What's Youth Voices All About?
Our logo was designed by Brian, a student at Fremont High School in Oakland, California.
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We are a site for conversations. We invite youth of all ages to voice their thoughts about their passions, to explain things they understand well, to wonder about things they have just begun to understand, and to share discussion posts with other young people using as many different genres and media as they can imagine!
Are you a Power User of Youth Voices? Check out Youth Voices Challenges and Tasks (aligned with Common Core Learning Standards), September 2012
Youth Voices is a school-based social network that was started in 2003 by a group of National Writing Project teachers. We merged several earlier blogging projects. We have found that there are many advantages to bringing students together in one site that lives beyond any particular class. It's easier for individual students to read and write about their own passions, to connect with other students, comment on each others work, and create multimedia posts for each other. Further, it's been exciting for us to pool our knowledge about curriculum and digital literacies.
If being part of such a community makes sense to you, we invite you to join us too. We welcome any teacher interested in having students publish online and participate in the give and take of a social network like Youth Voices. Consider joining our P2PU course.
We are much more than a website or a social network. We are also a welcoming community of teachers who have been planning curriculum together for years. Many of us are active members in our local National Writing Project sites, and Youth Voices is managed by teachers in the New York City Writing Project. In addition, many of us count ourselves as members of the World Bridges community, and we meet regularly using Google+ Hangouts On Air on a weekly webcast/podcast, Teachers Teaching Teachers, which has been broadcast live every Wednesday evening over the EdTechTalk channel of the WorldBridges network since 2006.
With all of this collaboration and talk, these years of building curriculum and working on the web have led us to consider: What do you love about this work? And what do we think any kindergarten - college teacher might also find to love as well? What we think you and your students will find on Youth Voices, what we keeps us coming back, what we strive to engender, what we will never give up on (even in a school) is involving our students in “authentic conversation.”
Over the years the teachers who have been working together to grow Youth Voices have learned that as important as it is to have students publish multi-media, well-crafted products, it is at least as important to nurture, guide, and allow time for students to write comments and to develop conversations about each others discussion posts. Our mission at Youth Voices is to be a place online where students from across the nation (and globally, when possible) can engage other young people in conversations about real topics that they see happening in the world. We want our students to be immersed in lively, voiced give-and-take with their peers.
Our site is a VoiceBox installation profile which was designed by our friends at FunnyMonkey to simplify the work of groups looking to create or expand their online presence. VoiceBox is built on Drupal, and is freely available.
For more please read this resource at the NWP's Digital Is site: "Authentic Conversations on Youth Voices."