Ever since our first Advanced Summer Institute for Technology in 2000 teachers in the New York City Writing Project have strived to bring the work we do with students to more and more colleagues. Decades of theory, research and tested practice in the teaching of reading and writing across the curriculum are re-mediated (Bolter and Grusin, 2000) through our work with new media in classrooms, workshops and institutes for teachers.
Two projects that NYCWP teachers have developed over the past ten years, Youth Voices and Teachers Teaching Teachers, foster networks of students and teachers both locally and nationally.
Youth Voices is a school-based social network that was started in 2003 by a group of NYCWP and National Writing Project teachers, merging earlier blogging projects into one new platform. YV’s mission is to support individual students to read and write about their own passions, to connect with other students, comment on each other’s work, through writing and multimedia. It’s been exciting for the teachers involved with Youth Voices to pool knowledge about curriculum and digital literacies, and we welcome any teacher interested in participating in Youth Voices.
Teachers Teaching Teachers started in the early months of 2006 when Paul Allison, Lee Baber, and Susan Ettenheim started making their private Skype conversations public. The goal of this endeavor was to crowdsource planning and fast track additional teachers into some relevant professional development in technology while building communities of practice. Paul Allison, Monika Hardy, and Chris Sloan currently host conversations about teaching and learning every Wednesday evening at 9:00 EST (Americas). In the summer of 2011, the TTT podcasts shifted to videocasts, and meet on Google+ Hangouts On Air, which are embedded live at EdTechTalk. These conversations are then posted on YouTube and they are archived as a podcast on Teachers Teaching Teachers, at EdTechTalk and in iTunes.
Together we are searching for the most effective practices in technology, reading and producing research, and improving our knowledge of new media by using it ourselves. Two core purposes drive this process: developing teacher knowledge and leadership in our own schools and districts and putting this knowledge and leadership to work to improve student online reading and writing through the use of social networks, blogs, wikis, podcasts and webcasts.