- participating teachers were largely pleased with the 2014 program, scoring their overall experience at 4.8 on a 5-point scale (i.e., strongly agree program elements were satisfactory)
- writing apprehension decreased in 11 of 16 teacher participants in the 2014 course
- teachers reported significantly increased technology competency on 11 different tools in the 2014 course
- course outcomes have been presented and published in ten different outlets since the 2013 report
- course assistant Mike Cook has archived all of the teacher writing and technology lesson plans across all three years of the course, and aligned each lesson with Moffett's "audience" levels at this Web site: http://ncsuwritinglessonplans.weebly.com
Drs. Pritchard and Oliver have submitted their 2014 report to the Triangle Community Foundation's Borchardt Fund. Highlights from the 2014 report include:
We got started this morning with a discussion about what we did on our last free day. Some went to Bath; others went into London and did various things such as the Evensong at Westminster. It was evident that we all enjoyed our “Last Free Day”.
Then, Mike discussed previous articles.
He made a Point about Feedback and reminded us to remember how we felt when we got red marks on our own papers, feedback should be positive and helpful. He also made a Point about Technology Professional Development, the best kind of technology PD should be ongoing and scaffolded. There is a lot of research that is negative because much of the technology PD in the past has been one time instead of ongoing, and one shot is not the way to go.
Then we we then discussed the MacArthur Chapter 17 Article: Mike suggested we use these kinds of reviews, meta-analysis, when trying to make changes in our teaching as justification for our administrator.
Mike asked questions:
Q1 How do you get your news. Apps, Flipboard, Radio, TV POD casts and audio version of NY Times.(Jeff). We all have learned how to get our news from this variety of media, digital literacy is a little different then literacy. As teachers our job is to help students develop digital literacy skills.
Q2 is there an impact of Digital literacy on new generations of learners? And how students are learning? Elizabeth argued that it may have an impact depending on the way the teacher uses the technology in the classroom.
Jeff presented the idea that we are currently in the beginning of the process, that it will be a generation or more before we can truly measure or see an affect about how the digital tools affect learning and processing information. The Chapter is 10 years old and many things have changed but to actually see a revolution in teaching and learning will take time.
Ruie discussed article on brain activity – and sited research about young people processing visual information differently, as if looking at a screen rather than a page of information.
A conversation about student attention ensued. The question was asked, how we challenge our students to delve deeper rather than just the instant 21st century fast paced information gathering that comes so easily. Ruie sited another article: “Is Google making us stupid?” This presented the idea of training for concentration and mindfulness.
Ruie: Also cited an idea of from someone in North Carolina, Mindful walking, being absorbed by the green in the woods. That a chemical in the green helps to lower blood pressure, today “most people who go outside are “working out” rather than just simply enjoying nature, “Forest Mindfulness”
Mike suggested we ask our students to think about how they can use their technologies to answer school related questions. They use it for their social needs can they apply their technology to a given school practice? Asking our students, how do we think through something rather than just getting the quick answer.
Researchers in Developmental psychology are now studying -delayed gratification… now looking at this concept and asking, is it still developmental now that we have so much instant gratification?
Megan O made the analogy that since being in England without her cell phone, she realized how much she has depended on GPS and suggested we have to teach kids the skills they need in case the digital tools are not there. Mike suggested that we have to teach kids to think about, when to use traditional skills or to ask if there is a digital tool that can be useful.
Jeff or Mike suggested that the technology introduces new skills. The new technologies frees us up to develop in the long term how will we filter the plethora of information and that in generations this will open up room cognitively to move onto something else.
Ruie’s book of knowledge … hyperlink…we have to control ourselves when we are hyperlinking to too many places. Her metaphor a “Jet skier along the surface rather than a diver into the depths”.
Megan M – In her teaching practice asks students to verbalize their thinking she listens to the student and tells them “you just said something smart, write it down. She suggested making time for students to get away from all the stimulus and to stay with their own ideas, quiet time. Quiet time is a strategy, or step to get the students up the ladder to critical thinking and the technology is good for scaffolding, but students need quiet time.
RUIE: write it down as you said it to me, is a common teaching strategy, but teachers need to let go of this strategy for students by age 12. By age 12, student’s writing structure is deeper then their speaking structure.
Megan M. – Presented research about deep reading, that is uses a different part of your brain. Neuro-science research is finding that when reading, deep reading, the brain internalizes someone else’s voice and in effect the reader develops empathy . (Daniel Pink: A Whole New Mind) was referenced.
People may problem solve differently… Mike mentioned transactional theory, as readers we develop an emotional connection to the text.
Wilda – related that marketers now introduce “ Story in advertising” as a marketing strategy to involve the consumer emotionally in the product.
RUIE : Atheistic reading, vs informational reading
Lauren – Menbeam vocabulary APP that helps students make connections to the word. It is a way to make a visual assist for the learner because it provides greater contextual information about the word. Membean: Comprehensive, Engaging Vocabulary Building www.membean.com/
Mike suggests that vocabulary words are authentic if it comes from the students rather than a given list from the teacher. Likes Word Walls … let kids determine which words are important and the teacher slips in any missed words.
The discussion ended,
Megan O – Read the morning Scribe report
Ashliegh – Read the Afternoon Scribe report
Serita – Made her presentation about the Watts Chapel , she started with a quote from Lucinda Lambton who praised the Chapel very much. Then Serita made us laugh when she compared the picture of Watt’s Chapel to the Cathedrals we have been visiting. However, she did present the understanding that the Chapel is much more than what you see on the outside. We learned the Watts family invited everyone from the neighborhood to learn about clay modeling and Mary Watts shared her passion with all. In 1898 Watts Chapel was built and finished in 1905, The reason it took seven years, is because Mary Watts took the best of her students and had them finish the inside of the chapel . Mary made a clay model before the actual chapel was built.
Deb – Made her presentation about The Loseley House
Christy - Made her presentation about Arundel Castle – She taught us that the idea of a town originated with the castle, because once the castle was built and fortified, the people from the surrounding area move inside the walls for safety. She shared the history of Arundel Castle. Castle was destroyed and left for a century then developed again by the Duke of Northrup who decorated it to accommodate Queen Victoria. It has remained in the family and The Duke of Norfolk is the current owner . We will see a jousting festival . The winner in a joust is the Knight who stays on the horse.
RUIE: One More Writing assignment Assignment # 18: A Day in the Life, Poem of Detail (In Class)
Three choices of format for the assignment : A day in the life in England needs to “ring True”
1-Sensual Monologue – start of day to end of day Sensory Monologue (Expressive Form)
2-Spontaneous Memory – Something in your environment sparks you to have a memory, then see something else, and go from memory to memory collecting memories from stimuli in the environment. Something triggers a memory. Something from England that sparks a memory.
3-Descriptinve writing poem has a formula Ruie shared 2 examples
Spent time in class to decide which option we want to do for the “day in the Life” to develop Assignment #18 A Day in the Life, Poem of Detail
Class started without air conditioning in the classroom building, but with wifi so mostly everyone was happy. Kevin led a discussion on chapters 2 and 7 on Wikipedia and inquiry research. Megan M, Lauren, Elizabeth C, and Megan O gave their reports. Lauren did her report on Windsor Castle. Elizabeth C did her report on Bath. Megan M did her report on Canterbury. Megan O did her report on The British Museum. Andrea did her report on Dover,
The class worked on a new technology called GoAnimate and created Duologues, where we re-created conversations we have had with English people while we have been in England.
The Lesson Plan.
After eating lunch on campus, we came back to a rather hot classroom. When we came back, Ruie explained that we were to write a lesson plan that ties in writing and technology for our grade level and/or subject we teach. The lesson plan we generate should be thoughtful, creative, and tie into the Common Core Standards.
Ruie then explained the format for the lesson plan including:
Essential Learning Outcomes Questions
NC Common Core Standards Being Addressed
How the Lesson Will Flow
After the explanation of our assignment we dove into our work until the end of class!
Morning Scribe Report: Monday, July 14, 2014:
As we arrived in class today, we were disappointed to find the internet wireless not responding. But, have no fear! Our determined leaders summoned the “computer guy” to come save the day.
Mike Cook reviewed the purpose of Padlet, which is to post interesting photos that we have taken around town which reflect differences in British and American culture. We were reminded to note under these photos why they are significant and how they demonstrate the differences in our countries.
Several of us described different places that we have visited including Westminster Abbey, Paris, Isle of Wight, Churchill’s War Room, the National Gallery, and Hampton Court.
We reviewed our reading of Pytash Chap. 9. Deb noted the importance of having students take responsibility for their own technology use, while dealing with issues of finding projects that are meaningful and productive. Mike emphasized the necessity of scaffolding and preparing the students to use technology before releasing them to work on their own. Jeff and Mike talked about the importance of differentiating based on the individual student, not just the class as a whole. Wilda shared that this course has alleviated a lot of fear that she had previously had in teaching and using technology in the classroom. Mike and Wilda
discussed how teacher and student collaboration and self-evaluation contributes to learning with technology.
Our discussion continued with the question, “What should drive our writing instruction?” The act of writing, the skills, and processes of the writing process are the starting point with teaching writing. We need to ask ourselves in integrating writing and technology the following questions: First, what skill or standard are we addressing; what evidence-based best practice do we use; and then, thirdly, what technology can we use to best teach these skills?
Megan and Ruie noted that allowing time for writing in class is very important in getting students to get started on their assignments and facilitates motivation in students to complete their reading and writing at home. Mike noted that we need to make writing a safe space for students. Using journals, reflections, and other types of writing help to make writing more comfortable and more the norm, rather than a pressure-filled experience. Mike suggested a dedicated time to allow students to watch you, as a teacher, struggle in developing your own writing, in order for students to understand that the writing process takes discipline and work, even for experienced writers.
At this point, we realized the internet was working. After the scribe reports, Stephanie began her presentation on Highclere Castle, which many of us know from the Masterpiece Theatre series Downtown Abbey. We loved the Youtube video featuring the actors and actresses of the series.
Then, Erin shared her presentation on the Town of Winchester, home of Jane Austen. Some interesting factoids about this town are that the Anglican cathedral dates back to 648(!!), and the town has connections with the legend of King Arthur. In addition, many military museums are there for our exploring.
Ashleigh then introduced Chawton House to us. The manor was historically owned by the Knight family until 1993. Thomas Knight and his wife Catherine adopted the brother of Jane Austen. The Knights provided a cottage in town for the famous author Jane, and her sister.
Karla presented the Jane Austen House Museum where Jane spent the last eight years of her life from 1809-1817. She was an enthusiastic pianist, and she also enjoyed sewing. She wrote Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion while living at the home.
After a short break, Ruie showed us how to make a postcard using an acrostic poem and a zoom-in sentence. We then experimented mimicking the more complicated sentence structures based on the styles of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Joseph Conrad. Ruie then showed us how to write our “Impressions of England” poem using a “sensual” description of our experiences. These formats include a Poem of Opposites, A Poem of the Senses (using similes or the five senses), a Poem of Emotions and Senses (bring with the emotion as the title and use the five sense details to write the poem).
After adventurous trips during our pub walk and trip to the amazing Guildford Castle, we had to rush back to the comforts of air conditioning and somewhat working wi-fi in our lecture hall. What were we so excited about? Well of course we had to get back to our work and begin sharing our geographical Surrey finds via our Google Maps. Sarah was so kind and gracious to share (several times) how to upload all of our pictures to various picture hosting sites such as Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa. As we pinned our places, we discussed how exciting it will be to add to our maps our destinations during the course of this trip.
We shook off last night’s jet lag and traipsed through the crisp, cold morning for our first class hosted in England. We greeted each other—some of us with coffee in hand, all with laptops in tow (Elizabeth C. and I tried the instant coffee machine in the building—not worth the money). We settled into the graciously air-conditioned room and tried to connect to the internet, most of us with much frustration.
We were given a safety demonstration by Brett, told us how easy it was to pull fire alarms and the best places to flee the building in case of an emergency. He also gave us emergency contact numbers (999 for police, 01483683333 for campus police from our cell phones) and reassured us how safe we are.
We had a thorough discussion of Chapter 15, which was about the conflict of Wikipedia as a scholarly source, and how to use it in the classroom. Our main questions we tussled with were: What does academic research look like? and What sources do we trust? Many of the students had insightful comments to make on this complex and controversial topic. Erin gave an argument about the necessity of peer review, and shared the dihydrous monoxide example. Jeff, Deb, and Elizabeth commented on the lack of critical thinking skills that happens with one heavily relies on one open-source website. Jeff made a good point about the necessity of teaching about Wikipedia in particular: “If we don’t allow students to explore Wikipedia in our classrooms, they’re missing out on a very real-life skill.” Deb pointed out the greatness of Wikipedia, that it’s nice to be able to see so much at once and how easy it is to learn about ANYTHING. Mike commented on Deb’s point that this includes digital literacy: can a student read an entire article without being sidetracked by hyperlinks, or are those important for research? Our conversation was productive and intellectual, spurred by the points asserted by the chapter we read. Certainly some ideas have changed on the validity of Wikipedia, and our discussion brought up some new and interesting points on how to conduct research in the classroom.
Some possible other uses of Wikipedia links in augmented research:
After our discussion, Kevin showed us how to work on Assignment 11, which is using Padlet. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s contributions to the site, and what they’re seeing and exploring around England! Erin suggested a good use for Padlet in the classroom was having students post examples of a topic/issue and having the students analyze the examples. Cool idea.
Several students had presentations to share on the places the group is to visit. Jeff showed us an AWESOME YouTube video of what to expect at Guilford castle—the Alice in Wonderland statue looks particularly cool. Wilda gave us a presentation on the British Library. She said we can see a lot of the exhibits online, so we don’t have to stress over seeing every single thing there. The British Library put in 1 million images on flickr, for free! Hopefully we can see cool things like the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s first folio, and a copy of Beowulf, as well as the new graphic comic exhibit. Wilda was also kind enough to provide us Library door cards too. Elizabeth gave a great presentation on pub culture, citing “If you haven’t been to a pub, you haven’t seen Britain.” Caroline gave a great report on the Globe Theater, despite the “aggressive sound effects.” I’m just glad we won’t be seeing any bear baiting.
Finally, Kevin showed us how to customize our own maps on Google, which we were to work on once we’d gone off and taken pictures of Guildford Castle and the town during lunch. We watched one more video on the pub culture in England, rich with history and literary allusions. Then it was time for lunch and exploring!
After interviews, paper work, booking flights, Saturday classes and scanning through emails, we finally made it! We landed at London's Heathrow Airport today around 7 am and waited for our driver to pick us up (Thanks to Kevin for tracking him down). When we arrived at the University of Surrey, Mike, Sarah, and Megan greeted us in the court yard with the keys (and all important internet codes) to our new homes. Shortly after we dropped off our luggage, we ventured out on a campus tour, courtesy of Mike and Sarah. The leg work didn't stop there, as we walked to the local Tesco to stock up on groceries. We arrived back to our dorms, dazed, confused, and hungry, finally giving in to our jet lag.
For dinner, we ventured down to High Street and ate at The Three Pigeons, a local pub. We marveled at the cobble stone streets and old world charm of the downtown area. After a delicious dinner and walk back to campus, the sun started setting on our first day in England. Tomorrow will start our first official day of class where we will learn about Google Maps, the Pub culture, and tour Guildford Castle and Museums.
After lunch, Mike introduced comical conversations. We are going to create dialogue between ourselves and the historical figure we chose for our poem. It could be written any way we wanted as long as these was back and forth conversation. This will be done on a Google Doc and then transferred to ToonDoo.
After we had some time to create our dialogue, Megan gave us a walk through of ToonDo. She promised it would go much smoother than Glogster! This site allowed us to create a comic strip, set a background, choose characters, and add in speech bubbles. As we started working, everyone was finding creative settings along with some scandalous characters. We discovered how we could change their emotions and postures to enhance our comic. There was a lot of laughter and everyone had a great time creating their comical conversations. Mike was able to help many of us when we had a glitch here and there. It was a great project and it will be fun to read everyone's books after they are finished!
Chrissy gave us the scribe report from last Saturday morning. Mike went through some last minute tips and things we need to know before our journey. We also were able to ask questions of anything on our mind.
1. Make sure you call your bank and credit card companies.
2. It is your choice, but you may want to convert some money before you leave.
3. We have a kitchen in our dorm. When we get into town, you can go get food to keep in your room.
4. There are not coffee makers in your room! Ruie reminded us there is a Starbucks on campus.
5. Keep a log of your purchases or receipts for taxes.
6. Ruie will show us a comical video of how to use the laundry machines when we arrive.
7. Cashpoints Global card is an option to keep money, and not cash, with you.
8. Go to your bank and ask them about the "chip and pin" feature on your credit cards. It is the gold chip on the front of your card. If you do not have one you may need to get one.
9.Bring a computer with an ethernet port.
10. Call your cell phone carrier's international department to purchase a data plan that works for you. Mike said last time he just needed WIFI. TURN OFF YOUR TEXTING! Skype is a great alternative Lauren mentioned Viber as well.
11. You can photo copy your passport, DL, and CC and have a set with someone you trust and another set in your luggage.
12. Have a range of clothes.
13. step.state.gov--You can go on and register for the embassy.
14. Bring a little notebook.
15. You need some type of alarm clock.
16. Have something to hold your coins in.
17. Know the address of where we are staying to tell customs. It is on the Weebly page. Just say you are on vacation.
Lastly, we filled out a pre self-assessment for cross-cultural adaptability. When we were finished we were all set to go. See you all in England!