(Note: This post first appeared on my blog)
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
I know there are a few more learning events for Walk My World (including the last one around heroic myths and the current one around the Story of Us) but I had pulled together a sort of digital portfolio via ThingLink as a way to capture the projects I had been doing since the start. I like using the visual, with links, although it does not leave room for post-project reflections without cluttering up the page.
So, I had this idea ... what if I wrote a poem and delivered bits and pieces of it (let's call them stanzas, shall we?) to a few friends in online spaces and asked them to piece the poem together over social media? What would that look like? How would you even pull it off? And this began an adventure this weekend with three of my friends -- Charlene, Sheri and Terry -- as I launched a poem like a balloon and watched it wander off.
My goal as a writer in digital spaces was to try to figure out how to make this kind of playfulness meaningful and to extend out the poem's life beyond me writing it and me publishing it. It helped that I know Terry, Sheri and Charlene are game for the oddness of play, as we all were deeply involved in the Making Learning Connected MOOC experience over the last two summers.
What if a Story were simultaneously hemmed in and also open to roam the landscape? What if the Story were merely small echoes of some larger narrative? What if the Story were not one Story, but many Stories?
What if …?
So, this is interesting … coming out of a controversy in which Mattel pulled a book from its Barbie collection in which Barbie is cast in a role as a computer engineer, but the story is framed as Barbie being someone who needs help from the boys to get things done, like the actual coding and programming. Lots of push back, as there should be, and then a few folks set up this site that allows you to hack and remix the Barbie book with your own writing.