Making Curriculum Pop


Thanks to everyone for the congrats on the New Baby! Y'all are very cool and kind - we're excited about Téa's arrival.

As promised in that e-mail I am sending a follow up e-mail re: the MC POP STUDIO!

As most of you know, I created MC POP as an extension of my day job as a curriculum coordinator and new teacher coach. I was spending so much time "dump-trucking" resources on people it seemed wise to share resources with a larger audience - hence MC POP.

When Ning went to a pay model I decided to use Mindblue funds to formally "sponsor" MC POP. While there is a sidebar plug for Mindblue consulting MC POP is not a revenue generating venture. This site is a labor of love (and pop culture). I maintain and moderate this site in between my teaching gigs, consulting and doctoral work.

One person can only do so much - especially with the arrival of Téa. For that reason, I'm hoping to distribute some leadership to the membership. I'm looking to see if some folks here at MC POP might be interested in doing some production work to start the MC POP STUDIO in 2011.

A lot of other Nings (especially those sponsored by large tech companies) host weekly guest speakers. Sites like the English Companion Ning use the group feature to create monthly book chats where authors jump in discussion threads to chat about their works.

I'm imagining the MC POP STUDIO as a space for cool folks with unique ideas, art, projects, books, and software to chat about their work with educators. Imagine Inside the Actors Studio buy way funkier and interactive. MC POP STUDIO would be modeled on the work Nicole, Dr. Broughton and I produced at Columbia for the Teach, Think, Play conferences.

The idea behind those conferences was to explore how people Teach, Think and Play with Popular Culture as it applies to education.

Sessions led by educators and organizations that have developed innovative and pedagogically meaningful ways to integrate popular culture and media literacy into K-12 and college curricula.

Sessions led by thinkers and researchers who explore the theory and research behind the use of popular culture and media literacy for educational purposes.
Sessions led by producers (professional & pedagogical) of popular culture who will discuss the ways in which they, creatively, develop their craft. This “behind the scenes” element allows attendees to explore methods of media and cultural production can best be adapted to the classroom setting.

With that as the guiding philosophy we had theorists (think David Buckingham, Renee Hobbs, William Kist), those that "play" with pop culture for a living (Ice-T, Art Spiegelman, William Goldman (Princess Bride, All the President's Men)) and Kevin Clash (Elmo) and lots of educators talking about how they mindfully engage with popular and common cultures in the classroom.

We already have a bunch of equally cool folks interested in sharing their ideas at the MC POP Gallery...

In the teach/think category graphic novel rockstar James Buckey Carter has expressed interest in doing a book chat on his new book Super-Powered Word Study: Teaching Words and Word Parts Through Comics. One of my fav. professors William Kist has offered to to a chat on his book The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age.

In the play category, I've been taking to two fascinating former students of mine about rocking MC POP. Jared Saltiel is the frontman of the Brooklyn based band The Dirty Birds. He would be down with coming online to talk about how he writes songs and creates music videos. Another former student of mine just signed a three book deal with HarperCollins to write some pretty cool YA novels - she has also said she'd be down with coming online to talk about her creative process.

I also know we have an army of awesome artists, thinkers and software designers here at MC POP like Jessica Abel, Hardy Leung, and Nick Sousanas who I'm sure - if gently prodded - would talk about their work as it relates to education.

Obviously, we could get this started with basic text-based discussion groups. On the other hand we could also consider
• Ning's plug-in options for collaboration
• Using Elluminate or Skype
• Creating podcasts - MC POPPERS might pre-submit questions for speakers?

If you are aware of great software for web conferencing or podcasting please e-mail me. All ideas are helpful!

I have connected a wide range of talent with students and educators over the years and I would love to make MC POP a place that utilizes those skills so we can all participate interesting online forums about pop culture and education.

There is no money involved, but if you were interested it would be:
1. fun
2. a great place for you to showcase and develop your planing/facilitation/tech skills
3. a unique activity to add to your resume / CV

Of course, I can offer you a wonderful letter of rec if you needed one of those.

If you would be interested in working with me to organize, curate, produce and moderate these events please send me an e-mail at so we can produce a cool event every month @ the MC POP STUDIO!

I would like to open the MC POP STUDIO at the beginning of 2011 with an team of interested producers. If this sounds fun - please drop a line.

Have a groovy Saturday!

Ryan R. Goble
Doctoral candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at Teachers College Columbia University - New York, NY
Adjunct Professor of Education: Aurora University and Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL
Adjunct Professor of Humanities - DeVry University - Naperville, IL
Consultant on Best Practices, Curriculum Design, Multimodal Literacies, Technology & Popular Culture Across the Curriculum
Founder - &

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