The Return of the Massachusetts New Literacies Institute

Tomorrow, I am off to a follow-up session of the Massachusetts New Literacies Teacher-Leadership Institute, which began in June with a week-long exploration of technology, writing, and reading across the content areas. I am one of 10 teacher leaders of the institute, which has been funded by our state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (The voicethread above is a collection of my reflections from the summer. I’ll be adding to it after tomorrow’s sessions, too).

The focus of the institute has been to help teams of teachers from across the state to undertstand the possibilities of technology, plan out curricular units, plement those units and then reflect on how to share that expertise with other teachers. The week in June was exciting but I wonder how the follow-up sessions (this is one of three over the year) will go. Will folks have dropped out of the program? Will they have begun implementation of their ideas? Will they have met hurdles that are insurmountable? Or seemingly insurmountable? (Read this great post by Troy Hicks about dealing with technology issues when trying to use technology.)

Tomorrow, the day begins with a keynote address by Tom Daccord, of the EdTechTeacher site and organization.  He seems like someone with an interesting background — history and technology — so I am hoping he sets the day forward with a positive message.

Then, we shift into a Cool Tools Smackdown (I hate that term and lobbied to have something different) so that the folks can choose which tool they want to learn more about. I am doing a bit on Prezi. Others are doing Glogster, Voicethread, Dabbleboard, Weebly, Animoto, Voki and others.

Finally, the afternoon will be time for some reflection and planning for the next phase of the project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to re-energize the crowd and inspire them to inspire others back at their schools. That’s the whole idea behind the Massachusetts New Literacies Teacher-Leader Institute.

Peace (in the follow-ups),

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