#clmooc teach writers

br />

Please read this important post by Kim Douillard:

I’m thinking about these powerful words Kim wrote

“I worry about who in our schools gets the most formulaic writing. Why are our English learners, our students of color, our students who live below the poverty line most likely to get writing instruction that is pre-chewed, scaffolded to the point that no thinking is required? In the name of being helpful, we are robbing students of the opportunity to make sense of their thinking through writing.

And yet, letting go of the formulaic means inviting messiness, losing control, welcoming confusion in order to find clarity and coherence. What replaces the formula? That is a question that I am asked over and over again. The answers aren’t easy, they aren’t neat, and they mean teaching writers rather than writing.”

The answer is there:
“teaching writers rather than writing” so that they can “make sense of their thinking through writing.”

We offer many choices for authentic writing and teach the writer– the wordsmith.

We can accomplish this through student planned frames rather than formulas. I’ve written about it here:

I’m also remembering the work of James Moffett: Active Voices- Writing across the Curriculum and others books. http://www.amazon.com/Active-Voice-Writing-Program-Curriculum/dp/0867092890#

His work reflects much of the Connected Learning Principles as students write in genres they choose for their audience and purpose. Important is oral language, peer feedback, and and choice in a workshop approach to teach each writer.

Isn’t that what we’ve learned from technology as well? We teach writers what they need ‘just in time’ for their needs and purposes.

What do you think?


#clmooc Adjacent Possible and Embodied Learning

Adjacent Possible, Embodied Learning,  and Verbal Learning:


Connected Learning Principles and Values 

Reflection inspired by Terry Elliott

Note: Connected Learning Principles

ConnectedLearning_report.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from http://dmlhub.net/sites/default/files/ConnectedLearning_report.pdf

Interest Powered

“When a subject is personally interesting and relevant, learners achieve much higher-order learning outcomes.

Interest: I wanted something I could use with my class, so I invented the Poetry Tag activity. Others seemed interested in this as well and joined in. From that we learned new apps and connected. We found play in the remix. At the same time, Kim added several poetry/photo games, which added to our growing venue of poetry games to hack for our classrooms. From these we learned about tools to enhance the learning: Notegraphy, Painteresque, Google Storybuilder.  https://storify.com/grammasheri/poetry-tag

Peer Supported

In their everyday exchanges with peers and friends, young people are contributing, sharing and giving feedback in inclusive social experiences that are fluid and highly engaging.

Poetry Tag and Photo/Poetry contests: Lots of contributing and sharing in many ways, with choice being for the creator [ Google Plus, Blogs, Twitter, Notegraphy ] I think feedback came in the Google Storybuilder hacks of the poetry — the message from the poetry game was a shift in paradigms, emphasized by both Storybuilders.


Academically Oriented

Learners flourish and realize their potential when they can connect their interests and social engagement to academic studies, civic engagement, and career opportunity

Kim’s blog shows a blend of personal and career activities related to her passions: photography and poetry.
Janis Selby Jones added civic engagement to our Game Week with Litterati

Some of Kim’s #wabisabi combined the out place with nature, which could be related to Litterati.

The poetry, photography, interests, games, and posts/tweets demonstrated digital literacies: drafts, presentation, media, design, reflection, social action. That’s a lot of academics, and we didn’t post any objectives on the “directions.” We simply suggested; participants acted; we all learned. [adjacent possible]

Production Centered

Digital tools provide opportunities for producing and creating a wide variety of media, knowledge, and cultural content in experimental and active ways

Maha and Shyam reminded us of cultural differences.
Maha Bali 
Shyam Sharma

We produced to share: blogs, twitter, notegraphy, GPlus, tackk.com, hackpad, Storybuilder, Fold a Story

Openly Networked

Online platforms and digital tools can make learning resources abundant, accessible, and visible across all learner settings.

See production-centered

If we shared, we were networked.
Some were hackable; some like Poetry Tag, we hacked lines and carried them into the next iteration.

We gathered as in Storify.
We can use hashtags #clpoettag #clmooc #middleschool #25wordstory to gather our openly networked productions.

Shared Purpose

Experiences invite participation and provide many different ways for individuals and groups to contribute. when educational opportunity is available and accessible to all young people, it elevates the world we all live in.

I think  that Joe Dillon’s tweet presents our shared purpose: “identify entry points for play and learning for all. ‘’ We are reaching back for that joy of learning in play and purpose. Each activity blends academics and play; we explore language through our creations; we share language through our reflections and conversations. We are connected learning – embodied.


Experiences invite participation and provide many different ways for individuals and groups to contribute. when educational opportunity is available and accessible to all young people, it elevates the world we all live in.

Equity in Opportunity. With such a plethora of choices, those who lurked, observed and did with that on their own; those who were interested, chose and shared. We don’t really know the effect, but we do know in the sharing, that interest creates action; action inspires sharing; sharing builds connections and iterations; connections spawn conversations, reflections, and revisions. The equity is in the opportunity to participate; it is up to participants and those who know who the lurkers are to encourage participation through invitation and relationship.

In the Poetry Tag, people chose GPlus, Twitter, Notegraphy, Visual Poetry to share — choice.

Social Connection

Young people are provided with multiple learning contexts for engaging in connected learning—contexts in which they receive immediate feedback on progress, have access to tools for planning and reflection, and are given opportunities for mastery of specialist language and practices.

Perhaps so far we haven’t conveyed feedback, except in the participation of the activities and in #f5f and reflections. As teachers, we need to be cognizant of this and plan for it. But, once again, students need to explore through observation of those ready to reflect and critique before they participate in it themselves. Our feedback is in the positive: emphasizing what worked for each of us so that others may try. It builds relationships and possible ideas for our next attempts. Positivism gives us strength and courage to continue. As we build our strengths, we prune our weaknesses. We are evergreen and growing.

Full Participation

learning environments, communities, and civic life thrive when all members actively engage and contribute.

Here we see flux, according to our needs and time. I think the keys are caring, relationships, choice, autonomy. People need to know they are cared for and about, they need to relate to [interest] the situation, they need choice in actions, and they need the autonomy to do it in their way as their contribution to the larger picture.

Learning participation is a continuum of actions, skills, and progress.

Theses? Antitheses? Syntheses? *
A place for string to small to save or ideas out of network, perhaps an unknown unknown that has come to light. 


Tellio from Vialogues: “You must live in the world the language is about for the language to make sense.”

Yoda: The key, passion is.  Yeesssssss.

Our current education system was designed for a factory of skilled, repetitive workers. Today’s world needs the passion of multi-talents to solve our world issues. Students learn through their passions. Isn’t that why “interest-powered” is first?

#clmooc Play Revision


REVISING a Blog I Started Last Year

Revision Steps — ideas so far

1.  Starting: A reflection and revision of my work last year in the post: Play is the Game

2. Adding Meme Activities to Connect2Learn Blog

a. Memes as Avatars [revising an old activity ]
b. Memes  Activities which link to Mindy A Early’s meme activities

3. I am looking for any middle school teachers who want to connect and develop the Connect 2 Learn blog.

An Invitation

As I said in Part 1:

So, I’d like to invite the middle school teachers to help me with this, if it fits their interests. We’ve all got our own standards to meet, but we’ve learned through CLMOOC that those can be met in a variety of ways, and that connections and collaborations deepen the learning of more than finite objectives.

So, what if a group of middle school teachers collaborated on a blog of makes and prompts that promote the Connected Learning Principles through the lens of the Thinking Frames? The blog would suggest the prompts and makes; the students could write about their projects in their own blogs or Google Docs [ and collaborate in Google Docs or Wikis ], and share their play/work in comments on the blog prompt.

Whether we incorporate prompts from Digital.IsCLMOOC Make Bank, or our own prompts, the blog will be the hub for our connected classrooms. Here’s what it might look like:  Connect 2 Learn Blog, Connected Learning and Writing FramesGuidelines. I’m hoping a middle school community blog will provide the hub for connected learning and play with writing [in all its forms].

I’m excited to be more playful this year, to bring joy back to the classroom. I want my students to expand their worldview carefully and become more digitally literate. And maybe together we can make it “Game on!”

How about you?

Will you Connect 2 Learn to keep the game going?

#clmooc Play is the game

Play / Collaboration

Play is the game, and collaboration is the strategy. Mindshift’s Jordan Shapiro article reiterates this:

          • Play is useful because it simulates real life experience — physical, emotional, and/or intellectual — in a safe, iterative and social environment, not because it has winners and losers.





        • There are connected, networked ways of knowing that will dominate the digital future. Sharing and collaboration go hand-in-hand with integrating non-competitive and non-commodified ways of playing. The way students play and learn today is the way they will work tomorrow.




So, how do we play and collaborate? In our CLMOOC, we have done both this week [ see my #f5f ]. We are still playing:

Each of us took the invitation to a game of our interest, or we followed the games of others just to observe. We incorporated interest, peers, and sharpened our writing skills (academics).  Through our shared purpose, we created products openly. I’d say we met the criteria of Connected Learning:  


We even confirmed our participation and paradigm shifts by observations, through f5fs, and  in reflections [this is mine], sharing badges of accomplishment.   Have you applied yours [ unofficial f5f and CLmooc ].

Connected Learning: Play, Connect, Collaborate, Create

So, how do I carry this into my classroom — and connect to yours? Our planning and designing is based on Connected Learning Principles through the framework of Thinking Frames, adapting the “Writing Frames” of Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast.

Inside Thinking: investigating, discovering, and documenting a topic of interest to you by connecting with text, images, sounds, videos, etc. I saw this as we connected to our own game-playing and our own lives living through our poetry.

Responsive Thinking: communicating successfully face to face and online to collaborate and create through interactions and feedback to make sense of a topic by defining, labeling, questioning, challenging, and validating topic information. We tweeted, posted, and joined in #25wordstories and more. Some people met in Hangouts. We moved from our “inside,” personal ideas to sharing and discussions.

Purposeful Thinking: investigating and presenting one’s own or one’s collaborative team’s interpretation of the topic for an audience to review, be that notes, media, image, text, etc. We folded a story and Kevin Hodgson presented it to us orally.

Social Action Thinking: exploring and collaborating to create a multimedia production to move others to action using reasoned argument with digital tools that emphasize the message. Ah! Litterati! I bet you didn’t think we’d get to “social action” while playing, but there it is!  Thank you, Janis Shelby Jones!

Whether we are writing posts, comments, or tweets; poetry; annotated images; podcasts: we are composing and revising for the digital literacies for which our students need fluency. And we did this through playing collaborative literary games. William Zinsser explains:

“Writing is thinking on paper.” “Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.”

Our brains solve puzzles. Transferring ideas onto paper is a puzzle; it’s a process that requires careful thought, and the puzzling, although hard, is fun — we feel accomplished when we’ve done it right. And doing it right means, according to Zinsser,

“Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity.”

I believe we accomplished  that. We should design a “Zinsser” badge! I’m really not into objectivized anything because we all learn what we need to learn at different times and in different ways. At any one time, we are expert and novice; so data and rubrics and badges don’t fit what I see as a lifelong learning continuum. And if we are moving towards interest-based learning, then even in similar projects, each person will learn something different, at a different level. To me, it’s too hard to quantify. So, yes, I accept that I’m shifting paradigms and will display the badge. I did attempt to welcome and guide #clmooc-ers and I know I provided guidance to several, so I will accept the Learning Concierge badge. But that’s not the end. I’m going to get better in both arenas. It just says that I’ve started my journey, and when you ask me at the end of CLMOOC, I’ll have more to add to a reflection on both. So, in my classroom, we’ll start with the Thinking Frames — and I’ll perhaps create a card/badge for each, but I’ve got a thinglink ready for all of them:  
So, I’m thinking of the writing class teacher with the elaborate game for his six trait writing class. I’d love to design that, but it isn’t going to happen. But I could create a card game of sorts using the Thinking Frames — a royal flush with all of the drafts completed, for instance. Some may be drafts, some ideas, some finished, and could be different projects — but the frames are iterative, so that’s OK. It shows learning and progress. It’s like Scott Glass considers with his first student projects:

…these kind of projects immediately introduce to the students a few critical ideas:

  1. They will use their devices to create,
  2. They will consider what is meaningful to them,
  3. They will share their work.

By setting up a framework of thinking about their work in our class — the work of authors of media — students have an idea of the flow of our time together, and that the ideas come from themselves as much as from me. Hack is a good word for prompts and interests while they are developing.

But we all know it’s more than a framework; we need some guidance for what that work might look like.

How will our play, our work, our inquiry, our interests develop in process and product? Inquiry Frames.

Embrace a story.

Tell your story — how the project developed and why.
Explain a story — what’s the issue?
Create a story — narrate a fictional, nonfictional, or remixed story.

Create quality contributions.

As you inquire on the narration or facts of your story, contribute to the topic so that others may learn or question more.
Develop your story and document its formation and process.
Create a path for others to follow.
Create multi-media that explains, questions, invites, or solves the ideas of your topic, your story.

Consider worthy intentions.

Thoughtfully dig into your topic. Consider the facts and the story. Consider its value to yourself and others. Choose to matter; your time and others’ time is valuable.

Value and provide critiques.

Communicate your ideas to others — get suggestions, and help others with their topics. Value the input into your drafts and creations. Consider the feedback as from your audience — what they understand and need. Give feedback that improves others’ work and ideas in a positive way. A critique helps you and others expand ideas and revise confusion.

Share inquiry and results.

As you learn your topic and work with others, share your process and questions; get critiques. Share your results and reflections so others understand your process and the product.

Engage connections.

During your inquiry, engage others in research and conversation. Perhaps collaborate on the drafts, research, and product. Discover more ideas and expand your own. Find commonality in differences, and decide on the most relevant and possible of your ideas and suggestions. If needed, provide more than one opinion or solution. Let your audience decide — or ask them for more ideas.

Mesh all in academic goals.

As you inquire, research, connect, collaborate, analyze, and create, consider the academic goals learned: content, process, collaborative, design, etc. Be clear about your learning in your documentation, products, and reflections.

What I’m thinking about here are expectations as starting points for conversation on what we’re learning and how to develop ideas, which will depend on the student’s audience and purpose. I appreciate the ideas for games from Jennifer Denslow, which will help develop a sense for connectedness and conversation. These inquiry frames provide guideposts for connected learning. So, as Scott Glass said in his blog:

 “I suggested that teachers early on challenge students with quick creative challenges aimed at having students reflect on and create multimedia statements about themselves.”

By starting out with word play and memes, we can discuss the process through the Thinking and Inquiry frames. From there, the game is on — I don’t know what it will look like, but I’ll take advice from my students. My feedback usually includes specific information, and those students become the teachers for the others who don’t get it. We usually get wrapped up in knowing that by the end of the time, all of us will understand, demonstrated through their project. It just seems like we are already collaborating and playing.  I think we just need to celebrate it — the completion, the process, the products — as another level of our learning game. I’ll let my students design the concept and badge. We’ll start and end the year with this one:



And finally, how do we connect to learn? Hmmm, it just so happens I started this last year, and as I continue on my learning continuum, I’ve revised it. So, I’d like to invite the middle school teachers to help me with this, if it fits their interests. We’ve all got our own standards to meet, but we’ve learned through CLMOOC that those can be met in a variety of ways, and that connections and collaborations deepen the learning of more than finite objectives. So, what if a group of middle school teachers collaborated on a blog of makes and prompts that promote the Connected Learning Principles through the lens of the Thinking Frames? The blog would suggest the prompts and makes; the students could write about their projects in their own blogs or Google Docs [ and collaborate in Google Docs or Wikis ], and share their play/work in comments on the blog prompt. Whether we incorporate prompts from Digital.IsCLMOOC Make Bank, or our own prompts, the blog will be the hub for our connected classrooms. Here’s what it might look like:  Blog, Connected Learning and Writing Frames, Guidelines.

I’m excited to be more playful this year, to bring joy back to the classroom. I want my students to expand their worldview carefully and become more digitally literate. And maybe together we can make it “Game on!”

How about you?

Will you connect 2 learn to keep the game going?




 keepthegamegoing visual

A Small Voice Gets An Answer




One Does What One Can

A Small Voice is Answered

IMG_6947Our dog loves this walk in the park below the transmission lines. She checks every message left by every other creature that walks here. And the scrubby elm trees provide the shade needed in our hot, semi-arid scrublands. The small watershed in this area provides home to all sorts of critters from red-winged blackbirds to killdeer to coyotes to, well, any creature needing a spot to rest or shelter from the heat or cold. And this is a place that many local residents [and their dog friends] visit regularly. We are fortune to have a place with trees, and we are thankful.

On June 18th, 2014, we took our old friend for her last walk here.


She was so old, Scott had to pull her up and around so she could keep her balance. It was time. And on this day to reflect, we arrived to this:



Crews cutting down our trees.

The area is managed by three entities: Bonneville Power Adminstration, United States Bureau of Recamation, and the local Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, who is supposed to be consulted about any changes or actions in the area.

Scott immediately called Bob Valen, the PARD Commissioner, while I took numerous pictures. I went home wondering what I could do. Helplessness is a terrible feeling. Meanwhile Bob Valen talked with the contracted crew at the park.

I had no idea who was cutting the trees down, but I organized my images into an animation video.  While creating it, I decided to tweet the issue, directly to USBR, who have been known to seemingly indiscriminately cut down trees on our walking paths. I also posted on Facebook, but that received a few local comments only.




— Sheri Edwards (@grammasheri) June 18, 2014


I even sent out a tweet on the benefits of trees — so many people have no clue how important they are to the environment and to the health of our communities. And for city crews, it’s just more work for them — so why bother?


By this time Scott had informed me that it wasn’t USBR, but was the Bonneville Power Administration [BPA]. And Bob Valen was trying to contact whoever was in charge at BPA.



An already stressful day with our dog was now doubly so with the possible loss of one of our area’s few treed areas for public play.

I returned to the park and took more devastating photos to add to the Animoto video.

trees gone


When I returned home, I found a message from Washington, DC Bureau of Reclamation who wanted to talk to me about my tweets!  I called the number, and the manager explained carefully that they had not been notified of  the clear-cutting, and that they were now in contact with BPA and PARD and were working on the issue. She was actually in town that day from DC and would check out the area herself. Wow!  The local USBR had also been contacted by DC wondering what was going on. I told her that those trees have been their for over thirty years, in a wetland area, and that local residents frequently access the area for walking. The local parks department has plans for the area, and the loss of trees would hurt wildlife and people’s use. I thanked her for taking the time to find out what the issue was for the community.

I persisted with Animoto videos to BPA since I hadn’t heard from them.


To be sure we were heard, I continued to try to reach BPA:

I never did hear from BPA myself.

But, a small voice received an answer from one of the powers-that-be. I tweeted a thank you.


And here’s what happened: the different entities worked together to find a solution, and only a few trees have been cut down since the initial invasion. If you look at the pictures, you can see that these are not your average neighborhood power poles — they are huge, and these thirty-year old trees will never get close to the wires.


This is the story of a small voice receiving an answer, and Twitter, a social media, got the attention needed to start the conversation.

Remember, “One does what one can.” We’ll miss our walks with Pooka, but we are glad for those people and furry friends that still have their shade.

legend sparrow.001

#clmooc Make Log List Reflection

Reflections and Connections

#clmooc             Make Cycle 1 Make Log


Questions from our Reflections and Connections suggestions:

What I’ve Made So Far

What did you learn from what you’ve already made?

What makes inspired you to try a new tool
or to explore a topic you hadn’t thought of?



Before #clmooc began, invitations provided announcements via social media so people could join. How could I help?

Terry Elliot shared a new app for me, canva.com. I created two invitations with Canva from his inspiration:

Join #CLMOOC  and Meme

I learned that CLMOOC helps me keep up with new tech apps that are very helpful in creating professional artifacts for teaching and learning. Canva.com is an amazing tool for this — I like it’s format — free and paid items so that everyone who can connect to the internet can participate. Equity is important to me.

Remix or Relearn Inspiration

Molly Shields inspired me in her blog post with her work and with this statement:

a maker is, first and foremost, a mistaker

This is a keeper statement, so I created two poster images for it:
Mistaker / Failure Quotes

Mistaker Visual Poetry
I’m not sure I can handle a Zombie Attack — I’m much too shy, and I was a way that day. But I so admire the idea and the people, that I had to create a Meme for participants in a way that I could participate [which is a tenet of #clmooc]:
These are not the Zombies you’re looking for…

Wordfoto again appeared this year, and I finally tried one. They have the potential for important messages. Sheri: Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness

When George Salazar shared his beautiful penmanship, images of my past play with calligraphy inspired me to dig into the closet for pens and nibs and ink. Fortunately, the ink after probably twenty years was still usable.

Penmanship: A Thanks to George

When Terry Elliot shared his Learning Walk around his place, what he’d learned to do and not to do, I thought I would do the same, but with ideas from a walk around my town. Instead, as I began the captions in Animoto, the playful connected ebb and flow of #clmooc took over and inspired this invitational #clmooc learning walk:   Learning Walk ( also an invitation ).

As you can see, I relearned many more apps again this year, and hope they are an inspiration that others can follow.

 How Tos / About Me

Superpower: The week began with superheros and so I needed to discover mine —

As you can see, I’m an environmental water person, collaborating with others to save the world as my colleagues and I connect and create together, ready to add color and creativity to any situation, as my sunflower colors indicate.

One of my favorite ways to share is through Google Apps. In reviewing Chris Butts How To Guide, he mentioned ‘recipe,’ and since I do like to cook and have used this as an activity with my students, I created a story on a slide on Google Slides, which would contain links to images, artifacts, and videos of How to Be Sheri Edwards.
How to Be Me

In the spirit of HowTo Guides, I created How to Survive Ms Edwards Class in Thinglink for my students and families, as a talking point for our learning community. It’s small to embed in a sidebar of a blog or web page. #clmooc and the Connected Learning Pedagogy inspire me to discover how to create real and true learning in my classroom, instead of the rote and tote, teach and test, variety now in vogue. Please read an inspirational post at Hybrid Pedagogy for a How To and Why To of sorts this topic: Beyond Rigor.

Something New

So as my second year in #clmooc, I thought I better not be a slug, but should put my learning hat on and step up to learning something new.  Michelle Stein shared her telligami and I was hooked. I didn’t really understand it until her post. So thanks, Michelle.

My first one was a summary of our Make With Me for Cycle 1:

Gami on Make With Me June 17th

Gami Introduction to CLMOOC reflection for this Post: BlogAMonth Learning Walk )

Like Twitter, Gami requires you to be concise. I think this is good for kids to try — they both require a thoughtful wordsmith to get the message just right. Telligami is an iOS / Android app for mobile devices. In thirty seconds your avatar speaks your message in front of the background you choose.

And finally, TACKKS, which I reblogged here and can be found on TACKKS here. I wanted to try a new way to share my reflection list, and this seemed a good place to start since I can easily add my own or use their search for images, gifs, videos, etc. It’s easy to add headlines, images, etc. And there is a classroom edition perfect for schools.



What I’m Working On:

I’m currently working on Memes. I’m amazed how people just whip these out. It will take me a while to think of something. I’m wondering, how do you get started choosing an idea?

I’m also working on continuing to encourage others. I think this week I will learn a lot doing so. [See above paragraph.]
What I Want to Work On in the Future:
What I’m always working on: how do I implement this in my test-focused, objective-spewing situation? I think Scott Glass has the right idea. He suggests three ideas as important in his new 1:1 classroom in his “How To Ignore a List“:

  1. They will use their devices to create,
  2. They will consider what is meaningful to them,
  3. They will share their work.

See the Connected Learning concepts here?  This is my work for now and in the future; I hope I can inspire my colleagues as well.

About Makes
What did you learn from what you’ve already made?

I’ve mentioned this in comments above, but the most important things are those that are of connected learning:

Someone shares

It inspires

Interest is sparked

Peers support

Academics is embedded

Purpose is shared

Products developed

Openly networked

for a new cycle
What makes inspired you to try a new tool or to explore a topic you hadn’t thought of?

Terry Elliot, Scott Glass, Michelle Stein, Molly Shields, Kevin Hodgson all provide makes that are doable and remixable with plenty of support.

But it’s not just the makes; it’s the conversation that inspires — the peer support. When Michelle talked about her gami and provided links to information, that inspired me. When the superheroes appeared again and again with explanations, that inspired me. When Terry shared his self-conversation on his learning walk, that showed how our own interests are valuable and we need to share; again, an inspiration.

How about you? Is it the make or the conversation that inspires you?
What do you see as the purpose of making this week?

To me the purpose of this week was to see the value in others’ interests, which spark us to know we have things to share too. It builds community, and serves as a model for building community anywhere. Share. Learn about each other. Accept. Share more.
What were your purposes did you have in mind for making and sharing at the beginning of the week? How have they changed or remained constant?

The purposes at the beginning were to invite new participants and welcome them, but by the end of the week that was expanded to join in, jump in, and be a part of the playful learning– a community of support in learning.

How about you? How has your participation changed?

My grandson. He doesn’t learn this at school. Shouldn’t students be able to pursue their talents?

#clmooc #blogamonth Learning Walk

Gami Link

Sharpen The Saw

Principal Jessica Johnson explains how she will read and attend conferences, reminding us to Sharpen Our Saws by quoting Steven Covey:

Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you !

And our #blogamonth topic is to share our sharpenings.

How will I preserve and enhance “me?”


#clmooc means Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration. That means it’s not a course, but a collaboration. It’s an event to gather educators from around the world to lurk and learn, connect and converse, create and collaborate, remix and reflect. Participants learn as they are able with plenty of support. What do we learn? We follow six week-long “Make Cycles,” taking part as we can, engaging in fun activities  that require mostly our imaginations and conversations with peers. The “Gami” above is my first one, an activity suggested by several of our participants who shared their Gamis.  We connect learning to our own situations, learning how important play is to learning. CLMOOC follows the pedagogy of Connected Learning


From this participation I see the value not only academically oriented goals, but also interest-driven and peer-supported goals that result in products from our shared purpose. That’s a mouthful. But in the first week of our #clmooc, participants have created personal avatars, how to be ‘me’ guides, and interactions among the projects that teach others, inspire others to try something new. Our “shared purpose” of introductions has resulted in peer-supported, interest-powered projects that reflect skills of digital literacy. From pictures of handwritten notes (George Salazar), to Google Presentations, to How to Be a Math Teacher diagrams (Craig Russell), to blogs (Kim Douillard), to How to Launch and Recover a Hot Air Balloon with infographics and Gami (Michael Buist) to YouTube How to Make Grilled Swordfish (David Quinn). Our shared purpose has been accomplished through interest, support, and academics — we have learned about each other in many ways.


Imagine this at work in the classroom! Imagine opening up our academic goals to so they can be achieved through student interests with peer support, demonstrated through collaborative projects. My big take-away so far is that we are all learners, and all learners are at different places, each motivated by their own interests, enhanced by peer support. For today’s learners, this is the way to learn; anything else is contrary to the way we learn. Read more at Educator Innovator, powered by the National Writing Project.

Then you too will sharpen your saw on a learning walk: