Category Archives: WKUWP

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: Episode 14 (6/30/2016)

Often when you read tech pedagogy articles you get listicles. For example, you get “Top 10 Education Tech Blogs” or “The Best Ways to Use Padlet” or “7 Tools for Creating Classroom Blogs”.  All good stuff. Not complaining.  But I want to share how I am using tech not only in the classroom but professionally and personally.  What follows is one of those stories without lists.  And if you are open to it, you can annotate in the margins by going to this link which allows you to use to comment on the sides.  I hope that conversation will be one part “director’s commentary” and reader’s zoo.

One of my favorite partners in creating is Kevin Hodgson.  In a recent post, “Resonation Points: Practicing Noticing and Connecting”, Kevin leapfrogged across a lily pad of ideas and spaces, distinctly non-listicle:

CLMOOC–>noticing–>Mary Ann Reilly’s  post “Love is a Story in Five Parts“–>using the app SUPER–>using the app Legend to pull out a notable quote from Wendy’s postcard project–>back to SUPER with a response to Anna via Melissa–>my shell game post–> a conclusion.

My name for these is ‘feldgangs’, field walks.  Imagine you personal learning network as a series of meadows with fervid hedgerow margins full of life and pastures, an ecosystem of nearly infinite complexity.  In a feldgang we pull out what we notice.  And what do we notice?  We don’t know until we go field walking. Or as Kevin says and I steal for a Pablo poster:

pablo (80)

I responded in Kevin’s comments:

Then I translated it into a poem

pablo (79)

Tech pedagogy has more to do with how you use your repertoire to make sense and create and share and reciprocate than it does with dazzling others with your technical capacity.  All of these tools are simple and derive from engaging with others online at the most basic level–text.  It all ripples out from there, from the comment and conversation and noticing what is happening on your feldgangs to the sharing and showing of the path.

Another way of thinking about it is what Nick Sousanis calls “unflattening” or what the writer James Scott refers to as “making legible” or what James Gray names “liminal thinking” or what Mike Caulfield offers us with Wikity and federated wikification or what Venkatesh Rao deems is ‘breaking smart’.

In other words all tech pedagogy and tech are about is helping us connect so that we can make and share meaning.  Pedagogy is learning turned inside out.  Tech pedagogy is just another way to turn ourselves inside out.  The reason we make a big deal about it is that it is a new way of doing and being that we pretty much suck at.  We are all just making one feldgang after another and coming back with a aptly round stone, a feather, a Solomon’s Seal dug up from the hedgerow and dirt under our fingernails.  If tech isn’t connected to life it is an inert idea, not even usefully dead like a possum that feeds a vulture or a blade of orchard grass hay from the pasture. I think it is more like setting a luna moth free.




Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Thirteen (6/24/2016)

Today’s post strays into a briar patch where only rabbits feel comfortable: the sense that the noise of the net is drowning the inner signal that is trying to get out of ourselves, our voice.

Here are five short screencasts that don’t even begin to scratch the high pressure stream of data that is my Internet life.


Chrome Address Bars

Happy Friends



And what about mobile apps and YouTube channels and Roku and Chromecast and…my question to you dear readers, “Is there any controlling this giant game of “Crack the Whip” or the feeling of being a wee child tethered on the end and losing his grip?

I hope you don’t listen and watch all of the vids above. Just scrub through them and let us think about what our tech hath wrought and what we might do about it if anything.

When I get confused I write poems.  They help settle the silt in the muddy glass of water. Here is one. It helped me find the signal.

Dragonfly in a Bucket

A dragonfly


in the sheep’s

water bucket.



It’s not dead.

I lift it

from the water

and hold it


to the sun.

I see.

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Twelve (6/23/2016)

Do you need free?  As in “copyright free, CCBY,  public domain sounds and music for a student or personal project” free?  If so, your options are extraordinary and here are a few of them.


The Free Music Archive (FMA) is always first on my list of sites to find free music (and sounds, too).  If you and your students need to get up to speed on Creative Commons and legal sharing of music , then please check out the FAQ from FMA and watch the best presentation I have seen to date on using ‘free music’ (also from FMA).  There are apps as well.

Incompetech has collections of free, mostly CCBY music.  All you have to do is give proper attribution.  I really like this one.

Sounds FX

First stop, Freesound. Click on the sample below for a simple and subtle train stop.


Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under the Sampling+ License.


Next, Zapsplat. They are new and don’t have nearly as extensive a sound library as Freesound, but what I have used is quite good. They also have free music (which I have not tried yet).  If you kick in a donation (they are volunteer-run and no salaries are paid to anyone), you can get a few more benefits.  It is quite robust even if you don’t donate.

CC0 1.0 Universal License

And maybe you want to make your own SFX?  Watch this YouTube vid by Ryan Connoly of Film Riot and  get some ideas about how SFX are made.

Editing/Sharing Sound Online

Twisted Wave is a simple, easy to use sound editing tool.  Here is a file edited.  I cut 30 seconds from the end and I added fade in and fade out along with normalizing it.

SoundCloud Pro is my favorite storage space and with the recent infusion of money from Twitter I don’t worry about it’s longer term success as much. SoundCloud works with TwistedWave and other apps, but the best part about it is that it allows you upload any sounds to share publicly (or privately). It allows folks to annotate those files. It is in many ways the YouTube of sound. And…this is so cool I am beside myself… soon you will be able to turn your sound files into vinyl records.

And there is always, Audacity, the open source work horse of audio editing.  Free. Free. Free.


I think the best advice I can give you is to just have fun and then make stuff, your own music and your own SFX.  It has never been better for those who are not particularly gifted musically to have some fun making music.

Incredibox–this goes in the Internet rabbit hole and where the hell did that hour disappear to.

Hatnote–Hatnote is a fascinating big data visualization project which tries to recreate the sound and sight of Wikipedia as it is being created. I have used this as ambient music and saved it to SoundCloud and Google Drive.  I just use my SoundCloud app to record and upload. Then I use the TwistedWave bookmarklet to bring it into that app to be edited.

I paste a new file (my poem)  on top of the Hatnote file and ‘Bob’s your very uncle’ something new under the sun.

The value to me personally and professionally in using these files and making new rags from old is that creation makes me feel good.  Or as Heather Harvilesky remarked the other day.

pablo (65)





Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Eleven (6/21/2016)

Summer Reading Doo-Dads.

Here are some summer reading projects you and your students might find interesting. First, the adults

Here are some for students that I “borrowed” from the Tech Chicks (I highly recommend their podcast as a source for ways to make your classes work better with tech.):


And while you’re at it you can listen to Webb Wilder’s song “The Rest (will take of itself)” from his album “Doo Dad” while you explore these links.

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.