Creating Storytellers Through Agency as we #TeachTheWeb

This summer we hope to unleash a new wave of webmakers on the Elm City. For the first time our 11th grade Gear Up students will take college level credit bearing classes. We will start with EDU 106: New Literacies for Life Long Learning.

The hybrid class will focus on telling the story of us. I have a syllabus, but I am not a fan. I want our learning to unfold in real-time…to be user driven. In July we will have three days a week together for three and a half hours a day. The other two days students will attend college visits and arts based field trips. They will have to choose some digital documentation tools.

The Curriculum

I want to create and curate curriculum with the class. Last fall in our Gear Up Academy we focused on Beyonce and Formation. Students learned about the local history of the Black Panther Party in New Haven and wrote letters to the Miami Fraternal Order of Police who called for a boycott of Beyonce.

The readings will be based on what I have chosen but I hope to add , or better yet have the class upvote, a reading each module. I am toying with just picking something from Medium each week.

For the activities I am going to focus on the web literacy curriculum we created at Mozilla. Specificall, Web Literacy Basics II, and the new javascript storytelling curriculum.

I am most excited for storytelling and scripting as I have spent the last year upping my Javascript skills in order to teach these basic lessons.

I want to tell the story of us. More importantly I want our GearUp stories to share their story. Last year we worked on college essays for the common app. Each story was unique. A tail of trials and triumphs. Many shared stories of being first generation college students, or of trying to make it through high school while being the primary breadwinner and caregiver to their siblings. There were stories of surviving abuse and the horrors of growing up in the system.

Yet everyone endured. They have made it this far. They have taught me so much.

The WorkFlow

We will be using our new collaborative learning space at Southern. Our Dean Stephen Hegedus, came to campus and immediatley ripped out the computer lab. He replaced it with individual networked stations and a state of the art 360 camera system.

I also purchased a Tricaster mini and a few black magic cameras. Be awesome to get some podcasting going.

Every student will maintain a domain of their own. We have used Known as our basic platform. I think I will stick with the tool.

Elm City Webmakers

Leveling up the digital skills of the youth in New Haven is a passion of mine. If diversity in tech is an HR problem it is already too late. We have been learning basic html/css skills for the past three years as a Mozilla Club.

I recognize not everyone is a maker, especially a webmaker (Students can also choose a music production class to fill the technology fluency component). So the tech doesn’t really matter. I want the web to be the paintbrush students can use to paint their world.

If anyone in tech in the Greater New Haven area would like to get involved please reach out. Urban education is not a school thing. It is not a parent thing. It belongs to the community. We must work to make the city our campus.

Originally published at INTERTEXTrEVOLUTION.