Monday, March 28, 2016

Story of Us: Courage, Collaboration, and Connection

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. – Herman Melville

WEEK TEN: Share the STORY OF US as we explored our identities through multimodal content (i.e., images, video, audio, and text). Throughout the 2016 #WalkMyWorld Project we weaved a thousand different fibers that now connect us as digital learners. Individually you shared your daily walk so others could "walk in your world." In this final learning event, examine the STORY OF US by asking: What did you learn about yourself as a multimodal meaning maker? What new insights do you have about your digital identity as a #WalkMyWorld collaborator? What connections will you take with you into your future?

PAST: The STORY OF US began with courage. Many of us were creating a public Twitter account for the first time (see screenshots of my Twitter conversation below). The #WalkMyWorld Project provided a safe and supportive space to consider personal and socially constructed digital identities. While some participants embraced the thrill of sharing their daily walk, others were afraid to blend their personal and professional identities. Together #WalkMyWorld discovered it takes courage to create and share multimodal content in public spaces.

PRESENT: The STORY OF US sparked collaboration. Each learning event provided opportunities for educators and students to collaborate through new mediums and digital tools. Those with experience in creating digital content served as mentors, providing examples and answering questions. Novice multimodal makers began to recognize the power of communicating through remixing images, text, video, and audio content. Even though I have experience creating multimodal content, I am a novice when it comes to researching multimodal meaning making. One of my favorite researchers, Dr. Donna Alvermann, served as a mentor for my work when she responded to my post about student-created documentaries (see screenshot below). Together #WalkMyWorld collaborated as a community and inquired about the various processes of multimodal meaning making.

FUTURE: The STORY OF US inspired connections. As educators engaged their students in hybrid learning spaces, it was important to explore the blurred lines between face-to-face and online interactions. This year #WalkMyWorld connected with #HearMyHome to learn more about how soundscapes (i.e., daily sounds and rhythms) define cultures and communities. This connection introduced us to new digital tools like Soundcloud and Radio Aporee. #HearMyHome also helped us gain a deeper understanding about the power of creating audio content (See screenshot of our conversation below). Together #WalkMyWorld has transformed our daily walks from individual explorations into a connected community that now walks together on this nomadic multimodal journey.

Invitation: REFLECT on your engagement with the 2016 #WalkMyWorld Project. This could include your courage, collaborations, or connections you made throughout the ten learning events. DESCRIBE how your daily walk shaped the STORY OF US. SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld #LE10. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.

Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Digital Storytelling: Synthesizing My Multimodal Journey with #WalkMyWorld 2016

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou

WEEK NINE: Collect and curate how you used different modes (i.e., images, text, video, and audio content) to reflect on your past, present, and future identities. This week, #WalkMyWorld invites you to produce a digital story that synthesizes your journey over the past eight learning events.

Digital storytelling weaves multiple media sources into a compelling narrative that moves beyond stating a sequence of events by inviting the audience to think about what they believe and challenges them to consider a different point of view. When you have time, watch Emily Bailin's 17 minute TED talk as she explains her research with the power of digital storytelling.

Notice how Emily Bailin starts with a question,"Where am I from?," and then applies the inquiry process to examine her life's journey as an educator, until the finished digital story has a captivating beginning, a compelling middle, and a convincing end. Using the same mentor poem, Where I’m From, by George Ella Lyon, I synthesize my digital story using three different mediums. How does your engagement with my story change when you engage through different mediums:
1. I used Storify to collect and curate a few tweets from each learning event, click HERE.
2. I used Google Docs, to write my poem using words, click HERE.
3. I used Animoto and Soundcloud to create my digital story, click below.

Invitation: COLLECT your multimodal content from the past eight learning events. CURATE your digital story using digital tools like Storify or Diigo Outliner. SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld #LE9. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.

Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Where I'm Going, I Am Ready

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ― Søren Kierkegaard
WEEK EIGHT: Express your #soulselfie by exploring your future identity. Over the past seven weeks, #WalkMyWorld invited us to examine our PAST and PRESENT identities through images, words, sounds, gestures, and memories. Learning event eight asks us to shift our focus to the FUTURE: How do you see your future unfolding and how willing are you to take detours along the way?

I used two different mentor texts from poet and storyteller Sekou Andrews to help me capture my future identity: The Awesome Anthem and I Am Ready.

Notice how Sekou uses his past experiences to cultivate a future of inspiration. For my reflection, I remixed the phrase, "a little extra cup," from the The Awesome Anthem and "I am ready," from I Am Ready. Check out my #soulselfie:

To My Future, I AM READY
by Julie B. Wise

I will cultivate a passion for a literate society.
Where people are curious about each other and seek to understand.
I AM READY to give back a little extra cup of service...
To educators who empower.
To parents who encourage.
To students who engage.

I will research the needs of that literate society.
Where people are divergent and desire fresh solutions.
I AM READY to give back a little extra cup of inspiration...
To those who learn differently.
To those who read uniquely.
To those who write rarely.

To my future, I AM READY!  

Invitation: ASK: Where will you be in 5 years? Where will you be in 10 years? CAPTURE the opportunities surrounding you and how you plan to interact and connect with your future identity. DESCRIBE your future identity through any mode (i.e., text, image, audio, video) and medium (i.e., digital, online, paper, radio). SHARE your #soulselfie on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld and #LE8. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.

Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hear My Home: Sharing Sounds that Signify Home

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. – Ansel Adams
The silent sounds of my home surround me throughout the day, with my dog's rhythmic breathing in the background.

WEEK SEVEN: Recognize and share the soul, spirit, and sounds of your home. #WalkMyWorld's learning event seven challenges you to dig deeper into the sounds that make your living space feel like HOME. This week I used a mentor poem, I Am The Book by Tom Robert Shields to help me recognize the daily sounds that fill my home throughout the week. READ my poem, pausing after each stanza, to notice the meaning your mind makes. Does your mind create a mental image? Does your mind change the words into sounds? At the end of the poem I list the specific sounds I was attempting to describe.

by Julie B. Wise

I'll be your guide,
Proving a wake-up call,
Early arrival,
Setting up for success,
On a crisp Monday morning.

I'll motivate you,
To dream possibilities,
Moving forward,
With an open mind,
On a Tuesday afternoon.

I'll entertain you,
Making you burst with laughter,
Overflowing tears,
Exploring with curiosity,
On a Wednesday at dusk.

I'll relax you,
With consistent white noise,
Abrupt rolling breaths,
Stilling dark silence,
On a Thursday evening.

I'll humble you,
With sharp, quick barks,
Nudging and whining,
Hungry for the day to start,
On a Friday at dawn.

I am the sounds
that make this house a HOME. 

Specific Sounds described in the poem above:
I'll be your guide - cell phone alarm named, "By the seaside"
I'll motivate you -  music (Indigo Girls) and podcasts (Tim Ferriss and Lewis Howes)
I'll entertain you -  daughters' practice (soccer, basketball, dance, voice, and acting lessons)
I'll relax you -  sound machine (white noise), snoring (husband)
I'll humble you -  dog waking me up before my cell phone alarm

SOUNDSNAP: Too many times, sounds are in the background or repeated so often that we begin to ignore them. During your writing class this week, ask students to walk around their house and write down the places and types of sounds they hear. Ask students to share their discoveries and begin to look for similarities and differences of sounds that fill their homes. If students are interested, suggest they write a sound poem, using mine as a mentor example. I started using as a way to help students think deeper about the sounds that surround a setting. If we are writing about the beach, I use the search feature for "beach sounds." This week, you may want to use the 1001 "Home Sounds."

Invitation: ASK yourself: What sounds signify that you are home? DESCRIBE the place, space, time, and tempo of these sounds. WRITE a poem or CAPTURE these soundscapes using Soundcloud as a means to record and share out this audio content. SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld, #LE7, and #HearMyHome. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.
Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Soundscapes: Mundane Sounds and Daily Rhythms

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Natural Landscapes converted into Sound Waves by Anna Marinenko

WEEK SIX: Capture the sounds from your world that help you recognize the miracle in mundane sounds. Landscapes are the visual features of an area. Soundscapes are the audio features of an area. This week, #WalkMyWorld is teaming up with our friends in the #HearMyHome project to consider the "mundane" sounds that create your daily rhythms. Do you hear what I hear? Listen. Look around. Listen again. What soundscapes surround you? Click on the orange circle below to hear the soundscape from my morning.

If you want to engage students in exploring soundscapes, check out Radio Aporee. Radio Aporee is an amazing free digital tool that allows you to travel to distant lands to listen to the mundane sounds and daily rhythms. On the lower right hand corner you will see a plus and minus sign that allows you to zoom in and out around the globe. Click on a red dot to hear the sounds and read information on where and when the sound was uploaded. 
Invitation: Confine your field of focus to only what exists within a ten-foot circle around you. ASK yourself: How do persistent sounds in my work space such as: the ticking of a clock, the tapping of keys, or the slamming of locker doors, fill the spaces of my day? CHOOSE subtle sounds that create mundane rhythms and music. CAPTURE these soundscapes using Soundcloud as a means to record and share out this audio content. SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld, #LE6, and #HearMyHome. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.
Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Be Mindful of Voices during a Turning Point: #WalkMyWorld #LE5

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. – Harper Lee

WEEK FIVE: Explore how the human voices in your world guided you during a turning point in YOUR Story. This week, #WalkMyWorld invites you to identify a turning point or roadblock in your story and how sounds of human voices helped you overcome that challenge?

The human voice is a powerful tool that can be used to entertain, empower, and encourage people of all ages. Yet, many educators neglect to teach students how to be mindful of their oral voice (i.e., the spoken word) and their inner voice (i.e., the thinking word). The meaning of a word can be conveyed differently by making adjustments to the human voice through four affordances:
  • Pitch - high/low
  • Tempo - fast/slow
  • Tone - sharp/soft
  • Inflection - animated/monotone   
TEDEd Lessons Worth Sharing: One of the best tools I have used to increase students' awareness of the power of their voice is through TEDEd Lessons Worth Sharing site. Each lesson provides four different components that empower students' voice through listening and speaking. First, students can WATCH Steven Claunch tell the story of how he overcomes obstacles. Then, students THINK (inner voice) about the message of the story through 5 multiple choice and 2 short answer questions. Next, students can EXPLORE resources to compare what other people are saying about the topic. Finally, students can SHARE their own voice through an online discussion forum. There is also an option for educators to customize the lesson.

Sound Cloud: I am starting to play around with, a free website and app that allows you to record, collaborate, and share sounds. LISTEN to my voice as I describe how Walker Clark, a brilliant life coach, guided me during a turning point in my life:
Invitation: THINK of a turning point when you had to overcome an obstacle. RECORD your voice using Sound Cloud and tell the storySHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld #LE5. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.
Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shape of MY Story: #WalkMyWorld #LE4

The future isn’t a place that we’re going to, it’s a place that you get to create. - Nancy Duarte

WEEK FOUR: Explore your voice and the sounds of your world by diagramming the events that make up YOUR story.  Last week #WalkMyWorld discussed the shape of a story. First, I diagrammed the Three Act Story Arch of a National History Day Documentary. Then, I found a wonderful TEDX talk by Nancy Duarte that discussed a different shape of a story.  Finally, I found an interesting article about a different shape of a video game narrative

This week, #WalkMyWorld invites you to answer these questions: What challenges exist when the story is about you? Use your voice and the sounds of your life to illustrate where you are in your life journey. How do you use language to define who you are and your place in your community/culture?

To begin, I LISTENED to the song from the Disney film, Mulan. Despite the tranquil sounds of nature, she wonders why her reflection doesn't show her authentic self. 

Next, I READ the lyrics to the song so I could get a deeper understanding of her challenges and shape of her story. This song evokes a strong connection to the sounds and shape of MY story which I diagrammed at the beginning of this blog. I realized the shape of my story looks just like the ripples Mulan sees in her reflection. These ripples distort and cloud the authentic reflection of me. Many times I stop and ask myself, "Who am I inside when my reflection shows a mother, a wife, a teacher, a student, a friend, a sister, and a daughter?" At the same time, the shape of my story looks like a speaker, pounding out an orchestra of sounds so loud that I can't think! I hear: cheers of the crowd at my daughters' events, clinking dishes and snoring, the tap, tap, tapping of students typing on keyboards, and the bling of emails and texts calling for my attention. Then, I walk into yoga, where it's warm and quite. I take a deep breath in. I take a deep breath out. Slowly, just as Mulan wipes away her make-up, the sounds that shape my story fade away, til I hear nothing but my heart beat, beat, beating and I am left with nothing but the shape of me. 

Invitation: THINK of sounds that surround you in the morning, noon, and night. CREATE a diagram showing how the sounds shape your story. ANNOTATE your diagram to identify key sounds in the narrative.  SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld #LE4. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.
Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit: