Brevity is the Soul of (t)Wit

barkingskull

I’ve had a busy weekend. I started a podcast and a Twitter experiment. I’ve added a page to my blog with my podcast feed but my podcast is hosted on my website which you can find here. My main purpose for setting up my podcast is to learn about podcasting, but my secondary purpose, which is probably more important, is to share ideas with teachers in short manageable pieces.

My second weekend project is a little more ambitious. Ever since I followed Such Tweet Sorrow last year, I’ve been giving some thought to what I could do with it. I liked the idea of distilling a play down to its most basic components and I also liked the improvisational, real-time, experimental feel of the project. Prompted by a Facebook message from a friend of mine I decided to revisit the idea. A while back @ChrisKevill and I were tweeting about Hamlet and I half-jokingly suggested that we mount a Twitter Hamlet, but then I thought, not very many of my theatre friends are on Twitter. This weekend it occurred to me to approach it from the other direction: how many of my Twitter friends would be into Hamlet? I’m pretty jazzed about the idea of combining social media and theatre. So far I’ll have to wait and see how many responses I get before I can move forward with this project but I have a good feeling.

If you want to read more about this project, check out my Brevity is the Soul of (t)Wit website at www.brevity.danikabarker.ca.

If you want to be part of the project, fill out the “audition sheet.” I’m quite confident I can find a role for everyone!

Student Engagement and Self Reflection

I’d like to share this video created by a really dynamic York region teacher, Royan Lee.¬†http://www.charleshowitt.ps.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/WritingInThe21stCenturysmall.mov

Royan is working on an action research project along with some other teachers (one from Peel and one from Thames Valley) on digital story-telling. Royan’s portion of the project looks at podcasting and student engagement.

What really impresses me about this video is how well the students are able to articulate not only what they learned, but HOW they learned it. They discuss the process of looking at exemplars and determining criteria and then evaluating their own work. I’m so impressed by the metacognitive skills displayed by these students. This is all a result, I believe, of their level of engagement with the task, and their teacher’s ability to structure the tasks in a meaningful and authentic way.

These students definitely know their content material, but what’s more, I think they’ve learned valuable lessons about how they think, how they create, and how they can set goals and plans to reach those goals.

Well done, Mr. Lee and students!