Author: Ken Martin
Summary: Ken Martin, director of the Maine WP, shares lessons learned in transitioning MWP’s Invitational Institute from a traditional face-to-face summer program to a year round online institute. This comprehensive study reviews the rationale for moving to an online institute; the successes, struggles, and modifications implemented during the first several iterations; how roles and relationships changed as a result of the move; and how the touchstone activities and rituals of the Summer Institute translate to an online environment. In addition, helpful examples of and protocols for how to translate writing groups, writing marathons, peer response groups, and mentoring to an online environment are included in the appendices. Whether looking to simply incorporate more online components into a PD experience or transitioning to/developing a fully online experience, you will find this report to be an invaluable resource.
Original Date of Publication: 2015
Both the traditional ISI and the new, hybrid format were oriented toward three core values of the National Writing Project:
- Teacher as writers: In any discipline, teachers who write themselves are the most effective teachers of writing;
- Teachers as colleagues: A reflective and informed community of practice is in the best position to design and develop comprehensive writing programs; and,
- Teachers as leaders: Teachers who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other teachers.
These principles are reflected in fellows’ institute activity: writing and sharing their writing; reading and discussion of current issues in education; and, sharing their own effective practices through the teaching demonstration. Students or fellows in the institute are K-University teachers and administrators drawn from many disciplines, although historically English Language Arts have been more highly represented. Many fellows enroll in the MWP as nondegree graduate students interested in professional development and then go on to enter a masters degree program in education.
Original Source: National Writing Project, http://umaine.edu/mainewritingproject/files/2015/06/Changing-Times-06-01-2015.pdf