Project Ignite: sharing stories of connected learning
|Notes from Doug|
The theme of the daylong conference in Montpelier, Vermont’s capital, is sharing powerful stories. I’ll share the story of how working several years ago as the writer for the Vermont Educational Technology Plan helped inspire a key piece of True Shoes: the creative multimedia web-documentary project that Russell and his language-arts classmates are challenged to do. Before this project, Russell describes his LA group as “the Whatever Class” — a bunch of kids who have all year resisted the efforts of their teacher, who is new to the profession, to motivate them.
Then comes the project. “You’re going to create some of the first-ever middle-school web documentaries,” the Whatever Class is told in the darkened computer lab. “They’ll be creative multimedia — video, audio, text, PowerPoint, whatever. Today you’re going to brainstorm topics and form teams.”
Russell describes the reaction. “The silence now was kind of vibrating. We looked at each other in the dark. Creative multimedia was something we liked.”
In a few minutes, the screen is covered with ideas, some from kids who’ve never before even volunteered to answer a question ... and the Whatever Class will never be the same.
That’s the story I’m planning to share. It came out of observing the introduction of a similar, real-life multimedia project, at the Hartford (Vt.) Middle School. At Project Ignite, I’m looking forward to hearing some inspiring true stories from the 30 teachers who are being honored — and who are each going to receive a copy of True Shoes, courtesy of Connected Voices, the nonprofit initiative sponsoring the conference.