I am reading a book called The Art of Critical Pedagogy: Possibilities for Moving from theory to practice in urban schools, which is filled with very empowering ways to engage students who have been marginalized in schools. Other books I have read in the past month that have a lot of Student-driven action projects and ideas for engagement: Deep Knowledge: learning to teach science for understanding and equity by Douglas B. Larkin; Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation by Christopher Emdin; Teaching Science for Social Justice by Angela Calabrese Barton, and Democratic Science Teaching: building expertise to empower low income minority youth in science by Basu, Calabrese, and Tan. and Empowering Science and Mathematics in Urban Schools by Tan, Calabrese, & Barton. For science teachers there seems not to be a lot on the subject of teaching for social justice compared to teachers of other subjects so I thought this list could prove helpful if this is something you are interested in.
If I listen to these again, I notice some edits that are needed … such as all characters are called “sprites” and the sprites in the original I remixed are called “Mini-figs.”
The seven things I notice this Sunday? Connected learning (ie “It doesn’t need to be Earth-shattering to be meaningful”) … Connected learning (ie. “Every student has their own unique strengths and interests”) .. Connected learning (ie. “I have had several experiences in working in various communities just in the past week!”) …. Connected learning (ie. a Modge Podge How-to) … Connected learning (ie. high school math teachers sharing) … Connected learning (ie. coaching, learning, teaching and leading) … Connected learning (creation of new blog that works better for its author).
While I have a great deal of respect for Scratch as a forum and a platform for visual programming and creation, I haven’t done that much myself in it as a creator. So I figured I would start with a remix during this week of remix and play in ED677 … Here it is: “Save Mr. Frog & Ms. Cat: A Mini-Figs Remix”
Can you save Ms. Cat from going in the water while allowing the Mr. Frog to make it to the pond? It’s kind of tricky! :)
It’s true … I lost The Game. (To find out more about The Game watch the beginning of our gathering last night with @chadsansing.)
Here’s the hack: we have been doing Find 5 Fridays (#f5f) but a proposal was put forward to instead do a #Seek6Saturday (or #Search7Sunday even to up the ante) giving us all a bit more time and space for our explorations.
Happy #S6S/#S7S all!
If you ever thought that twitter was just for sharing what you had for breakfast, then you probably never had a twitter chat with Joe Dillon regarding #techquity.
This past Wednesday evening, Joe Dillon – a colleague of mine from the Denver Area Writing Project and instructional technologist for the Aurora Public Schools – visited my ED677 class at Arcadia via Google hangout. I had invited him to come because we are starting to naming equities/inequities in connected learning and teaching and I was interested in the #techquity conversation he had been leading recently via social media:
- Five Entry Points into the #techequity Conversation @ Digital Is
- Why #techquity @ Educator Innovator
This was also the first twitter chat that we had done in ED677. And for several of those participating, the first use of twitter at all. But bravely the group dove in … both as readers as well as tweeters. And it was not about breakfast at all. In fact, Joe took us right into a set of deep and important topics regarding the use of new technologies for learning and unpacking equity/inequity.
The design of this chat was based on work by Peter Below re: doubting/believing which has been iterated many times and in many ways by educators over the years. Joe Dillon iterated it once again, posting images of statements drawn from a set of five curated-by-Joe blog posts we had read beforehand, and then asked us to respond with I believe … #techquity or I doubt … #techquity.
1. Believe and doubt….#techquity pic.twitter.com/9ReEJI210T
2. Believe and doubt. #techquity pic.twitter.com/4qkH10LAM6
3. Believe and doubt. #techquity pic.twitter.com/g7HS1XLD14
4. Believe and doubt. #techquity pic.twitter.com/XzHAUDNomA
5. Believe and doubt. #techquity pic.twitter.com/ZgU9xccPkq
6. Believe and doubt. #techquity (4 minute warning.) pic.twitter.com/5SRbnoAzY4
You can see the full transcript of our chat.
I have reflections on this to share since then that cover a range of topics related to this chat …
First, I have been thinking about the topic of #techquity and the form/facilitation of this chat to get underneath these complex systemic issues. I am struck by the power of it actually, not to finish a conversation but to start some …. I noticed this week (and yes, this is the first of my 5 things this week) that the quality of the blog posts by those participating in ED677 have just rocketed forward … I see a lot less abstract ideas and many more personal reflections about self and practice (note added: I actually love abstract - and think it’s important - but also need to get down to it too. So both/and :). And in getting to equity, I think that kind of personal and visceral response and shared reflection is necessary and promising.
I do, however, also feel like I threw everyone in this week … unintentionally? I’m not sure and I’ve been thinking/reflecting about that all week since the chat. I know these topics are big topics and in some ways I know that I do feel like we just have to go at them, together and in community, to make any progress at all. But/and I realize that we are all still new to each other, most of the participants in this class are new to using social tools in this way, and that we haven’t really had much conversation about equity yet. On the other hand, how do you get to underneath these difficult topics unless you just go there – and I mean that content wise as well as technology wise. And as adult learners I think we have to go there with our full selves and as learners and peers. If we don’t how will we ever support youth in grappling with what is hard and challenging about all of this?
I’m reminded of the Buddhist concept of approaching each thing with a beginner’s mind. And if we can do this together, what are the implications? That’s the question I am left with and in the weeks ahead I hope we can reflect on this even more as we move into a focus on our syllabus on inquiry communities, practitioner research and communities of practice (both on and offline).
(That all said … I also probably could have/should have provided a bit more support for jumping in because, as you know if you’ve ever been on a twitter chat, these things are a bit frenetic. Everyone did great though and while I am comfortable with everyone choosing for themselves whether to be a reader or a tweeter or somewhere in-between, whenever the technology and/or the content is new. And I probably also could have made that clear from the get-go … as the authorized teacher of this class, even though I am interested in prompting a peer-based way of working together, I realize I have a certain authority that I need to also accept and address in these kinds of situations. So note to self … and happy to get feedback from those in ED677 about this too.)
That’s my second find this week – both my own learning and checking in as well as how impressed I am by how everyone in the class is making their own decisions and and working through their own questions while also working with each other in these new environments. Kudos all around.
My third find this week has to go to Joe himself. I am impressed by his attention and commitment to this conversation and to his vision of continuing to support it by connecting it to other activities and conversations happening both on and offline. For example, colleagues of his joined us from the Aurora Public Schools and this is clearly an important thread of conversations happening there right now … we were also joined by Kim Douillard, a colleague from the San Diego Area Writing Project who earlier that day we had noticed online working with local colleagues to #createquity. Joe and Kim have in many ways had important impact on my own thinking over time, I always appreciate their shared leadership and insight into these discussions, and I appreciate Joe creating opportunities to bring the pieces together.
My fourth find this week is related to ongoing questions I have about how to continue this discussion about equity in connected learning (ie. #clequity). I saw Selma last night, for example, which just reminds me again how important it is to share powerful stories of change and justice … and before that I spent last weekend at Educon where thought leaders such as Melinda Anderson, Jose Vilson and Rafranz Davis encouraged conversations about privileged voices in education. Melinda Anderson, in particular, struck cords within me related to the value of ethnic studies for all students as well as a demand, as a parent, that the education community do something about the lack of educators of color in the profession in a “Connections” panel on Sunday (note to self: will try to find the livestream or transcript of this).
Then my fifth find has to go to the authors Joe evoked in this “five entries” blog post … as well as all those who continue to write/share and surface the essential questions, tensions and systemic implications of inequality and injustice whether in education or society more generally. A few things I noticed online and bookmarked just this week that relate include:
- Our #techquity chat reminded me of this great post, Do Our Students Have Access?, by colleague Katie McKay of the Heart of Texas Writing Project from a few years back;
- As a follow-up, a Denver colleague of Joe’s @LauraBFogle sent me some research this week I still need to read but I greatly appreciate;
- (added) Joe also tweeted this excerpt from a podcast featuring Ernest Morrell among others … I bookmarked the full podcast to go back to this weekend;
- Following @innovates_ed I noticed a tweet about a Huffington Post article with resources posted by my colleague Cliff Lee and Youth Radio called Nurturing Conscious Digital Natives;
- In a discussion about webmaking with my colleague Chad Sansing he reminded me of this great ignite presentation by Nashant Shah on Reframing Re-Mix …
- … which then led me to this important interview with Nishant Shah (who always asks key critical questions) about whether we overestimate the potential of the Internet for participation and democracy;
- Tuesday night I also tapped into the start of a new Contemporary Civic Life series being broadcast from Colorado State University/Writing Project. This broadcast featured colleagues Danielle Filipiak and Nicole Mirra was called Creating Spaces where Choices Can be Made: Critical Literacy in 21st Century Classrooms;
- Finally yesterday, I noticed @DrCamikaRoyal tweeting a new post by Melinda Anderson called Awakening a Black Child’s Consciousness and Curiosity.
I am filled with gratitude.