Presenter: Jared Colley and Joel Garza
Location: Arlington, TX and Addison, TX
Presentation Description: This presentation demonstrates how a good idea was born out of a collaboration involving three teachers who first set out to do something very traditional with their English classes. Growing from a shared interest to try something different, teachers experimented to understand the organic but deliberate aspects of one instance of collaboration, made possible by technology and open-minded spirits. In the beginning, however, the idea was largely traditional: to host a collaborative, inter-institutional paper conference for high school students. This is the story of how a traditional vision became the catalyst for 21st century learning practices – attempting, from there, to outline the emotional anatomy of such collaborative experiences.
New media presents promising opportunities for students and teachers together to think beyond traditional methods for collaboration, and our experience is a story about learning involving three classes that simultaneously engaged two literary texts in such a way. Collaboratively, students read more critically, thought more divergently, and synthesized their ideas creatively; they engaged in unexpected conversations, demonstrated knowledge through multiple media, and inspired creative thinking in their peers and us, demonstrating the relationship between teaching practices and student habits of mind. Digital/nontraditional collaboration empowered students to formulate questions for new audiences, to understand through practice the relationship between purpose, audience, and word – doing so by blogging articles, preparing videos, and recording audio mp3s. The story concludes with the final composition of traditional conference papers, shared inter-institutionally, and we seek to outline the logistics and emotional realities of such an endeavor.
Link to presentation’s supporting documents:
A Tale of Three Schools