I was lucky to be invited to chat with some friends about the nature of writing, in celebration of the National Day on Writing last week. Steve Moore and Scot Squires host a new website called Write on Through, and they invited myself and Betty Raye (of Edutopia) to talk about writing, the teaching of writing and our own writing. Through some strange tech quirk, Scot and Steve (a friend via the National Writing Project) never got their voices recorded, so you have to use a little inference to their questions. But they mixed it as best as they could and I think Betty and I come across as fervent believers in the power of writing.
Yesterday, as part of the upcoming National Day on Writing, I shared the written text of a poem I wrote to celebrate the theme of “What I Write.” Today, I want to share out the podcast version of the poem. (Tomorrow, I will add another media component and then finish up on Friday with everything pulled together into one large digital composition).
Thanks for listening and I hope you get inspired to write.
As part of this year’s National Day on Writing (which is Friday and Saturday — yeah, two days as one), I wrote a poem on the theme of what I write. I also began to toy around with various media, and will release a piece of my multimedia poem as the days go on. Today, it’s just the text of the poem. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you do some writing this week — yourself and with your students — on the concept of “what we write” in celebration of the National Day on Writing.
What I Write: An Archeologist of an Idea
What I don’t know
when I write are the mysteries of ideas -
the shadows filtering in from outside of myself
as some sort of jewel
half-hidden away in my consciousness demanding
from the perpetual over-thinking of just about everything.
And so, pen scratching paper,
fingers pounding keyboard,
skin touching screen,
the writer in me tinkers with these treasures that slowly unfold as
a singular phrase,
an inspiring song,
a passionate letter,
a sad story,
a shout-out-loud yelp into the wilderness of the world,
a poem — always, it seems, my mind comes back to me as a poem –
which circles back around on itself
until the grains of time get gently brushed away
and I, the writer, slowly emerge as an archeologist of an idea.
This past week, I posted a new resource over at the National Writing Project’s Digital Is site around font typsetting, writing and the way we represent our writing in visual ways. I share out some places to make your own fonts, the world of “font fights,” the history of emoticons, and more.
If you have the time, check out Bud Hunt and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, both from the National Writing Project, as they chat about teacher research and how learning should be a goal of everyone — students AND teachers. This is part of a series of interesting interviews and topics explored at DML Research Hub.
A recent writing prompt at our iAnthology writing space asked us to recommend books to read. I grabbed as many titles that had book trailers as I could find, and shared out this playlist. Maybe you will get inspired to read one of these, too.
Here is the video archive from the other night’s webcast for Teachers Teaching Teachers on the theme of The Connected Educator. I was one of the guests with host Paul Allison as we chatted about the month of activities, and what it means to be a connected teacher. The main guest was Darren Cambridge, who is helping to coordinate the activities under the umbrella of the US Department of Education (his research organization has been hired to help with the coordination).
August is “Connected Educator” month, which is another way of saying that folks are trying to make visible the power of networks, collaborations and connections that come about when teachers connect with other teachers. Of course, we do this mostly in our own buildings. But more and more, educators are reaching out to various online communities to find ways to share, explore, learn and borrow ideas from one another. I view the month as a way to showcase those kinds of connections, as partnership to the connections we have with our own colleagues in our own school buildings.
The diagram above is an attempt on my part to map out the various communities that I find myself part of, either as a contributor, creator or just active listener. The diagram is part of a webcomic I am also making, but it felt right to share it out on its own, too, although I still feel as if I am leaving something out …
Thanks to the gentle pushing and suggestions from my National Writing Project friend, Christina Cantrill, I made my first curated collection over at the NWP Digital Is site. I’ve created a handful of resources, but never a collection that pulls resources together under one “big idea.” My new collection — Making and Creating — was an adaption of a post I had put up during an inquiry study group with the P2PU open university system, and my lens (suggested by Christina) was looking at how to connect the “make movement” with writing in digital spaces.
I was recently interviewed by Erin Wilkey Oh for the National Writing Project’s Digital Is site about our science-based game design unit. It’s always nice to reflect a bit on a project that seemed to have struck a chord with students. You can see Erin’s write-up here, and then follow her links to a transcript of our chat.