Little Boxes on the Desktop: Keeping Writing Small

I went to a pretty good conference last weekend. It made me think of the old folksong, “Little Boxes on the Hillside” (scroll down to the bonus audio). There was a lot of writing involved in sessions throughout the day, which is always a good thing. But in each session I attended where writing was involved, I got a handout with boxes on the page. […]

Read More 2 Comments

Where Does News Live?

Her nails are always perfect. She uses clear polish so you don’t always notice them. Until she starts tapping the cell phone sitting on the table between you. Then you notice the perfect shape, the perfect cuticles. Today her perfect index finger jabs at the phone. “I think I am the only person who still reads a real newspaper,” she says. “Now it’s all in […]

Read More 2 Comments

What Are Friends For?

I’m lucky to have friends who inspire me. Creative, brilliant, entrepreneurial– and unafraid to put themselves into the world of education in order to make a difference. To make things better. Sometimes what sparks new thoughts or clarity in my own perspectives is the fact that I see things differently. Sometimes the truest gifts of a friendship are the ways in which we don’t align. […]

Read More 4 Comments

Every Building Tells a Story

I like to drive by schools when I visit a new town. It’s a way I get a sense of a community. Last weekend, I visited Eastern Oregon for the first time. Our hosts own 20 acres, which they farm for alfalfa that they sell to Japan. The have chickens, goats, a large garden. They both have full-time professional jobs. In short, they are financially […]

Read More 4 Comments

When a Project Gets Sidelined

The room buzzed with voices and movement. Students hovered in small groups around workstations, talking, pointing to the computer screens, gesturing. I had given what I thought was a simple assignment: find images that will bring to life a new layer of meaning in the poem you received at the start of class. It was one of the first classes of the semester in a […]

Read More 4 Comments

Writer’s Notebook on Steroids

I was sitting with my notebook this morning, relishing the heft of my favorite pen. Me, the passionate digital writer and reader, the enthusiast for the transformative teaching and learning possibilities the web offers us– forget all that. This morning, it was all about the pen. Its shiny gold-colored clip. The cool, smooth barrel and the way it sat perfectly against the nubbin of my […]

Read More 6 Comments

Free-sliding into NCTE

My friend and colleague, Rick Kreinbring and I have been working on our presentation for the November NCTE convention in Houston. Yes, we know we’re not typical (in this and other ways 😉 but we know how we work; we need time to think, then reel in our thoughts. In line with the theme of this year’s convention, amplifying student voice, we’ve called our presentation […]

Read More 6 Comments

“You are not the boss of me:” Talking Back to The Technologies In Our Lives

There’s a time in the lives of young children when they toss their heads, place their hands on their hips, jut out their little chins, and announce, “You are not the boss of me.” It usually happens when a parent is trying to get out the door, or wants the toys in the living room put anywhere but in the middle of the floor before […]

Read More 8 Comments

When An Hour Lasts Forever

Along the edges of the room sat five or six kids who didn’t look up the entire time, or had their hoodies so tightly cinched around their faces only their eyes showed. Another knot of kids chatted loudly as they draped themselves across seats in the back corner of the room. A table to one side held a kid I’d talked to on an earlier […]

Read More 8 Comments