Nashua Teacher Walkout

Interesting article over at Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed today. It's about the Nashua High Schools in NH. Seems there's going to be a job action, and the students there are using digital video, blogs, and other social networking tools to cover the walkout. Wonder if they were inspired by the recent Hollywood writers strike use of similar tools to draw attention to their cause and keep people informed. Anyway, this seems pretty relevant to the discussion going on in the other Will Richardson post about NCTE standards. I think it's pretty marvelous that these students seem both media savvy, tech enhanced AND engaged in issues in their world.

What's most interesting is the discussion going on amongst the students of these two students on "the wall" of their Facebook profile.


WNYC Radio Lab

As I think I've mentioned before, I have a twenty five minute commute to work. For the past year or so, I've been exploring free podcasts from iTunes to help keep me awake while driving (which is really, really important). I've hit upon a couple of great podcasts, one of which I'd like to focus on right now.

I know you know about This American Life, the great NPR radio show (and podcast available for free at iTunes) hosted by Ira Glass. Each week they present a theme, and share a couple of stories that are variations on that theme. This is a great podcast and it's 10-20 minute segments make great resources for the classroom. But this isn't the podcast I want to talk about today.

Today I want to talk about WNYC's Radio Lab. The concept is simple. Every week they define a topic (deception, laughter, space, mortality, zoos, detective stories most recently) and then do a scientific/social inquiry into the topic. It is hosted by Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad. It's a great 55 minutes and routinely has me shaking my head at the revelations/facts/interviews.

The reason why I am sharing this today is because I just finished listening to their War of the Worlds podcast (this one is live, usually they are in studio). It's an analysis/inquiry into the H.G. Wells/Orson Welles radio drama. They talk about technique, the impact of the drama, and look into other instances of this happening. Well, I'm too young to remember this, but one instance they discuss was done on Buffalo radio in like 1968, which caused mass panicked calls to local police stations and a mass of Canadian troops at the Peace and Rainbow bridges. Wikipedia has this to say:
Perhaps the most famous remake was by WKBW in Buffalo, NY, which aired a modernized update in 1968, produced by the station's news department. In this version, which was revised for airing in 1971 and 1975, Martians invaded the Niagara Falls area. Like the original, this realistic version also inspired listener panic, despite reassurances throughout the broadcast that it was only a dramatization.
Anyway, it was a great show and all, but more importantly I think that a teacher could get a lot of mileage out of this one. It would work great across disciplines, as the program finally meanders into a discussion of more common and prevalent examples of the media inducing fear in the populace (like the 11 o'clock news or today's Buffalo News coverage of H. McCarthy Gipson's announcement about gangs rear ending drivers.) Plus, there's the literature connection (H.G. Wells), the scientific connnection (physiological effects of fear). Seems like there's a wealth of stuff there.

Mary Jo Gill published in The Buffalo News

Congratulations! to Mary Jo Gill, (2004 Fellow). Her article, "It's Time to Awaken from Winter Slumber," was published in the My View section of the Buffalo News on March 21.



Congratulations! to Kristen Frawley (1999) and Jennifer Borowicz (2206).
Both fellows were honored by the West Seneca School District at the Partners in Education Breakfast.
The Partners in Education event is a celebration of education, the West Seneca Community, and the history of the West Seneca School District.

Update! Evelyn Brady - Peaceprints

from Suzanne:

Yesterday [we mentioned] Peaceprints, the book that our own Evelyn Brady (1994 Fellow) edited about Sister Karen Klimczak and her firm beliefs in nonviolence.
Julie Ricci (1987 Fellow) and Tom O'Malley (1986 Fellow) are two of the thirty authors in the book.
The book will be launched on April 12, with a reception from 2:00pm - 4:00pm at the Sister Karen Center for Nonviolence at 80 Durham St in Buffalo. Evelyn has extended an invitation to all interested WP Fellows.
You can find more information at http://www.sisterkarencenter.org/
Recently Evelyn, Sister Jean Klimczak (Sister Karen's sister) and Audrey Mang, representing the SSJ Sister Karen Center for Nonviolence were interviewed by John Sommers of Channel 7.
That interview will be aired on Channel 7 tomorrow, Good Friday, at 4:00pm.
The program will share Sister Karen’s spirit and ministry and how her memory is being kept alive through the book.
We can be very proud of these WP Fellows and their dedicated work.

Educator Savings Week at Borders

I was walking through the Quaker Crossing Borders in Orchard Park yesterday when I heard this announcement:

Teachers, librarians, homeschoolers, professors and other educators, join us for food, fun and prizes during our Special Reception, Friday, April 4 from 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Borders stores.
I called today and found out that Tom Colson, author of A Girl Named Pants, will be signing books from 6-8. He will be accompanied by the actual girl named Pants. The 25% discount is being offered all week, with 4/4 being the last day.

- Joel


Congrats Salamone!

Please join me in congratulating our newsletter editor, Chris Salamone (2003).

Chris also edits, The Provocator, the newspaper of the Buffalo Teachers Federation. This newspaper has won three Awards of Merit in the New York State United Teachers-New
York Teacher Journalism Competition for union newspapers.

The awards are: Best Front Page Cover, General Excellence and Best News Story. The awards are to be presented to Chris and the newspaper staff in NYC on April 10.


Congratulations! to Evelyn Brady, who has recently completed editing the book, Peaceprints, a collection of stories, poems and interviews recalling the life and good work of Sister Karen Klimczak, SSJ.

Attached is the flier for Peaceprints with information about how you can purchase it.

Thank you to Evelyn for her work in celebrating Sister Karen's life.

Copies can be purchased at the Buffalo Heritage Site.


TED - Ideas Worth Spreading

If you had to find time to watch one thing on the web or download and watch one video podcast, I'd hope it would be a TedTalk. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)is an annual conference of "inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers." It. Is. Simply. Awesome. And it's free. Every couple of days they release a past talk by some amazing person about some amazing thing. Some of the talks are great for sharing in the classroom. Some are great for personal learning.

Here's the latest video that was released. Dave Eggers talks about creating 826 Valencia, a writing center in San Francisco set up to tutor kids. It's an inspiring, creative, passionate statement by someone involved in writing, and I'm sure it's very relevant to us. I'm having a bit of trouble embedding the video into this post, but you can watch the video here.

If you like what you see and decide you want to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes, then go to iTunes, do a search for TedTalks and subscribe! By the way, there's something there for everyone. There are talks from leading economists, writers, artists, performers, scientists, humanitarians, politicians (only the good ones, promise!), technological groundbreakers, and many many more.


WNYWP Fellow's Students Featured on Channel 4

Kristen Frawley, 1999 fellow and West Seneca elementary teacher, was featured on WIVB last week for her students creation of podcasts. You can find the story here and her student podcasts here. Way to go Ms. Frawley!

E-Voice - March/April Recap

The March/April E-Voice was just published by NWP. This newsletter is a collection of articles written by fellows, resources and NWP related stories.

One article details North Virginia Writing Project fellow Emmet Rosenfeld, who pens Eduholic, a blog for Teacher Magazine. I'm temporarily unfamiliar with Rosenfeld, but I'm going to add a link the sidebar (and add permanant links to Warlick and Richardson's blogs). His March 17th post, "The Death of Handwriting" is a good exploration of short low-stakes writing in the classroom. The NWP article discusses Rosenfeld's evolution as a blogger, but definitely go further and read through his posts at TM too. I just may have to add him to my bookmark toolbar.

Another teacher writes about her alternative to the research paper. There are a few more interesting articles as well, including one about a 1-1 laptop initiative and it's impact on writing.

Check it out. Lots of good reading over there.

- Joel

Summer Institute Applications

The deadline for the 2008 Summer Institute applications is April 4. A Summer Institute brochure and application form can be accessed on the sidebar.

We have an exciting and enriching program planned with guest speakers, field trips and, of course, lots of writing.



Young Writers Submissions 300 and Counting!

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to share that the Young Writers' Anthology has over 300 submissions this year! As you can imagine, that is a massive number to edit. If you are interested in helping editing please conatct me via Rosemary Evans at the WNYWWP office by March 28th (there is a stipened). Also, if you want to witness great kids presenting their craft, join us for a reception at Regis Hall on June 6th at 7:00 p.m.. Maybe even help out a bit. We are always looking for MC's and photographers.

Danielle Hardt


Anyone Know a Billionaire?

Interesting article in the NY Times education page from March 9th. It is a conversation between five educators about strategic and fruitful philanthropy to education. Lots of interesting ideas in there. I don't know, sometimes it seems like education is a broken down, unfixable machine. Here's some folks with some big ideas to change that around.


Greg and Joel to Attend NWP Retreat

Congratulations to Greg and Joel who have been accepted into the NWP retreat, "Planning Your Site's Web Presence."

They'll be travelling to Denver CO to work on many of the questions raised in this blog --technology strategies for raising awareness, teacher knowledge and community building through online networks, identifying resources to implement initiatives and technology opportunities.

I'm sure they'll not only bring back answers but lots of new and exciting ideas for our site.


New Feature

You know, I'm wondering what other NWP sites have blogs. Tonight I looked around a bit. Seems that the NWP had a blog project from 2003-2007. Seems it has now ceased being. In just a cursory glance around online I found the Ozarks NWP site, so I put up a link in the sidebar. Looks like they've been consistently publishing to their blog since 2006, so it's not a blog fader, as the kids say. Check out our mountainous compadres.

Blogger Profile - Will Richardson

Will Richardson is another edublogger who is guaranteed to make you ask tough questions. He made a name for himself as a blogging expert. His blog, Weblogg-ed: Learning with the Read/Write Web covers Web 2.0 educational issues, amongst other tings. He is one of the most widely read edubloggers.

One of his more recent posts, titled "I Never Knew I Could Have a Network,” addresses some of the issues regarding teachers lack of knowledge about creating networks with common goals and an inquiry driven vision. Here is an interesting quote from his post:
But I would still venture to guess that 75% (maybe more) of educators in this country still don’t know that they can have a network. While most of our kids are hacking away at building their own connections outside of their physical space, most of their teachers still don’t have a firm grasp of what any of it means or what he potentials are. And even for many that do know it, there are still legitimate fears and obstacles to creating professional connections online, time and technology at the forefront.
So, I don't know. How "connected" do you feel to other teachers in your building? In Western New York? How are you sharing ideas, lessons, reflections and anecdotes now? Like the Verizon commercials ask, how big is your network? More importantly, how effective is your network, and how can it be strengthened?

I've got a good article from Richardson from Teacher magazine. I'll post it when I get the chance.