|"I am not a master blogger. I'm not even very internet savvy. But a workshop on blogging helps me get the opportunity and support necessary for me to walk the path as a learner I expect my students to walk months from now. Not only will I have the insight to answer questions, I'll have the experience of being exactly where they may find themselves to call back upon."
--participant in Weblogs & Beyond (2004-05)
Acting locally Edit
Pockets of innovation are not enough Edit
For several years, a small, innovative group of teachers and consultants in New York City Writing Project have experimented with technology in their classrooms and in summer institutes. Although these explorations in technology have led to provocative pockets of innovation, only a few NYCWP teachers have adopted new technologies into their classrooms. Our goal has been to find ways to connect the NYCWP technology innovators with other NYCWP teachers who have tended be later adopters of technology. We are finding that an essential part of this formula is for teacher-leaders (directors, teacher-consultants, department heads...) to develop their capacities as technology users.
Since November 2004, a group of 19 leaders, consultants, curriculum coaches, and teachers associated with the New York City Writing Project have been meeting the first Saturday of each month to learn about weblogs and other new media. We have been actively inquing into how static web sites, weblogs, wikis, RSS-readers and other new media tools can change the way reading and writing are taught in schools. Each particpant began using weblogs, both personal/professional blogs and group blogs where other colleagues or students collaborate to create community blogs.
Writing teachers learning how to blog Edit
It seems appropriate, that our first wiki-article that we are writing collaboratively has to do with who we are--teachers--and what we are learning how to use--weblogs. Teachers and Weblogs
Where are we? Edit
The seeding of weblogs has begun in the NYCWP, and as the blooms appear, it will become more and more difficult to keep track of it all. This is a list of what is growing now at the end of March 2005.
- A network of small schools where technology coaches team up with a Humanities or English teachers is growing.
- A possible goal is for the NYCWP teacher-consultants to add the role of "technology coach" to their many responsibilities in their schools, acting the way Paul, Richard, and Sandy are in the schools listed above.
- There are other teachers using weblogs and wikis with students on their own:
- Paul Allison and Kate Noel Moss have been working hard to support these teachers, but we need better, systemic, every-week support available to them.
- Some teachers and teacher-consultants have weblogs that they are using with their peers:
- NYCWP Initiatives are important parts of this work too.
Blogs of Interest Edit
It would seem helpful to introduce those unfamiliar with blogging to sites that have interested others or that have been started by others. The question is: Where to put this? Grace is starting the list here, but invites others to comment on the format or location.
- gothamist.com - a New York City news blog
- flickr.com - sort-of blogging using digital images