Week 1, Let’s Get Started!

13 01 2011

Heads-Up:  Seems like a good idea to post responses/comments/musings, questions here as we work through the week.  The “Live the Questions” Forum in the wiki is more of a “how-to” forum.  Consider this to be more of a conversation about the course, what we’re doing each week, and how it’s going.   Or whatever seems to be helpful.  Thanks for the input!


“Getting Started”

January 10, 2011

Dear ECI 521 Student:

Time to get started on this semester’s journey!

Regardless of where you are on your literacy journey, it’s a good time to stop and consider the roads you’ve taken.  A particularly good time when you’re preparing to launch a study of learning through literature with young adults.

We’ll begin the course by looking at how we’ve learned through literature as young adults and the expertise and experience in teaching literature and literacy that we bring to the course.

If the snow/ice comes as predicted, then maybe you’ll have some unanticipated time to sit back, put your feet up, and get to know the course. I hope this detailed letter will serve as a good introduction.


1.  Contributions

2.  How To Get Started

3.  Weekly Updates

4.  Transmission, Transactions (Activities/Action Items), Week 1

5.  Web 2.0/Social Media Tools

6.  Open Online Course

7.  Seeds I’d Like to Sow

1. Contributions

First, a little about me and the contributions I hope to make.  I have taught ECI 521: Teaching Literature for Young Adults for ten years. I began to teach it just after I completed my PhD at State in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on literacy and technology. It is the most fun I have each year and I always look forward it.  One of the reasons it is so much fun is that we partner with a teen book club, the Eva Perry Mock Printz Book Club.  This club won the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for Best Teen Literature Program in the country in 2009, and we are so fortunate to have their contributions to our class.

I want to thank you in advance for the contributions that you’ll make to this class — for what you’ll share that will touch the professional lives of everyone in the class . . . and perhaps beyond.

2.  How to Get Started

Moodle has been NC State’s official online learning management system for several years now, and many of you may be quite familiar with it.  It’s made its way to the K-12 arena, too, so some of you may even teach with Moodle.

No worries if it’s completely new to you.  There are some helpful tutorials that DELTA has provided that you’ll see on the sign-in page of the Moodle (look to the lower right).

The Moodle url is http://moodle.wolfware.ncsu.edu

Sign-in using your NC State account username and password. Then look for “ECI 521:  Teaching Literature for Young Adults.”

Select this course and you will see a brief greeting.  There’s a link to the Bookhenge 2011 Wiki, but before you even think of going there – please read the Waiver and Consent Form.  This is simply an official notification that you are going to be working on the open Web, blogging, tweeting, creating with Web 2.0 and Web 3D tools and that 99% of your work is public.  The other 1% is what you’ll share in your reflections and self-assessments in your Reflective Assessment Portfolio with me.  Also, the form addresses the value of your class contributions to not just our class but other educators.  If you have any questions, then call me (919.247.7955) or email (decrissm@unity.ncsu.edu).

The only other reason to visit the Moodle course after you’ve addressed the Waiver and Consent Form is to check for classmates’ emails (in Profiles).  These we will not share on the open Web.

So you’re ready then to check out our Bookhenge 2011 Wiki, our course website.  Again, you’ll find the link in the Moodle.

I’ll paste a screen save of the Bookhenge 2011 Wiki Navigation so you can begin to learn your way around the wiki.

3.  Weekly Updates

After this first session, class will begin on Wednesday morning with a Weekly Email Update at 8 am and end on Tuesday nights at 11:59 pm.  You’ll see all the LIVE Classes and special events posted to our Course Calendar (see Course Calendar in Bookhenge 2011 Wiki).  I promise to spell out all expectations for the week ahead in these weekly emails. I’ll email and post them in the Bookhenge Course Blog (see Course Blogs in Bookhenge 2011 Wiki).

4. Transmission, Transactions (Activities & Action Items), Week 1

You’ll find that each week we begin with a poem, a week overview, transmission (introduction to content for the week), transactions (activities and action items for the week), and a reminder to close out the week by updating your Reflective Assessment Portfolio.

Here is your check-off list of Activities/Action Items for Week 1.  You will find detailed instructions in Activities/Action Items under Content Creation in the wiki.

1.    ___ Send Check-in message (email).

2.    ___ Sign Waiver and Consent Form (Moodle).

3.    ___ Review the class website (the Bookhenge 2011 wiki – link is provided in the Moodle).  Again, heads-up that you will find detailed instructions for the these Activities/Action Items under Content Creation. Post a question (or more) to the “Live the Questions” Forum (Bookhenge Wiki). No questions?  Then please share what you’ve learned with class colleagues who have posted questions.

4.    ___ Design Personal Trading Card (WallWisher).

5.    ___ Record Journey Book Reflection on Class VoiceThread (VoiceThread).

6.    ___ Set up Reflective Assessment Portfolio (RAP) (Google Docs).

7.    ___ Complete Funds of Knowledge Inventory (Personal Blog)

8.    ___ Reflect/self-assess work completed this week in your RAP (Reflective Assessment Portfolio) (Google Docs).

9.    ___ Join Class Diigo (Social Bookmarking) Group.

10.___ Tweet!  (Twitter participation is encouraged but ultimately optional). It’s a great opportunity if you’ve been curious about the educational uses.

5.  Web 2.0 and Web 3D

Some of us thrive on simply the learning of new tools and literacies while others have to see a real purpose to get motivated and still others fear the change.

I’ve designed the course so that a few tools are absolutely necessary because they serve as the communication, collaboration, and curation backbone for our class.  These we must have in common.  They include Diigo, Google Docs, VoiceThread, and YouTube.  I believe that we also need a “near-time” tool and I’m suggesting Twitter.

You have autonomy in choosing additional tools to help you learn and practice the new literacies of connecting, communicating, collaborating, creating, managing, researching, and curating in the digital environment.

What’s important aren’t which tools you choose but that you find tools that work for you in your own personal learning environment/space.  The tools will change and the literacies will evolve, but this seems a wise way to get and stay updated, both course-wise and beyond.

We’ll see how well your tools are working for you and what changes you may need to make when you reflect and self-assess on your learning and contributions each week in your Reflective Assessment Portfolio.

6.  Open Online Course

I am pleased to announce that ours will be the very first open online course for the College of Education.  This means that anyone in the world is welcomed to join our class and participate in all of our LIVE Classes and ongoing discussions, synchronous and asynchronous, at no charge.  These non-credit students can participate to any degree they’d like, though, of course, they will not receive the feedback and mentoring I provide nor the university credit.

The College is making a terrific contribution in the spirit of open education.  I’m hoping that this will draw a diversity of teachers and librarians interested in various areas of young adult literature or those who just want to catch up on the latest and greatest.  I’m also hoping that we can attract a global audience.  If not this year, then in the future as the word gets out.  I think this could help us gain more of a global perspective.  It’s totally a win-win situation.

I’m sending the invitation out soon since the Bookhenge 2011 Wiki is officially opened.  Please invite any colleagues you have who might like to join us.

7.  Seeds I’d Like to Sow

I hope that you will find the Reflective Assessment Portfolio will enable us to have a running dialogue that is easy to review and build upon.  I’ll look forward to the personal mentoring I can do with it. It’s a way that I can compensate for missing out on the one-to-one contact in the actual face-to-face classroom.

I’d also encourage you to begin considering an inquiry question for your Action Learning Project.  As you take stock of your funds of knowledge about our course outcomes, it’s not too early to reflect on what topic might resonant most with you and hold much relevance for your future teaching.

Finally, at least for now, please don’t hesitate to call/email/tweet/Skype/whatever when you need help.  Though a little bewilderment can often lead to enlightenment, time is too precious to waste in frustration.  I’ll respond as quickly as I can, and you have a class of colleagues ready to help.

Whew! That’s all for now. Relax. Take a deep breath. And let’s get started.

Best wishes for a great learning adventure.


Cris Crissman, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction,
College of Education, NC State University
Writer and Media Producer, Educational & Environmental Videos




2 responses

18 01 2011

Hi Birdie — everything you’ll need for the course is located either on the Bookhenge site or linked from it — http://bookhenge2011.wikispaces.com/ We’re not using any learning management system that you’ll need access to. I’ll post the weekly updates here with assignments, events, activities — the smorgasbord that you can select from. We’ll pull in your blog via tags and I’m preparing a post now to explain that to our newbies. Please check out our Netvibes Dashboard at http://www.netvibes.com/bookhenge#General to keep up with the conversations. Thanks for joining us!

18 01 2011
Birdie Newborn

I asked for a login but didn’t get a reply. How do I access the course?

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