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This course reflects the general vision of Young Writers Project: Give students voice Be civil and respectful,

l, but let them set the rules Let them post without moderation Encourage them to engage in what interests them Find audience(s) for their best work YWP works with 45+ schools, has 2,500 on youngwritersproject.org, publishes work in 20 newspapers and on vpr.net and is embarking on a community engagement project in the Old North End of Burlington. Our work focuses on the power of digital communities, peer-to-peer learning, the importance of articulating what you observe in a way thats well received. A kids' definition of a safe Web site? Being treated with respect. The New Millenials: purpose is currency. In YWPs experience students in school and out, high flyers and not -- put the most value on being motivated and interested and doing something they feel is important.

External motivators not only dont work they work against the intention (Read Drive) You will succeed if you: work hard in your digital classroom with your kids lose control help your students adopt their digital classroom as their own go after your fears head on: Confront what is lacking in your schools become advocates for digital learning share with your peers on digitalteachers.net Remember you have resources to help: YWP you have in this room six teacher coaches with over 100 years experience who will be available in person, online, in Web conferences, via phone, via email to help. ASK QUESTIONS YWP staff can help you set up the classrooms, resolve problems and coach. More than 50 teachers online in this course You will become: leading edge explorers learning the way your kids learn.

Some ideas from the White Paper:


Three types of participation online: Hanging out More friendship-driven connections: Hypersocial new media become tokens of identity, taste and style) Adult view: waste of time; need to apply restrictions; focus on more meaningful places and activities Teen view how quickly can we achieve a work around; barriers are disrespectful and controlling Messing around Social and interest-driven, exploring, youth-unique pathways, not afraid to experiment, loosely goal-related. Potential: kids could become more deeply interested. Adult view: We dont do this as much, so we dont understand; we have enough to do as it is.

Geeking out Interest-driven with socialization based on expertise; self-directed; seeking expert knowledge; going deep; requires ongoing access. Adult view: We like to think that we are directing students to this kind of activity, but its often our idea not the students. Online participation does NOT erode social norms; online kids engage in behavior that is no more risky than what they do in offline contexts. Suspend your own value judgments about youth engagement with new media in order to understand and appreciate what youth sees as valuable and interesting. Kids will respect that.

Kids are more motivated to learn from peers than adults YET you can help them set goals, provide expertise, connect them to others Through new media kids are picking up basic social and technological skills they need . Barriers deprive teens of access to these forms of learning. Adults (us) are more welcome in interest-driven, geeky forms of media less welcome in friendship-driven spaces. Teens are already using new media to learn from their peers; this should, but hasnt quite yet, turned the education model upside down. What would it mean to think of education as a process of participation in public life as opposed to preparing for college and the workforce? What if we were to engage people in the public and public networks as part of this educational process?

Some work you will do here to help you go deeper in engaging your students:
Learn how to explore online what others are doing, apps, cool student work Become a digital user Use what has worked in the past Develop new ideas to work in the future Use images and audio Create digital projects involving kids engaging in what interest them, with an outcome that can be presented to a larger audience, in spaces they feel they control with experts peers and adults they respect can bring great results. Connect your kids to other students around the world.

Think of yourselves as helping the students focus on their idea, develop goals and anticipated end products and find expertise. Think of yourselves as enablers. If teachers are explorers and can find public networks of interest-driven topics and skills, they can expand their reach and impact.

Commenting >> Support >> Community Building


Help kids learn how to observe, how to express what they observe in ways that are wellreceived this will provide students valuable skills in critical thinking and digital literacy. Feedback among peers is often based on reciprocity; kids gain status and reputation in the digital community through their comments and expertise but they do not hold evaluative authority over one another Kids value the feedback based on whos giving it respected fellow creator vs. slacker -and what effort was made. Web sites give students audience and a sense of purpose, but dont forget other ways to publish or acknowledge other work. Increasing peer-to-peer connections make it more difficult for adults to enter that world YET, peer-to-peer commenting is the fundamental building block of creating community