Inviting Your Input and Comments

Welcome to my meandering mind!

This blog is a place where I explore writing and teaching and technology. But I don’t like to go on such a journey by myself and I want you to come along as a companion. Although I am doing the writing of posts, I am hoping you will feel comfortable enough to join the conversation and enrich my experience. Teaching can be an isolating experience, but it does not have to be.

If you feel the urge to join the discussions, you should search for the comment link at the bottom of each post. If you are the first, you will see the words: “no comments.” That means I’ve been waiting for you! (If others have posted comments, the link will indicate how many comments are there). This comment link will bring you to a comment box, where you will be asked to fill out some basic information (unless you are logged in as part of the Edublog Community and, therefore, are already known by my blog).

I do have the comment moderation switched on at this point. It is not intended to muffle your voice. Instead, it is intended to keep out unwanted Spam. If you have already been here and commented, then the moderation won’t collect your comments and it will get published immediately (Unless I am hosting Day in a Sentence, where I collect all comments before publication. During that time, I put the full moderation on.) A little note should indicate that your comment is being moderated when you submit it. Rest assured that I do check my blog regularly, so it won’t be a long wait.

I do not edit comments nor change comments. Your thoughts are your own and I respect that. And the voice of dissenters are as welcome as those in agreement, as long as we are all civil in our discussions.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you join the digital dialogue with me.

– Kevin

23 Comments
  1. I enjoy reading these comics because they are both humorous and at the same time present situations in the classroom setting that (hopefully anyways) do not occur however one could not throw it pass the students for it to happen.

  2. Am becoming very interested with a group of students in doing more with stop motion animation in middle school classes. Have an opportunity to do some professional development with this during the summer, and wonder if you know of seminars or workshops I might consider.

  3. Although I haven’t used this particular application, I love the idea and inspiration behind it. When kids can share their own stories in a meaningful way, learning takes place. Sharing those presentations enhances the learning. I have to say that your idea of giving kids time to “play” with the application prior to working on their “real” project is genius! Indeed, they will focus more after they’ve had time to experiment and goof around. Nice!

  4. Very enjoyable. I definitely agree you need to give the students time to play. Come fall, I hope to give it a try. Thanks!

  5. Hi Kevin

    I have been refered to you by Mathew Needleman on Classroom 2.0.

    I am involved in a European Union funded education project looking at how to use digital comics in schools http://www.educomics.org

    I am looking for websites and forums that focus on the use of digital comics in education, any suggestions would be very welcome.

    I have a good list of websites that have comic tools, this is mainly about using the comics within the school.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Joel

  6. Kevin! I’m so glad you came by and commented on my Kindle 2 article! Then, I was pleasantly surprised that we both share similar passions – for technology integration into the curriculum AND music! I’m a singer/songwriter/ (guitar – drums) kinda guy. Anyway, so great to see your piece on the Prez’s speech in Wordle!

    Well, about the Kindle 2, I very much agree with your assessment of it being a closed environment that Amazon set up which may indeed hurt it’s position in the long term. Wouldn’t it be cool, though, if some of the large text book publishers partnered with Amazon and licensed their content to school districts willing to go digital? That’s kinda what I was hinting at when I mentioned my point about publishing issues… I imagine a system where schools would pay for a license key which would provide access to specific, district adopted content –and Amazon (or a company like it) could simply act as the distributor/middle man. I mean, if I were a big text book publisher, I’d be all over this — it would cut down on physical publishing costs for the publishing houses, which would improve their own bottom line. Ultimately, it would serve as “another” distribution method and open other agreements down the line.

    Also, there are ways to get free (public domain classics) onto the Kindle… In other words, Amazon COULD, when the time was right, OPEN their closed environment. The fact that their pipeline is a closed system (with the potential to open it and really do what it wants to) may be attractive to text book publishers worried about a “wild west” digital rights mentality with no sheriff in town… What do you think?

    Anyway, so great to meet you in cyberspace.

    Buzz Garwood

  7. Kevin,

    A group of friends and I just launched the International Movie Trailer Festival, which is sponsoring a moviemaking contest: “Preview Your Dreams.” One section of the contest is for moviemakers who have created trailers for movies that haven’t been made…yet. (The Coen brothers shot this kind of faux trailer as a way of gaining resources to make BLOOD SIMPLE.)

    I wonder: Have you done this kind of project with students? Do you know of people who have tried it?

    I produced a preproduction trailer for one of my projects–www.espaffair.com–and found the experience quite thrilling. In fact, it’s what gave me the idea for the trailer festival.

    Best wishes,

    Murray

  8. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for always commenting when you can on a blog of mine. Also, I wanted to share that I will be reading that book you contributed to. I’m very excited to see what you have to say about teaching with new media. =)

  9. Hi Kevin,
    I had my students create Pivot movies and it was a great experience! Now I’d like to place the videos on our blog just as you have done. How did you convert the videos from Pivot to a different format? I tried to use my video converter, but it fails to do the job. I noticed you used Vimeo to host your videos, but this doesn’t accept the Pivot format. Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it!
    Deb

  10. Pingback: Teacher Challenge: All About Me is really All About You | Kevin's Meandering Mind

  11. Greetings Kevin,

    I recently came across your blog when I was cruising around some education sites. Your stuff really is spot-on. Each of your articles brings up something worth reading.

    I write for several blogs, and I’m currently looking to expand my reach by doing some guest posting. I would love to put together an article (or even a series) for your blog if you would be interested. I write mostly about education technology, advice for students, college search, and the ACT/SAT. I would be more than willing to write about a topic of your choosing as well. Anyway, let me know if you’re interested and I can send you some article samples, etc. Looking forward to hearing back!

    Thanks!

    Jesse L.

  12. Hi Kevin

    Fantastic blog – a great read!

    I wanted to get in touch and let you know about a really exciting, free-to-school literacy website called Wordia (www.wordia.com).

    I imagine you are really busy, but it’s a really innovative new resource (using video & games-based learning) to support educators teaching subject vocabulary / literacy.

    I’d like to send you some information about our Literacy Ambassador Programme. (It’s totally free – and I’m contacting you, as we wish to ensure that it’s educator-led!).

    I hope that’s of interest.

    Best,

    Susan
    Community Manager
    Wordia

  13. Hi, Kevin, it was nice to meet up with your writing again. Finding my pw and stuff on the NWP site was just too boggling, so I thought I’d respond to your teacher/curriculum post here. But, first I am glad to see the video game discussed; I don’t play them, but if I still taught in a secondary school fulltime, I know I would have had to have learned.
    Do you or any of your colleagues use the term “digital humanities” that I see more and more frequently in other sources?
    Anyway — I never taught in a setting where I had no role in designing my curriculum. Perhaps that’s why when I begin to read about Common Standards, I was amazed to read that all these materials needed to be invented — not by classroom teachers, but by outsiders or by State committees.
    It was perfectly clear to me when I read those CS what I could do. In fact, I would have needed little revision in what I used to do — with the addition of much more digital stuff, new texts and renewed assessment approaches. CS come right from Jim Moffett’s work.
    I attended a CS workshop with one of the two WP’s I work with, and some thoughtful teacher consultants oriented us. I could see that the many initials and so on might be confusing. Actually implementing them? no.
    Perhaps I am arrogant. Or too old to remember a younger self.
    Teachers need to arrange meetings with their chairs and principals, and perhaps with school board members, to make the case for creating their own designs and revising current ones. Any costs from summer work would be quite small compared to the stuff pouring out of publishing houses, even as we write.
    That’s my action plan.

    thank you for listing, mj hollman

  14. Kevin, thanks for your note on the nwp reading blog site. I am still trying to navigate it – so I’m responding here.
    You and I share the journalism/english teacher background. I wonder how many of us there are?
    Congratulations on your book! it must be such a rush. Folks often say, “Haven’t you written a book?” Well, no. It troubles me. My reply is, “I don’t have anything to write one about.” But, I always have ideas for other people! I’m not whining, I don’t want advice – I just thought you might understand.
    Besides reading, I’ve become entangled in this CSS stuff – not officially or in any truly practical way. It began when I agreed to be a policy advocate from IL for NCTE. Now, it has kind of a life of its own. My wonky self just took over. I want to know just how this all began and who was involved and who made decisions, et al. There are some answers, but not the specific ones I want. Maybe it’s my penchant for gossip. I excuse it — was it James Britton who said most speech, even most writing, was gossip? Or, something like that.
    Enjoy your summer. I’ll write more about books. Espec the Dyer one.
    mjh

  15. Hi Kevin! Even tho’ the CLMOOC is over, you continue to support the participants (me)! Thanks so much for being the first to comment on my new site. I promise to keep it engaging and worthwhile. Having seen your comfort level with sharing your many talents online helped me shape Steinology. I had a website previously but encountered an experience that left me less than willing to put myself out there again. CLMOOC gave me the courage to try again. You are one of those sources of courage. Carry my gratitude as you go.

  16. Dear Kevin,
    Perhaps you can share the following with your community.
    Best wishes,
    Bill Zimmerman, MakeBeliefsComix.com

    MakeBeliefsComix.com Launches New ESOL Section for Educators
    Dear colleagues,
    MakeBeliefsComix.com has launched a new ESOL teacher resource section to help students who are learning English or improving their literacy skills. (See http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ESOL/ )
    The new ESOL features from the free online comic strip generator include:
    .Publication of a free e-book, ‘’Something to Write About: Writing Prompts for English Language Learners and Literacy Students.’’ (Download at http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/eBooks/ )
    .FILL-ins – short, quick fun writing prompts for students to complete. (See http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ESOL/ESOL-Fill-Ins/ )
    .Printables that encourage writing and conversation. (See http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ESOL/ESOL-Printables/ )
    .Comic Strip Starters – comic templates to quick-start students’ creating comic strips and which also serve as conversation starters. Print and distribute them among two-person teams. (See http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ESOL/ESOL-Comix-Strip-Starters/ )
    .Class activities to help English language learners express themselves. These include making paper memory quilts in which students draw quilt panels and talk about their memories; creating autobiographical comic strips; teaching students how to interview one another to learn about one another’s lives. (See http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ESOL/ESOL-Classroom-Activities/ )
    .Lesson plans written by ESOL professionals and demonstration videos for using comics in the classroom. (See http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ESOL/ESOL-Videos-Lesson-Plans/ )
    Please review the new ESOL section, try it out with your students, and give us your feedback (billz@makebeliefscomix.com). I hope you will share what we are offering with your colleagues, too.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Zimmerman
    Creator, MakeBeliefsComix.com

  17. Dear Kevin,
    I’m not sure how you compile articles for the National Writing Project, but perhaps you might want to share a page from MakeBeliefsComix.com (at: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Daily-Comix-Diary/ ) which challenges educators to set up a daily 20-minute comic strip segment during which youngsters create a comix about something they learned or read or experienced that day. They can make their daily comix diary by using either a comic generator, such as MakeBeliefsComix, or drawing their own comics with pencil or crayons.
    Creating daily comic diaries provides a way for students to digest and integrate material they are taught each day as well as to reflect on their lives and experiences.
    You are welcome to use the essay on the page if you like it and share with readers. Thank you for considering this.
    All good wishes,
    Bill Zimmerman
    Creator, MakeBeliefsComix.com

  18. The new girl was really strange, she didn’t do anything that was electronic, she just read books and used pencil and paper. Later we found out that she was a robot in disguise, in the hopes that if one kid did stuff that wasn’t electronic the others would do the same.

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