school on film: "entre les murs"

a french film about a teacher, teaching, learning, and students... the film portrays "real-life teachers and students" - the description of the format reminds me of bubble.

the trailer for "entre les murs" (english title: "the class")


school 2.0?

colin and michele are giving their keynote at the learning 2.0 conference, being held today at montclair and co-org'd by dana & michele. their talk is focused on the "twoness" of "learn 2.0" and they've begun with a review of the leap from web 1.0 to web 2.0 - highlighting the participatory nature of this shift, and raising the issue (esp with relevance to sites built of collective knowledge like wikipedia, etc.) of truth... and later, credit (as in, whose idea is it?)... and the significance of

so the issue of school 2.0 - as it connects with learn 2.0 - comes up. michele is talking now and wondering about how our teaching practices must change in a web 2.0 world. namely, how do create spaces for collaboration - true collaboration? and not the kind found in lit circles where someone is the artist, the recorder, the this that and the other thing...

relatedly, i wonder: what is the relationship between learn 2.0 and school 2.0?? which is funny b/c i've thought more about the institution of school in the past 24 hours than i have all semester. hmmm....

for example, they teach a course in which students, in teams, have to engage in the following:
- learn how to program a robot
- document the group's learning in this experience (using video, audio, print)
- analyze the data they have produced and collected
- prepare a scholarly paper/presentation
- present said paper/presentation at a full-on conference
all within the space of a few weeks, one of which they are sequestered at a lodge.

they, of course, explained this project much more eloquently - i'm especially excited about the teasing out of the ideas of collaboration, collective knowledge, truth... and what these ideas look like when they are actually embodied in daily practice.

"it doesn't matter if one person wrote it, or if ten people write it - the result is the same in terms of human benefit." --c. lankshear

re: the above project - participants learn to be researchers by being researchers, not students learning about research. the doing, being, embodying of learn(ing) 2.0 - not a pipe dream; a reality we can't/shouldn't ignore.


writing creatively

i made a pact with a young man today to engage in a form of daily public writing. for me, this means posting to my blog on a more regular basis than i have been doing. we agreed to start with writing for 10 minutes a day. he and i embarked on a creative writing journey last week - i'd like to think that we are co-learners and co-teachers in this experience as we revisit his previous writings together. with each piece of writing he shares with me, i not only learn more about him - as an author, son, brother, student - but also reflect on my own writing self at his age, 17-going-on-18. i, too, had reams and piles and folders filled with papers and notebooks, all covered in my discursive meanderings, scribbles, drawings, reminders, and the like. like him, i, too, often carried all of it with me at all times - in my case, my words felt too fragile to be left lying around for the untrained eye to devour and misunderstand. my personal journal, which i brazenly did keep out in the open, was written in a cryptic french - that is, i wrote in the passive tense and as abstractly as possible, so even if someone was fluent in the language, they would still struggle to make meaning of my entries - as if to dare the trespasser to penetrate my teenage sensibilities.

another young man at the same program has developed a practice of collecting his thoughts in scraps of paper and, more recently, as immediate recordings and messages that he records for himself using his cell phone. when he wants to compose something - lyrics for a song, for example - he knows just which scrap of paper to look for that contains the magical phrase that will unlock the subsequent text.

as i am surrounded almost every day by poets, beat makers, screen writers, essayists, and lyricists, i find myself once again curious about the chaos and crisis that we - educators, researchers, policy makers - impose onto discussions about the practice and craft of writing in the lives of young people today. youth are not writing less - they are writing more and in many more ways and for many more purposes. the questions we should be asking are:
- what do new composing spaces look like?
- how might be we rethink composing pedagogies?
- what kinds of spaces do we provide for multiple forms of writing and composing, more broadly?
- who is shaping/creating/informing the composing space?


it's finally (almost) here! the 8th annual media that matters film festival!

each year, for the past few years - which is as long as i've been aware of it - and always at the same time - early april - i start asking everyone i know if the media that matters film festival date has been announced. when is the screening? when will the films be posted? did i miss it? and to those i've asked - sometimes, often, more than once - i apologize . but invite you, now, to rejoice with me the arrival of the announcement of the 8th annual media that matters film festival. after the screening at the ifc center, the films will be available on the mtm festival website, and join the illustrious collection of the previous years' compilations.
can't wait :)