via http://van-life.net/ I don't know what to make of the piece by Rachel Monroe in The New Yorker about #VanLife, which focuses on people who have taken to living in their vans (mostly VW vans) for all sorts of reasons -- economic, lifestyle, etc. These #VanLife folks then share their travels and world via social media, often with the hashtag of #VanLife, and mostly on Instagram. That's fine. Our world is one built on sharing and community practice (yes, there is a #VanLife network of people) but where I started to shake my head and wonder is when the article shifted to the money being made by those who are living in their vans.
I teach sixth grade in Southampton, Massachusetts at the William E. Norris Elementary School, where my students use technology for publishing and creation throughout the year (http://epencil.edublogs.org/). I am also the co-director of technology with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project (http://www.umass.edu/wmwp/) and a co-editor of the book collection Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change and Assessment in the 21st Century Classroom ( http://store.tcpress.com/ 0807749648.shtml) that examines the role of technology in the writing classroom in the age of standardized testing and assessment. I also dabble in the world of classroom-based humor through my Boolean Squared webcomic (www.booleansquared.com) and other assorted places. I also spent a fair amount of time on Twitter (https://twitter.com/dogtrax)
Writing Project Site
A funny thing happened on my way to the Rhizome sometimes last year ... the hashtag got switched. Now, normally, this would not be a big issue. But I have come to realize more and more how much I rely on the columns of my Tweetdeck app (sorted by hashtags) as a place to keep connected to various projects. So, when someone switches a conversation from one hashtag (say, #rhizo16) to another (say, #resilience16), I suddenly feel disorientated. Lost. And I depend on the kindness of strangers. A few rhizo folks had made some initial tweets with both hashtags (which is quite generous because together, they take up a good portion of the 140 characters to begin with, you know?).
I had been writing about diving into the world of Twitter Bots for Networked Narratives, and my interest in creating my own Twitter Bot, if only to understand the process of how it is done. Well, I did it. Check out the PeaceLove&Bot bot. Every six hours, the PeaceLove bot will send out a new tweet that begins with the lines made famous in the Elvis Costello song (but written by Nick Lowe) with random word replacing "Understanding" in the lyrics. I've included the #NetNarr hashtag in the code, too, so that the tweets get sent into the NetNarr twitter stream. Phew.
For the CLMOOC Pop-Up Make Cycle for #DigiWriMo, we invited people to help annotate an interview of Troy Hicks about digital literacies. The Edutopia article by Todd Finley is a few years old, but holds up remarkably well, I think. We have been using the Hypothesis annotation tool, which allows you to collaboratively add comments and media in the margins of a web-based article. It's a great way to "think out loud with others" in the margins of the Web. It's also invisible, to some degree.
I don't claim to understand all of the data analysis that goes on when people research and examine all of the elements of our social interactions in places like Twitter and beyond. Here, for example, is what the Innovator's Mindset MOOC looked like from a data analysis viewpoint.