Still Waiting for Windows

This is the second comic about my characters waiting in line for the new Windows 7 Operating System. I had to add in something about waiting for the new flu vaccine, too.

Peace (in the OS),

The no-tech Literacy Conference

My school is the host site for an upcoming regional Literacy Conference, which makes sense as we are at the start of the two-year Literacy Initiative in our school district.

The conference events seem fine and somewhat interesting, with one huge exception (for me): there does not seem to be a single thread of New Literacies anywhere on the agenda. No technology anywhere.

When we had our initial brainstorming session for the start of the Literacy Initiative last school year, I tried to be the voice that advocated for Media and Technology literacies being represented in our work around literacy because students are using these tools and they need to be part of what we are teaching.


My friend and colleague, Gail P.,  pointed out to me that teachers are being asked to do so much more and are feeling the stress (including our new shift to a standardized report card system), and that adding more to their plate is not fair to them, and I know what she means.

Then, I wondered about something. Our single Mac Cart of laptops is always out and about in our school. It’s hard to sign up because it is in such high use. That’s great.

But what are teachers using it for?

If they are using it for student composition, then don’t they need some guidance on how they can integrate that technology into the classroom? Or, my fear is: they are using the Macs for students playing games or acting as gatherers of information (instead of composing it themselves).  Gail, I know, does a lot with her kindergarten students and has them exploring in different ways on the Macs.  Our art teacher and media specialist also use the laptops in constructive ways.

But I wonder how many other of my colleagues are doing the same? How many have been given the tools for moving technology into their Language Arts curriculum? How many have been given time to explore and play? Too few.

Time to get off my high horse, I guess. Sorry for the rant. Maybe what I need to do is go into my principal’s office and say, here is a session that we should offer during the Conference  (such as — using Photostory or Voicethread to create a digital story representation of a writing assignment) and I will offer to run the session. I can’t just complain, right? The problem is that when I present, then I can’t attend.

Peace (on the day after the rains),

Waiting for Windows with Boolean Squared

I know Microsoft came out with its new Operating System this week and I had this image of geeks lining up to be the first to get it — sort of like the old days of standing in line for concert tickets before Ticketmaster pulled a fast one on us all and set up a money-gauging system for music.

I put Boolean and Urth in a line, imagining some sort of take on Waiting for Godot (see? even comics can have high literary goals). There are two or three more comics to this story arc coming this week.

Peace (in the waiting),


‘What I Like to Write’ Comics

I continue to use the National Day on Writing as a prompt with my students, and in our closed ToonDooSpaces site (which my students are completely eating up — writing, creating and commenting like crazy), I posted this:

And here are what some have come up with, even though I have not even officially introduced it as a lesson to the classes yet. These are some of the students who have found my comic and worked independently on their own. (Today, we’re going to do a Dark and Stormy Night comic …)

Peace (in a few frames),

Not on the backs of our students

I’m nearing the end of this story arc about Boolean, Mr. Teach and the Imagination App Challenge. Here, Mr. Teach gives Principal Penn an update, and Principal Penn’s mind turns to the budget.

Peace (in the creation),

One more look at the Comic Strip Banner

As some of you know, the way we celebrated National Day on Writing at our school was through the use of a large and expansive Comic Strip banner that asked the question: What do you like to write?

I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the thing because it is huge. It’s also quite mesmerizing to look at. There are words and pictures and scribbles and notes and names all over the banner, every which way. It’s sort of a dizzying experience to read. Yesterday, before parent teacher conferences, I unrolled all of the parts and zoomed in on some areas with my camera. I mostly focused on the writing that answered the question posed originally.

I then took those photos and put them into the Animoto video machine and this came out. I’m not happy with the music I chose, but it works for now, I guess. I hope it gives a flavor of the banner.

Peace (in the close-up),

Day in a Sentence goes to Israel


This week, Day in a Sentence rests comfortably on the beaches of Israel with Bonnie as the host. She asks that you consider boiling down your week or your day into a six word reflective sentence.

Come on — six words! You can do it. And you are cordially invited to join us by heading over to Digital Bonnie to post your six word Day in a Sentence this week. We hope to see you there!

Need some inspiration? Here is a song that I wrote last year for Day in a Sentence. Get your Six Word Groove on!

The Day in a Sentence Theme Song

Peace (on the other side of the world),

School versus World: Boolean Squared

Is it success if a student takes an assignment, runs it with their own way and finds an audience? What about if they don’t follow any of the structure that the teacher puts in place? This is one of the many quandaries faced by Mr. Teach with Boolean.

And of course, there’s a poke at both sides here, too.

Peace (in the forgetting),