open access to the International Journal of Learning and Media for the month of March. You can see the issue at IJLM at http://ijlm.net. In addition to taking a look at IJLM, you can also see its new format which offers more rich media in support of the scholarship presented there. Jill Rodgers, Marketing Manager, invites your comments jillr@mit.edu.

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on Mar 11, 2011
by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
blog

With the publication of the “Voices on the Gulf” case study, the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning launched the first in an occasional series showcasing how teachers are using digital media to expand learning and create projects that draw the interest and participation of all students.

Sign up for a weekly digest of news highlights, videos & events. Follow @spotlightdml. Know of a good story for this series? Contact the editors here.

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on Mar 6, 2011
by Christina Cantrill

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Inquiry is the component that underlies everything in this project: my initial question, supporting curriculum design, and reflection as well as my students’ inquiry process culminating in their reflective essays. As I discussed earlier, when I introduced the digital story project to my students, I told them about my Summer Institute experience and my inquiry and encouraged them to be part of the inquiry, too. Like me, reflecting on my practice, they would be reflecting on their experience. Their reflections while helping me with my inquiry could help them to become metacognitive writers and more proficient critical thinkers. We would all be researchers together—recording and analyzing our data. At first they weren’t sure what all this would mean, but delighted with the computers and making digital stories, they were willing to participate.  

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on Jun 3, 2010
by Leslie Moitoza
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I continued my inquiry the next school year. No more quandary. I now was convinced that the digital story project was not a frivolous waste of time. On the contrary, it was rigorous academic work with so many added benefits.

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on Jun 3, 2010
by Leslie Moitoza
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We begin with materials from Pearson Foundation's Digital Arts Alliance Project, the essay assignment, and a class schedule for preparing for the Pearson residency. Students form groups, choosing partners or trios to work with, workable numbers for sharing computers. Then collaboration begins as each group brainstorms, talks, compromises to decide on their topic. As usual, I break down the process into workable segments to help students at each step and to keep them on schedule. I use the same process I always do for this composition assignment, but work on modifying for the digital component.

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on Jun 3, 2010
by Leslie Moitoza
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During the 2008-2009 school year, my class was involved in a service learning project. The project utilized various technologies and digital media to complete the task. These tools proved to be invaluable for the English language learners who comprised the majority of my classroom.

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on Jun 2, 2010
by Robert Rivera-Amezola
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Project New Media Literacies (NML) is a research initiative that explores how we might best equip young people with the social skills and cultural competencies required to become full participants in an emergent media landscape and raise public understanding about what it means to be literate in a globally interconnected, multicultural world.

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on May 27, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
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The Digital Youth Project brought together 28 researchers over the course of 22 research studies and three years, in an effort to better understand the ways in which youth integrate new media into contemporary youth culture.

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on May 27, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
Image originally uploaded on Fri, 2010-05-21 08:01
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The Stanford Study of Writing tracked the development of writing practices of Stanford students during their undergraduate and early post-graduate years in a longitudinal study that took place over the course of a five-year period.

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on May 21, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
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Creative Commons understands that your students are all authors and wants them to be credited and respected when they put their work on the Internet for others to view, remix, and appreciate. That is why, they have made it possible to choose your own license based on your needs and hopes for your work

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on May 21, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
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K-12 classroom teachers, librarians, technology support specialists, etc., gather every year at the K-12 Online Conference to join each other as they present and participate in discussions and activities virtually and, in many cases, not in real time.

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on May 21, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
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Profiles in Practice: Digital Storytelling with Teacher Consultants of the National Writing Project is a collection presented by the Pearson Foundation and the National Writing Project that presents the work of five teachers, who have all practiced doing digital storytelling in their classrooms in the hopes of delivering instruction of core skills like collaboration, creativity, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

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on May 21, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
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Making Stop Motion Movies is a detailed, how-to guide created by middle school teacher and Western Massachusetts Writing Project Technology Liaison, Kevin Hodgson, that showcases the reading and writing elements of film literacy and utilizes a popular medium in a way that is entertaining and educational. This guide creates activities and resources and highlights student work that reinforces how to use this technology successfully and efficiently.

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on May 21, 2010
by Henry Cohn-Geltner
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It started with a quandary. As a veteran writing teacher, I was struggling, feeling caught in the middle between my responsibility to prepare my high school students for the traditional academic demands of college and the prevalence of compelling technology in their lives. Although, I recognized the need for computer literacy, I was not willing to trade rigorous academic work time for frivolous computer projects. So, my quandary led to my inquiry: Is it possible to teach academic writing as digital composition? What happens to writing instruction and student learning when we go digital?

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on May 5, 2010
by Leslie Moitoza
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This video documents my work supporting students to use digital voice recorders for "book talks" that allowed them to be active participants in their own processes of inquiry and learning. Sharing their "smart thinking" with each other, and hearing their own voices in the recordings made such a difference in the kind of inquiry and learning process we went through together.

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on Mar 8, 2010
by Renee Webster
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While the term "digital storytelling" has been used to describe a wide variety of new media practices, what best describes the Center's approach is its emphasis on first-person narrative, meaningful workshop processes, and participatory production methods.

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on Feb 25, 2010
by Kate Leuschke Blinn
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This is an excerpt from a Teachers Teaching Teachers episode. Two students from very different backgrounds eventually come to an understanding. It's included in this resource because this was the medium that the discussion took place, as a podcast. Listen to how the students learn to listen.

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on Feb 24, 2010
by Chris Sloan

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