The Tarrant City 21st Century Scholars
Okay, the first thing you have to do is read this -> #DigCit Chat: A Defining Moment the blog post sister to this post that was originally a comment on the afformentioned post and has now turned into this: a sleep deprived, overly excited attempt to summarize the highlights of the project and a little something extra : )
Okay, thanks for coming back! I would like to quickly list and show some of my highlights from the #icitizen project & the definitive #digcit chat last night.
#icitzen project: Collaborative project with FYS11 freshman from St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, Connecticut & the Tarrant City Scholars (11th graders from Tarrant High School in Birmingham, AL room 104)
Highlights, Ah-ha moments, affirmations in collaboration, the power of tech, & the power of STUDENTS
1. If you build it as you go, they will still come: Maryalice, FYS11 and the Tarrant City Scholars (room 104: 2nd period) truely took a constructivist journey on creating this project and the end result proved that collaboration is powerful, collaboration powered by technology is even more powerful, and one question can frame a whole semester.
What does it mean to be a citizen national, globally, and digitally in the 21st century?
2 We are all learners, we are all teachers: In giving my students a lot of responsibility and reiterating the “partnership” approach in my classroom and throughout the project they ALL more than rose to the occasion of defining what an #icitizen is, how it connects to American history (What’s up state standards) and how it is essential to TODAY (their world). Both mine and Maryalice’s students stepped up to command the ship, steering it as we went, turning around when necessary, speeding up, slowing down, and vooming towards our destination which later became the iCitizen and the role of empathy in the 21st century.
3. Tweet, blog, skype and LEARN: If you want to engage your students, let them use tools that they are interested in. Let them talk about things that are relevant and interesting while using those tools. Give them choices, prod them with relentless questions of the how, what, when, where, why, and what now. Don’t let them give up, but give them new ways to try things that aren’t working. Know where you want to end up, but be okay that the route may change several times, make the trip much more exciting and the destination all the more meaningful. Trust their decisions and let them make mistakes. Let them explain things, let them decide things, let them take control of their learning. Then sit back and watch the magic happen. By sit back I mean GET ON TWITTER AND TWEET EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAPPENS BECAUSE THIS IS POWERFUL AND EVERY SECOND NEEDS TO BE DOCUMENTED.
Various tweets from #digcit #icitizen #defineamerican #WErCHANGE #fys11
4. Sometimes you just have to jump, or rather, LEAP: Taking what we learned about what a citizen means in the 21st century we packed up our empathy, jumped ship, and swam to the Define American project inspired by Jose Vargas because how can we truly study American history if we don’t DEFINE AMERICAN first? Thanks to twitter, facebook, invested students, and a journalist on a mission (wearing truth on the heart of his sleeve) it appears that our iCitizen journey may have only just began. We began to tweet Jose about the define American project after watching his story in hopes that it would inspire us, room 104, to tell our own stories. Jose immediately retweeted our questions and reflections, reached out by email and showed interest in our class and what we were attempting to do in defining American ourselves. What came from iCitizen fit perfectly with the journey students started on next and finding the words to express the excitement of what a few tweets can do is difficult to say the least. Back to the story… we invited Jose to be a part of #digcit chat last night, knowing it was a long shot, and to our utter disbelief he not only showed up but inspired us even more, and not only that he made a promise to visit our class this semester! Yes, a nationally known journalist, undocumented activist, and global empathy inspiration is coming to our school! The student’s response to this tweet, of a proposal and a promise, created a mixture of emotions to say the least: shock, excitement, pride, laughter, hysteria, and a few tears. One student’s response sums it up best: “Wow, we are making REAL CHANGE, I can’t believe this is happening, I am so proud of us.” I hope you’ll stay tuned, stay informed, and find it within yourself to define citizenship, empathy, and education in the 21st century in a new way; a way that is original, honest, and alive and never forget that one idea, one comment, one person reaching out to another to create something original, empowering, and yes not completely planned can in fact change things (for the better, the much, much much better) Stay tuned, room 104 and iCitizen’s story has only just begun…
Skyping in Action with FYS11 (1 minute of 4 50 minute skype sessions throughout the semester)
#DigCit chat in action
Skyping in Action
iCitizen research in action
documenting a skype
Skype 1 in action
Ink Think, Collabrating & Connecting