connected learning

Connected Learning with Youth Voices

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Summary: Youth Voices is a connected-learning site that hosts digital learning curriculum openly available for teachers, based in sound theory about the teaching of writing. You will find incredible student work related to current events and issues, playlists that students and teachers can use, podcasts, and more. You can explore the student writing through the highlighted “Daily 25 Featured Discussions” on the homepage or visit the categories along the top of the page to find student writing on specific topics. No matter how you explore the site you are sure to be drawn to youth taking a stand and writing about some of the most pressing issues of the day.
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Service to School: Creating Connections, Creating Democratic Cultures—from The Activist Learner

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Author: Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Whitney Douglas, and Sara W. Fry

Summary: This sample chapter from The Activist Learner explores how the school itself can become a site for service learning. Two examples are discussed in detail: 1) engaging students in the process of documenting the school’s history; and 2) transforming school culture through a civic participation framework. A valuable resource for service learning curriculum design, this chapter also focuses on service learning as an important form of inquiry.
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Bioethics, Informed Consent, and Open Networks: The Story of Bioethics Day

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Author: Jennifer Smyth

Summary: This collection of materials, inspired by a shared reading in English and Biology classes of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, describes the planning and presentation of Bioethics Day as a “day of learning” for students from three high schools. The materials include explanatory videos and planning information, as well as a description of how the project demonstrates connected learning, and a frank discussion of privacy and the pros and cons of open network projects. This resource may be useful in working with teachers across content areas who are interested in creating projects that invite students to share their learning beyond the classroom. 
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Reading in a Participatory Culture (NWP Radio)

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Summary: This radio show discusses the book Reading in a Participatory Culture and the complementary digital book Flows of Reading. The show examines what it means to be a reader and writer in an increasingly participatory and social culture, in which readers read across different media and understand reading as an act of sharing, deconstructing, and making meaning. This resource is useful in digital learning professional development and also offers curricular ideas, including an extended discussion of how the authors worked with an inner city theater director to re-think Moby-Dick in this new context. A few sections may be of special interest: at 2:31, Erin Reilly discusses the book’s “big idea”–what it means to talk about reading in a participatory culture. At 10:55 a description of teacher professional development begins. Around 40:20, discussion moves to the Moby-Dick project.
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Building LRNG Badges: Beyond Graphics

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Author: Paul Allison

Summary: This resource offers access to two in-depth discussions about LRNG playlists and corresponding online assignments/tasks leading to badges that youth receive for their career-based digital work. Teachers in the New York City Writing Project talk through the Badge Builder on LRNG in the first video. In the second, Paul Allison (NYCWP) and Chris Sloan (Wasatch Range WP) talk through the building of an entire set of guidelines and digital tasks based on two photography playlists. This rich task-oriented discussion considers students first and takes educators who want to build such a badging system through the process.
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Breaking the Boundaries of Texts: Video Game and Literacy Curriculum Development for English Language Learners

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Author: Nora A. Peterman, Lan Ngo, Robert J. LeBlanc, Susan Goldstein

Summary: This article describes a study of a literacy video game designed to help English learners negotiate new vocabulary and unfamiliar language structures as they read. The game, collaboratively created on Gamestar Mechanic by a team including a public high school teacher, actively engaged that teacher’s EL students who developed a sense of ownership over their learning. The authors discuss gaming as a literacy practice and suggest how it might be adapted to other contexts. This article may be useful in professional-development discussions of EL students and multimodality and could be a suggested reading as teachers develop inquiry into these issues.
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A Fourth Grade Service Learning Project Engages English Learners

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Author: Robert Rivera-Amezola

Summary: In this video, a teacher of fourth-grade English learners describes how he integrated service learning and digital literacy in a civic engagement project. They used “My Voice,” a service-learning framework, as a guide to choose a project about water conservation and pollution. The teacher made information accessible to his students via videos and images as well as language by using the website Discovery Education. The students wrote blogposts, and completed webquests, podcasts, and digital presentations.  The resources that supported this work along with the student outcomes are made available on the video as models for teacher study groups.
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Youth Voices Summer Program

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Summary: This Youth Voices website gives a detailed look into a multi-week summer youth writing program including examples of student work (writing, video, and audio) as well as a detailed weekly and daily agenda. Included in the agendas are links to many of the activities and resources used throughout the camp. In addition to providing a a detailed look at a youth camp, the site offers significant resources for those considering badges and badging.
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#engchat: Community, Conversation and Collaboration for English Teachers

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Author: Meenoo Rami

Summary: The creater of #engchat, Meenoo Rami, describes how #engchat began as a weekly online chat for English teachers and has grown into a platform that has thousands of followers and hundreds of weekly tweets and retweets. Read a little about #engchat here and then join the conversation on Twitter.
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Social Media as Professional Development

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Author: Melinda Rench

Summary: Social media, including platforms such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, offer teachers new and ongoing opportunities to connect with other teachers and literacy leaders in ways that were not possible for previous generations of educators. This short article offers a look into a few ways that one teacher has opened up her professional network and grown her pedagogical practice via social media. Have a read and then head out to Twitter, Facebook, the NWP Medium blog, or some other platform and get involved in the conversation.
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