Category Archives: CLMOOC

Infinite Reciprocation: What to Do with the P22 Music Text Composition Generator

To George Station in particular and all other infinite gamers out there: here is one of those tools that is delightful but not sure what its function is. What do you do with it?

P22 Music Text Composition Generator

Kevin Hodgson did this with it:

And I musitexted the Bill of Rights here:

So, here is the game I proposed to George Station on Facebook a short time ago and that I propose to you ‘dear reader’–find a use for the damned thing besides the joy of play (which I feel is sufficient).

Use the accompanying Hackpad below to add to it (or use the Google Doc here).

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy (#CLMOOC Edition): Episode 15–Happy Right-Clicks to You (7/11/2016)

What’s in your right-click menu?

I think this is a very revealing space.  Here’s mine.


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There are items in here for  gathering information like Zotero and Diigo. (See margins for details.)


I could use bookmarklets for each of these tools but right-click seems to have less friction between the task at hand and getting it done.


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I love Pocket because it allows me to save and LISTEN to posts and articles on my phone later (on the tractor, in the field, walking, commuting).  I think of this as personal curation. I listen as a way to identify any piece of information that might need a deeper look so that I can share it  or include it as I synthesize it in a blog post or article.




SnagIt is in my right-click menu.  I have keyboard combinations like command+shift+4 on my Mac that will do an immediate screencapture, but often I want to annotate the image for an online class, personal creation, or sharing with a colleague.



Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 5.49


Share on (Better) Tweetdeck uses an add-on to bring more tools to my favorite Twitter client.  The video below shows just how quickly you can go from content to sharing that content—three clicks.


Last, I use Add This for sharing to other digital spaces.

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This extension allows you to add hundreds  of networking tools that you might want to share to.

I have not included all of the items in my context menu or discussed how to add them.  That’s what Google is for. And please don’t get me started on bookmarklets and other extensions.  I judge all of these tools by a simple yardstick question: do they help me gather, make sense of, and share my digital world?  If they do that very well, then here they stay until something else better supplants them.

I know well that others have these better tools or better workflows, so share your right-click goodies with me no matter how idiosyncratic they might seem so that I can get better at sharing back at you.  You can go to the comments below or you can use to share in the margins here.








Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Nine (6/18/2016)


Some websites are cool tools unto themselves. I am going to share a few of those today. They have proven to be artesian wells of knowledge and prompts to action. I hope you enjoy them as well.

1. Open Culture

This site consistently pegs my “this-is-way-interesting” meter. Just check out the John Cage clip.

2. ProfHacker I think this is a powerful touchstone for new ideas that inspire my pedagogy. I don’t always agree with their point of view, but I do value it. Here is a good one from the recent past. I used it to help me with a summer course I am teaching.

3. Robin Good’s Content Curation. I think the word “plethora” in the dictionary has a picture of Robin Good next to it. His steady aggregation and clear curation of useful tools keeps the good stuff coming. Here is a recent discovery for all you budding curators, Rebel Mouse. His Communication Tools site is also a source for more use-filled ideas and tools.

4. KQED Education. These folks are a source for all kinds of short and long-term projects for your classroom and professional development. I love the collaborative work they do in their “Do Now” section especially. I used one of these topics on ‘de-extinction’ for a unit on critique for freshman composition class last Fall.

5. Kevin’s Meandering Mind. If you teach middle grades, then you can’t go wrong with reading Kevin Hodgson’s webpage or following him on Twitter. We have some pretty lively discussions there in the comments sections and on the margins using

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Eight (6/18/2016) Analog Meets Digital: the Fountain Pen as Strange Attractor

I love fountain pens. I love what you can do with a decent one. But I love cheap, too. That is why I am a denizen of bargain pen sites like Jetpens and Goulet Pens. (They also sell very expensive, boutique pens, too.)

My wife accuses me of being a pen porn video addict. OK. My name is tellio. I am addicted to cheap fountain pens. Below is a video of a recent purchase reviewed by Matt Armstrong from “The Pen Habit”.

I also love new ideas like refillable marker pens. I have always hated throwing away the plastic parts of pens and now I don’t have to. I use the Platinum Preppy Refillable Marker Pen. (You can also get refillable highlighter pens that use fountain pen ink and replaceable tips.)


It is a simple task to crossover from the analog to the digital.  Just use MyScriptFont to create a font from your handwriting.  In this case I took my new best pen friend, my Jinhao 450, and marked up the font template that MyScriptFont provides.

Scan it after you have used your fav fountain pen to mark in the squares where the letters go. Unfortunately, my scanner only goes up to 600dpi and I think you need twice that resolution. I also tried to take a picture with my phone but that was an interesting failure. So I will update you as soon as I can find a scanner with better rez. My point here is that the joy of analog and the joy of digital need not be mutually exclusive.

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Seven (6/17/2016)

Want to use YouTube in the classroom, but find it a bit risky and potentially embarrasing or worse with younger students? Wish you could convince your district to open up YouTube but not sure how to argue for it? Well…I am offering some answers to those questions in today’s episode.

First. Perhaps you want to use just the soundtrack or song from a YouTube video? Then I recommend you use Peggo(no, it’s not named after our peerless WKUWP director, Peggy Otto). I really like the advice in this video by writer and researcher, Dan Ariely.

I just want the audio. So I take the YouTube link and plug it into the Peggo page and presto! I have an audio which I can share either in a blog or on Soundcloud.

You can also record the video without the audio. Fun to get students to reverse engineer the dialogue or just improvise it.

Second. Maybe you just want to strip away all the distractions from the YouTube video. There are lots of tools to do that. I suggest Purify. It has a nice bookmarklet that you can drag into your bookmarks bar in Chrome so that whenever you find a YouTube you like all you do is just click the “Purify” bookmarklet.

Third, try my “go-to” tool for converting YouTube vids into lots of different formats, ClipConverter.

Last, (and there are many, many more both third-party tools as well as YouTube tools like its new GifMaker) we have a simple editing tool, Tube Chop.

YouTube is one of the core tools for your digital literacy repertoire because it provides free cloud space, ease of use, and universal embedding capacity. You and your learners need to be able to gather, share, and manipulate video as part of their own digital literacy efforts. So that means you, as their teacher, need to be able to use it, too. I know, I know, but I don’t see any way around it.

Just consider yourself lucky. Think about when we were converting from scrolls to books.

Work From Anywhere: 25 Cool Apps For Digital Nomads, Corporate Escapists, And Loony Adventurers — Life Learning — Medium

In the past 3 years, I have already run my business from Lebanon, Indonesia, Morocco, Iran, Kenya, and South Africa. Alw…

Source: Work From Anywhere: 25 Cool Apps For Digital Nomads, Corporate Escapists, And Loony Adventurers — Life Learning — Medium

Wow! I only use three of these tools with any kind of regularity. As I am considering some digital nomadism in the near future, then knowing these and knowing a writer who thinks so clearly about this is a nice find. But you don’t have to be a digital nomad in order to use any of these congenial tools.

My favorite one that I hadn’t heard of? Silvrback ( My favorite one that I use all the time? Canva ( #clmooc



Click here for another review of this tool.

I am using this new tool today to work on a reflection project for CLMOOC with Joe Dillon and Karen Fasimpaur. Well, that is, if they go for it.

This is a simple mashup of brainstorming and voting. Lots of possible uses especially in instances where not everyone can come but you still need folks to contribute and vote their preferences. I have a use case for school for folks to provide classroom feedback throughout the semester.

You can take a peek if you want to here.

#Twistedpair : Epictetus | Mojo Nixon.

In the spirit of infinite play I am following a recent prompt from Steve Wheeler:

Choose a strange pairing from above (or make up one of your own, the weirder the better). Let your imagination run wild, go very slightly unhinged and dig deep into your knowledge of those characters. Some of the connections may be tenuous. That’s part of the fun.  Come up with an inspirational, satirical or thought provoking blog post about teaching and learning. Share it and include the tag #twistedpair. Don’t forget to also challenge at least three other people. If we get enough responses, I will create a page that links them all together.

My twisted pair are Mojo Nixon and Epictetus, the profane rocker and the profound Stoic.

OK, I am feeling resistance here.  I have had my fill of writing prompts over the years.  They often feel false.  Other times I recognize them for what they are–pump priming fuel that gets burned up in order to start the engine.  In this case we are asked to play.  I like play, but generating inspired, satirical or thought provoking stuff about teaching and learning?  This feels like managing chaos and a little forced. Isn’t the nature of the imagination that you don’t so much as give it permission as it seizes it?

It is true that both of these figures taught me something. I learned from both of them.  It is also true that I could draw many other connections.


So I get to have cake and eat it and save some for later.

Here’s some Mojo to listen to, his only big hit, “Elvis Is Everywhere”

Here’s some Epictetus to listen to, his biggest hit, “The Enchiridon”

I recommend that you play both at the same time.  Twisted, dude, twisted.

Graphics as Public Space

I have been digging into Daniel Bassill’s work with the Tutor/Mentor Institute as a way to question, rethink, adapt and pirate his ideas about systems in organizations. I am essentially using the public spaces he has mapped graphically about his organization. My annotations are an occupation of his public space, a happy pirating for happy purposes.

For example, I used this graphic to ask questions and push our conversation forward, upward, downward, backward, and otherward. Part of the beauty of this work is its public nature, a commons for those who will have it or need it. It is the ultimate ‘potlatch’ and part of the gift culture that is pure Internet to the core.



I used the Commons that Daniel created here as a happy pyracy (pyracy with two “Y”s  is self-defined as white hat skullduggery). Every time I post I assume that it is the creation of a public commons to be shared by as common pasture by all the “flocks” and “herds”.  I took Daniel’s image above as just that, a commons to use but not abuse.


One moment I am a lamb gamboling in fresh white clover and another a serious old ewe stamping the ground in protective warning.  (I am a sheep farmer and you have to allow a certain amount of latitude here in my extending the pasture metaphor.)  I make a point that I am playing in the public commons of Daniel’s graphic as well as its margins, its metes and bounds, its interstices, its fence rows.

Here is a another commons, public and intended to be used by others, an organizational map that sums up the systemic work of Daniel’s organization, the Tutor/Mentor Institute.


I used this commons space to close read with a filter on it–facilitation.  In other words I am interested in creating a large system/organization with facilitation at its core much like what Daniel has done with putting tutor/mentoring at its core.  I pyrated his work by messing about with it in SnagIt–close reading it in SnagIt.  This kind of commons work forces one to be quite a bit more deliberate in considering.  I could have gone slower but I wanted to publish this new public space for him to get his reaction.  And I wanted my peers in #CLMOOC to see what I understand public digital space to mean.


I have moved beyond comprehending Daniel’s work to apprehending it and finally toward appreciating it.  You come, too.


Community Is What We Do

What does community mean?

I was thinking about my own community engagement on #CLMOOC when I annotated this post. I am not picking on Susan and Janis. The questions I ask here are ones I ask of the whole community. I will ask them here and on G+ and Twitter and Facebook. I will continue to ask them as what I perceive is my changing role as facilitator on #CLMOOC. I need to be looking at how we work together there, how we do good and how we do ‘not so good’, and how we can do better for each other and the tribe as we connect and learn.

I am beginning to think of myself as an “Angry Walter lite” looking to protect Donnie from the nihilists in The Big Lebowski only sometimes I am hapless Donnie and sometimes the stupid nihilists and other times Walter asking “Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules? Mark it zero!” My goal is to ask some hard questions of myself first and then of us all. If I am not harder on myself than you, then you need to channel the Dude and say, “You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an asshole.” And if you aren’t getting all the Lebowski references then that just proves you need to watch The Big Lebowski.

Okay then.

Here is a Hackpad if you prefer to discuss there instead of the comments below (I am beginning to prefer this funky hacked up form of commenting, more flexible and fun and freewheeling–the three F’s of community sharing):

View Community Is What We Do on Hackpad.