In our fourth walk we were asked to consider our dawn. Learning is my dawn. Each bit of knowledge I share, steal, teach, or tag awakens a new day. So for my make this walk I am sharing what I hope to be a first in  a series (most series end after one possibly two episodes) of using images to teach poetry.

CC-BY. Olver Clarke. (2014). Loch Carron Dawn.
CC-BY. Olver Clarke. (2014). Loch Carron Dawn.

I’d have to check the program but I think the first session Sue and I presented at LRA had a title of “Non-Vrbocentric Approaches to Teaching Response and Authorship of Poetry. We sat down to dinner with Rosenblatt but ended up leaving arm and arm with Bakhtin.

Remixing Tone, Imagery and Images

I always share this activity with other poets and teachers. I have my pre-service teachers think about imagery and tone by writing two different poems about the same picture. The only difference found in the mood and the tone. Poets can challenge (I didn’t) themselves by trying to play with the structue of the poem. Try for parralesim and antithetical meaning between the two.

How to Write With Students

This lesson is quite simple. I wrote it up fully on the maker menu for #walkmyworld. In this example I used Flickr, a Kindergarten skill, paper, Google Slides.

Find an image

I like to take every opportunity to reinforce open practices with other poets. I encourage them to use openly licensed work and to provide proper attribution.

Familiarize yourself and other poets of different Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons does not mean Public Domain.

    1. Go to Flickr
    2. Use the Search Bar.
    3. Even though you begin on the creative commons page once you search you see images with all licenses. Much of the content have all-rights reserved.
    4. Choose only Creative Commons Licensed Images
    5. Note what you need for attribution
      1. I have been favoriting anything I use.
      2. If I download the photo I rename it and include photographer, title, license
  1. Download or get the link to the photo

Think Like a Kindergartner


Every poet young our old needs gentle reminders to paint a picture with words. I often use an excercise I taught 6 year olds poets t when writing. Make a list of the five senses. Use sensory details to show and not tell.

I often make a list of the senses and refer back to it as I struggle to assemble my bricolage of meaning.

Use Paper

Okay this is just me. You don’t have to subscribe to my method in any way but I always draft on paper first. I find my thinking to be much quicker and more non-linear in the mode.

Create Slide Deck

  1. Go to (or use your favorite slide deck, PPT, Hakiudeck, Explain Everything)
  2. Add the image as the slide background
  3. Type your words on top.
  4. Publish to the web and share with the world.


This week we asked you to represent your digital identities. This marked our first #walk beyond sharing a picture or making a connection. We asked you to start doing your identity work that went beyond participating and sharing on the web. Now we asked you to compose your identity..

CC-BY. Jon Nicholls. Identity. Flickr
CC-BY. Jon Nicholls. Identity. Flickr

So as a reflection I decided to create another remix. I will continue this series throughout #walkmyworld. The point of this remix is to understand we (re)Design our Digital Identities. There is no singular Me. Only the plural. During our time together in #walkmyworld we want you to  build your professional identity in online places.

This work involves a sense of agency and artistry. You need to weave a narrative while the world pulls on your threads.

The Raw Numbers

To date there have been a total of 1752 Tweets sent. 145 participants have sent more than one tweet. 62 participants have shared more than five tweets. 1,190 links have been shared. This means we are curating many makes and links.

In many ways your digital identities are not just constructed they are curate curated constructs. You project yourself out into the Web with the links you share and upvote.

The Representations

My favorite representations have come from Ms. Booth’s classes. They recreated Tupac Shakur’s Rose in a Concrete through visual design. It is amazing to note how multimodal young children are in their literary practices. Our non-verbocentric practices are not something we need to develop but simply re-discover. It is an obvious truth so many miss.

We also had many participants submit their first websites or blogs for this make. That makes me happy. Blogging is a method to ensure we use Gee’s Reflective Circuit of Inquiry. It isn’t a guarantee but it a blog opens portals into so many different knowledge communities.

Check out the rss feed. We are now up to fourteen blogs.

I was inspired by Ian’s autobiogrpahy and hope to write my soon.

Moving Forward

I think I declared poetry dead too soon. In our fourth walk together the learning event will ask us to examine the metaphor and imagery of Dawn. #Walkmyworld in many ways is our dawn. I see new ideas born of new light. Kate, Crystal, Alecia, Melvina, Stephanie and all my new friends keep pushing me.

You do not have to write poetry for #walkmyworld. Make this space your own. How does the idea of Dawn fit with math or the humanities? You decide.

I am working on a few pieces. I can’t wait to share my ideas.

In the third learning event we were asked to reflect and represent our digital identities. I enjoy this focus on doing the identify work of teachers. It fits the metaphor we seek.

CC-BY-SA. Oakley Foxtrot. (2014). Identity. Flickr

Digital Citizenship

I can’t stand the term digital citizenship. It rings with a vapidness only surpassed by digital native. Baked into digital citizenship is the idea that children are inherently bad, the Web is dangerous and us righteous adults must protect children and point out the error in their ways.

Not true. The most dangerous place for students is not the Internet it is the home.Yet people always ask what is your alternative? I usually responded with either being a connected learner or being a good person.

The third walk we took, however, taught me the answer is identity work (Gee, 2003). We can not establish separate identities in our offline worlds and our online worlds. We have multiple MEs and identities that cut across the Internet connection.

Modes and Identity

We are asking exploring our identity work through a multimodal lens as we seek to see represent ourselves in less verbocentric ways (Eco, 1976) In fact Kress notes:

the broad move from the now centuries long dominance of writing to the new dominance of the image and … the move from the dominance of the medium of the book to the dominance of the medium of the screen … are producing a revolution in the uses and effects of literacy and of associated means for representing and communication at every level and every domain … This in turn will have profound effects on human, cognitive/affective, cultural and bodily engagement with the world, and on the forms and shapes of knowledge (p. 1).

This in turn includes the identity work we must do.

My Digital Representation

For this walk I chose to share the draft of my 4th Annual Review Folder. As a professional goal I am tryiong to research and conduct my scholarship in the open. I also want to root my research goals not in significant outcomes but in making significant contributions to my learning networks in both digital and meat spaces.

This does not always fit with the promotion and tenure process for my university. For example I attended a conference on Community Engaged Scholarship and Promotion and Tenure last year. Community was and is defined as a physical place.  I live online.

This causes issue during the promotion and tenure process. I need to represent my digital identities in  my binder (yes you still have to submit a binder…and I am slightly jaded by this as well. In my mind if you can’t sell your awesomeness in a two page letter you don’t deserve to be rehired. If your Provost after five years needs a binder to know your work you also don’t deserve tenure).

I thought I would plaster my binder with shortlinks and QR codes. I was tempted to cut out a section and stick in a tablet. Yet I learned that the P&T committees can not use any connected device when reviewing your folder. The thinking goes that this protects faculty who can not effectively use technology. My thinking is these faculty do not need protection they need pink slips.

So back to the drawing board. Instead I decided to hack the annual review file. I decided to make a digital representation of myself as a transgenre news magazine that put greater emphasis on images. I wanted to be the revolution that Kress wrote about.

This is a very rough draft. I have much work to do before I submit the review in a week.  This includes cutting it up and sticking in a binder with a stack of data. We literally have to put in every student review and artifacts for each claim we make such as our first page of our publications. I cannot think of a more archaic way of representing data that belongs in a searchable database or that can be linked online.

Yet identities are both done to us by the world and  done onto the world by us. I try to tell my story to help make the world a more open place to our digital work.

I Need Your Help

This maybe my first real attempt at a transgenre publication. My publications are movie posters, I use poetry, I remixed my theoretical perspective as an interview with Mimi Ito, Howard Rheingold, and John Dewey.

I (re)designed my digital identity. One of the final sections are letters to the editor. I will include some choice student feedback but I also wanted to include brief (100-250 words) letters from the Open Web and my PLN. This can be a reflection on me helping you, you helping me, or your thoughts on #connectedlearning and the open web.

Just send me an email to or shout to me on Twitter,

Artistry and Agency

Rob Tierney often speaks about the artistry and agency necessary for the Web. He suggests we weave meanings across different engagements and spaces. Tierney argues the artisty has more to do with the meaning maker and not the technology. Tierney also points out that we engage in “constructing selves or a multiple persona in the company of others.” This embodiement of identity means we are all actors in a great dance. As weave our narrative we have a sense of agency in shaping our digital worlds.

That is the essence of #walkmyworld. We want to dance with you as we make our corner of the internetz a place for teachers and students to thrive.

For week three #walkmyworld returns to our our roots. We will explore metaphors of our identity using two texts: Identity by Julio Noboa Polanco and The Rose That Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Go ahead read these texts, annotate them and find the metaphors the poets used to explore the identities.

Polanco Started it All (or RIP Poetry)

Polanco’s poem Identity started it all. It was in the firstanthology of  poetry and technology that @Suerp25 used. We invited Ian along and six years later #walkmyworld was born.

 I have ridden with  Polanco’s poem since the beginning. My first publication reported on my 6th grade  students creating multimodal extended metaphor poems. Sue, Ian, and I used this poem to launch the poetry project that would become #walkmyworld.

Then this year we killed off poetry. We chose to focus on shifting texts and identity.

This met our audience better than a poet. I just wonder…is there any better way to explore identities and multimodal affordances than with poetry?


Need an Idea for our Third Walk?

Are you struggiling with a way to represent yourself for the third learning event? Why not look to our history and write an extended metaphor poem for yourself or have you class work on the project.

I created a no-fi/lo-fi/wifi option of the extended metaphor poem on our maker menu. I love this lesson. I have taught it from Kindergarten to graduate school. The poets I work with always love the activity. They explore identity and meaning making.

It is a really easy activity to complete with so many possibilities for complexity.

  • Compare yourself to something.
  • Make it Meaningful
  • Find an Image or Write your Poem
  • Write your Poem or Find an Image
  • Put it together into a multimodal poem
    • You can use paper and pencils
    • You can use PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Haiku Deck
    • You could use
    • You could use HTML/CSS

This is just one option for our third walk. Have fun.

Taking the First Step

In the second walk we took together we asked you consider communities. First you shared a representation of yourself. An image of your identities. Yet the picture also tells a tale of with whom you travel. It affords us a peek into your communities.

Since identities can never be extrapolated from the the people, places, and spaces that surround us a representation of your identity also signifies your communities.

The Left Turn


We then asked you to broadcast this sign into our little community– #walkmyworld. Specifically we wanted you to make new connections by sending a virtual high five. Why?

Communities are knowledge.

That is why for this weeks remix installment I chose two works: Gee’s  book Anti-Education Era  and Scardamalia and Bereiter’s ideas of knowledge communities.

When teachers learn and teach on the Web and use tools like Twitter to network they build knowledge communities. Places where connected learning thrives.

You also build knowledge. Networked communities are my cloud. What the people in my circles curate are just as important as what’s in my head. In fact many including the scholars in this walk’s remix question if knowledge really exists in our heads at all.

CC BY-SA Holtsman, Maria.  36 High Five. Flickr.
CC BY-SA Holtsman, Maria. 36 High Five. Flickr.

Welcome to learning event two of #walkmyworld. AS we explore identities and how these get shaped by our online spaces. We want you to start and make virtual connections.

Personal Learning Network

I have an aversion to buzzwords in #edtech (especially when admin throw them around as an outcome and not a process) but here I am using buzzword du jour as a header. Why? Because I believe. PLN’s, such as Twitter allow us to grow because they open up the Three Thorne Pathways for Effective Learning:

  • Learning by making. Be close to objects. Experience the process of making and reflect on it. Let what you’re making guide what you want to learn.
  • Awaken the teacher in everyone. Peers share skills with each other. Watch an activity, do it yourself, teach it to others.
  • Think in the open, act in the world. Teaching and learning can be a political act. Leverage the web to empower yourself and your community. Share back. Participate and reflect in the open.
    for your personal learning network to grow.

My Virtual High Five

If you look at our Twitter Network you see many people and connections starting to grow. Now take it to the next step. Provide those in your network with knowledge. Share your identities.

My virtual high five (hover over the image) goes out to all the bloggers of #walkmyworld.


Virtual High Five

PLN’s exist, atleast mine, through two main channels: weekly Twitter chats (more later this week) and blogging.

If Twitter is the pipe for PLN’s then reflective blogging is the flow. Will you find your flow? It allows you to engage in a reflective inquiry process focused on growth through community and feedback.I have curated an RSS Feed of those in #walkmyworld who share their digital identities through blogging.

If you would like to learn more about building a blog check out this great post on  digital hubs by Ian. We also created directions on connecting you blog to #walkmyworld

Curating Your Blogs

Your digital identity is develops as much as what you curate as to what you create. As you share resources (usually blog posts and tutorials) you gain social capital in your PLN. Here are some other RSS feeds I have created, stolen, and remixed over the years:

#Edchat Bloggers
#ConnectedLearning Thought Leaders

(PS I blew up my blog the other day to go with a flat design and remove widgets and plug-ins…they are the adverbs of the web. This means I have some reformatting to do. I am documenting all of my makes on the backstage of this blog:

A remix of 4 CC-BY SA images. Attribution Lost. Apologies
A remix of 4 CC-BY SA images. Attribution Lost. Apologies

My #Walk

Open learning and #connectedlearning reveal so many doors for new teachers. We are asking you to walk in each other world’s and explore how your identities shift depending on what doors you walk through. Tools such as Twitter have allowed communities to flourish.

As a teacher you can use these spaces for learning. You can establish your professional identies, your personal identities, and your digital identities.

It just come down to what doors are you willing to open?

The Raw Numbers

178 individual people have used the #walkmyworld hashtag. 42 have tweeted three or more times. 714 tweets were sent with 22 of those being retweets. Ian @wiobyrne tweeted the most but only 41% of his tweets were original or MT (Modified Tweets). Greg followed him up with 82 tweets but 80% of the content was original.

Do numbers matter? Is there a difference between being a content curator and a creator? Is one more important than the other?

My Take Aways

Like Ian I am excited to see everyone jumping into Twitter. The vast majority seem excited. Many shared pictures of their their front door. We have to think about our space in the world if we our to consider how our identities take place.

We mainly shared literal doors. It was a good mix between our homes and classrooms. Few of us shared and digital front doors. I wonder if we will develop new doors and explore images more as metaphors as the project progresses.

What’s Next

For each learning event, we will indicate a prompt and an easy way for you to complete the #walk. Your task is to figure out how much do you need to be pushed with making and breaking media. If completing the prompt feels like a Waterloo moment that is just fine. On the other hand if you want to follow Keving @Dogtrax down wormholes of meaning go right ahead. Just make connections while you create and share digital meaning. Connections are the real content of #walkmyworld.

While involvement in this project only requires Twitter we encourage teachers who do not already have a digital front door to start building one. Some may build classroom websites and others may start blogging.

In fact if you have never blogged before the #walkmyworld team highly suggests you begin. Reflective practice is at the heart of learning and teaching.  If you want more information om starting and connecting your blog for #walkmyworld we made a tutorial on the makemyworld page of the website.

Looking forward to our next walk together. CC BY SA 2.0. Family Walk. Flckr

Time to launch #walkmyworld. I can’t believe I am hosting what by common definition we would call a MOOC. I make fun of MOOCs. I quit MOOCs. I DON’T facilitate MOOCs.

#Walkmyworld is different. It’s an Accidental MOOC.

Must be something in the DNA because networked learning works much like a virus. We stole some learning and design principles from our previous hosts in Connected Learning MOOC– #clmooc, some values and know how from Connected Courses –#ccourses, and most of our genetic code from across the social web.

Connect before Content

#WalkMyWorld  is a social media project in which we share and connect online at Twitter using one hashtag. Groups of learners across the globe are connecting and sharing for 10 weeks using the #WalkMyWorld hashtag. They will share tweets, images, blogs, and makes.

Many of our participants have never used Twitter before. We think that’s great and we’re ready to help you play with this social media tool. We’ve developed and shared a Twitter Tutorials page on the project website.

Sara. CC 2.0. Walking Toward the Light. Flickr

We use a real soft launch for #walkmyworld. In fact in last years’ iteration we did not dive deep into content until week four. Maybe connect before content in the wrong title. Connections ARE the content of #walkmyworld

Building Bridges not Collapsing Contexts

danah boyd wrote extensively about collapsing context in her recent book, It’s Complicated . She spoke about  Meyrowitz’s (1985) idea of collapsing contexts–that we have separate audiences and fear can arise when our audiences meet.

As teachers we need to build bridges between our contexts (and I love mixing metaphors).


We have seen some of this fear in the faces of our students signing up for #walkmyworld. We have also seen Tweets warning audiences of collapsing contexts:

Like Kayla you may not be used to using Twitter for as a network of connected learners. Through #walkmyworld, as you share your place in the world we hope to demonstrate the power of reflective collaboration.

Still we understand your fears and want to be quite explicit on what happens to the information you share. You can read the full policy here. To sum it up the policy:

  • We may use the data in ways that are aggregated and not identifiable (total number of tweets sent).
  • If anyone is going to use something your created for something inside#walkmyworld for something outside (like in a research publication) you will be asked permission even if the data is anonymized.

(re)Defining Identity and Texts

I am beginning to think that our identities emerge where contexts collapse. Our identities are much like the earth’s crust simultaneously falling into and pouring out from the oceanic plates.

During the 2015 #walkmyworld we will no longer focus on poetry (more on that soon). Instead we will explore how identities emerge and collapse as we transverse different places and spaces.

CC 3.0 Walk alone.
CC 3.0 Walk alone.

I am not bullish on MOOCs. Teachers and researchers struggle with scaling up and fidelity with their teaching across physical classrooms, like across the hall close. When you then want to scale up teaching on massive scales. with a heavy influence on direct instruction mixed with a need for serious self-regulation failure will happen.

I find MOOCs cold, distant, and unconnected. Yet great learning happens all the time.Especially online. I look at phonar, ds106, clmooc with amazement.

What makes these spaces different?

#Walkmyworld helped to answer this question. I often refer to movements like #walkmyworld as accidental MOOCs. I realize now, because of the research into Connected Courses, that we did not build a MOOC at all. We built a community that relies on network fluidity.

What was #walkmyworld?

The #WalkMyWorld project was a social media experiment to provide pre-service teachers, veteran teachers, and K-12 students with an opportunity to develop media literacies and civic engagement in online spaces. For ten weeks, participants visually represented an aspect of their lives using any preferred medium, such as images or videos, applying the #WalkMyWorld hashtag on Twitter.

This emergent community completed a series of “learning events” involving reading and responding to the poetry of Robert Hass by sharing their personal histories through multimodal representations. The shift from individual to collaborative learning developed quickly.

Network Fluency and #walkmyworld

The greatest asset #walkmyworld had was its social capital. This trust grew because of a blended approach not common in most connected courses (notice the shift away from MOOC). We had a core of facilitators who lead in digital spaces but also taught in their own nodes. In essence we all had our own classes, some online and some face to face, who served as mentors in the community.

Having local nodes on a distributed network transformed the experience. Those of us in the #connectedlearning community need to continue to explore this design. Let’s design connected courses but have facilitators customizing the classes for their local context.

We also did not dictate, beyond organizing through Twitter, what network participants had to complete. This fluidity is an asset for any connected course. We had some share a portfolio of their learning events using Storify. Many participants played on their blogs. Organizers planned on email.  Vines and Instagram were everywhere. @Dogtrax sent out comics almost daily. Haiku Deck made a few appearances. There were remixes made in Mozilla’s webmaker product: Popcorn Maker.

Network fluency at its finest builds social capital. It allows trust and social capital to grow as you recognize the agency folks bring to their networks ahead of time.

Network Fluidity and Documenting Learning

How do you track learning across all these nodes? Our first process involved putting the onus on the participant. They were asked to use Storify to create a final collection that documented all of their learning. This allowed us to do a fast content analysis (oxymoron).

The facilitators do not have the capacity for Social Network Analysis, nor did the methods meet our goals. Instead we invented our methodology while flying the plane.

We also used Martin Hawkseye’s TAG 5.0 system. The wonderful tool allows you to gather and analyze signals sent across Twitter. I highly recommend the tool to document learning. I have used this sysemt since version 3.0 and Martin Hawkseye deserves a medal.

If you have a really large connected course you can utilize both systems to manage how you document learning. For example you can do the number of Tweets as a method to randomly select participants for thematic or content analysis review. You could use other metrics such as ratio of original tweets to retweets to cluster folks and find themese across their practice.

For example we noticed a tension in the academic focus of the #connectedlearning occurring by using our database of Tweets. The #Walkmyworld project began as a poetry and technology exploration. Three of the facilitators had engaged in explorations of digital poetry for years. The participants, however, came from K-12 schools, content area literacy classes, and graduate English classes.

Few of the participants engaged with actual poetry and did not share much more than images of their walks.

We then cross checked this data point with other evidence for triangulation. All of the organizaer emails were saved and analyzed. It turned out this tension of content knowledge versus the social sharing goals existed at meta levels. Local node facilitators who worked with participants farther removed from poetry kept trying to pull back.

All of these conclusions began by an analysis of the TAGS database (tip: DO NOT SHARE the original database with participants. We opened it up o folks could choose the artifact for their portfolio. All the cutting and pasting eventually messed up our data collection. Luckily I rebuilt the sheet through revision history before the 7 day Tweet limit.)




Wow the final learning event in the #WALKMYWORLD project. Ten weeks flew by.

Last learning event you collected and curated all of your content, and shared it with us on Twitter. Ian O’Byrne collected all of these shares to a Google Spreadsheet. If you’re not listed on the spreadsheet, feel free to add your links and info on the spreadsheet.

For the next learning  we’d like you to reach out to someone else in the project. First  review the spreadsheet to find someone to connect with. You can scroll through past weeks of the project and find someone that has intrigued you.

CC 3.0 Walk alone.
CC 3.0 Walk alone.


Then write a response to their #walks. You need to walk their world.

Like always we do not tell you how to respond. You could summarize their walks in a poem, a blog post, a series of tweets,maybe just have a conversation with each other. The act of construction is up to you (though I give bonus emoticons for poems).

In learning event nine we asked that each of you include a piece at the end that describes who you are through the walks you posted. We wanted you to name your world. We provided the following prompts: What does this content say about your identity? How are you sharing your own private history?

Now we want you to name someone else’s world.

If you want to take on the challenge of writing about someone else world we would then ask you to get to know the person you wrote about.

Send a tweet back to the member of the #WALKMYWORLD project after you review and write about their content. Thank them for allowing you to take a walk in their world. If you feel moved, you can send them a photo, video, or…poem…to share your thoughts about their work.

Once again, this is all about community. We’re motivated by one last thought from Robert Hass. In a interview he was asked how things are connected, and what makes up a community. He responded:

They are the kinds of things that make us a community: attachment to place, attachment to local arts traditions, the ability to read literature, the ability to look at paintings, the sense of connectedness to the land, the sense of community that comes from people taking care of their own. The market doesn’t make communities. Markets make networks of self-interested individuals, and they work as long as there’s more than enough to go around.


As you review the work of someone else in the project, consider what they shared and think about what this content says about their identity.

Who do you think this person is, based on the content that they shared? Do you agree with the thoughts they shared in their Storify curation? Share your thinking in an original piece of writing.

Start a conversation and reach out to someone else in the project. Consider their work and connect with them by responding with your thoughts and thanks.


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