Looking forward to SAACTE13, I’m wrestling with the idea of how to structure the session. This blog entry is me transparently exploring and playing with ideas about what to do, how to organize or structure the learning opportunities. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments for what you would like to see in such a session.

You–and I certainly welcome your feedback–can see some of my planning online in this GoogleDoc which I’ve created as an outline of the session, as well as a way to communicate with the organizers, Gretchen Bernabei and Amy Stengel.

Since I have about an hour and a half, I want to make our time together as impactful and rich as I can. That means, probably less me doing a traditional keynote and more a short introduction to key concepts then scaffolding participants collaboration about a common project. This is purely a volunteer effort, so if you see something that sparks your interest and you are a SAACTE member, feel free to jump in! (I hope I don’t get in trouble with the organizers for inviting other people to attend…I don’t even know how much this event will cost participants!).

Imagine this:
Adult learners, seated 3-5 at tables. Each table has a laptop/chromebook and an iPad at it, ample WiFi signal, and the expectation that writing can happen. All will have access to a variety of apps or web sites to use that enrich the project idea.

One idea is that I highlight different ways to Digitize the Writing Workshop, using the adult learners as actual students. In the time available, different groups could choose one of 5 projects (and workflows) to learn how to technologically enhance how they approach writing workshop facilitation in their classrooms.

If there’s enough time ahead of the event, I could also setup some quick video lessons for each project idea so that these concepts are introduced in that way, and when participants show up, they’ll be ready to sink their teeth in (oh no, I hope that doesn’t conjure up The Walking Dead for anyone else! (smile)).

9:00-9:30am (30): a short preso sharing some of the big idea points, the structure for the rest of the time, launch of the idea project activities.

9:30-10:45am (45): participants work in small groups on the idea they have chosen to explore and develop a new product on. Each group has access to a laptop, an iPad, and a web site where to share their work. I circle and work with different groups to help get them familiar with the activities and the specific workflows.

10:45-11:00am (15): participants share their experiences

Some of the ideas that I’m brainstorming on–and I still need to develop activities for these–I’d like to focus in on for digitizing the writing workshop include the following:

  1. Flipping the Writing Workshop: At this table, you’ll be exploring how you can digitize the writing workshop by flipping your mini-lessons and making them available online. Main benefits include anytime/anywhere access to your lessons, as well as the ability to jump right into writing with students. Lots of examples online of mini-lessons. For those that are scared of “flipped classroom learning,” think of it as blended learning…a way to augment student access to your lessons.
  2. Collaborative Peer Editing: One way that I collaborate with other writers that’s real is asking them to help me edit, and eventually, re-write and revise, my own writing. I didn’t get to this point overnight, since writing has always been a deeply personal act…I still remember sheltering my draft writing from my teachers over the years, “It’s not ready yet.” However, as a blogger and on the road to my publishing 100 journal articles, I realized that transparency and feedback while drafting can have a significant impact. Collaborative word processors can make a big difference in aiding obtaining feedback from others.
  3. Digital Storytelling: Explore how to use free apps on the iPad and/or any computer to facilitate digital storytelling. Storytelling with mobile devices has gotten much easier with mobile device apps that allow you to snap a picture, then tell a story. Writing a script can also be a key component.
  4. Creating an Online Writing Space: There are many ways these days to create an online writing space, not only to share teacher mini-lessons but to celebrate student work. Some of those include GoogleSites, Edmodo, Wikispaces and others.
  5. Providing Video/Audio Feedback to Student Written Pieces: Using an iPad, and/or various free tools on computers, you can provide students with written feedback on their writing, as simply as snapping a photo of that writing.
  6. Getting Connected with Authors Using Blogs: Students can connect with authors using blogs and publishing their writing online.
  7. Making Your Own Comics: Exploring how to create comics through the use of web-based and iPad-based tools.
What am I missing here? Is there some big idea that I’m missing or need to consider? 

Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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