Student Narratives–This I Believe

August 27, 2006

This past week our English I Pre-AP class wrote narrative autobiographical essays. Within class we read and analyzed a selection from Arthur Ashe’s autobiography Days of Grace. We also listened to three selections from the NPR series This I Believe. I provided the students with the link to the NPR series to listen on their own. I elected to listen to the essays by Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder, Josh Rittenberg, a junior at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan, and Sen. John McCain. I wrote my essay back in April and the link to my essay is still viewable under teacher entries on our Class Blogmeister page.

Besides working on our understanding of narrative essays, my goal for our class is to work on the editing process. This class is also taking AP Human Geography and will be taking the AP exam in May. As we work on our writing, my first goal is to get students comfortable with the revision process. I am publishing the originally submitted drafts; however, I am requiring students to submit a revised copy before we record these essays for publications. We will be revising and podcasting these essays later this week. Check back for the student podcast.


July 6, 2006

I began reading the posting by all of the bloggers at the National Educational Computing Conference tonight. While I was reading I used my teacher’s multitasking abilities to listen to the most recent Connect Learning podcasts. In episode 63, David Warlick described his new idea of Hitchhikr. Hitchhikr will allow registered users to hitch a ride to conferences with those who are attending by using common tags to blog about events. I am sure that my principal will appreciate this new site. I was all set to hitch hike to San Diego by taking the time to find blogs about the NECC. This site coordinates all of this information for us. Not only that, but by listing my interests the site also listed several conferences that may interest me. As with most information being added to the web, an RSS feed for these conferences are available. The RSS feed allows me to focus my time on my aggregator browsing all of my feeds and frees me up from checking back to Hitchhikr.

While I agree with David that nothing is like being at a conference, this is the next best thing. I have attended various teaching and coaching conferences and workshops and continue to learn new information at each session. Sometimes it is just not possible to attend all of the conferences we desire. Sometimes it is simply too expensive to attend the powerful, national conference. This tool will allow us to gain the insight and information when we physically cannot make it to the show.