Edgar C. Taylor
School of Education
The University of Michigan Street
610 E. University, Room 4208
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 USA
v: (313) 763-6716
f: (313) 763-1229
Innovative or improved ways of doing things ; More equitable access to technology or electronic information; Creation of new ideas, products, or services
Supporting Documentation (contact author for more information):
The Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS) program at The University of Michigan’s School of Education has offered a set of computer-mediated exercises for over a decade. Many thousands of students – Gifted & Talented, Special Education, Continuing Education, “At Risk,” and of course regular – in over 400 schools (urban, suburban, small town and rural; public and private) in 34 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 21 countries overseas have been involved in many dozens of separate exercises.
ICS seeks to immerse participants in the complex dynamics of particular subject matters. Participation integrates students via the medium of computer conferencing and telecommunications into daily participation in global classrooms.
The idea for the Guild was that of Ray Wilcox, of Avondale Middle School in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He did the bulk of the development work related to the exercise and served as the Guild Director for the inaugural run of the exercise. The exercise was created to help young people develop a sense of the power and beauty of language by writing and publishing poetry.
The project calls on each participating school to establish , edit, and publish its own poetry journal. These journals are edited by the students in the class or extracurricular activity who are directly enrolled as participants in the Guild. In addition, any member of the student body of any participating school is encouraged to write poems and submit them for publication in any of the Guild’s several journals.
Each school’s journal is edited by its own editorial staff. These staffs establish their journals’ particular editorial policies–what their directions and focuses might be, what poetic styles they might give preference to, as well as what their titles are to be, and so forth. Throughout the course of the exercise each editorial staff is in charge of reviewing the poetry that has been posted on the “IPG Bulletin Board,” and selecting poems that meet both its editorial policy and its standards from the poems posted on the IPG Bulletin Board. In this fashion, all of the editorial staffs are doing their utmost to encourage students in all schools to write the very “best” poetry that they can.
The goal of each editorial staff is to produce and publish a journal of excellence. At the end of the exercise a panel reviews the published journals and presents the International Poetry Guild Journal Awards. In addition, individual students receive awards as outstanding poets for works they have presented throughout the exercise.
It is the combination of the editing that each of the editorial staffs do, and the writing of poetry that all students in all participating schools are encouraged to undertake, that makes up the International Poetry Guild. During the exercise students will have the opportunity both to work with colleagues as editors, and engage in intensely personal activity as writers of poetry. In addition, participants will be engaged with others around the world in an endeavor of considerable excitement.
“I have never witnessed such a metamorphosis in my students. Their writing (of poetry) improved tremendously.” -Janet Stone; George Dewey HS, Subic Bay, Philippines
“Our students are already asking if they’ll have an opportunity to participate next year! Never did I anticipate the overwhelming response to express(ing) their thoughts and opinions via poetry.” -Pat Dawsoyar; The Valleys Senior School, Mississuaga, Ontario, Canada
The University provides documentation on all aspects of ICS and its various exercises: substantive, technical and structural. In addition, it maintains the computer conferencing system on which ICS is run; directs, manages and “mentors” the various exercises; and provides a variety of technical support services.