Sunday, July 22, 2007

Me, Removed

Have you ever been intimidated by your blog? Strangely, I have stared blankly into my scribefire box over 10 times in the last few days, trying to find something that fits nicely. Call it writer's block, but this is terrible. There is so much going on in my world that is worthy of at least a note, but, alas, it just won't come.

This is meant to be the chisel to break through whatever I am going through. I'll break it down by topic to make it easier on me.

Introducing: Teen Book Sleuth

Two weeks ago, my colleague David Gorecki and I ran the 2nd Annual Sparta Academy of Digital Media, where we take a group of students through the process of creating digital media. We usually break it down into movie making and web creation. With all that I have learned this year via this blog and the various people who I have the pleasure of reading, it was truly a great opportunity to let students explore their interests and learn some great skills. Out of the 16 students that we worked with, only one chose to focus on website creation. That in itself is telling. However, the student that did, we will call her Teen Book Sleuth after the site she created, really blew us away with her ability and interest level. She worked for most of the week using FrontPage, but after talking with her and getting the OK from mom and dad, we set her up with an account at She transferred her content from FrontPage to the weebly site and customized it to include a blog.

To say that we were surprised at her writing ability is an understatement. She is a wonderful writer and and avid reader. Her site is set up as a review of books in the Young Adult category. I can only imagine what she will produce as she moves along in her studies and her reading. Please visit the site and leave a comment on her blog. She is expecting you.

Connective Writing Workshop

I am in the process of putting together resources for a workshop on connective writing on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The wiki is nearly complete, and I will release the address when I finish it up. To that end, I would like to thank
Sheryl Nussbaum-Beech, on whose wiki at APBC I have relied on for resources. What I have found in the past is that teachers respond very well to other teachers who have done something successfully. In that light, I have asked some people from the edublogosphere to participate in the workshop via Skype. Already, I have two people who will be skyped in (one on Monday and one on Tuesday). If you are interested, let me know and we will work something out. It would be a great honor to have some of you talk to the staff I work with.

This workshop is a pivotal one for me, as I would really like to use it as a springboard to get a cohort of teachers blogging from out district. As it is now, very few have taken to it. I am not distressed over it, but blogging and connecting to the myriad resources available through blogging will be a key way to move our pedagogy forward here in Sparta. That's a lot of pressure, but I think it's warranted.


Mr Harrington said...

Hi Patrick this sounds interesting and is something that would interest me - it all depends on the time zone issue - here in UK we are GMT +1hour at present - I guess about 5 hours ahead of you ??
paul H

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David Robb said...

I just started a blog using Weebly. The Teen Book Sleuth student put together a nice looking page using this site.
It's very easy to use - I think students as young as 2nd grade could set up a website using Weebly. See my post on the upcoming Weebly for Educators.

Patrick Higgins said...


Would love to have you join us. We are currently 5 hours behind you, so if you wanted to join us at 10:00am our time (3:00pm yours) tomorrow, that would be great. I will twitter you my skype info.


Thanks for checking out the site. I will keep my eyes open for the update.

Carolyn Foote said...


I am available to Skype in if you'd like someone from Texas to join. I'll twitter you my Skype, just in case.

And welcome back! Maybe we all need a break--it gets overwhelming sometimes, I think.

tom said...

Hello Patrick. I found your blog through the links from Clay Burell.

I know what you mean about the writer's block in blogging. One trick I've tried is to use special tags (your own secret code, if you want) in when I find something "blogworthy". I usually have plenty of material there, and as I browse through it a second time I realize there are themes that connect many of them. Maybe that will help your students too.

The resources you're putting together are looking great. Keep at it!

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Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions