Starting at the Margins: An Invitation to Writing Our Civic Futures

September 19, 2017
By Educator Innovator

What if you had the opportunity to bring your margin notes to life and engage in a dynamic conversation with others each time you read a text? With Writing Our Civic Futures, a collaborative project of the National Writing Project and Marginal Syllabus for the 2017-2018 academic year, you will have just this opportunity.

We invite educators to a year of social reading, collaborative web annotation, and public conversation that explores our civic imaginations and literacy landscapes. As civic engagement changes and evolves, Writing Our Civic Futures will discuss and consider implications for connected learning and teaching.

In this collaboration, we partner with—and draw texts from—a range of educators, youth, scholars, media makers and journalists to think about the landscape of civic engagement and education while imagining ways that we can engage ourselves and our students as writers and makers of our civic futures. This project leverages the web annotation platform, adding multiple voices to critical conversations about equity and education.

We invite you to refer to the syllabus over the coming months, where you’ll find information about monthly annotations, links to texts, and dates and times of supporting conversations and events at CLTV and elsewhere.

How it works:

  • Writing Our Civic Futures will kick off the first week of October 2017 and runs through May 2018. See the Writing Our Civic Futures Syllabus for details!
  • The first week of each month a new reading will be posted on the syllabus as a live annotatable link for sharing and social annotation.
  • Related events happening that month will also be announced. CLTV broadcasts will be aired at; follow @innovates_ed and #marginalsyllabus (on Twitter) to keep abreast of these opportunities.
  • We encourage your participation in the week-long annotation of each text, though readings will remain online throughout for annotation and discussion.
  • We encourage you to use these readings and the opportunity to annotate however it best works for you—organize a study group, bring a class you are teaching, engage as an individual, connect it to a meeting.

Want to learn more?

  • Check out this recent episode of NWP Radio with the founders of Marginal Syllabus and representatives from NWP discussing the power of annotation.
  • Educator Innovator also teamed up with Marginal Syllabus for the 2016-17 syllabus. Read this introductory blog post to learn more about the partnership and the logistics of participating.
  • The full 2016-2017 syllabus can be found at the Marginal Syllabus website.
  • Still wondering how to join in an annotation conversation? Check out this tutorial from Marginal Syllabus.
  • Need some help getting started with hypothesis? See this overview from KQED Teach.

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s collaborative exploration of texts and topics related to civic education and more. Each participant makes the conversation that make richer!

Image via Kate Ter Haar on flickr