Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Whole New Learning Experience: Take Two

I blogged last year about some of our ninth graders reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, and discussing it not only with each other, but with over 30 educators from around the world and Daniel Pink himself. Well, some of this year’s ninth graders in Anne Smith’s and Maura Moritz’s classes are going to get the opportunity to do it again.

If you’re really interested, you can read all my previous posts regarding our experiences with this project. But, in a nutshell, the students are reading the book and discussing it in class using the fishbowl method with live blogging. In addition to the students discussing face-to-face and live blogging, approximately 30 educators from around the world will be “dropping” in to live blog as well. They’ll be able to hear and see the in-class discussion via webcam (and MeBeam), and will simultaneously live blog along with the outer circle of students in the classroom (using CoverItLive this year). Twice during the project, once while discussing Chapter 4 (Design) and then again at the end of the book with the culminating discussion, the students will have the opportunity to interact with Daniel Pink via Skype.

The students will be doing a variety of activities along with the discussions, but their culminating project will again be a Wikified Research Paper. A Wikified Research Paper has all the components of a traditional research paper, but on a wiki so that it can include hyperlinks, audio, video, etc. It also contains other wiki pages with their research and related items, as well as the ability for others to give them comments and feedback along the way and on the final paper (although since it’s a wiki it’s never “final”).

If you’re really a glutton and want to know more about this, we have a video produced by Dana Levesque, one of the amazing instructional technology specialists in our district. It gives you a feel for what it looked like last year, including some short interviews with students, some longer interviews with Anne and Maura regarding their preparation for and reaction to this project, and an interview with yours truly talking about some of the technology aspects of this project.


  1. I was part of this wonderful experience last year and once again I just want to thank everyone who made it possible!

  2. I'm so glad you made this video. I sent it along to some English teacher friends so they can learn from you two (three) and maybe start something like this. THe Wikified Research Paper is a great way to start, I think.

    I'm VERY excited about the opportunity to participate in your live blogging again this year.

  3. I'm really looking forward to participating. Although my day is Feb. 2, I'm going to try to follow all of the days. Thank you for inviting me. How exciting1 Why couldn't I have teachers like all of you when I was in high school?

  4. What a fantastic unit, thank you for sharing.

    I love the Wikified Research Paper - we're doing a similar thing with narratives the students write based on 3-5 stimulus items. We're using the idea of hypertext to explore the intextuality of texts and the internet.

    I can't wait to hear more about this project! Thanks for sharing :)