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Maria Lam
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1. One thing I will remember from Youth Voices is the roundtable share-outs. I felt like I could truly peer into the souls of everyone, and the most important idea was that they allowed me to peek. I want to remember that everyone desires to be heard. I think the voices have always been there, but whether people are given the space to be heard, respectfully, is another story. 

2. I would like to recognize +Areeg Abdelhamid  for sharing her spoken word talents and thoughts on the Egyptian revolution. It is rare that we can get first-person insight into what is happening halfway across the world, especially when our news is rarely objectively reporting. It made me think of what a nation, new to democracy, must face, and also what a place restricted of freedoms must endure. 

I would also like to recognize +Eva Martinez  who was the first student to answer my questions. She unabashedly coached me on how to create an Avatar and the other technological questions. She has provided me many humorous and serious memorable moments. 

I would like to thank +Helena Rampersaud  for sharing pieces of her religion with me. She informed me on how beautiful her religion is and how it has really shaped who she is. Her beautiful soul emanates good intentions!

I would like to recognize +Alondra Diaz  for sharing my love of Korean drama. She conversed with me about many episodes and it was amazing to be two people who don’t even speak Korean, share ideas about an aspect about Korean culture. 

I would like to recognize +Mario Orellana sharing his passion for the poor in Latin America. I trust him that the children there will not be forgotten as long as Mario doesn’t forget them.

I would like to recognize +QuaNajae Cook for sharing her inspirational journey from finding out she had diabetes to overcoming having an illness define her. It has been a powerful story that testifies to the power of perseverance. 

I would like to recognize +Telia Blake-Workman for sharing the poem of how she was born in Cold weather, and how she prefers the afternoons over the mornings. What beautiful words! 
3. I made the badges “Rabbithole Research” and “His/her story” to show how people can deepen their learning through exploring an inquiry question and asking each other their life stories. Both processes are enriching and the personal and collective journey towards understanding the question is what makes research so much more fun. 

I applied for the +Barbara Rivera's  badge because I felt that my freewriting reflected the process of escaping reality. However, she did mention that it sounded like my writing was trapping me rather than allowing me to escape. 

4. This work was different than the work in school because everyone was given the “free time” to do something productive. It was less regimented, and so it followed the pace of the students. It gave room for trial and error, and never once did I hear about “right” or “wrong” answers. 

I would love to bring back this more organic way of teaching skills that simultaneously capture real life lessons for the students. I think it will benefit students to see where their curiosities bring them, rather than always having me solely direct them. 

I have learned so much this week, it was definitely an explosion of technological innovation. To begin, I've delved deeper into my research project. I am discovering that more money leads to problems for women. Climbing the job ladder is something that women drop out  of, and sometimes unconsciously, because they begin preparing their schedule for building a family. More choices have also led to more dilemmas for women because, as the COO from Facebook had noted, choices does not mean increased likability. It is an inverse relationship for women (likability and advancement). 

I have also loved the different modes of annotating. It has help me react to different informational media related to my research topic. 

To top it all off, as I have noted in my journal, the students here are amazing and their interests make me want to learn more. 

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Maria Lam was in a video call with 1 person. <a class='ot-hashtag' href='https://plus.google.com/s/%23hangoutsonair'>#hangoutsonair</a>Mario Orellana

Badges are great ways for us to showcase our specialties, interests, or expertise. For example, it was evident from today's session that some people are interested in art, Korean language, writing poetry, and/or sleeping. I can imagine this as a fun getting to know you project in the beginning of the year where students can reveal a sliver of themselves by 
creating a badge that fits their profile. 

Badges are also a great way to improve yourself. If you find a badge that has a skill you have not yet acquired, by trying out the badge and applying for it, you can learn a new skill! You can also receive instant feedback on whether you have "mastered" the badge skill. As said before, a great tool for improvement. 


I feel like I've fall into a rabbit hole, meaning that I am falling deeper and deeper into many aspects of this program. First, I am getting to know the people around me more. I ask them for advice and I find that many times, they are adding to my thinking. For example, Eva and I had an informal discussion on gender equality, and she pointed out many interesting ideas about how the media (Army commercials and pop culture stars) portray the dynamics between males and females. I am learning so much more about technology, and how to have areas for collecting thoughts. These thoughts layer atop one another which gets me excited because I enjoy knowing a topic more deeply. Crocodoc is really helping me annotate the readings efficiently. And there is a place to reference them. The journals are also a very easy location to locate my thoughts on the program as it progresses.

I am also thinking about the implications for my classroom next year. I want students to conduct this type of deep thinking as well. I want them to wonder about American Literature and the structures and power dynamics in America. It is so important that we understand our self and how we fit into the community at large. 

Wonderings:
1. How do you help students filter the sources themselves rather than seeking "approval" from a teacher?
2. When do you help with writing mechanics? When does the revision process come in?

1. What did you notice about yourself or the students?
I was particularly impressed by the questions students were coming up with for the 10 Self/10 World task. They were not only reflective but honest. I didn't expect that on day one, everyone would already feel so welcomed to share their inner thoughts. This affirmed that if we create a safe space for students to "speak", they will. 

What also interested me was that the students were very comfortable navigating through the different platforms. I had to ask Eva for help and it felt wonderful when they were the experts. 

2. What are you thinking related to the work we have begun?
I'm thinking that the more we allow students to bring out their ideas from their own interests, well, the greater the interest in the project. I thought that the self questions would not be as deep, but on the contrary, they were equally thought-provoking. Already, the probing has helped them build their topics and voice and it's only day 1! 

I liked when the students had to search within a student database to research their inquiry question because they were able to see how other students have inquired about similar topics. It probably gave it more credibility for them since it was from their peers. 

3. What questions have come up for you?
Many teachers have voiced that allowing students to choose their research topics creates very broad topics for research. Then, the students spend a lot of their time trying to hone into an idea rather than deepening their research in one area. How can we help students narrow their inquiry questions so that they can have a more fruitful research process?

Sometimes, I feel that working on the computer is a very isolating process. Besides commenting on discussion boards, how can lessons with technology not lose their interactive nature? 
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