CLOUD 9 – A place for high quality inspired writing

High expectations dominate my entire pedagogical approach. In most lessons I push students to think deeply about topics and make connections to the bigger picture of the course. No matter the class, I explicitly teach high level vocabulary, and no matter the student, use questioning to delve deeper into their current thoughts about what I am teaching them.

Differentiation is done mostly through directed questioning, with higher level inquiry directed to students who have moved closer to expert status with the particular topic, and challenging verbal feedback as I move around the room and observe responses. Some students are closer to mastery, and to be frank, for GCSE level, are at mastery level, and require more stimulating conversations and explorations into texts. These students are able to produce higher level, sophisticated responses to essays by weaving judicious quotes together, making links across texts and contexts, and generally writing with precision, concision, and perspicacity.

It is these students that indeed enjoy reading other texts that are of the highest calibre for GCSE, because they serve as inspiration to think, and invariably, as inspiration to produce. Sometimes it is the other way round, with the writing process their initial indulgence. But underlying either approach is the strong desire to see and absorb writing of high quality, writing that demands thinking and takes students into matrices intricate, new worlds of thought that propagate, swell, and change the soul for the better.

This is why I have set up a space on my revision/resource website called Cloud9Writing, which has now been taken over by Cheryl Quine and renamed as Cloud9EnglishClub. Students need to submit an adroit and accomplished response for their work to be added to the site. The categories are essays and creative pieces. To boost the quantity, I have also added essays I have written as well as other teachers’ submissions for students to read, as a further stimulus for students to push their thinking. It is nice for these students to see their teachers write with passion, to see him or her similarly fascinated by the texts taught, and wanting to explore themes as a source of enjoyment; as a compulsion.

The space is open to all nations. Students being able to read high quality essays from across the country, and where relevant, across the world, exposes them to a wide, diverse range of viewpoints and thinking, thinking influenced by culture, location, and gender.

As an added bonus, after some time, students’ work will remain, for posterity; how many times have you read a student’s work, been blown away by it, but end up never seeing it again? Cloud 9 Writing eliminates this frustration.

There are things to consider with such an ambition, including stipulations regarding GDPR, and who will moderate submissions. Measures in place include:

  • Having moderators who are examiners to ensure the quality of uploads is maintained.
  • A submission form satisfying all GDPR requirements for teachers to submit pieces from their students they believe are of an outstanding level.
  • Promotion of teh site to build the quantity of submissions and promote the site’s efficacy.

If you believe you have a student who has written something of exceptional quality, and the student is willing for their work to be placed on the site (anonymously of course), leave a message below.

The platform has had over 35,000 views, and I have received lots of encouragement from teachers about the benefits for students in being able to read and indeed submit high quality essays. Please help spread the word, and even better, submit an essay.

 

I’m Paul Moss. Follow me on Twitter @edmerger, and follow this blog for more educational and English teaching resources.

internet – the liberator

See on Scoop.itconstructivism: the lost art of learning

Long live the collaborative collective intelligence the internet functions by –  before capital gets in the way

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

The development of this extraordinarily powerful technology has in fact depended on a mass of informal, innovatory, intellectual activity – ‘hacking’ – on whose creativity commerce constantly draws even as it criminalizes it. It was precisely out of capital’s inability to contain such activity that there emerged the astounding growth of the Internet. This is surely the quintessential institution of ‘general intellect’. For, despite all the admitted banalities and exclusivities of Internet practice, one at moments glimpses in its global exchanges what seems like the formation of a polycentric, communicatively-connected, collective intelligence. (Dyer-Witheford 1999: 498)

retrieved from http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/1675/1/Future_of_HE_-_Chapter_10.pdf

Digital Storytelling 106: Open, Participatory, Student-centric, Social…the Future? | DMLcentral

See on Scoop.itconstructivism: the lost art of learning

Far more important to me than all the venture-capitalized consortia of elite university MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and the hundreds of thousands of students flocking to them is a course taught by an adjunct professor at University of…

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

Jim Groom – wow. The ‘daily create’ project validates EDmerger. Edmerger can take it further by harnessing the necessity of national outcomes.

See on dmlcentral.net

Freedom, Autonomy, and Digital Media at an Indiana High School | DMLcentral

See on Scoop.itconstructivism: the lost art of learning

“Freedom and autonomy are the key words for this class,” says Don Wettrick, describing the “Innovations” course he teaches at Franklin Community High School in Franklin, Indiana.

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

The power of liberation. Letting students shape their own learning is one of the most powerful techniques a teacher has in their repertoire. Unfortunately, it most cases, it can only be used in a clandestine fashion, hoping to not upset the applecart that is school administration. Fortunately, as this article shows, there are some teachers and schools who lead through innovation, through trusting students, and through sheer guts.

See on dmlcentral.net

Candy Chang: Before I die I want to… | Video on TED.com

See on Scoop.itconstructivism: the lost art of learning

In her New Orleans neighborhood, artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” Her neighbors’ answers — surprising, poignant, funny — became…

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

constructivism at its finest

See on www.ted.com

Random Absence Mentoring: Random Absence Mentoring

Student voice is alive and well, and a powerful force when allowed to be heard. This excellent example from David Preston demonstrates that students are not only capable of helping each other, but do it incredibly well.

http://randomabsencementoring.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Random%20Absence%20Mentoring

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

Created by a truly progressive teacher

See on randomabsencementoring.blogspot.co.uk

Open Source Learning – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

See on Scoop.itconstructivism: the lost art of learning

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

incredibly inspiring ideas, and so validating. Bravo David Preston

See on en.wikipedia.org

Open Source Learning: David Preston at TEDxUCLA

See on Scoop.itconstructivism: the lost art of learning

David Preston holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Science. He has taught at universities and graduate …

Paul Moss – teacher, learner‘s insight:

Imagine a coalition of the willingcreating artefacts for each other to help each other learn? WOW!!!!!

See on www.youtube.com