Gearing Up for Getting Back to School (A Comic Collection)

I’ve been away from blogging for a few weeks as part of a summer tradition, but I have still been writing and creating for August, and that includes making comics. These comics were part of my “anxiety of going back to school” thinking and planning and getting myself ready for another exciting year. We teachers go back on Friday (yikes .. that’s tomorrow) and then students come back for Monday.

These comics were all shared on Twitter but I wanted to bring them all here, too.

That first day of school anxiety

Before the storm

First day of school perspectives

Mr SmartyPants

Peace (in the frames),

August Hibernation/Low-Tech Pause Mode

Blogging vacation comic

It’s August and that means laying low, turning down the tech for a few weeks, and coming back in September with the start of school rejuvenated and reconnected ….. Normally, this would have happened a week or so earlier, but the CLMOOC was still running …  I won’t be completely utterly off-the-grid but I won’t be very active even when I am checking up on some things … so, see you in a few weeks!

Peace (in summer siesta),

Ten Reasons Why I Love #CLMOOC

I’m in reflection mode right now with the Making Learning Connected MOOC … mainly because I know I am going to miss a final #CLMOOC Twitter Chat night, as a reflective gathering of the tribe.

Ten Reasons Why CLMOOC Rocks – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

How can you reflect? Use this from the newsletter:


…Twitter Chat for Make Cycle #∞ on Tuesday, August 4, at 4p PT / 7p ET / 11p UTC with the #clmooc hashtag. We’ll use a Google Doc to do some shared reflective writing, and then use these reflections as the basis of our chat.


If you look into the CLMOOC Make Bank you’ll find a range of ways that folks have reflected in the past, including:

Peace (in the think),

These Open Maps Will Remain Our Open Stories

A friend in the Making Learning Connected MOOC asked me this weekend if the maps that we have used in the CLMOOC — the one that kicked off the start of the CLMOOC where we introduced ourselves geographically and then the one that was at the heart of the CLMOOC where folks geotagged their parks and spaces — would remain open even as the CLMOOC began winding down.

Well, yeah, of course the maps will remain open. It never even occurred to me that I would close off access. In fact, I am curious if a look back at the maps from the future will reveal more pins and media and such, and maybe give more evidence of the reverberations of the CLMOOC beyond the summer months.

Oh, sure, I guess we could get some spam here and there, but so what? The maps were designed to be open and open they shall remain, telling the story of the CLMOOC.

Here, be dragons …

The First Map:

The Second Map:

Peace (along the longitude and latitude),

A Desktop Tour of the GeoLocate Map

I created this video tour of the GeoLocate Your Space Map for the end of the Make Cycle at Making Learning Connected MOOC, although I see that other pins were added after I had created the tour (so, I apologize if you late pinners didn’t make it).

You can read the end-of-week newsletter that went out yesterday, where we used the metaphor of “cairns” to point to different projects throughout the week.

Peace (beyond the map),

Graphic Novel Review: The Graveyard Books

I think I have re-read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book more times than just about any other book. I read it myself. I read it to my three boys as a read-aloud (at appropriate ages), and then I read it myself again. There is something about the story and the writing, and the mystery of Nobody Owens’ story, that keeps pulling me in, and I am not much a book re-reader.

I knew there were graphic novel versions of The Graveyard Book out there, but I had forgotten about them until I stumbled into the two books the other day in the library, and quickly scooped them up for summer reading. I was not disappointed, as the graphic novel versions not only remain quite faithful to Gaiman’s story but also move the story in a very visual direction with the power of illustration and graphic novel format.

There are a few different illustrators in the two-book series, so I had a slight jarring feeling going from one section to the next at times, but it did not take away from my enjoyment as a reader. There is always that sense of someone else’s artwork taking over what you had imagined, and I found some elements of that as I read the graphic stories — that’s now how I imagined the witch, or the Sleer, or even Silas.

Still, I was deep in The Graveyard Book again and for that, I am always grateful.

Peace (in places unknown),

PS — check out this video by Gaiman’s wife, Amanda Palmer, about Gaiman in dream mode:


What My Son Made: Ant Man Jr.

Rowan storyboard

My 10 year old son enrolled for the second year in a row at the free Apple Movie Camp, which is a three day gathering in an Apple Store for kids to learn about iMovie and Garageband and the basics of moviemaking, including storyboarding.

My son had recently watched, and thoroughly enjoyed, Ant Man and he remembered how last year, the Apple folks showed him how to do “picture in picture” and he wondered if he could “shrink” himself and do his own Ant Man-style movie. He could. He did.

I was his trusty cameraman and gave advice on some editing, but overall, he was able to make this over the course of two days (three hours) plus some video shooting at home.

The free Apple Camp idea remains a bit of a tension point for me. It is cool they offer it for free, and it is neat that my son wanted to do it again. But parents are trapped in the Apple Store during the camp time (which I understand) and it is hard not to think the camp is a genius (excuse the pun) way to hook a new generation on Apple products and get parents to play with iPads and more during the wait time. Maybe even buy something. Or think about buying something. It is never a hard sell. It’s a soft sell. And it is brilliant marketing. I should note that this year, one of the counselors did work with parents a bit, to show us what the kids were doing with some of the apps.

Peace (may it get bigger not smaller),

Ghost Train: A Digital Poem about a Public Space

Like perhaps many of you, we have a wonderful old railroad bed that been transformed into a highly-useable public space: our rail trail/greenway system. A few years back, I wrote about the trail for a local poetry compilation, and I thought this week in the Making Learning Connected MOOC would be a fine time to dust that poem off and make it into a digital poem.

I tried to use the lens of the camera as part of the poetry itself … not sure if it worked the way I wanted it to work …

Peace (in the past and present and future),