Stories Inside the Web: If Owners Oversaw the Front Page

Over at DS106 this week, the theme is telling stories “inside the web,” using tools such as Mozilla’s XRay Goggles to remix websites and retell the news or information. I decided to take three newspapers and tilt the front page towards the owners, sprinkling in news and product names as if the newspapers are being used to promote products or personality. Of course, editors would never do this (right? right?) but I can remember when I worked at a newspaper, there would be some reporters and headlines editors who would discretely work in phrases and keywords into stories and headlines just for the fun of it.

So, here are my three front page hacks of The Washington Post (owned by Jeff Bezos, of Amazon), The Boston Globe (owned by John Henry, of the Boston Red Sox), and The Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch, of everything related to news in all corners of the world, apparently). I find this kind of media criticism interesting, and fun, and love that I can superimpose text right on top of the real websites (I suppose they wouldn’t agree, but hey …)

News Amazon Post

News Globe Henry

News WallStreet Murdoch

What newspaper would you hack?

Peace (in the goggles),

On the (DS106) Radio: Hack the World

On Tuesday night, the collaborative radio show venture that I was part of — The Merry Hacksters — had a premiere on DS106 Radio. I represented our group during the chat with Alan Levine and Christina Hendricks. The collaborative experience was interesting, to say the least, as we worked almost exclusively off Google Docs, Twitter and Dropbox to gather ideas, share audio files and make suggestions for the show’s sequence. We never “talked” to one another, as some other groups did with Google Hangouts, etc. This project evolved over about four weeks of time, starting with an idea I had during the initial brainstorming of building off my summer experiences in Teach the Web and the Making Learning Connected MOOC, both of which honored the ethos of the hack.

It was an honor and a pleasure to work with Sally, Stefani and Lara on our Headless DS106 radio program, which we call Hack the World. My colleagues allowed me the privilege to edit the show together, stitching our voices and files into one program. I hope I did them all justice. Our theme was to explore the concept of hacking as a positive tool for change, and so, the segments include:

  • An interview collage with Chris Lawrence and Laura Hillinger from the Mozilla Foundation on their Webmaker tools;
  • An interview with young students on using Minecraft and perceptions of hacking and remixing;
  • A piece about toy hacking, tinkering and ways to rediscover childhood curiosity with Stephanie West-Puckett;
  • A feature on a German archivist discovering materials from the past and rethinking their importance;
  • A listen into my classroom as my sixth graders hack the game of chess to create something new;
  • Assorted radio bumpers and commercials.


The Merry Hacksters are Kevin (@dogtrax), Lara (@raccooncity), Stefanie (@StefanieJ2), and Sally (@swilson416)

Here are the audio files that Alan and Christina shared:

Pre Show Discussion
“Hack The World” (22:53)

Post Show Discussion

We will also be making most of the individual audio files available for folks, too, if you just want to hear a piece or want to remix the entire show in your own way. We hope that sharing will be in the spirit of our own work. Go forth and hack the world!

Peace (and remix),

Student Views about Cell Phones in School

We are working on a synthesis reading/writing activity, in which students are writing persuasively about whether or not cell phones should be allowed in school. Your first impression might be that they would want them, but surprisingly, that is not the case.

Check out the breakdown of their views:
Cell Phones in School

Peace (in the chart),


Student Voices on Art and Peace for National Day on Writing

Yesterday, students in each of my classes did some podcasting for the National Day on Writing.

They had written an artist statement about a Lions’ Club international Peace Poster project now underway with our art teacher, with a theme of Our World/Our Future. When their posters are hanging up around the school, their artists statement will be part of that. I am still mulling over the best way to connect the podcasts to the posters in a digital space. Maybe Voicethread …

Here are a few of the podcasts:

Peace (in every poster),


Check out the 2013 K12 Online Conference

If you have not had the free and wonderful K12 Online Conference, you should. It kicks off today and runs for the next two weeks or so, but it doesn’t matter if you miss a day or a presentation since everything is archived online and readily available. You can even go back to the last few years of presentations via the archives. The K12 Online Conference is a powerful example of teachers sharing expertise and exploring the intersections of teaching, learning and technology, and more.

There are themes of open learning and outside learning spaces, and more.

Check out the 2013 K12 Online Conference Schedule.

And here is the opening pre-conference keynote by Shannon McClintock Miller.

See you online!
Peace (in the connections),


Odds and Ends for National Day on Writing

Today, I hope to do some podcasting with my sixth graders, using Soundcloud, for the National Day on Writing (which officially was yesterday, I think, but the Sunday spills over into Monday in my mind). This year’s theme is Write to Connect (or Write2Connect), and I played around with some comics and memes yesterday, sharing out into various online spaces to spark the ideas of writing.

National Day on Writing 2013 Comic

National Day on Writing Comic2

Meme for national day in writing

How do you celebrate writing?

Peace (in the connections),


The Merry Hacksters Radio Show Teaser

Merry Hacksters Title DS06
I’ve been working with three other folks on creating a collaborative radio show for DS106. Our name is The Merry Hacksters and our 25 minute show is about hacking and remixing in the world, for good. We have pieces about toy and game hacking, a view of Minecraft and remixing from a kid viewpoint, how hacking tools can help social change, and hacking of historical archives. There’s a lot of great stuff in the show (if I don’t mind saying so myself), which gets its official release on Tuesday when DS106 has a release party of sorts.

But I made this short audio teaser this morning, capturing some of the sounds from the show.


Peace (in the listening),


Animated Gif Text: Stuck on the Page

I am tinkering with an software program called, eh, LICEcap that allows you to create animated gifs for screenshots. I hosted the animated gif in Flickr, but to share the animated version from there, you have to navigate to “all sizes” and copy/share the original. A typical embed in Flickr doesn’t do the trick.

And on behalf of the National Day on Writing, I created this:

Thanks to Doug Belshaw for sharing this one out in his newsletter.

Peace (in the writing),