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