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:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shape of a Story: #WalkMyWorld #LE3

When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending. - Brene Brown
WEEK THREE: Exploring the story of you by considering the shape of a story. Stories come in multiple modes: orally passed down from generation to generation, images capturing a specific time and place, documents representing written thoughts, and video clips revealing the sounds and motion of real people and events. The third learning event of #WalkMyWorld invites you to explore the multiple modes that shape the stories you tell the world.
One way I integrate technology while meeting the academic demands of English Language Arts and social studies is through student-created documentaries. These short, two-to-seven minute films, combine multiple media sources with a voice-over narration to demonstrate an understanding of a subject-matter topic or personal event. Since quality documentaries use the THREE ACT STORY ARC (see image above), I decided to diagram the shape of an award winning story from the National History Day Competition.

This is a diagram of a student-created documentary about Henry Ford: Driving America Into the Future.

Notice how the obstacles Henry Ford encountered built the narrative and the multiple modes shaped the story. Next, WATCH the documentary and notice how the narrative is shaped by the author’s ability to weave multiple modes ( e.g., audio, visual, text, and transition effects) into a compelling story. Finally, READ the transcript of the documentary. Research suggests the use of video-editing software scaffolds an intentional revision process as students determine which media source(s) enhance their voice and shape a stronger narrative (Chisholm & Trent, 2013; Parker, 2013; Vasudevan et al., 2010). Do you agree? If your students are turning in boring reports, consider using student-created documentaries as an instructional approach to creating compelling narratives and shaping three act stories.

Invitation: THINK of a story you know well. This could be a cultural folk tale, a song, a TV show or the STORY OF YOU. CREATE a diagram showing the shape of that story. ANNOTATE your diagram to identify plot points at key events in the narrative. You can create this diagram in Google Slides…or simply sketch it out on paper and take a digital photo. DESCRIBE how your diagram and the modes (text, image, audio, video) used in the story affect the shape of the story. SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld #LE3. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.

Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Where I’ve Been: #WalkMyWorld LE#2

I just want to ask one question
 Who would you be if the world never gave you a label? - Prince Ea
My past identity stems from a strong culture of traditions, specifically family vacations, that I hold close to my heart.
WEEK TWO: Exploring our cultural identity with words and images 
Last week #WalkMyWorld began with…where I begin? Now we take a step back to where I’ve been. Just as visual meaning making uses still or moving images, making meaning from words uses spoken or written text:
  1. Words that are spoken (live or recorded): can be adjusted by pitch, tempo, tone, or inflection to convey a different meaning.
  2. Words that are written (handwritten or typed): can be adjusted by font (i.e., size, shape, color), capital or lower case, or spacing between letters and words to convey meaning.
Invitation: Consider your own culture and where you’ve been. Ask yourself, “How are these people, values, practices, and places a part of you?” I always like to read mentor texts, or examples written by others, to help me begin the exploration process of my identity. READ the lyrics of the mentor text, I Am NOT Black, and You are NOT White, a rap written by Prince Ea. Next, LISTEN (don’t watch) the video. How did you make meaning from the written text differently than the spoken text? Finally, WATCH the video. How did the images and words work together to create a different meaning than you originally interpreted from the written and spoken text? Prince Ea was able to multiply meaning through a combination of visual images, spoken words, and written text. To me, this layered meaning making is what makes multimodal composition so powerful!

My process for #WalkMyWorld learning event two began by reading the mentor text, Where I’m From, a poem by George Ella Lyon. Next, I generated a list of words that describe where I’ve been. Then, I worked in a recursive editing process by grouping my ideas into similar categories and rereading the mentor text to help me organize these ideas into a poem:
I am from rural roads, from Pennsylvania Dutch country. I am from homemade ice cream, hog maw and chicken corn soup. I am from church hymns and faith that I can do all things! I am from close cousins with crab chants, laughter, and games.

I’m from lazy summer days, sticky suntan lotion and lightning bugs. I’m from the curious and the over scheduled. From NEVER GIVE UP! and DO YOUR BEST! I’m from libraries with sweet smelling books and powerful words.

Inside my mind, float merriment and memories, a sea of family traditions. I am from those adventures rushing fast and free.

TELL the story of your culture and where you’ve been. You can use any visuals (still or moving) and words (spoken and written) to explore your past identity. SHARE your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld. It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Play.Create.Learn.
Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Zooming in on My Present Identity: Reflections of #WalkMyWorld #LE 1

Learning event #1 invited us to use still and moving images to represent our present identity. Even though my first attempt at representing my present identity involved a single selfie, the #WalkMyWorld community introduced me to a new tool,
This digital tool helped me more accurately represent myself by using 4123 still images of my past self. For example, my past self motivated me to connect with others in the #WalkMyWorld community who identify as cheerleaders. Even though they may be in high school, cheering for a sports team, I carry those same qualities into my present identity as I cheer for teachers who want to be literacy teachers.
4123 personal pictures from Facebook and my computer were used to create this mosaic.
This is a close up of my smile.
This close up of my smile shows my love for family, friends, food, and fun. These pieces of my identity were not represented in my first #WalkMyWorld selfie. So make sure to ZOOM IN on old friends and challenge them to share the tiny mosaic pieces that have built their identity. At the same time, reach out and make new #WalkMyWorld friends by asking them questions about who they are and where they are going. Click HERE to zoom in on my present identity.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content — Song of Myself #20, Walt Whitman
Photo by Gae Faro shared under a CC BY license
Did you ever stop and wonder, “Who am I?” Join us as #WalkMyWorld explores our past, present, and future identities through images, words, sounds, gestures, and memories. Over the next ten weeks, we will post a learning event and invite you to share something about the story of your daily “walk” in the “world.” There are no right answers and anyone can join in the exploration. However, we ask that you share at least once a week, publicly on Twitter, by including the hashtag #WalkMyWorld in your post. The hashtag will help us build a community of identity explorers (educators, students, and researchers) from across the world. Let’s get curious about how meaning-making through different modes such as images, words, sounds, and gestures can shape our view of the world.

WEEK ONE: Exploring our identity through visual meaning making
We have heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but is that really true? What does it mean to make meaning using a picture instead of words? Pictures, or visuals, can be broken down into two different groups:
  1. Visuals that are still: Drawings, Paintings, Photographs, and Sculptures
  2. Visuals that are moving: Animation, Video clips, TV, and Film
Invitation: Share the story of who you are just for today. You can use any type of visual (s) to explore your present identity. Ask yourself, “Who am I right now?” and then share it on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkMyWorld. For example, you could take a selfie and Tweet it like I did:
Bam, you are finished. That was easy! Maybe you want to draw a self-portrait like these famous artists. Is there a video clip on Youtube or Facebook that has meaning for your present identity? Then copy the URL address and share this content as a link in a tweet. Here is a visual rendition of Eleven by Sandra Cisneros. Notice how the story of an eleven-year-old on her birthday is remixed with moving visuals and words. You might even make meaning through both visuals and words in a blog. For instance, Katarina Silvestri uses the digital tool Mosaically to visually represent her present identity.

It’s time. What will you share? Explore.Make.Play.Learn.

Interested in learning more about #WalkMyWorld, visit:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Welcome to the #WalkMyWorld Project 2016

Want to identify ways to supercharge your own social media and blogging skills while identifying ways to embed it in instruction? Come join us in the 2016 iteration of the #WalkMyWorld Project.
Over the past three years we’ve been building and iterating on an open-learning, open-research, and open-publishing educational experience. Around the hashtag (#WalkMyWorld) we’ve been encouraging people to get online, create, share, and connect with others.
You can learn a bit more about the project up to this point by viewing our trailer (1:51). If you’ve got a bit more time, you can watch the complete video overview (19:54) of the project up to this point.

After our last walk

Since our last iteration of the project in 2015, we had a couple more publications and presentations. You can keep track of our research here on this page.
Speaking of pages…we decided to launch a whole new website ( We’re moving over all of the content from the old site and then will shut it all down except for a link to redirect links we included in print publications. The new website has a ton of new features baked in. An example of this is a tweetable summary you’ll find at the top of all of our Learning Events. This will give you a quick overview of what the page will contain.
In the website we also baked in some awesome social features. One of the coolest happens when you highlight a section of text. It’ll provide you with a black toolbar to automatically share out that text and page to some of your favorite social media tools or email. You’ll also get a second toolbar for Annotating the web is important to us, and we decided to make it a permanent part of our DNA. Please use to mark up the page, provide commentary, or connect us to others online.
Finally, the planning and facilitating team is even stronger now as we’ve got a group of new voices working with us. You can get a sneak peek of most of us in planning sessions one (1:09:01) and two (1:00:39) for this year. I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know all of them through their posts and tweets.


Starting our current walk

For the #WalkMyWorld Project, we will lead you through 10 Learning Events (LE). For each LE, we’ll list a basic way to read, write, and connect with the community. Please feel free to edit, revise, or hack away at any of the LEs for your own learning and development. The texts, directions, and “assignments” in each learning event are merely starting points. You should find your own entry point for yourself and your learners.
To get us started in 2016, this week is an onboarding week. What that means is that it serves as an alarm to our PLNs to get ready. It also provides everyone with enough time to get their Twitter accounts, social media clients, and blogging tools ready. We’re recommending that you have at least a Twitter account and a website/blog for this project. You are more than welcome to share your work out to networks other than Twitter…but please include the #WalkMyWorld hashtag…and a hashtag indicating the Learning Event you’re working on.
For #LE0 (Learning Event Zero) please review this page on the website. If you have questions or comments about the work for this week…please leave a comment on the page, use the tutorials, or send out tweet out on Twitter using the #WalkMyWorld hashtag.

Let’s get started

We’re looking forward to getting started on this walk together. Basically you should plan on at least one blog post and tweet per week…at the minimum. You’ll have a better sense of what to work on and post/tweet once you read the LE for the week. The LEs will be launched on the project website and on Twitter on Sunday afternoon of each new week.
So…get yourselves ready. Say hi to each other online. And…see you in six days for #LE1. :)

Originally published at W. Ian O’Byrne.

Monday, January 11, 2016

#WalkMyWorld 2016: Past.Present.Future

The best part of #WalkMyWorld is the social scholarship (i.e., community, discussion, and reflection) that occurs. Although teachers talk all day to students, they rarely make the time to talk to colleagues. By keeping #WalkMyWorld open, others may stumble on our discussions and learn, grow, or even join in. If you want to read more about how I created my Personal Learning Network (PLN) from #WalkMyWorld, click HERE.

Should #WalkMyWorld remain open or move to private streaming? 
I keep thinking about where to post #WalkMyWorld information...this answer is vast. In the past, some participants created a new Twitter profile because they didn't want their followers to be a part of their class work or see their students' information. However, some participants didn't like having several different accounts and used the one they had already established. Finally, there were participants who didn't want to post, they wanted to keep everything on paper. So I guess the question is, "What is our purpose for #WalkMyWorld?" Is it to collect data for research, then we should set it up to make the data collection process easy. If our purpose is to teach others how to make meaning from multiple modes through an online learning environment, then we need to use the medium that people will easily share their thinking. Twitter is a platform that is becoming more accessible to educators and classrooms. To me, Twitter is still a valuable medium to share, explore, and play with multimodal meaning-making and digital tools.

As we reflect on the PAST #WalkMyWorld in order to plan for the PRESENT learning events and build a foundation for the FUTURE, I feel the picture below captures the answer. Let's stand in the middle by using Twitter, not only to collaborate and communicate, but to begin to show others about new digital tools like Medium.

How did you get involved in #WalkMyWorld? Did you start as a participant or facilitator? I started out as a participant because I was following Greg McVerry and Ian O'Bryne on Twitter after I met them at an LRA conference. Ian responded to one of my posts and I became more involved. By the end of Learning Event 10,  Ian invited me to help analyze his data. That analysis became a paper, “Social Scholars: Educators Digital Identity Construction in Open, Online Learning Environments," that we presented at the 2014 Literacy Research Association Annual Conference. The paper was recently published in Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, a peer-reviewed publication of the Literacy Research Association. 

How have you grown as a teacher because of #WalkMyWorld? Each day I participate in #WalkMyWorld, I become a more knowledgeable teacher:  1) technological knowledge - everyone shares new tools or aspects of a tool I didn't know I could use; 2) pedagogical knowledge - I read about how other teachers are creating and managing an online learning environments; 3) content knowledge - I have witnessed lesson plans for incorporating technology in science, social studies, math, and English Language Arts. These knowledge components are also known as technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK; Koehler & Mishra, 2009) which provides a framework to understand the domains of knowledge educators should have for authentic technology integration.  

How have your tech skills grown?
My engagement in #WalkMyWorld integrated my theoretical understanding of multimodal composition and my passion for poetry. The #WalkMyWorld community held me accountable for increasing my creativity. At the same time, #WalkMyWorld collaboration gave me support as I tried new techniques and technologies. For example, Kevin Hodgson's interactive poem inspired me to write an interactive poem about the sunrise. Even though Twine was easy to use as a multimodal composition tool, I struggled to embed the poem on the Internet. I used Twitter to contact Kevin for help and we spent several days collaboratively working to solve my technical issues. I also used Twitter to invite the #WalkMyWorld community to write a poem on Goggle Drive. This way I was still involved in the learning event but I shared the responsibility to write a full poem. I was so excited to see how the poem grew and changed as different authors added their voice.  Click HERE if you want to read or write more into the poem.

Interested in other discussions about the planning of #WalkMyWorld 2016? Check out the planning meetings on Google Hangout: Day 1, Day 2 or read the blog posts below:

Kate Booth
Greg McVerry
W. Ian O'Byrne
Carolina Orgnero 
Stephanie Loomis