Our focus at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project has been on ways to make the new Massachusetts State Standards (influenced by the Common Core) a workable reality for teachers in the areas of literacy. Our upcoming technology event will do that from a slightly different angle: looking at how our popular culture, technology and learning can come together in the classroom. This event was inspired in large part by Dr. Ernest Morrell’s presentation at last year’s National Writing Project Urban Sites Conference, in which he encouraged teachers to turn the lens on the culture that influences and shapes student interaction, writing and engagement.
We’re hoping to do that with a keynote presentation from a group of high school video producers called Video Vanguard, and then provide some opportunities for attendees to “learn and play” with technology around topics of gaming and social networking and more. We’ll also be providing time for reflection and connection with other educators. Our aim is to show how to validate the worlds of our young people while exploring the ways these cultural ideas can connect to the curriculum that we teach. In fact, the Common Core opens up a lot of doors to using technology, media and more for research, writing and publishing.
If you live in Western Massachusetts, please consider signing up for our event, which is taking place on Saturday February 4. (You can now register and pay online for WMWP events.)
This event is also in conjunction with the national Digital Learning Day, which seeks to highlight the ways that technology and digital media can transform education and engage students. We’re also putting together a survey for Massachusetts teachers around their use of technology and digital media in the classrom for Digital Learning Day, in hopes of creating a database of educators who are on the leading edge of this movement.
Peace (in the culture),