This is a follow-up to my post the other day about the regional Literacy Conference we are hosting at our school in November that had not one iota of a technology or media or New Literacies component to it. I finally bumped into my principal in the hallway, expressed my feelings about our school — which is innovative in its use of technology — hosting a conference without a single nod to the ways kids use literacy in their lives outside of our classrooms. I told him it felt like an “old school Literacy Conference.”
He was very receptive, and did what I knew he would do. He asked me to submit an idea for a break-out session. I told him that I wanted to be a participant, and not a presenter, but that felt false even to me. If I truly believe in this, then I need to be active, not passive.
It just so happened that this conversation took place on the day when I was filling out a bunch of paperwork for a conference that I have been invited to present at in February in Ohio. As I was describing my workshops for the Dublin Literacy Conference (Digital Picture Books, Using Webcomics in the Classroom and Stopmotion Movie Magic for families), I realized that if I am going to help folks in Ohio think about New Literacies, I owe it to my school and fellow teachers to do the same right here at home.
So, I am going to propose a session on using Webcomics as a Writing Tool Across the Curriculum. My hope is to set up a temporary ToonDooSpace (note to self: email ToonDoo folks) so that teachers can use a ToonDoo closed network site to experience the possibilities themselves.
I’ll let ya know if the school district approves my workshop offer.
Peace (in the discussions),
PS — Here a webcomic book sample from one of my students. I love how she envisioned the story across multiple frames. This was not an assignment, but merely something she did on her own time outside of school. In just three weeks, some students have made more than 50 comics on their own time and some have created multiple ebooks. Pretty neat to watch our ToonDoo site unfolding: