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Notes from July 11 Meeting - Offline Discussion

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Here are the notes I took during our afternoon discussion. Please add to or change as needed. You will find the notes from the TappedIn discussion under the Plans for 2005.

Notes from July 11 Technology Advisory Committee Meeting

What are we doing this fall?

KM: Retreat – is that for anyone and to bring people in? Or is that for advanced people?


PW: You won’t get people who are beginners to go away for a retreat


KM: Selecting for certain people


NM: Idea of retreat was to kick off – possibly 2 separate tracks –different schedule of things for beginners and more advanced groups

  • People have to feel that there is a need. Forced – mandated need to do a blog for an initiative.
  • Does it make a difference if only a small group of people are in each track?


KM: Likes idea of different tracks


NM: Offer both


KM: Allows us to focus what we’re doing the rest of the semester based on what people want or need.


PA: What is a beginner?


NM: What is it that we want to push? Blogging … a group of people who know nothing about blogging … beginners set up a blog; blog with idea that people are blogging about their classrooms; people get comfortable sharing within their classroom ideas; develop comfort with their own blogging; how do we use this with kids; assignments/readings to talk about what other teachers are doing and begin to pose questions about what would work with their students.


NM: If blogging is idea; people will need time to do that – exploring possibilities of classroom work.

Consultants keep consulting blog, so that it’s not so frightening.


PA: interesting distinction between beginner and advanced – someone who is just experimenting themselves vs. someone who is ready to begin work (tech/blog) with students

Some of the complaints about Saturday were that “in morning I’m a student and in the afternoon I have to learn how to manage this.”

Are we making blogging central?


KS: Satellite experience with blogs; making it closed so that parents and students can see what staff are discussing doesn’t allow others who may have something else to contribute access to blog.

Privacy issues – naming students, critical of school, etc.

Focusing on blogs would be opportunity for all writing project members to see different workshops and seminars


KM: In 2 – 3 day retreat beginners should also be exposed to other things so they can see possible uses in classroom to decide what they want to join.


PW: retreat would be a smorgasbord with more intensive sessions on one or two seminars


PA: One possible purpose – reading groups online; doing literature groups online


FG: Who will be available to do pd in technology?


NM: At the end of the year what do we want to produce or achieve 6 people who can facilitate workshops in XYZ?; 6 teachers using blogs to facilitate m?


KM: One of the things we want to achieve is to have a lot more people who are not comfortable with technology to come on board.


NM: Giving people a space to experiment for those who are doing this stuff and excited about this? Need to pull more people in and become interested in the possibilities

The retreat is a gateway to all other modules we will offer during the year.

Where do we want to be after the end of the 2 or 3 years of the grant? We have the money to pay people to create items.

Do we want a cadre of people to design and implement workshops?

One group that is already ready to do workshops and beginning with another group of people who are just experimenting

Is the goal to develop a community of people/situated technology – advanced/intermediate groups and apprenticeships – bringing things in to share with others.

Technology notes from pm continued

What we’ve agreed upon: Weekend retreat early in the fall Followed by modules on a range of technology themes or skills


What do we want to achieve as a WP in 2006?


Review of what we’ve done in technology: Six summer Tech courses

• 1st one – Julie, Nancy, Ed, Sally O’Connell – wanted a group to continue as a Tech committee – webpages, sites

• 2nd summer – people from first summer mentored second group Speakeasy Café – Nicenet (first optional, than every course had to have tech component)

• 3rd summer – using different platforms and media to compose - Story Space

• 4th summer - Digital Poetry


2005 –

  • Summer Invitational – Nicenet
  • Region 2 Content Area Lit. – Nicenet

Gina - migrate Nicenet conversation into blog


Is it a continuity issue? How do you keep people involved?


Mentor’s –

  • There just to hold less experienced person’s hand
  • Have other opportunities to do their own work
  • Close support of someone else to further their own work
  • Something that extends beyond room and time
  • Thinking partner for technical advice


Opportunities to practice


PA: Most success where there has been a tech coach associated with a teacher person. Rachel Posner, invitational fellow, has done some blogging at Landmark. Worked closely with Richard Stholman. Hope for the 3 on-site consultants in the group to be the tech person for the teachers they consult with at some point.


GR: WP should make connections with tech coordinators so that we see them as part of the Project in the same way that we make connections with content area teachers.


NM: Is it a goal to create a cadre of tech coordinators? Do we want TCs who are tech and writing project savy? Do we design a writing project course for those people (techies)?


FG: Look at NWP’s model. They have brought in techies.


KS: As a teacher I could not go to ROC meetings for technology folks. How can you see technology and writing come together in a school? How can this be facilitated? Offer the classes that marry these two things together. Have opportunity to practice at home. We spent a lot of time orienting selves to blogging but have not spent enough time creating a product that can be used in a class.


JC: Imbedding an on-site course in a school that will give teachers the skill they need. Question of whether school has the technology to support the work. Will have a community in the building to share with and develop support resources. Why would we do this? Why is this important? Jeff Wilhelm’s piece – If you are not literate in hypertext, you are not literate? Are we linking writing and technology because unless we do so we are already looking at a dinosaur? In order to serve students well we have to be able to write and read via technology.


PA: 3 discourses that are part of literacy – oral, written (text), online

NB: In response to what or how she’s used technology with her students. Works at Gompers, which is a technology hs so the English classes don’t have access to computer labs.

  • Would use technology to help students learn how to “talk” and listen to one another.


PA: Another invitational fellow uses PDA with her students but WP TCs have not made a connection with this teacher. WP TCs need to identify where teachers are using technology in their work with students.


PW: When thinking about capacity and continuity, there will be always be tcs at different ranges. Just need to move on. We need to make sure that there is tech support offered to the teacher even if it isn’t the person in the building.


GM: I have sent interested tech savy teachers to the WP websites. Can see myself facilitating what she was doing with tech.


NM: If we’ve identified teachers who are tech savy, do we provide something for those teachers here that takes their tech savy and allows them to be introduced to our work?


JC: My reason for blogging was a way for me to push myself to write on an on-going basis. As soon as I developed an audience, I felt an obligation to post. It’s a way of motivating writing, reminds me of an article we distribute to teachers about writing just for the teacher, which is pointless. The point of having students write for a real audience. As to why I haven’t used technology with teachers and students, I haven’t been in schools that had the right technology. Next year I will be in a school with the technology, where there is the possibility. I’m more aware of what I don’t know. Which medium is appropriate to a particular classroom and for what purpose? There’s a lot to think about.


GR: Age old problem of access in each school. Tech teacher doesn’t have time to talk with teachers about technology issues. What would help make tech teachers come to the WP? What would draw them?


KS: One of the things that worked from our experience (Satellite community) was the Listserv the bond between teachers and tech people from many schools. Brought people together, a place to share information, - Maybe we already have the tools

    • A Wikki City where manuals can be posted
    • Blog sites


GM: A place where people from different schools can come together and go back to.


PA: Invitational for Tech folks – place where people are nominated to take a WP course.


NM: Spring 2006 money for Satellite Invitational that will take place in another borough. Had thought about using this Invitational to focus on 3rd year teachers – pick up on fellows who have lost their community; ELL teachers. If we feel this is an opportunity to bring in tech savy people and introduce them to writing project, we can make this the focus of the satellite si.


NB: Teaching Fellows are transitioning from fields where they used technology or are younger teachers with more knowledge and comfort with the technology.


JC: Satellite Invitational can serve more than one purpose - offer a basic that is done via technology.


NM: Focus on teacher inquiry;


PA: Manilla is just a platform for many different media of which blogging is just one feature. Can do audio, incorporate video.

There are six school blogs started as a result of Weblogs and Beyond – Landmark, Vanguard,


PW: Another goal – In talking about school, capacity that waxes and wans. WP can play role of pushing the envelope in terms of making sure that schools have the technology to do this work.


KS: Connections with City Councilor – Resolution funds for gym, science, computer labs. Left over money from that – NYCBOE puts a $300 overage on all computer equipment so that they can get money from the Federal gov’t. so people can get new equipment for their schools. Can we see to it that there is money out there for schools that are partnered with the WP to get what they need to advance literacy?


KM: Should we be doing grant writing workshops for technology?


GM: Equipment breaks down because computers are not functional. If we help teachers maximize the use of computers,


NB: Technology should not be a novelty.


KS: Retreat – blogging

  • 3 sets of simultaneous sessions –
    • for beginners (teachers who want to do blog for themselves, want to become a blog reader/writer),
    • for folks ready to work with their classroom (want to do blogging with their students),
    • for tech people with technical skill, knowledge, experience, but don’t have writing project background


  • Tech modules –
    • I-Search
    • Online Gallery Walks
    • Podcasting
    • Literature Circles
    • Using Images and Text together - Flickr

Modules become the content of the invitational


KM: What comes out of advance group is semester of working on whatever their thing is in blogging that they would then share with others. Advanced participants would come up with a curriculum that they would then present as a workshop (2 sessions) to all comers.


NB: Need to do a LBW type thing with meeting 2 x’s a month.


Next meeting date: Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 1:30 pm in Speech and Theatre room 215.

Go to: New York City Writing Project

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