At about 12:32 awesome Andrea begins her usual recycle campaign. Reduce, Reuse, Recyle those Honeybaked boxes (and Coke bottles..Sorry Andrea).
Dr. Pritchard takes us on our imaginative and medatative journey about our dream room. We were instructed to explore the room with our senses, and when we had a clear vision we were to open our eyes and jot down what we had dreamed up.
Dr. Pritchard brought as back to reality and told us to look and make sure all 5 senses were touched on. Smell is often left out Dr. Pritchard informed us.
Erin: Sliding glass door is slightly ajar and the breeze, caught by white curtains
Wilda: Predawn, coffee smells, china being brought in
Sarita: Carmela the guinea pig, smells of cleaning supplies, unpleasant animal smells.
Kristi: Sounds of the shore, and pages turning.
Karla: Sand on the feet, waves crashing, hand carved furniture, curtains blowing in the wind. Smells of hibiscus flowers
Dr. Oliver showed us the site Flickr, where there are free and copyright photos. We used pixlr to add and edit our dream room writing into pictures.
We had some troubles with Pixlr, so Andrea used PicMonkey.com
After finishing our collages, we worked on our letters to self. We logged onto Lettrs.com and wrote letters to ourselves to be delivered on August 14th.
Some of the prompts were:
1. Make a record of how you currently feel on this day
2. Set a few goals that you hope to accomplish before the trip
3. Describe your expectations and anticipations about traveling abroad
One by one, we straggled in to class, all thinking the same thing - it is EARLY! Many of us are celebrating our first Saturday of summer vacation, and so we spent our time reminiscing, and sharing memories of the completed school year.
Mike and Christina discussed the fact that we will need to find a gym while in Surrey. The hunt will begin upon arrival! A possible backup plan is to hold fitness classes in our dorms. All are welcome!
As we waited for classes to start today, we explored google docs, and worked on sharing our stories with our group members.
Mike has postponed our discussion about the Pytash readings (Chapter 14, Chapter 11, and Chapter 1) for later this afternoon. Instead, we briefly shared the most important aspects of the reading, and what we took away from the selections as a whole. The topic of feedback was one that the entire class reacted to. We discussed how we can make feedback meaningful in our classroom, and how feedback can be used to help students improve, and help them become invested in their work.
Sarita has already been taking items from our seminars into her classroom. She had her first grade students complete the "Where I am From" poem, and shared a piece of student work. We all agreed that it was very well written for a first grader! Sarita placed the completed poems into a frame, and sent them home with the students as an end of year gift. Way to go Sarita! Ruie mentioned the possibility of creating a class poem, where each student contributes one line, eventually pulled together in a whole poem. This could be a cool "get to know you" class activity for the beginning of the year.
Scribes from last class reminded us of what happened two weeks ago. Caroline's pictures were fantastic pieces of evidence to demonstrate our learning. Ruie introduced a visitor from Turkey who has come to listen to our Guest Speaker, Dr. Engle.
Our introductory activity for today involved making an alliterative adjective that worked with our names. I have listed the items that we chose below.
Captivating Christina (Kristi)
and last but not least, Missing Megan.
****A sheet was passed around confirming our arrival dates, and the days that each of us will be in the dorms. Please find this sheet and confirm that your dates are correct! ****
After we completed the naming activity, Ruie asked us to self-evaluate our ability to handle criticism. Once we were aware of these scores, and what they meant, we broke into our writing groups, and refreshed our memories on the rules of peer editing; no apologizing, start with positive attributes, go in a circle and give everyone a chance to give feedback. The groups scattered and began sharing.
Ruie introduced our fabulous guest speaker who entered to speak about the Brontes.
Dr. Engle has been working with Dr. Pritchard and this program for several years. Thank you Ruie for having such a wonderfully original name which caught the attention of Dr. Engle! We made brief introductions and were on our way to experience the brilliance that is Dr. Engle!
Dr. Elliot Engle is a former teacher at NCSU, and is a world-renown speaker, writer, and scholar. He tells us all about the tragic life of the Bronte family, detailing their childhoods, young adulthood, and entrance into young authorship. After hearing his presentation, we have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the life and genius of the Bronte family. Also, it helps us appreciate Charlotte Bronte, and the impact that she had on writing.
Then Lunch arrived and we were happy.
May 31, 2014 afternoon session of Integrating Writing and Technology
12:56 PM The chatter from our lunchtime died down while Andrea led the recycling brigade and we received our loaner IPads with Story Analyser loaded on them. Trays of Lego pieces appeared at our tables. We were going to create Lego stories!
Dr. Kevin Oliver brought our attention to points from chapter 5, “Thinking About Story.” Especially helpful was the Visual Portrait of a Story (a blueprint for the progression of a story), and Table 8.1, The Eight Levels of Transformation. Many of us used these tools to pre-write our stories.
Kerri Brown-Parker, NCSU College of Education Librarian, explained digital storytelling, and gave us a secret code to log on to NCSU’s actual website so we could email our Lego stories to ourselves when we completed our masterpieces.
Kerri explained that Digital Storytelling can be useful in any curricula. It enhances writing and application skills and supports multiple literacies. One benefit is that It can garner immediate feedback through you tube publishing and other media.
She showed us an example of poor use, in which the student learned very little, mostly copying and pasting text (illegally). Then we saw an example of a digital story in which the student showed evidence of specific learning, and of personalizing the information and presenting it in an engaging way. As with any other learning vehicle, teachers and students decide the degree of effectiveness.
Kerri suggested using a variety of storytelling apps, in order to switch to the least costly one at the moment. There are many apps for stories listed on the website used in today’s class:
http://go.ncsu.edu/metrc Click on instruction and then digital storytelling
Kerri explained the steps of our project:
—write the story,
--build scenes from the story using Legos,
--photograph the scenes by placing the Lego platform and characters in front of an open manila folder, our “set” for our miniature play
--put the text and pictures together within the Story Visualizer app on our loaner IPads; select layout, font, effects, etc.
--take a screen shot of the final version of the story
--email the story to ourselves
--put our Lego story on our personal Weebly portfolio page
We were told to write the story first, or find our Lego pieces first, for story inspiration. There was a momentary pause after Kerri stopped speaking.
After about 11 stunned seconds, people began madly scribbling story ideas, diving into Lego trays for chains (Lauren), a magic wand and a magnifying glass (Wilda), asking for tape to show that the character’s head had been cut off (Jeff), feeling pressured to get something done--and quick!, feeling creative, feeling supported (Sara standing behind Wilda coaching her through the process), getting a Coke Zero (Kevin), getting a cookie or another piece of Megan’s delicious cake, feeling pleased with our struggle and subsequent success.
Wow, another technology achievement. This is beginning to feel doable to some of us, old hat to many, exciting for all.
By the time we get together again we will have written our essays, shared them with someone outside our peer group, then prepared to share them with our peer group in class on June 14.
We’re also sharing on the google doc what side trips we’re interested in, and making plans as small groups for those.
What a ride!
I. Chapter 5 Discussion
We kicked things off with a lively discussion on Chapter 5, "Fostering Student Writing-to-Learn through App Affordances." Mike posed a question: What are some obstacles of incorporating technology in the classroom, specifically iPads? Our thoughts: budget constraints (attaining the iPads), limited resources (being unable to purchase apps that aren't free), the potential for students to damage equipment, logistics (items not charged, cords missing, etc), and the fact that adding technology sometimes increases the difficulty of the lesson unnecessarily. Although there are challenges, we discussed the many benefits of using technology such as the opportunity to foster collaboration, the chance for everyone to have a voice in a safe environment, and the development of writing and communication skills multi-modally (<-- real word). We transitioned into discussing the evolution of publishing students' work. In the old days, "publishing" a student's work meant printing their essay and stapling it on the bulletin board. Today, students can publish their work virtually through countless websites, programs, and apps and it can reach a much wider audience much faster. To end the conversation, we concluded that we are all students in the continually changing and growing field of technology!
II. Scribe Reports-Session 1
Next, we heard scribe reports from Jeff and Elizabeth S. recapping last session's adventures. They reviewed the lessons, discussions, and yummy lunch we experienced as a group for the first time!
III. Ice Breaker 2-Trading Cards
IV. Guest Speaker-Travel Tips
Dr. Gareth Cordery, gentleman and scholar, arrived to enlighten us with some travel tips for London. Thank you, Dr. Cordery, for spending part of your birthday with us, and thank you for the very useful information! Noteworthy items:
V. Peer Response-Rules & Sharing
Ruie led a discussion on peer response to writing. There are several rules to promote an accepting, safe, and productive environment for peer response, such as sitting in a circle facing one another and not apologizing for or explaining one's work. Writers take turns reading their paper as the responders silently listen and take notes. Next, the members each respond with positive feedback as the writer silently listens and jots down useful comments. After the first round of response, peers may show where they were confused, ask for elaboration, give suggestions, etc. Writers can now respond to questions and there may be a discussion about the writing. Post-response group, writers may consider feedback and make any adjustments to their work.
We were then assigned peer groups for our next assignment. We will compose an essay, then use Dr. Gladhorn's model to construct a response within our groups. The model has prompts the responders may use to provide useful suggestions to the writer as they progress through the paper.
To practice, Ruie provided us with a draft of an essay of her's to review and several members of the group provided feedback. Ruie then listed feedback given by another peer group and how she incorporated their responses into the draft.
VI. Google Docs overview & Peer Mark-Up; Research Feature
Megan gave us a brief tutorial on Google Docs and the difference between using Google Drive and uploading a Word document. The benefit of the latter is the ability to add comments on the text. This could be useful when constructing a peer response.
Sara showed us how to cite resources on Google Docs and encouraged the use of Google Scholar to find legitimate information. If you go through Google Docs>Google Scholar, the source will automatically be cited at the bottom of your page. You can simply drag an image onto your page and it will provide a footnote.
Now that we’d finished our delicious sandwiches and treats (complements of Honey Make Ham Co Catering), it was time to get back to our learning…
The Where I’m From Poem: