Professional Organizations for English Teachers

Professional Organizations 
for English Teachers

The professional association for English teachers is theNational Council for the Teachers of English . You can join the organization electronically at their web site. From this site you can order NCTE books and publications, find resources, and join any one of several list serves for English teachers, such as NCTE-Net.

The professional organization for English and Foreign Language professors is the Modern Language Association. Their page has information about conventions, publications, jobs, and how to use the MLA style conventions. 

The International Reading Association has resources for teachers of reading.

The National Writing Project, one of the most important iniatives for the professional development of English teachers. 

Teachers interested in theater or drama will like the Educational Theater Association.

Teachers interested in journalism will want to visit theJournalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association.

Teachers with a penchant for speech, drama and forensics may want to try the National Communication Association or theNational Forensics League.

Teachers with responsibility for yearbooks may find help atSteve Ferguson's Yearbook Advisor website. Very exciting possibilities are now available for publishing yearbooks on CD ROM's, check out the Yearbook Interactive software.

If you are concerned about censorship check out the American Library Association, the NCTE on censorship, or check out Ellen Brinkley's new book Caught Off Guard: Teachers Rethinking the Censorship Controversy available at the Allyn and Bacon website.

Leading research in the teaching of English language arts is done at the National Research Center on English Language and Achievement, CELA, and many of their reports are available on line.

Rethinking Schools: one of my favorite teacher publication and organization. You can access useful articles from a progressive educational perspective. 

Gay/Lesbian/Straight Teacher Network, GLSEN, national web site. Phone numbers for local chapters are listed (Kalamazoo included). 

Teaching Tolerance, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

National Education Association has a rich web page for teachers.  

The National Middle School Association is a group for middle school and aspiring middle school teachers.



“Insurgent Credentials: A Challenge to Established Institutions of Higher Education?”

Thought-provoking article, “Insurgent Credentials: A Challenge to Established Institutions of Higher Education?”, by Michael R. Olneck on badges  possible  effects  credentailization in higher education.

This is a 10-page PDF file.

Why Gamification is Changing the Face of 21st Century Education

Tag line:  "The future belongs to the curious."


Education startup Skillshare‘s first ever conference held in New York City last week.

Access the nine speeches delivered at Penny Conference 2012 by visiting  the Skillshare Livestream site to view previous recordings of the event.


A Pedagogy of Play: Integrating Computer Games into the Writing Classroom 

This article ,by Rebekah Shultz Colby and Richard Colby, considers game and playspace within the college classroom and uses World of Warcarft as a case study of how emergent gaming can combine with rhetorical instruction.

Online Teaching Manifesto

manifesto for teaching online

Instructional Systems' Design Outdated?

The Social Learning blog has an interesting entry on instructional system design (ISD) and its outdated and false assumptions about pedagogy.

In its place:  Accelerated Learning Rapid Instructional Design (RID) model, which is based on the "concept that people learn more from experience with feedback than from training materials and presentations.  The model replaces traditional media-heavy courses with activity-based courses that put the learners in charge of their own learning and enable them to learn with and from each other."

Especially interesting is that all learning styles are accommodated, not just visual and verbal:

  • Somatic learning (learning by moving and doing)
  • Auditory (learning by talking and hearing)
  • Visual (learning by observing and picturing)
  • Intellectual (learning by problem solving and reflecting). Source:  Social Learning blog, 10.06.11

Educating the 21st Century Work Force and Class / Assignment Design

 I have been thinking about repackaging, fusing, and hacking liberal arts classes for the 21st century work world.
Excerpt from Educating the 21st Century Work Force
...many employers are forced to send their new hires to orientation classes just to learn communications basics so that they can express themselves clearly in emails and other forms of written and oral communication.


Which Competencies Do College Graduates Lack?  (The lack of parallel structure here is not my doing!)

  •  Communicatipn
  •  Flexibility & adaptability

  • Tactfulness
  • Initiative
  • Teamwork
  • Organizational
  • Strong work ethic
  • Self-confidence
  •  Problem-solving 
  • Detail-oriented 

See also Cisco's Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century.

Intuitive Thinking: The Problems and the Flaws

Interesting transcript from Edge Master Class July 2011.

Helping learners to develop critical thinking intuitions would help them gain the practical insights necessary for a quick and ready application of concepts to cases in a large array of circumstances.  Critical thinking principles should be intuitive to learners in the sense those principles should be ready and available in their minds for immediate translation into their everyday thought and experience.

Engaging Interactions for E-Learning

Ideas for course design learner engagement:  Engaging Interactions for E-Learning by B. J Schone.

This is a 35-page PDF file.

There is also a blog, Engaging Interactions.

Motivating Students

The Harvard Business School Newsletter 09.06.11 has a review article on a new book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work,  by Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer, who discuss how even small steps forward on a project can make huge differences in employees' emotional and intellectual well-being. 

Excerpt from book review:  

"Of all the factors that induce creativity, productivity, collegiality, and commitment among employees, the single most important one is a sense of making progress on meaningful work."

~~From  Carmen Noble, "Executive Summary of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work.  

The review suggests the book would be useful for motivating students, especially in team assignments or capstone projects, where energy and commitment often flag.

Critical Thinking



This  thinking model is the creation of Peter Pappas and appears in his blog / Web site Copy Paste


Designing for E-Learning 

The author of this article is Mark Nichols, E-learning Specialist .Bible College of New Zealand.

Read the introduction:

Faculty are often too busy to seriously consider learning design. Rather than embracing its open-endedness and seeing the almost limitless potential for customising it to their own educational purposes, we often hear comments such as ‘Just show me how it looks and I’ll get on with it’, or ‘Do you have a sample that I could look at and use as a template?’ (There is a clear parallel with ‘Just give me what’s in the exam’!) It is all too easy to provide examples and templates, and so give the impression that instructional design for e-learning is simply about filling in blanks and copying exemplars. But instructional design and e-learning have too much potential and variety to even consider a Model-T Ford approach to development. Faculty also tend to think of writing courses rather than creating learning experiences. This e-primer aims to help you, as faculty, to think creatively about how to match what you would like students to learn with an enlightening learning experience. 

This e-primer provides a framework for deciding how you might apply instructional design and e-learning to any given educational context. The framework is relevant to all educational contexts, but the discussion assumes a tertiary education context in humanities, and a distance education or hybrid delivery model. I do not consider Web 2.0 technologies and techniques in depth here (for that discussion, see E-Primer 5, Extending Possibilities). 

I acquired this resource from Instructional Technology Forum,1 March 2008.


This is a 34-page PDF file.

Designing for E-Learning 


Creating Learning Materials for Open and Distance Learning 

This valuable resource, an introduction to instructional design,isavailable online for free.

I acquired this resource from Mark Nichols's article Designing for E-Learning. 

Creating Learning Materials for Open and Distance Learning


Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies


This report from the United States Department of Education concludes ““On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”


This is a 93-page report.

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies







Blown Up:  More Inflatable Military Stuff




This comes from the blog  Strange Harvest, Architecture, Design, Art and More, 01.01.08.

Blown Up:  More Inflatable Military Stuff


How to Be a Leader in Your Field

Advice from Phil Agre, Department of Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. 10.07.05.

How to Be a Leader in Your Field


The New Literacy:  Programming

This article comes from Edutopia Magazine, February 2008.  The author is Marc Prensky.



The New Literacy:  Programming




12 Screencasting Tools for Creating Video Tutorials


This resource comes from the Web site Mashable, 02.21.08, by Sean P. Aune.


12 Screencasting Tools




Online Sign Generator

Useful, and fun to play with.

A sign generator is a type of web based image tool that allows you to change around the letters on photographs of actual road signs (business signs, sport fan signs, protest signage, fast food take out signs, panhadler signs, etc). You can make parody graphics just for fun or customized graphics for web/blog design.


Online Sign Generator


99 Resources to Research and Mine the  Invisible Web

Here are just a few:

Agrisurf: If you're searching for information related to agriculture and farming, check out this engine.

IncyWincy: This search engine canvasses the deep web.

Direct Search: Direct Search covers the invisible web, offering results in books, government, and much more.

SurfWax: The SurfWax search engine taps into the deep web and offers search tools for feeds, news, blogs, and more.

ZoomInfo: Get information about corporations and job searchers here.

Internet Archive: Here you'll be able to find movies, music, text, and more, even including sites and pages that no longer exist.

TenKWizard: This business search engine covers Forbes, specific industries, and exchanges.

ZabaSearch: This search engine serves up public records like phone numbers and addresses.


This resource is from the Web site .  Published 02.13.08 by Jessica Hupp.

99 Resources


Rapid E-Learning Blog


This blog is the creation of Tom Kuhlmann, who shares tricks and tips about E-learning.

BONUS: If you subscribe to this blog, you get a free 46-page book, The Insider's Guide to Beoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro.



Rapid E-Learning Blog


Student as Scholar Blog

The "Student As Scholar" blog was formally created on July 25 2008. The Blog
is devoted to documenting relevant literature that supports the view that :

"Undergraduate education should adopt the ³Student as Scholar² Model
throughout the curriculum, where scholar is conceived in terms of an
attitude, an intellectual posture, and a frame of mind derived from the best
traditions of an engaged liberal arts education. With this framework, not
only each research project, but also each course, is viewed as an
integrated, and integrating, part of the student experience."

From "Convocation to Capstone: Developing the Student as Scholar"David
Hodge, Kira Pasquesi, Marissa Hirsh / Miami University ; Paul LePore /
University ofWashington.

This resource acquired from DEOS-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU ,07.26.08.

Student as Scholar Blog


CISCO's Educational Games for Work Place Training




I experimented with the games to get some ideas for my own educational gaming designs.

Free!  You will see a prompt asking you for provide a name for playing the games.

CISCO Learning Games



Until next time!






Google has launched Presentation, a tool for making presentations, much like Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote. Google Presentation is part of Google Docs, a suite of tools that was previously called Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Try it!

Presentation (Google Apps)

Posted on 09.23.2007 by Registered CommenterColette Wanless-Sobel in | Comments1 Comment



Grockit is a venture corporation , located in San Francisco, working on the development of massive multiplayer online learning applications.

Grockit is a play on the word grok, which means "to understand something so well it becomes part of you."

This page appears on the Web site Tech Crunch 07.24.07.


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