As I watched far afar … DML Ignite Sessions

I snuck in moments to watch the short Ignite sessions that have been archived at the Digital Media and Learning Conference YouTube channel, and tweeted out my comments and reactions. Here, I collect them all together. There are a few Ignite sessions at the end of the very long video that I have not seen. Maybe later …

Peace (in the Ignit-ion switch to learning),

Sharing out a Presentation on Cyberbullying

I adapted a presentation that I made to NCTE two years ago around cyberbullying for my students before February vacation, and figured I’d share it out. Feel free to use it, copy it, remix it as needed. We used it as part of a larger Digital Life unit, emphasizing positive aspects of digital tools as well as ways to stay safe.

In fact, during our digital life survey, the percent of students who say they have had a negative experience in online spaces is minimal, and no one reported any cyberbullying (although given the nature of things, they might not admit to it, either). The strongest message here is a reminder to kids that they have trusted adults they can turn to to help them in difficult situations. I’ve been intrigued by danah boyd’s exploration of this issue in It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens and how kids see behavior in online spaces differently than adults.

Peace (in the talk),

Re-Envisioning the Failed Digital Composition

All hail the fail. So said my friend Terry the other day as part of his response to my post about a digital composition that I attempted that just did not work for me. But part of failing can also perseverance (a theme which we did a whole lesson around in the classroom the other day) and as I took in Terry’s comments via Vialogues (see below) and then read some reactions from another friend, Molly, I began to rethink how the piece might yet come together.

Here’s Terry’s comments on the composition and some of my responses:

Here is Molly’s tweet:

It was a combination of both of their voices, plus my own doubts, that stuck with me, and as I was out shoveling last night (for the fifth time that day), it dawned on me how I could maybe “fix” the failure, and it required moving away from the video app that had inspired the composition to begin with. I realized that the PicPlayPost app was one of my problems. It was Molly’s comment about finding a way to cut and connect that made me realize that I could use Popcorn Maker, perhaps, to re-engineer the video sequences, and cut out the Tellegami ads at the end of the videos, too. (which Terry agreed gave the composition a very halting effect).

So, here it is.

What’s interesting is that my original intention was to try to avoid a sequential left-to-right kind of video message and that is what I went back to. But with Popcorn, I could add another layer of music, and the project is now remixable by anyone who wants to give it a whirl. That was something that Molly could not do with PicPlayPost, although that was her first instinct (which I applauded). Popcorn can still act quirky at times, and is periodically laggy. But, if not completely at ease with how it came out, at least it better matches my vision.

Peace (in the remix),

My Word: Make

I’ve seen a lot of friends on Twitter using the “one word” idea. It’s a simple but powerful way to focus in on a theme for the new year. Or maybe not so simple. I’ve struggled with a single word that is large enough to encompass how I want to approach the year and not so intangible as to be meaningless. I’ve settled in on the word “Make” for a few reasons.

First of all, I really got involved in learning more about the Maker’s Movement this year, through work with the National Writing Project. Our CLMOOC was focused on the “make.” I am intrigued by how helping students learn through doing, and creating things/ideas is coming back around again.

Second, I am not a physical maker. I bumble my way through any project you hand me. When I fixed the toilet in our house one day, you should have heard the cheers and seen the high fives we gave each other. I mean, I had fixed the toilet, for goodness sake. That was a breakthrough.

So, this idea of focusing on “make” is always a way to slowly get me out of my own comfort zone. I know I have students who struggle with writing a story but could take apart a car engine, and even put it back to together again. I know I have students who can make an engaging video, publish it on YouTube, and yet, they can’t quite write a paragraph with deep meaning.

I can’t say right now how this word “make” will make its way into my daily life. But I do have a wide definition in my head of what it means to “make” and I’ll keep mulling this one over. It’s digital, physical and internal, and I am going to “make” 2014 a year of diving in as deep as I can.

In that vein, one of the things I have been doing is pulling together a Flipboard magazine around the connections of making and learning, and Connected Learning. It’s a start, and I am making the magazine happen. (meta-make?)

Peace (in the word),

Hello 2014

My son and I used the Aurasma app to color in the new year. Happy New Year to you and thank you for stopping by.

Peace (every day, all year),

Reflecting on 2013: Life’s a Blur — Make a List

I don’t know about you, but the end of December rolls around and I realize that another year has skipped past me. If I don’t take time to reflect a bit, it’s all gone right out the window. Of course, one of the reasons I blog is to remember, to archive the thinking and reflection and experimentation that I dive into. This blog is a like a huge USB Memory Drive plugged into my head and heart. Ok. Enough sappy metaphors.

In the interest of using technology to share, I created a visual of the ten events that I want to remember from 2013 (I used a software program called Simple Diagrams) and then put the image on Flickr, and then moved it over to ThingLink, so that each image has a short bit of text with a link to the sites mentioned.

Peace (in the year),


ASCII Art for the Holidays

I wanted to share put this site of ASCII art by j. stark. This may be an old site (hosted by Geocities! I see some art dates back to 2000) but it has some neat artwork that is still timeless.

Happy holidays, where ever you are and whatever your beliefs. Thanks for stopping by.

 |"|")/"\<""|"\ /  "|"| ||_"   <"|\ |/"\|  ||\/||\ |\ |   | /|"|"
 |"|"\\_/_> |  |    | |"||_    _>| \|\_/|/\||  ||"\| \|   |"\| |

                        /       \           ___,---,__
                       |        :|         (/_/|\ \|_/)
                       |       .:|            || \ |  
    .-----.             \   ..::/             ||\ \|
    |`"""`|            .-`     :-.            || \ |    /______
    |_____|          .'          ':.          `|\ \|   `\      )
  .-[____=]-.       /'            ':\          """""          /
  `"-------"`      /               ':\          <"/"|\ |")|"
       .          ;                  :;         _>\_|"\|"\|"
      /|\         |                  :|      
       |          |                  :|
                  |                 .:| ,__
    | ||\"|"      |                .::| |\  
    |"||"\|       :               .::::   \  |")/"\|"\\ /
                   \           ..::::/       |")\_/|_/ |
                 _,-`-.___ ..::::::-'-,_      ^
              -"                         "~-
     /"|\ |")|")/"\"|"                       __
     \_|"\|"\|"\\_/ |                       |--|  /___ |")||")|_"  
                                    ________|  | `\    |" ||" |_
            |                      `-----------'
            '            | | ||\/||")<"  /"\|"  /"/"\|\ |   _____
   '-.  .--..,__         |_\_/|  ||" _>  \_/|"  \_\_/|"\|_       )
  ===->{::::.. _`:-                                             /
   .-'  `""""'`                                               |/_
                                                        (@)   `
     <""|"|/"| /<"   >==-=-=-=-=-==-<               (@)   (@)
     _> | |\_|"\_>                                     (@)   (@)  
              \      __,

   _=-_-"-_|=_=`\_________________________    /___ |")|")/"\/"\|\/|
   _=_=-_-"| -=_=)========================`  `\    |")|"\\_/\_/|  |
    =_jgs=_|=_-./                                   ^

               (J U S T   B E   C A R E F U L   W H E R E   
                  Y O U   P U T   T H E   C A R R O T !)

 (art by j.stark)

               .'          `\
              /              \
            _/_ _,__ __ __/   |
            |`_o)/  `  `  |   ;
            | )/o\>       \   /
          .'   .--._.--.  /  '  \
         /    /  _   _  \ |'.  '|
        /     | / \ / \ |  \__'/
       ;    .-' \o/ \o/ '-.    ;
       |   | () .-"""-. () |   |
       ;   |    \     /    |   ;
        \  ;     \   /     ;  /
       /`\  \     \ /     /  /`\
      / .:`""--....Y....--::` .:\
      \:'   .:'   .:'   .:'  .:'/|
      /'._.:'   .:'   .:'  .:'.;':\
     /    ``;--::.___::.--;``` |   \
    /      /               \   |':.|
   ;      |                 |  \  ':|
   |      |      _..._      |   \    \
   |       \   .' o  o'.   /     |:. |
    \       './ o.-"-. o\.'      \ ':.\
     ;.       `-;     ;-'       .;\    |
     | `-._    _/     \_    _.-' | |:. |
     |   | ```\o (>0<)` /``` |   |/__':/
     ;   \     '._/`\).'     /   ;77777
      \   \      /```\      /   /
       \   '.             .'   /
        \    `-.__   __.-'    /
         '.       ```       .'
     jgs  /`-._         _.-'\
         /  ,  ``;---;``  ,  \
        |  /  |  |   |  |  \  |
        '-'|__/\_/   \_/\__|'-'

Peace (on earth, let it be),

A Digital Holiday Story: Breaking Glass

I did a version of this story years ago as a podcast and updated the text a bit, and then used the iMovie app to pull it together as a digital story. This is one of our family traditions – writing notes to our future selves and stuffing them into glass ornaments. What’s yours?
Peace (in the glass),

Humbled and Honored to be in the Mix

I am honored to have been nominated for some Edublog Award categories this year. If you have the inclination and time, I’d appreciate support. Just being part of the crowd of blogs and folks in these spaces is enough for me, though. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t blog for awards. I blog to reflect and understand and to share, and connect.

But, thank you.

Peace (in appreciation),