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What the Tech is Going On? (Saturday, April 19th!) Google Docs & Rap Genius

Join us for What the Tech is Going On?,

a unique technology series for K12 teachers hosted by the 

Bay Area Writing Project in partnership with UC Berkeley.

All sessions will focus on deepening writing instruction through the use of technology in order to meet the Common Core writing standards.

Where and When

This event will take place in rooms 2319 and 2326 in Tolman Hall on the UC Berkeley campus from 8:45 to 12:00 on April 19.



8:45                     Registration

9:00 to 10:30       Session A

10:30 to 12:00     Session B

Please register at www.regonline.com/whatthetechisgoingon



Session A:  Google Docs

9:00 to 10:30


Google Docs is here to stay! What is google doc? Why should I or my students use google doc? What are the benefits? These questions and many more will be answered in this introductory workshop on google docs. In this workshop you will have the chance to explore and learn about the components that make up google docs, by using it. You will be writing, peer editing, sharing your work and more.

Marna Blanchard teaches 8th grade Humanities and a media class at Francisco Middle School in San Francisco. In addition, she also teaches at the Young Writers Camp for digital storytelling here in the Bay Area, as well as similar workshops in Seoul, Korea and recently in Singapore. Marna is a frequent contributor to the Digital Paper, an online publication featuring the work of teacher writers.



Session B: Rap Genius

10:30 to 12:00


This hands-on workshop will introduce teachers to the online collaborative text annotation platform, Rap Genius. Initially developed for fans of hip hop music to annotate lyrics and debate meanings of their favorite songs, Rap Genius has moved into classrooms over the past several years, rapidly becoming a tool for teachers to engage students with different texts and “flip” classrooms. With the ability to annotate with text, images, and video, Rap Genius helps encourage the ‘close reading’ of texts we want to students to practice. In addition to learning how to navigate Rap Genius’ multimodal platform, teachers will also have the opportunity to join a growing network of innovative educators around the world.

Exequiel “Rex” Ganding is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program in UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. He is interested in issues at the intersection of Composition and Literacy studies, specifically examining the challenges and potential that digital culture poses to writing pedagogy. For the past five years, Rex has also served as a College Composition instructor at various institutions in the Bay Area, teaching courses from below-transfer level to second-year composition.

what the tech flyer spring revised(1)

What the Tech Series – Saturday, February 22nd!

Join us for What the Tech is Going On?, the third event in a unique technology series for K-12 teachers, hosted by the Bay Area Writing Project in partnership with UC Berkeley. Upcoming sessions will be held on March 15th and April 19th.  All sessions  focus on deepening writing instruction through the use of technology in order to meet Common Core writing standards.

COST $20 cash or check to “UC Regents”
LOCATION University of California Berkeley – Tolman Hall- Rooms 2319 and 2326
SCHEDULE     9:00 to 9:30 Coffee and pastries
9:30 to 11:00 Breakout sessions (A and B)

Space is limited. Sign up now at

Saturday, February 22nd!

Session A: Geeking Out with Wikis

Invite students to engage in relevant current debates by geeking out on a three dimensional collaborative project. Using a wiki, students share and broaden their concept of “precious knowledge” by exploring a current controversial issue, posting analytical and argumentative written responses, and designing unique artistic creations. The wiki platform allows students to go in multiple directions as well as to include video, art, and other media into their project. The presenter will provide an overview of the collaborative assignment and share sample student posts. Participants will try out the basic functions of Wikispaces, learn effective strategies to design their own wiki, and share troubleshooting tips. The workshop is appropriate for upper elementary to college.
Kristin LandKristin Land loves to teach reading, writing and critical thinking at Chabot Community College in Hayward. Her work is heavily influenced by The Puente Project, a program in which she has taught for the past 13 years at the secondary and college level. She is a strong advocate for Teacher Inquiry/Research which she first discovered while earning her Masters Degree in Education through the MUSE program at UC Berkeley. She is the current co-director of BAWP’s Invitational Summer Institute.

Session B: Vivid Word Choice: Leave the Thesaurus Back in the Triassic Period

What free online resources can support students in selecting the “right word” or revising word choice so that it is precise as well as academic? We’ll investigate tools, including concordances, select online dictionaries, and a vocabulary profiler that draws from the Academic Word List, to boost word choice accuracy, variety, and sophistication without compromising voice or clarity. We’ll discuss effective ways to teach complex lexical skills to our students and convince them to leave behind the thesaurus method of revising!
Michelle Baptiste 2Michelle Baptiste has a B.A. in English with an Education concentration from Carleton College and a Masters degree in English as a Second Language from University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has taught writing to multilingual students at the University of Hawai’i, as well as to Navajo (Dine) teachers on the Navajo Nation through Northern Arizona University. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and loves to interact with people from diverse cultures. Since 2002 she has taught full time in the College Writing Programs at UC Berkeley as a multilingual student writer specialist.

What the Tech Spring Workshops Flyer

CWP Jim Gray Pre-Convention Workshops (02/13/2014)

The Pre-Convention Day (February 13, 2014) is sponsored by the California Writing Project in support of the CATE Convention, February 14-16, 2014.




Th u r s d a y, Fe b r u a r y 1 3 , 2 0 1 4

Registration Open 8:00 A.M. Golden Foyer
Introductions/Morning Workshop 9:00-10:15 A.M.
Round A Workshop Sessions 10:30-11:45 A.M.
Luncheon Workshop 11:50 A.M.-1:20 P.M.
Round B Workshop Sessions 1:25-2:40 P.M.
Round C Workshop Sessions 2:45-4:00 P.M.

A: Supporting English Learners

B: Writing and Feedback

C: Critical Reading and Academic Writing

D: Upstanders, Not Bystanders

For more information check out the Pre-Convention Flyer