Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Everyday Writing Archive Online

The National Council of Teachers in the U.S. has just announced the launch of a writing archive that focuses on a wide range of everyday writing called The National Gallery of Writing. NCTE invites everyone to submit

"letters, memoirs, lists, poems, podcasts, essays, short stories, instructions, reports, editorials, video clips, biographical sketches, speeches, invitations, hopes and dreams—writing that matters most to you. We're looking for a high school senior's college essay, a grandmother's letter to a beloved grandchild, a diary entry from a Desert Storm veteran, and a father's poem to a daughter on her wedding day. We want a toddler's first writing about her trip to the zoo and the firefighter's letter to the editor about the upcoming bond vote. Whatever the form and whoever the writer, the pieces you submit here, with their many voices, many visions, many stories, come together in the mosaic that is America writing."

Reminds me of the U.K's Mass Observation Archive, which is a fascinating project.

We love these kinds of archives because they're such excellent grist for not just understanding the everyday in a lived sense, but they're a marvellous resources for cutting your teeth on analyzing primary documents for research purposes. And, as university ethical clearance procedures become more gruelling for eduction research, they offer useful alternative for fullblown research studies.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Web 2.0 for Schools

It's been a while since we've "been here", such have been the exigencies of trying to keep heads above water in too many different places.

But what better way to "get back" than with the happy news that Julia Davies and Guy Merchant's book, Web 2.0 for Schools is now published.

"In the last five years, Web 2.0 applications - vast virtual worlds, multiplayer online games, social networking, and file sharing among them - have inspired new notions of what it might mean to be literate in the twenty-first century. While previous scholarship on Web 2.0 has focused on its social and recreational uses, this book explores its ability to enrich and transform the educational experience of children and young people. It discusses the opportunities and risks presented by this large-scale shift in popular engagement with new media, and uses illustrative vignettes to document the work of innovative educators who construct new ways of thinking and being around Web 2.0." (Book synopsis)

We are thrilled to see this book out, and wish it all the best.

Jennifer Rowsell's cover endorsement hits the nail on the head. Jennifer says:

"Blogs, Flickr, wikis, Second Life, memes - no stone is unturned in Julia Davies and Guy Merchant's roadmap to Web 2.0. From their clear and insightful look at digital epistemologies to the implications of new habits of mind for educational practice, Davies and Merchant have crafted a book that must sit on the bookshelf of every school and university faced with the challenge of twenty-first century literacies. Building on their own and other research and writing, Davies and Merchant provide us with a textured picture of how virtual worlds make us think and act."

Congratulations, Julia and Guy. It's great to have the book out and about. Look for it at AERA, all you conference goers.

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