Greetings NLI Participants,

We look forward to seeing you at the Massachusetts New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute at the Microsoft Research and Development Center in Cambridge MA, June 20-25, 2010. Designing the Institute has been an exciting experience for us—full of innovative ideas, collaborative practices, and dynamic questions about new literacies in the 21st century. We are eager to continue this ongoing venture as we work and learn with you during the week.

In preparation for an action-packed week, please complete the following before you arrive on Monday:

1. Join our Ning at http://newlit.org and then make your way to the 2010 New Literacies Institute Group at http://newlitcollaborative.ning.com/group/2010newliteraciesinstitute. There you will upload a picture of yourself and write a professional bio (150 words or so) in order to get to know your fellow Institute participants. You can also use this information to find an inquiry partner that you will work with during the week.

2. The Institute begins Monday morning with registration starting at 8:15AM. We will begin with our Opening Session at 9AM. Directions to the Microsoft center and other logistics associated with parking are provided at http://massnewlitinstitute.wikispaces.com/Travel-Parking. If you are commuting, please plan to use public transportation as recommended at this site, since parking is extremely limited (and quite expensive) in the city.

3. Please remember to bring your own wireless, Internet-ready laptop and power cord. You will have full Internet access throughout the week and technical support will be provided to help handle any computer needs, especially to help you get set up on the first day of the Institute.

4. Peruse the Institute’s website at http://newlitinstitute2010.wikispaces.com/. Here you will find links to the Daily Agendas and resource materials on new literacies. Go ahead and bookmark the website since the Institute will be paperless.

In preparation for the Institute, please do two things:
(a) complete a short survey at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/762PLZ8
(b) read the chapter about new literacies at http://newlitinstitute2010.wikispaces.com/Online+Reading+Comprehension

5. In addition to the Institute Creators, you will also work closely with at least one of ten Massachusetts educators selected as Massachusetts Teacher Leaders for the Institute. These individuals will support your development of projects, facilitate small group discussions, and join you in a series of three follow-up sessions after the Institute ends. You can learn more about all of these people on the Institute website above.

6. Note that breakfast and lunch will be provided each day. Dinner is on your own, except for the possibility of a Wednesday night get together for those who are interested. We will talk more about this possibility on Monday. Dress is casual for all events.

7. You will use the MassONE Portal website (http://massone.mass.edu) and a wiki to design your products of learning during the Institute. If you already have a wiki, that’s great. If you don’t, please create one at wikispaces.com or pbwiki.com before you arrive at the Institute. You should also have a login and password for the MassONE Portal. If you need assistance with either of these things, contact James Walker (jwalker@lpvec.org) or Zachary Smith (zsmith@lpvec.org) with questions or we’ll help you when you arrive.

8. The success of the Institute depends on you! We need your physical presence as well as your full creative participation. Remember that the Institute begins on Monday at 8:15 am and will end on Friday at 12:00 Noon. Please make your travel plans accordingly. Come prepared to work hard, be innovative, and, above all, have fun!

Our passion and energy for our work comes from our belief that education transforms lives. We believe that our educational system must be transformed to meet the new demands of globally connected life and work in the 21st century. We also believe that emerging technologies play a critical role in contemporary education and that teachers are central to the educational change process. Teacher leaders, along with policy makers and other educational leaders, must be actively involved in creating new visions and pathways for education. The possibilities for being innovative as a teacher are endless, and we believe that all students—not just a few—should have high quality, creative, and transformative educational experiences. That’s why we have chosen as our theme for the week: “New Literacies, Inquiry, and Equity: Teacher Leaders for a New Educational Era.” We look forward to your helping us make this theme come alive as we all explore new ways of “doing” education in these changing times.

See you soon!

Don, Hiller, John, Carl, Julie, Jill, Kim, Ian, Greg, & Heidi