Twittering Around on 2008-02-19

  • Little boy: ear infection. Older boy: flu? Wife: flu? Middle boy: hyper. Daddio (me): ready for Battlestar Galactica DVD (g’d night all) #
  • All plans of getting work done today (grading papers, working on bk chapt, finishing new song, etc) are prob out the window w/ a sick house #
  • @kevinessdack That was me, last week. Here is a video of comics made by my sixth graders #
  • @speters You need to go into Google Spreadsheets and make forms from there. #
  • @speters Oops. try this: #
  • Wanna hear a brand new song? Trying it with rock band tonight. Sneak peak: Hope you all like it. #
  • @paulallison Listening right now, Paul. Interesting. I had not hear the term ‘microblogging’ before following you this week. #
  • @mrneedleman Sorry you are sick. Should I be sorry my song is in your head? 🙂 #
  • @dwarlick Hi, from Kevin, in Western Massachusetts. #
  • Showed off our XO laptop to neighbor and his kids who are still waiting (im)patiently for their XO to arrive, and then … we mesh! #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-18

  • @cheryloakes50 Cheryl, I will, once I get them all together and into a website. Working on it. But I had 60 comics to cull through. Fun. #
  • @willrich45 I don’t think I am getting an error, Will. Twitter seems to work fine for me. (‘course, I just woke up and brain is numb) #
  • Looking forward to taking kids to play today called ‘Rain King,’ which is billed as puppets, music and multimedia stage performance for kids #
  • @murcha For screenshots with text, I use Fireshot — an ext. for Firefox. Very handy and useful. #
  • Little One decided this weekend to abandon crib and move into Big Boy Bed. We applaud him but feel a little twang of the heartstrings, too. #
  • Pulling together student Cybersafety Comics into video & will share at I think. Used Makebeliefs Comics/Photostory3 #
  • @JLWagner How about: Integrating Technology for the Classroom Teacher? — Kevin (‘providing’ does sound passive to my ears) #
  • Strange New Engl weather: 55 degrees outside, with about 3" of snow — everything is foggy/hazy — like a Stephen King novel (booooo) #
  • @CLykowski So sorry to hear that news. Sending you a wave of good will and supportive thoughts. #
  • Stream of thoughts from CL 2.0 Forum – 10 things every teach should know about tech #

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Entering the Twitterverse

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

~ William Stafford ~


I don’t know why this poem seems appropriate but I ran into it in a book I am reading as a book group with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project (the book is From Outrageous to Inspired by David Hagstrom) and it got at something about my entry into Twitter.

A year ago, my friend, Bud, was explaining to a few of us in the National Writing Project about Twitter and I kind of didn’t get it. He talked about short posts, an emerging community and text messaging. He lost me at text messaging, as I don’t like cell phones, and so Twitter remained outside of my field of vision for a long, long time.


Then, I became an Edublog Supporter and suddenly, I had some possibilities to merge my Blog with Twitter, and I realized that I did not need a cell phone (was this obvious to everyone but me?) and I could Twitter from the web. And so, I did, and in the past week or so I have been fully engrossed in this concept of “What are you doing right now” in 140 characters or less. It is not IM, as far as I can tell, but some strange cousin with its own universe. And, of course, my friend, Bonnie, was asking if I was going to venture into Twitter. There was a convergence of momentum.

What I like about Twitter is that it gives me an opportunity to enter as a writer, but I am also becoming a reader. As you Twitter, you are also following others, and others are following you. I think. It seems as if there are many threads going on, depending on your network, and so you may suddenly see references to alternative conversations and it feels a bit disorientating. As if someone is whispering some news behind your back, inadvertently. I am wondering what is going on with the other folks in my network and if I am even part of their network. Is it all reciprocal?

I also use something called Twitbin, which an add-on for Firefox that allow you to open up Twitter right in the left side of the browser. It is quite handy. You can be working and watching as folks are letting you into their lives. Anything from baking cookies to preparing for a presentation to a scuffle in the classroom — it comes out on Twitter.

With Edublogs, I can now both add my blog posts to my Twitter and then collect all of my Twitter posts onto my blog — all automatically. It’s interesting and I am noticing my writing is a tangle of focus and freeform with Twitter. I really am trying to hold true to the question of “What are you doing right now.” It reminds me of our Day in a Sentence, too, as we reflect on our week and boil it down to its essentials. Twitter is kind of like that, but on the run and in the moment.

Along with searching out Twitter friends (dogtrax is my twitter name, if you want to add me to your list), I also came upon two interesting Twitter feeds. One, called TwitterLit, posts the first line of an adult novel and that’s it. Another, called KidderLit, is the children’s book version, and it has opening lines to kid books. I love that. It is so interesting and certainly, I am going to use them as writing prompts in the classroom. (Hmmm — might be a nice post for Ben’s TeachEng.Us blog — note to self).

Where does this Twitter lead? I am not sure, but I was intrigued to see my friends from the New York City Writing Project having their own collective Twitter page and I wonder if there are ways to move Twitter into professional development.

For now, though, it is another venue for writing. What am I doing right now? Writing about Twitter. How about you?

Peace (in short thoughts),



Twittering Around on 2008-02-17

  • 17 wonderful and beautiful Days in a Haiku already submitted. Still room. You? #
  • Writing a new song called "Rave it Up, Rave it Down" and struggling with the lyrics. Trying for upbeat and groovy tunes (not Looney tunes) #
  • @illyac Of course you can borrow the haiku idea. Flat fee of just a thousand smiles, plus interest. — Kevin #
  • Looking at comics my 6th graders made on cybersafety – hope I didn’t scare them off tech forever. Naw. But did message of balance get thru? #
  • Going to walk thru sleet storm to neighbors to watch NBA All-Star Game – REFUSE to give $ to cable co. beyond basic (mostly TV-free house) #
  • @susanettenheim Sounds nice, Susan. Are you writing? I wish I had ocean view, and silence, for writing. Not gonna happen here (kid chaos) #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-16

  • Just signed up to be a "mentor" to a blogging student in the MiniLegends program in S. Australia. #
  • How was your week? Consider boiling it down to a short Haiku and sharing it with us. #
  • @LParisi I woot. Just got gyromouse – it’s like a Wii — allows you to move around web from distance, w/wave – students got kick out it! #
  • Reading Ultimate Blogs and wondering how blog writing does and does not translate to paper. Some good, some bad blogs in book, I think. #
  • 7-year-old son nets 1st place in Jr NBA Skills Challenge (10 year old bro took 4th place in his div). They didn’t get their skills from me. #
  • Cooked yummy lamb chop dinner and now brownies in the oven (and wife is at grad class all day). Oh, and some wine on the brain. relaxxxxxx #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-15

  • Friday. One day countdown to Feb vacation. Friday. Vacation. Friday. Vacation. (mantra of the day in my head). Friday. Vacation. #
  • Will you haiku? I invite you to boil down a day or your week into a haiku and post – #
  • @LParisi Lisa, thanks to you for your Haiku — very nice. I release all the writing on Sunday (normally). #
  • @budtheteacher XO Blog? I wanna know more, Bud. I need to crack the little green machine back open and move deeper inside. #
  • Student using MakeBeliefsComix ( to make comics about Internet safety (borrowed idea from Cheryl Oaks) #
  • @budtheteacher XO Blog looks good. I posted a little "hello" on the blog for you, Bud, and tossed the blog into my RSS (no one was hurt) #
  • @NCavillones Very nice to see a teacher on cover of Time, and then someone you know … extra special. I liked the first line of article. #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-14

  • Ever get feeling you misunderstood "Snow Day Msg" and there was school and you weren’t there? That was me 5 secs ago. (no worries – no skl) #
  • @budtheteacher (In my pocket?) a rubber band that I took from the three year old, about to zing it at his older brother (payback?). #
  • Tomorrow is Look Alike Day at School (I advise our Student Council) and so all 6th grade teachers will wear ugly Hawaiian Shirts. Cool. #
  • Sugar-infected day with 12 year olds (note: cancel V-Day) + I barked out "quiet" to a cave of cacaphony one times too many (note:need beer) #
  • Almost gave up on Vday dinner due to tiredness (son up in night 3 times! parental result: insomnia) but rallying. Waiting for babysitter. #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-13

  • @mscofino Hello to Qatar Academy from Massachusetts, USA — where an ice storm has blanketed our universe. Everything is white and ice. 🙂 #
  • @budtheteacher Bud, word processing changed my life and the way I write, too (interesting,eh?). My mind is more in groove with keys than pen #
  • @langwitches I agree. Larry is a terrific resource and his insights into what is helpful for ELL students is crucial. I’m thankful. #
  • Three kids cooped up inside (and two neighbors are on the way) as my wife waves goodbye and heads to her job as a school admin. Lucky me #
  • @speters Greetings to Canada from Massachusetts. It’s a wet, soggy and icy day here. #
  • @chrislehmann Sounds like a real winner. Might have better just to have a handout and allow folks to network, right? #
  • Promised Ben I would contribute to his idea of a collective blog and finally did — writing about surveys #
  • @alexragone Risk takers are the ones grumpy teachers refuse to greet in hall (fear contamination). Risk takers are the ones kids flock to. #
  • @willrich45 (we must) … encourage our students to be innovators and flexible thinkers. #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-12

  • @coolcatteacher: Liking Twitbin, which allows me to Twitter and follow on side of my browser. New to Twitter, so ease of use is key!! #
  • Home sick with pink eye (drops feel like a meteor shower in my eye socket) and working on some quickfiction stories and podcast — not bad #
  • A few hours in solitary writing confinement — two quickfiction stories and a new song written and produced — now off to get groceries #
  • @NCavillones Snow on the way here, too, and prob an ice delay day tomorrow (or full snow day). Ready for spring. #
  • @roswellsgirl Love the photos of the Beauty/Beast play. Good luck. Reminds me that we need to get moving on our class plays! #

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Twittering Around on 2008-02-11

  • @murcha: Yep – vocals are me, such as they are. #
  • 7 degrees outside. Indoor recess? ahhhhhhhhh. #
  • Students busy with Parts of Speech project and I wish we were writing short stories instead (their wish, too). #
  • Darn I think I might have pink eye (which a colleague explains is the best of the sick worlds — you get to stay home but little pain) #

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