TX Central Texas WP Pilots Hybrid Format for Digital Summer Institute

Nov 3, 2014
Posted by: gretavo

Central Texas WP continues to rethink its approach to the Summer Institute, making digital literacy not only a focus of inquiry but embedding digital tools into the very structure of the institute:

The CTWP 2014 Digital Writing ISI was a unique, hybrid institute held between June 6 and August 3rd on the Texas State University San Marcos Campus… (..)  we discussed our vision for the digital writing institute and identified a variety of goals for this innovative institute. In order to help the new teacher fellows prepare for our digital writing institute, we requested that each teacher explore the NWP Digital Is site and post articles and interesting links to our CTWP Pinterest Account. Teacher fellows and directors read and commented to each other’s digital connections. See  (…)  While this was the smallest ISI in CTWP history, the small numbers provided opportunities for each teacher fellow to receive one-on-one support throughout the summer. All eight, teacher fellows received a $500 stipend from the CTWP to pay for an I-pad, required for the digital writing institute. . . .

After the first two weeks of face-to-face meetings, teacher fellows continued to participate in the institute through a variety of online communities.  We established three online communities for teacher fellows to collaborate online between June 23rd and August 3, 2014. We used our CTWP Ning to post announcements and send email messages. We used our Edmodo group to respond to and publish our personal writing, upload articles, and share resources. All demonstration lessons, final writing pieces (mostly digital compositions), and daily logs were also organized on our Edmodo site. In order to facilitate the online book clubs, the teacher fellows’ individual inquiry projects, and continued communication, we used a wikispace . Teacher fellows engaged in book clubs in which they read either Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing by Liz Campbell Stevens and Kerry H. Ballast or Discovering media literacy: Teaching digital media and popular culture in elementary school by Renee Hobbs and David Moore. They collaboratively wrote book reviews for each book and were encouraged to submit them for publication to English in Texas (our NCTE Affiliate Journal in Texas). Last but not least, teacher fellows created their own page on our wiki in order to document their inquiry search and final product (Assaf, Ash, & Saunders, 2010). They were asked to participate in response groups online and publish their final inquiry projects by August 3rd. Topics for the inquiry projects included; Exploring Translingualism, Writing in the Elementary Math Class, Teachers’ Beliefs about Writing Instruction, Using Hand Held Devices in a High School Spanish Class, Is Digital Storytelling a Return to Oral Tradition?