#teachtheweb #clmooc Explore the Make Intro

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 8.41.41 PM


I believe we must #teachtheweb. I didn’t even make it to the Explore information today, but clicked directly to the community forum leading me to create two makes, both remixes from @chadsansing but highly influenced by @clhendricksbc .

See what we’ve done in the links below — do you see we are reflecting as much on understanding each other’s ideas as much as introducing ourselves? This is what “making” is all about. I think it’s quite an important “standard.”

A Little About Sheri based on A Little About Chad and A Little About Christina

Christina Quote based on Laura Quote  [ Laura Hilliger ] from Chad.

Somehow I managed to discover a Digital_Is treat: a  “zine” thimble by Chad, remixed by @dogtrax   Check it out!



#teachtheweb Connected Learning


Open. Connect. Learn.

In #teachtheweb Explore Course, my first make is to explain “What is connected learning?” Thanks to FuzzyFox’s work which I remixed.

I thought and wondered what in a few words could connected learning mean? What image [left] would inspire a definition?

What did I miss? What would you add?

Connected Learning



In spots, like knots holding together, stronger.

In threads, spread in warp and weft

In design, combined from one and many

Separate and Together

For a time,



Learning together

Back and forth

Try and fail

Struggle and share

Share and improve

Reflect and enjoy


In spots, like knots holding together, stronger.

In design

combined from one and many

Separate and Together

For a time,


Credo I believe… #clmooc #teachtheweb



What do you believe?

That’s the question / make this week for our #clmooc. I was honored to participate in the Hangout on Monday with an amazing group of educators. The Make With Me hangout discussed credos, featuring +TERRY ELLIOTT +Chris Lawrence +Chad Sansing +Bart Miller +Sheri Edwards and +Kevin Hodgson, check out the archive video and chat. I was nervous, and Terry did a great job facilitating, with help from others monitoring the chat. When you listen, you will here how we are all working in the #clmooc at our own pace, that we could be activists for our school to make changes, that what we do is a work in progress. For your credo, we talked about going with your gut, personalize it, and think about your students. Lots of great info.

How do you start writing a credo? I’ve always tried to connect my beliefs about education and learners to the vision of where I work. Here’s a page on how I connect our school’s mission statement to my own pedagogy. It seemed important to me to reflect on how what I do connects to our mission — how I make our mission happen. I read that before I started writing and after I read all the terrific examples provided by our facilitators for this week.

But then I asked myself, what is most important to me? At the top if this page is a motto I follow. So what does that mean? After talking to Terry (tweets) I created this video:

But guess what? It’s only remixable in Popcorn! I wanted it to be simple and clean, but represent what I know from my experience to be so important when working with middle school kids.

This is supposed to be connected learning! However, the credo is YOURS, so create away!

Is a splashly one like — I think it was Chris — dynamic.-  more your style? Or a coded thimble like Chad‘s? or a flowchart / diagram like Bart’s?  Will you join with others to create a manifesto?

Remember, go with your heart, try to consider the three elements of connected learning: equity, full participation, and social connectedness or social embeddedness.

I went back to the drawing board and listed what I believed in again. It depends on the context that you frame it. Here are ideas in a reflection from #etmooc. And– here’s my popcorn video taken from parts of my list, rearranged according to the three elements. It flows better with “I believe…”  I wish the music would play through, though, and not stop at the pauses. And it’s still not right. It’s still too much, don’t you think?


But think about it: I’m doing all the things we want, we need, kids to do: think, plan, try, test, share, revise, review, think, plan, organize, share, try, test, review, revise, repeat. Add, delete, substitute, elaborate, illustrate, explain. Get the message clear. And that takes time, and with connections and feedback, it improves.

How will you create a concise credo to reflect connected learning?

clmooc Summary of Report

A lot to think about, but then there’s this:



Just start with this and write…



I found an amazing pianist on SoundCloud: GracieGoose and her composition for a Main Theme: Short Film  I used in the Popcord Credo, but you’ll want to here it without interruptions.

Intro #clmooc w #openspokes Transformation Reformation #teachtheweb

clmooc Summary of Report

Summer (northern hemisphere) Thinking: What Could I Learn?

Have you thought of building your PLN (Personal Learning Network)?

Have you wondered how you could change your teaching to be more in tune with how kids want to learn today?

How about joining the clmooc: Connected Learning Mooc? Even if you just lurk and try one or two things, the rest of us will benefit from what you do, and you will learn from the many participators. It’s a win-win game plan!

What is Connected Learning? You can read a wonderful report about it here, which is the source of my notes for  the image at left. For more information, go to this Learni.st site by . Be sure to watch the John Seely Brown and the intro video for an overview.

 What will I learn?


At the beginning of the year, we often ask students to introduce themselves in various ways. Here’s my Animoto introduction: Bits & Pieces: Sheri  Imagine students choosing images and creating a 30 second video using the pictures on their phone, or take them in class, or find the ones that fit in a creative commons search? Use a computer or smartphone. Think of the skills of choosing concise, relevant images, arranging them to  tell a story, adding text and music? If students use creative commons, they learn to site sources, and how to do a search for material legally available for use. What a great way to start the year, or end  the year with a summary/impression/learning video of how students have changed. Think of the way students could create a video to demonstrate a concept or to document the points of an argument?

In my intro, I chose an easy-listening instrumental and a watercolor splash background so the images could flow. I started out with the places important to me, followed by things from my professional and personal life — books I read, my Art House Sketchbook, student work, my classroom. I switched to my neighborhoods: etmooc, twitter friends, classroom images, collaboration with Denise Krebs, my family and our nature walks. I splattered my teaching philosophy throughout. I ended with more of our favorite places and my family.

It’s three minutes, and with a classroom account, you could do that. But even in 30 seconds with the free account, students can choose one or two images to focus on and support with a few other images and text.

If you haven’t tried Animoto, do try it.  Join the  clmooc: Connected Learning Mooc and share your story with us. Even if that’s all you do, you will have connected with many more people, and learned a tool for use with your students when that type of expression works.

Code !

Want to try some coding?  Chad Sansing created this Mozilla Thimble project to introduce coding while sharing 10 most current books. I chose to share “reading” of blogs, news, and videos to share, because that’s what I’ve been “reading.” Take a look here: My 10-Reads Memoir.

First, I created the image. I took screenshots of 10 of my most current readings. I created a slide in Keynote and dragged the screenshots in. Then I saved the slide as an image, uploading it to Flickr. In Flickr, I added links by choosing the “more” under the picture and choosing “add a note” into which I pasted the URL of each of my “reads”  and placed each in the upper left corner of each picture: Current 10 Reads.

Next, I copied the URL of the Flickr photo, and began to edit the Chad’s thimble project.

When coding, I made a few changes and added in directions to anyone using my work to create their own. When you work in Thimble, the left side is code, and the right side is the preview. The code side contains directions in black within <> to tell you exactly what is needed to be changed to make it yours.

I added some links by copying Chad’s link code and placing it where I needed it.  Always remember that when coding, each code type must be enclosed with in its own brackets. so a paragraph starts with <p> and ends with </p>. Just read the code in the template and start making changes — you can’t break it; just open the link again. See what happens as you add your own code. After you’ve tried a few things, open a fresh page and start your own project. Use the help tips (see directions in the template).

I read the page first and noted what each section created in the preview, remembering to look for the enclosing brackets to know the begin/end of each segment. Knowing that really helps me figure out the code.

I was working in Chrome browser, and when I clicked Publish, it didn’t give me a link. So I copied all the code, then created a Mozilla Webmaker account so I could publish my work under my “makes.” I chose “create” and pasted the code into the template. Then I published the work.

Yes, it’ a learning curve. But it’s a puzzle, a puzzle that you can try and try and fix, then AHA! And isn’t that learning? Build some brain cells: code!

I believe that all kids should learn coding — learn by creating their own. So I plan to create my own Thimbles by remixing those of others, including Chad’s!  Please try.


Online Identities


Avatar: What is your online identity? What will you choose? I chose to be transparent — My avatars are part of the online communities to which I belong, but they always refer to a profile with my real name and usually a picture. I try to create avatars that are a vulnerable me because no one is perfect, and I like my students to know that.

Try out a few of the these from the #clmooc resource, then share why you chose them:

At left: I created this years ago — greying bad-hair day is typical! Glasses, and a “question” in my eyebrows, wondering What Else will we do? I created it with a free Mac avatar app that probably isn’t available anymore  (might be this one)– just Google it.

In the sidebar of this blog is a Voki  created for my class after I tried to get rid of my grey hair (blonde). I was wearing red glasses at the time and I was ready to join the “stars” in my classroom. That is my classroom in the background!  Voki is fun to use; you can get a classroom account. Students can add them to their own blogs to emphasis a point or ask a question of their readers.

Picasso head: You see again the bad-hair day and wondering eyebrows. I’ve got a pencil/brush and am writing/drawing — very fun representative.










 This is created with BeFunky.com  Just upload your photo and play with it.

Bad hair day — looking up wondering — a smile.


Reflect curiosity and wonder…

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness…


So, how’s that?

Those are just a few of the options — and wouldn’t it be fun to say, “I created that!” And even better, wouldn’t it be fun to say, “My friends and I created that!” That’s what #clmooc is all about: making together. That’s why I joined. I want my classroom to be filled with making learning, connected learning, with my students and I learning together to create — create to enhance our learning goals.I would like art, writing, coding, creating to be an integral part of our time as learners in the classroom.

A few of us are helping each other out; connect with us here:  CLMOOC PLN Group

Welcome to #clmooc ! Who will you meet? What will you create together? How will you create to change your teaching and student learning next year because you are “makers?”

Thanks #clmooc! This is pure inspiration!


Connected Learning Notes image: Notes from Connected Learning Research Report here


What in the world… #teachtheweb Week 4

choose2matterplain For week four, I wrote learning goals using the provided template for a project I have started with my sixth grade students which we will continue next fall, hopefully in grades 6, 7, and 8. I will share this “Share the Web Soapbox” project with my students.

Here are our first projects and directions: What In the World…

We will apply our Common Core State Standards which apply for  #teachtheweb while following our interests and passions, writing the web with media literacy.

The goal is to introduce students to an open web, a transparent, sharing web in which their projects matter, and their voice can be heard. We will read, write, and share on projects that matter to us, learning to code, to search, to read, to write, to convince, to collaborate.


What do you think?


Reference Projects

Angela Maiers Choose 2 Matter

Denise Krebs What action will I take?

Karen Fasimpaur What is open?


Open is Fun – It is hope #teachtheweb

Just have to get this out. This is how kids feel, and what kids want in school: the chance to learn by making. Really, that’s how I’ve learned to write and how to do anything. It’s so interesting, exciting, engaging, and I don’t want to stop.

My new friend Emma Irwin and I just discussed this in our Google Hangout to hash out our mashout for the Mozilla #teachtheweb project. She showed me github and her part of our collaboration by screensharing; made feel like I could do that to, especially since my students and I have been playing with Mozilla thimbles. Now I do have to say that remember the days of Claris Home Page — anyone reading remember that?

So in our #teachtheweb community, Emma posted a request for collaborators just as I read a tweet that Week 3 was to collaborate. I hopped right in, and as usual, the one word we’re talking about is true:  OPEN. Yes, join. Yes, you’re welcome to join. Yes. That’s the HOPE of OPEN: welcome, open, transparent, sharing, reviewing, critiquing, creating, reviewing, revising, revising to creation so others can re-create it. Janet Webster was Chief Reviewer to the brainstorm crew of Emma and Sheri, and Vivek Ananth also joined in.


It’s a great collaborative endeavor, with each of us adding our own particular strengths to bringing the project to fruition. That’s collaboration. It’s not done yet, but I just wanted share the fun of it — and the learning that occurred because of it. I learned about code, design, reflection, collaboration, privacy, and copyright. More on that in a different post.

Right now: here’s what you have to look forward to:

We are remixing, mashing-up the ideas in Clint Lalonde’s post: Open is a noun, verb, adjective, and an Attitude, which Emma directed us too. We discussed in our community post, brainstormed in EtherPad, and mashed our words and ideas with his into our github ( Open is Attitude and Hope — final ready Fri, May 17 ) and video (Open is Attitude; Open is Hope ). Clint wrote a follow-up post which tells of the power of openness, learning together: Remix My Words. He says, “Needless to say, seeing my work used, reused and remixed in this way makes this open educator very happy.” The thing is, we’re so happy he licensed his blog for us to learn better by reworking the words to better understand them. As my friend, Ben Wilkoff, says, “We’re in teaching to be better.

Thanks to Emma, Janet, Vivek, and Clint for another wonderful collaborative project found and developed by being open and sharing.  Thank you for the experience.


Our Video (audio to be added later):


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

The video was created in Keynote, a presentation app for the Mac and iOS.