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TTT 03.18.2020 What's of use in this pandemic? Help us find the value now in the Geo Inquiry Process and playlists

Author: Teachers Teaching Teachers

We invite you to join a conversation with five National Writing Project teachers who have recently been asking (along with many of us): “What are some of the most important things we can say to our colleagues who are new to online learning?”

Two ways to join these five teachers:

  1. Jump into the Zoom meeting with us at
  2. Watch and annotate the live stream with others at

The five of us would love for you to join us tonight.

  • Paul Allison (NYCWP)
  • Carrie Nobis (Red Ceder WP)
  • Jeff Dierking (Greater Kansas City WP)
  • Rich Novak (Connecticut WP)
  • Christina Cantrill (NWP)
This Spring we started meeting together to plan, to remix, and to create online materials using LRNG playlists and badges to capture and extend the National Geographic’s Geo Inquiry Process.

The pandemic has upended our careful, deliberate collaborative design process, and last week we started asking what our colleagues needed right now.

One thing we thought might be of value is to make clear that none of us have been doing online learning alone. We have been creating learning experiences for youth in communities of practice.

With that in mind, we decided that it might be helpful to invite you into our small community of practice that is in the middle of figuring out how to bring the Geo Inquiry Process into online learning. We don’t have answers or recommendations yet, but we invite you to join us on this journey. And we think we can all share some exciting ideas to apply to our work online with students tomorrow.

As part of a pilot project, we have been experimenting with the National Geographic Geo Inquiry Process and related online resources, including playlists and badges. We have been thinking a lot about playlist, badges and the things that learners created - we’d love you to join us in this discovery process.

Come let us know what you are thinking about, how thinking about artifacts, playlists and badges can support designing for online learning in a range of contexts, as well as learn a bit about the Nat Geo Inquiry process.

Two ways to join us tonight, Wednesday, March 18 at 9E/8C/7M/6P:

  1. Jump into the Zoom meeting with us at
  2. Watch and annotate the live stream with others at
Here is part of an email that Jeff Dierking wrote to his colleagues in Kansas City:
The challenge in this process is always an instruction. Putting activities online isn't particularly challenging - though it's sometimes time-consuming. The problem is how to provide the instruction it takes for the activities to be meaningful, educational experiences. You do that naturally in the classroom, and it's completely possible online. But it's different. And for those who are new to the online space, it's usually the most challenging part.

I've been working for the last 18 months with the National Writing Project on this exact problem and have big ideas about the "how" of it all. I'm hopeful that that work will help me provide you with the kind of support you need to provide the kind of great instruction you demand of yourselves online. None of what I will provide or do is meant to negate or replace anything you do that works. I'm certainly not the only expert in online instruction in the department. But for those of you feeling anxious about a sudden, forced migration into an unknown space, I want to provide reassurance and guidance.

More on some of that later, too. The NWP will be working to provide some opportunities to manage your anxieties (if you have them) in the coming days, and I'll try and make them available to you.


From 800020146 : Kirsten Dirks, Also in KCMO

From lindabrock : Hi, Everyone!

From CArens : Hello from Blue Springs, Missouri!

From janetilko : Good evening everyone! this is Janet Ilko from San Diego California

From Christina Cantrill :

From 800020146 : Daniel.. I am right there with ya.. freaking out. I teach middle school in SMSD…

From 800020146 : How do I teach reading intervention remotely???

From Harry.Brake : I do have 8 students that cannot speak English in a class of 20 others that are English speakers, I need some alternatives for Spanish and English in the same class for them. I am able to speak with them in simple Spanish but it makes be feel schizo balancing in one class, so I would like to have some options alongside the English speaker AND the Spanish speakers

From Harry.Brake : I started my Freshman Seminar Students on an all online condition in August so this is not difficult for me at all

From Jan Rog : I'm so happy so many GKCWP people are involved tonight. We're awesome!

From lindabrock : Chris, I had family trying to fly out of Salt Lake today. Didn’t happen! They are enroute driving!

From Harry.Brake : I created a system of Google folders, one for each class day. The purpose of Freshman Seminar is to pick activities, mainly online, and learning how to APPLY concepts to outside the class. You are more than welcome to how I set It up for the, The link for the freshman seminar, 3rd marking period, is here -

From Harry.Brake : We do student / public library/ school library podcasts as part of this class and that is found here- it has worked well - the last one was how they felt on coronavirus experience - if any of this is helpful great!

From Rich Novack : I love that idea of “office hours” Chris. That’s a good idea.

From Rich Novack : I’m definitely going to solicit their feedback as we progress through this.

From dianemora : So does that math and science overload give us an opportunity to tie into writing assignments?

From Harry.Brake : I would think this is a PRIME opportunity to offer writing to science and math for sure to work out the stress and issues they have in these areas

From Christina Cantrill :

From lindabrock : Parents need you, too!

From Jeff Dierking : Whoa. Christina. That’s a big deal.

From Harry.Brake : Wow that is a lot of red tape

From Harry.Brake : ugh

From lindabrock : Since some districts ARE providing remote instruction, the gap will grow larger if other districts do not provide any remote instruction.

From dianemora : I was listening to a podcast today about a teacher in Cincinnati who is creating a district level resource “Science mourned Cinci” he says it’s accessible to all teachers around the nation. So, maybe the PA resource will ultimately become a curation of materials with some longevity.

From lindabrock : I love your ideas, Rich!

From Harry.Brake : What if you have students, as projects, design the unit with this going on? As a project?

From Harry.Brake : They design the donors choose for something that makes this all work? might be kind of cool

From dianemora : I really like Linda Lappin’s book, “The Soul of Place” TONS of great ideas for place-based writing, which is probably just the ting for home learning

From lindabrock : Thanks, Diane! It’s good to see you, Lady!

From Harry.Brake : yes! and same as librarians those that do not have librarians, they will be like DARN! now L:OL

From Jan Rog : Thank you, all! I have some family responsibilities now.

From Jan Rog : Keep doing such excellent work!

From Christina Cantrill : Thanks for being here Jan

From Jan Rog : My Best, Jan

From lindabrock : Take care, Jan!

From lindabrock : What are the best apps for kids to use on their phone?

From Christina Cantrill : To do what, Linda?

From lindabrock : To do the work Harry was describing

From Harry.Brake : And we get by without using apps a lot too on the phone

From Harry.Brake : for example using this right now for a poem due tonight by 11:30 to get their poems on the air possibly by Kwame Alexander

From Harry.Brake :

From Harry.Brake : no app required

From Harry.Brake : and then sometimes they need to have Google docs or drive

From Harry.Brake : which cuts a lot of not adding apps but using one central center for a lot of assignments

From lindabrock : Thanks, everyone. It was great to hear how things are going across the country. Take care of yourselves. Linda

From Christina Cantrill : Carrie — Sara Beauchamp-Hicks responded on FB to me to describe this experience too in Michigan.

From Harry.Brake : you should get VOICES LEARNING toilet paper

From CArens : I need to tend to my little ones...sad to leave--this conversation has fueled me. Looking forward to the next!

From Christina Cantrill :

From Rich Novack : It’s empowering to hear all these stories from teachers from around the country. I feel part of this larger whole that I didn’t know I was part of.

From Jeff Dierking : My wife works for a school district around her.e

From Jeff Dierking : Last week they went and bought 2700 macbook chargers

From Jeff Dierking : To send them home with kids.

From Christina Cantrill : Should we make a COVID journaling playlist connected to Youth Voices?

DMU Timestamp: March 12, 2020 00:41

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