Twittering Around on 2008-02-26

  • Is programming the new literacy? Interesting article by Prensky in Edutopia. http://tinyurl.com/2nafoy #
  • Ben is seeking Day in a Sentence from all of you http://teacheng.us/?p=62 I hope you consider participating. #
  • @blkdrama I use a flip vid camera for web-based stuff. Not quality for DVD, but very simple to use and easy to transfer (USB connect) #
  • Found some interesting Darfur videos from band, Mettafix http://tinyurl.com/yw9lqs maybe helpful to engage kids in project #
  • @blkdrama Advantage of Flip is ease of use. No tape involved. All flash memory. Light as heck, runs on AA batteries, etc. #
  • @alexragone Is that my personality profile you are reading? hahahaha oops, got to go. Another entanglement on the way. #
  • Students working on expository paragraphs "how to raise a kid" — some struggling, some have funny advice. #
  • Gosh, my students were noisy as heck this afternoon and I was thinking that earplugs are a great technology innovation (if I had them) #
  • More Snow!!!!!!!!! And sleet on the way!!!!! Good lord, when will winter end? Ready for flowers. #
  • @pkittle Time to hit the Sierra Nevada (brewpub) #
  • @courosa Just added some thoughts to your VT. It seemed to be there and working. Are the gremlins after it? #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-25

  • Going to try out Day in a Sentence idea with my sixth graders. Boil down a day into a sentence and post to class blog. Maybe podcast. too? #
  • interesting to watch 6th graders try to condense a day into a sentence and then blog http://epencil.edublogs.org/ #
  • @mmkrill No — regular edublogs. But we do use Edublogs Community for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and love it. #
  • @kolson29 Thanks for visiting (and commenting on comics). #
  • @mmkrill Oops, meant to write Edublogs Campus, not Community (altho I love the community, too) #
  • Nothing like a tech hiccup in edublogs to try the patience of 11 year old bloggers. We got through it. But barely. #
  • The kids and I started reading The House of Dies Drear today and they already started getting creeped out with imagery and setting. Good. #
  • @kolson29 "Universal access" – yes! But so many schools use computers for testing & not for exploration (it seems to me as I work w/teachrs) #
  • @teach42 If you mean Twitter, it was James Farmer, as TwitterTools at my edublog gave me a launch pad (& push from Bonnie K. helped) #
  • Thinking about meeting on Wed with new National Writing Project ExDir Sharon Washington. Great opp. to talk convergence of tech and writing #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-24

  • @JLWagner Hot cocoa (spiked?) might be just the thing. Glad to see you are still keeping a smile, Jen. #
  • Pulling together contributed Days in a Simile for publication tomorrow. http://tinyurl.com/2tbqmy #
  • Woke up way too early and so what do I do? I write. Full of ideas for an article on RSS for National Writing Project. Focus, focus, focus. #
  • @NCavillones I like the sonogram image of the little person. Go ahead and regale us with tales, and we’ll celebrate along with you. #
  • @kevinessdack Just starting to hook kids on Star Trek. I have DVD collection, with older & newer mixed in. They clamor for Spock! #
  • Is there (silent) glory in whipping 7 yr old’s butt in Chinese Checkers? Ummm. Yes. (payback for rotton behavior yesterday) — the bad dad #
  • PS — I let him win the second game. — not so bad dad #
  • @mrmayo This scavenger hunt from site is perfect: http://tinyurl.com/2wzdnf #
  • @garageflowers perhaps you humble him by winning big (see my earlier twitters, re: Chinese Checkers) — advice from bad dad, part deux #
  • I just spent 50 minutes getting interviewed about tech work by Natl Writing Project. I hope my thoughts were clear through this stuffy head #
  • Finished music video for new song. http://tinyurl.com/2pwcbl – working on reflecting on process #
  • @whatsit81 I’ll post my reflection on songwriting tomorrow (on blog). Still thinking it through. Thanks. #
  • Heading off to the theater downtown to see Moscow Circus — 3 year old is sooooo excited, he could do a flip and tumble right now. #
  • Older son’s HW: Watch TV & track violence. BUT we don’t let our kids watch TV (only vids now & then). Feels strange writing to teacher. #
  • The Moscow Circus was fun, altho a little cheesy. How did that girl bend her body like that? Yikes! My back aches just thinking about it. #
  • @LParisi The comment there made me chuckle. I thought it was brooding but not sad. And yes, big hair day! #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-23

  • Getting kids to bed earlier so we can get lost in "Lost" and work our way through some strange island madness #
  • Boil down your week or a day in week and share out: http://tinyurl.com/2tbqmy It’s community writing. #
  • From my iGoogle Page -Quote of Day: "There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you." — Peter De Vries #
  • @budtheteacher Good luck with Learning 2.0 Bud. I like the concept of a student panel. I hope you blog it out later for us. #
  • @glassbeed I saw that they are trying to do a version of Phun for the XO laptops. It seems intriguing and a way to get kids to program. #
  • My heart broke a bit as I unscrewed the last section of the crib (motto: 3 kids slept here!) & put it on Freecycle for someone else. #
  • Another Twitter Song Debut: just finished this political rocker called ‘Tomorrow’s Never Gone’ http://www.box.net/shared/f000ksy880 #
  • @hickstro Looks like a great session, Troy. Intriguing links. #
  • Just caught "Spiderwick Chronicles" with older son. It was OK. Noticed John Sayles as a scriptwriter, though. Indie film icon. Strange. #
  • @mmkrill We have the same story reader at our house. If my son saw that Blue story, he would be soooo jealous. #
  • @whatsit81 Interesting facts in the video at that site, eh? So much is doomsday and then the world finds a way to make it work. #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-22

  • @murcha I am not sure. I will email Gail D and see how things went. They intended to record the session and post as podcast. I hope they do. #
  • Woke up this morning with ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ in my head — the result of seeing Harlem Globetrotters. Big hit were African tumblers. #
  • Correcting papers in coffee shop when stranger commandeered my XO Laptop for 20 minutes (w/my blessing). He was astounded at possibilities. #
  • @susanettenheim I like Delicious because I have all sorts of people in ‘network’ & I collect via RSS. It’s like opening a bag of candy. #
  • Writing a new rock song — thinking politics and the winds of change on horizon. U2 says: ‘3 chords and the truth.’ Easy for them to say. #
  • @crafty184 Great article. I follow the Teach Jeff Spanish in my RSS feed. — Kevin #
  • @speters Ha! Don’t you wish you could track where the ‘other’ XO is going? I do. At least, the country. How hard would that be? #
  • @njtechteacher The Web 2.0 VT is interesting but a bit overwhelming. I wish there were a more concise index for such a large VoiceThread. #
  • @mrmayo Thanks for sharing this. I had heard about your project (my pre-Twitter days). What an interesting collaborative concept. #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-21

  • @blkdrama You know I want to know where you go next, so that I can follow with our Western Massachusetts Writing Project (shout out to NWP) #
  • The morning report: paying load o’ bills, cleaning humidifiers, packing lunch for little son, getting ready for dentist mayhem w/older sons #
  • Life Cycle of Book on cover of New Yawka: writer writers, publisher publishes, reader reads, men on city corner burn for heat. end of story. #
  • 10 year old says, "Why do people talk about Global Warming? This is not Global Warming. I’m freezing." — New England Winter morning #
  • @paulallison Hmmm, I like phrase: "These literacies …are multiple, dynamic and malleable" in the NCTE statement #
  • If it’s winter vacation week (and it is), then why do I miss my students so much? (even after an hour grading Parts of Speech projects) #
  • @cathyjo So many defin of digistory, but here are some from my students http://dogtrax.googlepages.com/digitalsciencepicturebooks — Kevin #
  • @cathyjo And this was a blog post about converting digistories to video http://tinyurl.com/3akfsf — Kevin #
  • You are all cordially invited Day in a Simile (a version of Day in a Sentence) http://tinyurl.com/2tbqmy — Kevin #
  • Bringing boys to see Harlem Globetrotters tonight — Anybody remember Meadowlark Lemon & Curley Neal? I do. (cue: theme song) #
  • @garageflowers Yikes — I do, now that you mention it. Prob on Youtube, I bet, if I took the time to check. Funny memory check there, friend #
  • @garageflowers And here it is: http://youtube.com/watch?v=vSHZdgwiiKI Kevin #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-20

  • @murcha Got the mp3 and posted it just now. Loved hearing your kids and their invented words. http://youthradio.wordpress.com/ Thanks!!! #
  • @pkittle Where can we find the Gaiman book, Peter? I am definitely interested (says the graphic novel geek in me). Keep me posted, please. #
  • Six Word Motto Results http://tinyurl.com/32gbde I agree w/ Larry/Alice that too many seem negative #
  • Older son woke up — lost voice & has trouble breathing (Yikes) — rush to doc. Diagnosis: bad case of Croup. Now on meds to ease breathing. #
  • You are invited Day in a Simile (a version of Day in a Sentence) http://tinyurl.com/2tbqmy — Kevin #
  • Listening to some wonderful Australian student voices and their invented words on our collab Youth Radio http://youthradio.wordpress.com/ #
  • @cathyjo I left a comment for your friend and put her into my rss feed. — Kevin #
  • Downloading new activities for XO laptop (including Scratch & Moon program & star chart) and am amazed at wealth of offerings. #
  • Nice VoiceThread about XO from lucky teacher (who received two donated XOs) http://voicethread.com/#q.b64010.i332076 #
  • @crafty184 Nice work. The music was creepy and I like the fade-outs and use of shadows. The straight-faced custodian cracked me up. — Kevin #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-19

  • Little boy: ear infection. Older boy: flu? Wife: flu? Middle boy: hyper. Daddio (me): ready for Battlestar Galactica DVD (g’d night all) #
  • All plans of getting work done today (grading papers, working on bk chapt, finishing new song, etc) are prob out the window w/ a sick house #
  • @kevinessdack That was me, last week. Here is a video of comics made by my sixth graders http://tinyurl.com/2vwvm5 #
  • @speters You need to go into Google Spreadsheets and make forms from there. http://tinyurl.com/2pbdzm #
  • @speters Oops. try this: http://tinyurl.com/36vqqf #
  • Wanna hear a brand new song? Trying it with rock band tonight. Sneak peak: http://www.box.net/shared/xkm6y1ucc4 Hope you all like it. #
  • @paulallison Listening right now, Paul. Interesting. I had not hear the term ‘microblogging’ before following you this week. #
  • @mrneedleman Sorry you are sick. Should I be sorry my song is in your head? 🙂 #
  • @dwarlick Hi, from Kevin, in Western Massachusetts. #
  • Showed off our XO laptop to neighbor and his kids who are still waiting (im)patiently for their XO to arrive, and then … we mesh! #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-18

  • @cheryloakes50 Cheryl, I will, once I get them all together and into a website. Working on it. But I had 60 comics to cull through. Fun. #
  • @willrich45 I don’t think I am getting an error, Will. Twitter seems to work fine for me. (‘course, I just woke up and brain is numb) #
  • Looking forward to taking kids to play today called ‘Rain King,’ which is billed as puppets, music and multimedia stage performance for kids #
  • @murcha For screenshots with text, I use Fireshot — an ext. for Firefox. Very handy and useful. http://screenshot-program.com/fireshot/ #
  • Little One decided this weekend to abandon crib and move into Big Boy Bed. We applaud him but feel a little twang of the heartstrings, too. #
  • Pulling together student Cybersafety Comics into video & will share at http://teacheng.us/ I think. Used Makebeliefs Comics/Photostory3 #
  • @JLWagner How about: Integrating Technology for the Classroom Teacher? — Kevin (‘providing’ does sound passive to my ears) #
  • Strange New Engl weather: 55 degrees outside, with about 3" of snow — everything is foggy/hazy — like a Stephen King novel (booooo) #
  • @CLykowski So sorry to hear that news. Sending you a wave of good will and supportive thoughts. #
  • Stream of thoughts from CL 2.0 Forum – 10 things every teach should know about tech http://tinyurl.com/2pczt5 #

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Entering the Twitterverse

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

~ William Stafford ~

 

I don’t know why this poem seems appropriate but I ran into it in a book I am reading as a book group with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project (the book is From Outrageous to Inspired by David Hagstrom) and it got at something about my entry into Twitter.

A year ago, my friend, Bud, was explaining to a few of us in the National Writing Project about Twitter and I kind of didn’t get it. He talked about short posts, an emerging community and text messaging. He lost me at text messaging, as I don’t like cell phones, and so Twitter remained outside of my field of vision for a long, long time.

 

Then, I became an Edublog Supporter and suddenly, I had some possibilities to merge my Blog with Twitter, and I realized that I did not need a cell phone (was this obvious to everyone but me?) and I could Twitter from the web. And so, I did, and in the past week or so I have been fully engrossed in this concept of “What are you doing right now” in 140 characters or less. It is not IM, as far as I can tell, but some strange cousin with its own universe. And, of course, my friend, Bonnie, was asking if I was going to venture into Twitter. There was a convergence of momentum.

What I like about Twitter is that it gives me an opportunity to enter as a writer, but I am also becoming a reader. As you Twitter, you are also following others, and others are following you. I think. It seems as if there are many threads going on, depending on your network, and so you may suddenly see references to alternative conversations and it feels a bit disorientating. As if someone is whispering some news behind your back, inadvertently. I am wondering what is going on with the other folks in my network and if I am even part of their network. Is it all reciprocal?

I also use something called Twitbin, which an add-on for Firefox that allow you to open up Twitter right in the left side of the browser. It is quite handy. You can be working and watching as folks are letting you into their lives. Anything from baking cookies to preparing for a presentation to a scuffle in the classroom — it comes out on Twitter.

With Edublogs, I can now both add my blog posts to my Twitter and then collect all of my Twitter posts onto my blog — all automatically. It’s interesting and I am noticing my writing is a tangle of focus and freeform with Twitter. I really am trying to hold true to the question of “What are you doing right now.” It reminds me of our Day in a Sentence, too, as we reflect on our week and boil it down to its essentials. Twitter is kind of like that, but on the run and in the moment.

Along with searching out Twitter friends (dogtrax is my twitter name, if you want to add me to your list), I also came upon two interesting Twitter feeds. One, called TwitterLit, posts the first line of an adult novel and that’s it. Another, called KidderLit, is the children’s book version, and it has opening lines to kid books. I love that. It is so interesting and certainly, I am going to use them as writing prompts in the classroom. (Hmmm — might be a nice post for Ben’s TeachEng.Us blog — note to self).

Where does this Twitter lead? I am not sure, but I was intrigued to see my friends from the New York City Writing Project having their own collective Twitter page and I wonder if there are ways to move Twitter into professional development.

For now, though, it is another venue for writing. What am I doing right now? Writing about Twitter. How about you?

Peace (in short thoughts),
Kevin