Friday, April 26, 2013

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone Goes Online!

Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughan

How can professional development be formatted so that it meets the needs of busy teachers? One increasingly popular approach is shifting the idea of teacher book clubs from a face-to-face experience to one that occurs online. The two of us are very excited that, beginning next spring (2014), we’ll be offering a book-club based, online experience surrounding our book Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone: Helping Students Navigate Unfamiliar Genres.

Sponsored by the National Writing Project, we’re creating a three-part online experience that will take place over seven months. In the spring we’ll host Part 1, a three-week book study project, which will lead teachers in an online discussion of the book, moving chapter by chapter. In the summer, we’ll begin Part 2, which—relying on the NWP mantra of teacher as writer—will lead teachers through the experience of writing their very own Unfamiliar Genre Project (the centerpiece of the book). And then in the fall, we’ll use our online discussion format to help teachers think through how to bring their own reading and writing experiences about genre into their teaching.

All this is made possible through an NWP Seed Grant for Online Learning Experiences (OLE) that we’ve just been awarded. The grant helps us develop component parts of the project this summer as we both create content and learn how to use the NWP online system to make the content teacher friendly and accessible. And we’re looking forward to attending an NWP-sponsored July retreat so we can learn from other sites who have already developed some successful OLEs.

Hope you’ll join in the fun and take part in the online experience next spring and summer. Stay tuned for updates as we roll this out!

1 comment:

Angel K said...

How incredibly cool! Sign me up!
-Angela Knight