The Right Poems for the Right Time in the Right Space

It’s not as if I woke yesterday morning and thought, you know, today will be filled with haikus. But it was, and I think it all began with a #nerdlution friend’s tweet as a haiku, which led me to write one, and then I thought, why not invite other #nerdlution friends to come along for the writing fun. Soon enough, the feed filled up with three line haiku poetry. It was the right writing for the right time in the right space, and throughout the day, more and more poems kept filtering in. I guess we were all in a Haiku-ish kind of mood.

I collected as many as I could through the day in this Storify, and if I missed yours, I humbly apologize.

Peace (in the poems),


Curating: Video Game Design in Schools

At NCTE, I gave two talks with a theme of Video Game Design (and just so you know, I don’t spent the year with video games although you might get that impression if you were in both sessions.) I use as a way to curate interesting resources and ideas around video game design for the classroom. This is my Video Game Design Scoop. Feel free to follow and borrow.

Peace (in the sharing),

Interactive Recipe: Digital Storytelling

Making a Digital Story - a recipe
My colleague and I are facilitating our digital storytelling workshop today, and as part of the continued effort to ease tentative folks into the technology, I created this “recipe” for how to proceed, sprinkled again with some humor.

Peace (in the stories to be told),

Make/Hack/Play: Behind the Scenes of Making a Song

Yesterday, I shared out a video that I created for the Make/Hack/Play mini-course I am involved in at P2PU with facilitator Karen Fasimpaur. Today, I wanted to explain just how I did it — so consider this is a sort of process piece connected to the Make itself in which I sought to Make a Song, and Make the songwriting visible. Here, I try to make the process visible. I also created this diagram flowchart of my process.

Making of Making A Song

For the first week, Karen suggested we make something in physical space, but I had my head wrapped around music this past weekend, and I decided that I would write a new song, but with the idea of the Maker Space in mind. What I did was sat next to the computer with my guitar and instead of my usual method of scribbling out notes and crossing out words on paper, I used the collaborative freeware tool TitanPad to write. TitanPad works sort of like Google Docs as a collaborative space, but the element that I really love is that it creates a revision timeline video format (of sorts), so you can watch a piece of writing unfold over time.

After finishing the song, which is called Set My Anchor on You, I played back my words, watching from the distance as my words were written, removed, revised and restructured. It’s pretty fascinating, particularly for someone like me who types very fast but also makes a lot of mistakes. You can see a lot of backspacing going on.

Since my idea of this Make was to capture the songwriting in process, I took a video screenshot (using my Snagit program) of the words flowing on the screen, and then moved that raw video into iMovie, so I could layer in my narration. I also recorded a version of the song in Audacity, created an MP3 file and used that as the background track – so you watch my words, hear my thinking and listen to the song.

I then edited the video in iMovie and shared out at YouTube, and linked into our Make/Hack/Play space and beyond, thus going from brainstorm to writing to recording to publishing in a short amount of time.

Peace (in the song),

Zero to Eight Annotated Infographic: How Much Screen Time Do They Need?

CommonSense Media just put the results of its study around the digital lives of young children, called Zero to Eight. I need time to digest it all, but the results are startling for the rise of devices we are putting into the hands of our smallest citizens and the shifts in the ways kids are using those devices (see the spike in gaming, for instance). I am still not sure if that is good or bad, but I think it clearly is a fundamental shift in the way we introduce screens into the lives of our children.

One question is what this screen time is doing to the brains of us and what role schools have in focusing the use of technology for meaning. This study is not designed to answer that questions (although I suspect there are plenty of studies underway right now). Another question sparked by the findings here remains around access to technology for everyone, and how that lack of access for some of our most neediest students will play out over time around economics and job opportunities, and the role that schools have in providing access.

It’s worth some of your time perusing the report’s findings here at this infographic or over at the CommonSense site, where the full report and the findings are available. I would also suggest viewing the response by CommonSense CEO Jim Steyer, who puts some of the findings in thematic perspective.

I created this annotated infographic in ThingLink, and I invite you to add your thoughts and links, too.


Peace (in the data),

What’s Cool Now Won’t be Cool Tomorrow

I hate to say this but I do remember when all my students (sixth graders) were talking up MySpace as the place to be. Today, it’s Instragram. In between, it was Facebook. Is Twitter next? I don’t even know. But this chart from the Piper Jaffray company’s survey data, as found in a post over at Slate , is certainly an interesting look at the trends of social networking spaces over the last few years.

Where all the kids going next? I suspect that “other” category is where many of my kids would put their video gaming worlds (Minecraft, etc.) as places to connect socially with others.

Peace (in the data),

A MishMash of Story (featuring animated crayons)

Tapestry, which is a neat online and app tool that allows you to create “tap-able” stories, just released a new tool called HieroGlyphy yesterday that me intrigued. You can now embed animated .gifs into the story itself. I adapted a #25wordstory of mine that I posted on Twitter earlier this week and used the new tool to create this story (so, it combines Twitter, animated .gifs and Tapestry — thus, the mishmash). I’m still tinkering with the tool (and note to teachers: the .gifs in the Tapestry library may not be appropriate for kids). I don’t know if you can upload your own .gifs (I don’t think so).

And this morning, after Washington reached their 11th hour agreement, I wrote this one:

Peace (in the mishmash),


From Educator Innovator: Learning Aloud Geekouts

This could be very interesting … a new venture from the Educator Innovator network is offering a series of “unhangout” sessions this fall entitled Learning Aloud Geekouts. It’s looking like they are taking the concept of the “unconference” and moving it online with a new Google Hangout adaption that allows folks to move into different “rooms” for activities. (I helped test the hangout idea over the summer and thought it worked quite well.)

The overview blurb states:

…this series will kick off with a special September 30th “unHangout” event where educators in the maker movement will facilitate large and small group introductions to a range of favorite making topics, including Arduino, Scratch, Wearable Tech, 3D Printing, Minecraft, and more. Then, on Thursday afternoons throughout October, the Geekout series will begin in which a teen host will lead a “make” with three other teens alongside formal and informal educators and mentors. – from

The first event is this Monday (1:30pm PDT / 4:30pm EDT) and the link to get more information and register is here. What’s going to happen? Well, some interesting things. Folks are going to share thinking and making around Scratch, Webmaker tools, Minecraft, Arduino and more.

Here is the list of folks who are leading the sessions so far:

I hope I can make it. I need to check our busy calendar.

Peace (in the making and collaborating),


AF (After Facebook)

Commonsense Media had an interesting item in its newsletter, connecting the downward trend of young people on Facebook and wondering where kids will go. The piece begins by reminding of the rage of MySpace (I do remember) and how teens realized that once their parents were there, it wasn’t the place to be anymore. Commonsense then suggests a list of 11 sites that young people are moving (or may be moving) towards in digital lives “after Facebook.”

Here’s what they have as social spaces and apps where kids are shifting to:

Kik Messenger

So, I know about half of them and other half, I was like … Oovoo? What the heck? Which is the point, right? But we (as parents, as teachers) need to be aware of these possibilities.

Where else do you see your kids/students migrating?

Peace (in the space),