It’s been a HUGE week for me, but not nearly as huge as the week that John Green has had with the release today of ‘The Fault in our Stars‘ worldwide.
I find John absolutely fascinating. He’s not only fascinating, he’s entirely relevant to the subject I teach, ‘Language of our Times’. This Year 9 elective is designed to help students understand the nature of communication in today’s world. My students are currently completing a task that required them to work collaboratively to research John’s use of social media channels to grow his audience. The second part of the task then required them to individually produce a feature article about John’s methods that could appear in a digital newspaper. They need to think about the headline, lead and the structure of the paragraphs to follow. As they write, they needed to hyperlink to relevant content and find suitable pictures and YouTube videos that would complement the written text.
What I’ve seen them produce so far has been fantastic. I’m pretty blown away by the skills some of them have to write with the kind of conversational tone that works well in a feature article where your subject matter is someone who uses the Internet to good effect like John Green does.
Why was my week huge? Well, I presented at EduTECH in Brisbane. I’ll write a post over the weekend that explores what happened there. I’ll leave you with this though.
Yep, it was huge. Not sure I’ll ever see my name trending ahead of Tony Abbott again. 😉
Sylvia Martinez shared this video on Twitter this week. It was perfect for this week’s School’s out Friday post. I hope it makes you smile.
School resumes for most teachers here in Australia next week. In my new role, I’ve been back already for the last fortnight. We’re rolling out a new printing solution throughout the school and this week has been occupied with the finite details that need ticking off to ensure all goes smoothly next week. I’ve been consumed with that, and with the thought processes necessary for the new subject I’m teaching this year. I’m knocking out the final details for this semester’s coursework – it’s called ‘The Language of our Times’ and its focus is on the communication methods we use in today’s world. There’s a real opportunity to create a learning community using new tools and sites. Part of the course will see us looking closely at ‘The Fault in our Stars‘ and how its author John Green is changing up the way authors interact with their audiences. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to do something very different with this course and hopefully I’ll be able to share our learning here.
I’ve plenty to do before next Tuesday still. I hope you’re enjoying the last days of the holiday break if you’re here in Australia. Best of luck with the 2013 school year on your return. 🙂
OK. Unless you’re a Teacher-Librarian you probably have no idea who John Green is. But if you watch this video, you’ll get a sense of the kind of guy he is. He’s fun. He writes novels that teenagers love. He’s an author who understands how to use social media well to engage a new kind of audience. He’s someone modeling the new ways people need to work now to generate readership and income. Worth taking notice of, and perhaps sharing his story with your students.
His Vlogbrothers work on YouTube is something he started with his brother Hank in 2007. It was a really interesting premise called Brotherhood 2.0.
Brotherhood 2.0 was a project created by John and Hank Green in 2007. It started on January 1st of that year with the premise that the brothers would cease all text-based communication for a year and instead converse by video blogs every weekday. The project was made available to the public via YouTube and on their Brotherhood 2.0 website. On July 18, 2007, Hank Green uploaded a video of himself playing and singing his song “Accio Deathly Hallows” in honour of the seventh Harry Potter book. This video was the first Vlogbrothers video to make the front page of YouTube, and the starting point of the brothers’ success as vloggers. The project ended on December 31st, 2007, but due to their popularity the brothers continued making videos even after the final day had passed. Now Hank and John continue to create vlogs, but less frequently (every Tuesday and Friday, as of 2012).