Greetings from Chico

In addition to my regular blog readers, I would like to extend a special hello this week to my RCWP colleagues who, I hope, are following from afar my adventures at Tech Matters 2007. They are in the last week of the summer institute, and I miss being there, but hope that my work at Tech Matters translates back to our site in productive ways.

Getting here today was, fortunately, uneventful. NWA was on time for both flights and, as with all great NWP events, our welcome to Chico would not have been complete without chocolate. As we have talked about in our summer institute this year, I really enjoy going to these national NWP events, seeing familiar faces, and jumping right into the work without having to explain myself and my philosophy.  we all just seem to know what to do when we come to these events, and that makes them very exciting both personally and professionally.
Also, given our experience last year overheating — even in the air conditioned computer lab — Peter found it appropriate to give us a USB powered fan as well.

Cool!

Literally.

Tonight was spent with the TM07 team doing some preliminary planning for tomorrow, where we will do a “run through” of the institute. I am responsible for helping facilitate a day on “Collaboration” on Friday, and the other days will focus on “Rich, Interactive Information” and “Self Expression.” Saturday is really a work day for the tech teams who are here to plan out what they want to do with their mini-grants.

So, Chico is a great town. Here is an image of the now-completed Park Plaza. Last summer, all that we could see of this plaza was the band shell peeking its head above fences and orange barrels. This summer, the plaza is done and had both Shakespeare in the Park and a blues band tonight. It is a nice addition to the center of the city.

I was also able to take a quick jog to Bidwell Park this afternoon and I think that there will be other trips to local eateries and fun spots later on this week. The Northern California Writing Project is our host for the week and — as I noted above — they have been very hospitable so far.

I plan to blog a little more tomorrow about the structure of the week at Tech Matters (so as to think about implications for our site’s work) and then give periodic updates throughout the week as cool tech tools and great work from other sites begin to surface. Please feel free to become a member of the blog and add comments — I look forward to hearing from everyone back home and what you would like to know more about while I hang out with the geeks in Chico!

Musings on Multiliteracies

Since it has been a few weeks since my last blog post, I have been engaged in the first and second week of RCWP’s summer institute, the online discussion for Tech Matters 2007, and a few days offline when we took a long holiday weekend up north. So, there are many, many ideas floating in my head right now — perhaps disconnected — that I want to capture before they slip away.

First, we had a great talk today at RCWP about Teaching and Learning Multiliteracies as well as the new Michigan Educational Technology Standards. You can see some of our ideas captured in our wiki page on the book. This was done to both spur on our colleagues as they write their multiliteracies learning plan and to foreground many of the issues that we want to talk about on Thursday when the state director of technology from MDE visits our site. So, more on that soon.

Second, there are some cool things developing from a social network that Kevin started, Tech Friends. Whether you are an NWP TL or not, this seems to be a great network that is focusing their discussions on issues of teaching with technology, all the while considering critical aspects of infrastructure and classroom practice. Join in!

Third, Tech Matters is next week. Paul Allison has done a great job organizing us into a DrupalEd site and the conversations there are rich, too. I am still not quite sure what is public there and what will be soon, but that is where I will be next week and much of my writing attention will be in that site.

Fourth, I am scheduled to do our sacred writing time tomorrow morning and I want to do something with syncronous collaborative writing. I am just at a loss right now for what to have them do. I might have them begin writing a story, although that could quickly get out of hand. I might try to make it more focused and have them discuss their favorite writing spaces.

Finally, I can safely say that I am feeling overwhelmed with maintaining my online identity right now. I tried Twitter for awhile, but I couldn’t keep up with it. My Flickr feed is all but dead. This blog has been neglected for many weeks. And now I have the TM07 and Tech Friends networks that I am joining in, too. I have been woefully remiss in posting to the Tech Stories blog, and I see that they are going to present at K12 Online Conference — congrats to Bonnie and Kevin — another community that I want to get involved in, too.

At what point can/shoudl we expect our colleagues to engage in learning about and learning to write with newer technologies when even the techies are overwhelmed?

Whew. That was random. But, I wanted to share some of my thinking and see if anyone can help me think about how to collect my online self. I tried Netvibes a year ago, but fell out of that habit, too.

Any ways that you can think of to organize all these ideas, activities, spaces, people, etc?

Whoever said being multiliterate would be easy though, right?