On Wednesday, June 25th, we spent three hours with the Tech Matters group from the Denver Writing Project at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. These are K-16 teachers who are interested in learning how to best use technology to support and enhance classroom instruction. Educational technology tools and platforms can have very rapid life cycles, and trying to stay on top of all these changes can be daunting when added on top of a full teaching load, parent-guardian communication, lesson planning, grading, and so on. By working together, professional learning communities such as Tech Matters make it easier for teachers to share information. This summer, the group’s convening focused on issues of social justice and connectivity.
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Last week, David Cole of CV2 and I went to Denver, CO to hack notebooks with the second cohort of Intersections and the Denver Writing Project’s Tech Matters group. Then on Saturday, we ran a workshop with The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. This week, we’ll be looking at these different groups and reflecting on what we learned working with these different constituencies.
Intersections is a National Science Foundation-sponsored project lead by the National Writing Project (NWP) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) that supports the collaboration of formal and informal educators to develop learning experiences for youth that connect science and literacy. Five teams of classroom teachers and museum educators from across the country gathered for the week to explore topics including design thinking, the very real power of informal science education, scientific narrative and argumentation and education experiences as game design. NEXMAP is all about working on the edge of unexpected or non-traditional ideas, spaces and media, so we felt right at home.
Last month, David Cole of CV2 and I went up to Everett, WA to give two professional development workshops on paper circuitry with middle school math teachers and elementary school teachers. Being former English teachers ourselves, it was really great to see how math teachers would approach this work and what connections they would make. We weren’t disappointed! They came up with fantastic ideas for using Jie’s circuit stickers in the classroom.
We had a great time at the Digital Media and Learning (DML) conference in Boston last week. DML, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, has been convening researchers, educators, educational technology industry professionals, and other stakeholders around issues of engaging youth in and out school to become digital media creators, active in civic matters, and lifelong learners. NEXMAP and CV2 presented Saturday afternoon with Jie Qi of the MIT Media Lab, Natalie Freed, and Paul Oh of the National Writing Project (NWP) on our 21st Century Notebooking initiative. We led workshop participants through an activity of storytelling through paper circuitry.
Teachers, SFUSD staff, and museum educators gathered at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum to explore how science inquiry and fine art can combine to create rich interdisciplinary units for students across the K-12 spectrum for a day of professional development as part of the Science, Literacy, and Arts Integration in the Twenty-First Century (SLANT) program. Click here to read more.