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Content-Area Literacy Equity & Access

Transitioning from Conventional to Connected Teaching: Small Moves and Radical Acts

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From the Tule Lake Segregation Center to the Virtual World
By Grace Morizawa
By illuminating the stories and experiences of those who lived behind barbed wire at the Tule Lake Segregation Center, these lessons ask students to think critically about the Japanese American experience during World War II and how it connects to events today. This resource shares links to the web-based inquiry curricula for grades 4-12 along with the story of its development.
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HERU: Hip Hop Literacy X Entertainment Justice = Young Digital Economies
By Bryce Anderson-Small
Bryce Anderson-Small introduces his youth media literacy organization, the HERU, where youth develop through media literacy and digital media arts skills training. He explains how digital media arts allow young people to nurture their positive self-images and authentically tell their stories. Samples of student work are shared.
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"Bringing CLMOOC Back Home" Parts 1-5 #ce14
By Michael Weller
Micheal Weller realizes that although he had been using technology to make his classroom teaching more efficient, he could use it to transform his teaching instead. Included is a link to his blog where he details his time spent learning with other teachers at CLMOOC
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Teaching Reading: A Semester of Inquiry
By Antero Garcia
Antero Garcia and his undergraduate Teaching Reading class embark on a mutual inquiry into the ways reading is defined, enacted, and challenged within classroom spaces. Included are student presentations and reflections.
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Risky Teacher: To Tweet?
By Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts of the Boise State Writing Project takes us through her Twitter experiment in which she incorporates tweets into her Socratic Seminar for the first time. Included are instructions, expectations and final thoughts.
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Lessons Learned: An Attempt at Book Clubs in a Digital Environment
By Christopher Working
Christopher Working of the Red Cedar Writing Project discusses his inquiry, as well as the related parental questions, as he launched an online book club with his third graders.
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Chocolate and Change: Gaming for Social Justice
By Christina Puntel
Christina Puntel shares the experience of doing a Descriptive Review Process with two students’ who created a game based on studying the United National Millennium Development goals.
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Teaching About the Jordan Davis Murder
By Chris Lehmann
A group of national educators compile their thoughts on how teachers might support students after the verdict of the Jordan Davis murder trial. Provided are ideas, resources and lesson plans.
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Bioethics, Informed Consent, and Open Networks: The Story of Bioethics Day
By Jennifer Smyth
After reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, high school teachers work across schools to design and facilitate a “Bioethics Day” and then reflect on the ways it supported a more connected learning for their students. Included are details about planning the day as well as inquiry questions that emerged from the project.
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A Love Supreme: Reflections on Why We Continue to Teach | A Special #ce14 Presentation
By Christopher Rogers
Six Black male educators present a podcast of truthful self-interrogation prompted by their conversations at a meet-up hosted at The Center for Study of Race & Equity as to why they continue to teach. Links to the podcast and biographies of the participants are included.
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10 Posts in this Collection

Take a look at the picture below of a classroom from 1950. Can you recognize classrooms today that look like this blast from the past?

Educators across the country – urban and rural, elementary and secondary – are recognizing that conventional forms of teaching and learning are not useful to prepare students for our dynamic and constantly shifting 21st century society. They are working to transform their practice and offer students learning opportunities that cross boundaries, position students as producers and active citizens, and use new media to foster open, collaborative networks.

They are finding support for their work in a new educational framework called connected learning. Connected learning advocates for experiences that bridge the multiple learning contexts of students’ lives – home, peer, school, and community spaces – and builds on students’ interests to support authentic, civically engaged projects.

As teachers have put the theory of connected learning into practice and sought to offer students connected learning opportunities, they have realized that this model calls for a very different kind of teaching than the one many of us were socialized to take up when we entered the profession. Encouraging students to work with peers on projects that involve trial and error and reach beyond the classroom walls is messy – and we teachers are often conditioned to avoid messiness.

I have been exploring the innovative work that teachers across the Educator Innovator network have been doing to teach for connected learning and noticed 5 key moves that they are making to transition from conventional to connected forms of teaching. This infographic lays out those moves:

I have curated a collection of resources that highlight each of the five major commitments of connected teaching: Collaboration, Curiosity, Courage, Civic Engagement, and Care. While all of these commitments blend in practice, I am teasing them out here in individual resources so that you can focus on commitments that you are particularly interested in cultivating yourself.

Use the comments section below to share your small moves toward connected teaching!

Up next

Content type
HERU: Hip Hop Literacy X Entertainment Justice = Young Digital Economies
By Bryce Anderson-Small
Bryce Anderson-Small introduces his youth media literacy organization, the HERU, where youth develop through media literacy and digital media arts skills training. He explains how digital media arts allow young people to nurture their positive self-images and authentically tell their stories. Samples of student work are shared.
Read more
Content type
"Bringing CLMOOC Back Home" Parts 1-5 #ce14
By Michael Weller
Micheal Weller realizes that although he had been using technology to make his classroom teaching more efficient, he could use it to transform his teaching instead. Included is a link to his blog where he details his time spent learning with other teachers at CLMOOC
Read more
Content type
Teaching Reading: A Semester of Inquiry
By Antero Garcia
Antero Garcia and his undergraduate Teaching Reading class embark on a mutual inquiry into the ways reading is defined, enacted, and challenged within classroom spaces. Included are student presentations and reflections.
Read more