Below are a list of examples and resources I found around the idea of shared purpose.

1.) Courageous Writers of Hyde Park – This is an organization set up where young writers explore the topics and stories surrounding the Roosevelt-Vanderbuilt National Historical sites. As students research and explore with each other around the Roosevelt-Vanderbuilt National Historical sites they post to blogs, add videos, interview individuals about the sites and post information and facts they learn. I think this shared site is a great way to compile all the knowledge the students have learned together.

2. Social Justice Through STEAM – This is a NWP blog about how one teacher is creating a shared purpose in her classroom through writing and creating pop-up books. Students in this class had a shared purpose – exploring and exposing a topic of interest to them and sharing it with their classmates. From topics such as genocide to sex-trafficking, students explored a topic that they were passionate about and then created a pop-up book to explain their findings. I love the idea that students were able to self-select a topic but that they all had a common purpose to highlight an area of social justice they felt was important to them.

3. Nurturing Middle School Readers Through Reviews and Book Trailers – This is another example from the NWP of creating a shared purpose within a classroom. Getting middle schoolers, especially reluctant readers, to actually sit down, read and enjoy a book can be extremely difficult. However this teacher has created a way to engage students in the shared purpose of reading great novels, by asking students to not just write and talk about the book, but actually use technology that students are interested in to create a movie trailer for each book. In this sense, all students are meeting the shared purpose of appreciating literature, in an fun and engaging way.

4. Vialogues – this has been an amazing way to create a shared purpose, and it has been one I have really enjoyed using this semester in class. Vialogues allows users to annotate and comment on videos and then share those comments and annotations with others. This has been a powerful tool to connect learners together that are watching the same video, but maybe not in the same place or even at the same time. It has allowed me to see and hear the thoughts of my classmates without the necessity of sitting in the same classroom as each other.

5. Protest and Student Voice– This awesome link came from my classmate Sunny and it discusses a really cool year long high school class that is offered in the Watts area of Southern Los Angeles. This course provides a shared purpose for students of creating an environment where they can be agents of change in their community. I agree with Sunny, it is hard to put into words how amazing this class sounds and what an opportunity it creates for students!

6. Connecting Students Through Music – This is a post I found though my classmate Jen on her Find Five Friday post about Shared Purpose. I think “cello weekends” are such a cool idea! And as Jen mentioned, a great way to show the principles of Connected Learning without the use of technology. “Cello Weekends” really shows the power of people coming together for a shared purpose and creating some amazing music and memories.

7. Media Literacy Tools to Comprehend and Critique Fake News – In a post from my fellow classmate, Dirk, wrote about this awesome post about how to teach students about “fake news” and provide students tools in which to critically look at and critique the news they hear every day. I think this is a great example of shared purpose because it allows teachers to share with each other ideas and strategies for how to get students to think critically about the news. It is our job as educators to make critical thinkers out of our students, it is a shared purpose for all of us.

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