Discussing Participatory Culture on Teachers Teaching Teachers

During the summer I attended the Boston Writing Project’s Summer Institute which made me a part of the network of education professionals that is the National Writing Project. As a representative from the Boston site, I also travelled to my first NWP Annual Meeting, in San Antonio this year.

While there I made it to a host of presentations and workshops, which will likely provide material for some time to come. All of them were fantastic. One specific session I attended,  Reading the Research: Media Education and Literacy in the 21st Century, was focused on on a white paper published by the New Media Literacies Project at MIT titled Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. It proved to be fascinating conversation with teachers of all different levels from around the country, encompassing media, technology, and 21st century literacies. There are even some photos from the session.

When asked to create a visual representation of our table’s thoughts on the article, we engaged in much metaphorical deliberation. Eventually, we settled on a rather creative synthesis that I sketched out in a hurry. It involved Harold, purple crayon in hand, creating a world where a king that had no clothes weighed scales of judgement, while his fool, Socrates, lectured on the unworthiness of living the unexamined life. As pretentious as it might sound out of context, it really was a rather nifty fusion of the table’s wide variety of viewpoints, which was no easy task.

The white paper that inspired all this semiotic silliness, although fairly lengthy, is definitely worth the read. In it are an array of interesting observations about challenges that education faces in addressing some of the emergent needs of living and working in the world today, with the ever-evolving new media developments. As a follow-up event, I was part of a panel discussion on a webcast episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. Considering the fact that my listening to TTT on EdTechTalkis one of the primary reasons for my becoming involved with the National Writing Project in the first place it was a real treat. The podcast of the episode is now available for everyone to hear. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

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