Writing Prompts That Just Might Change The World


After I wiped away the tears, it occurred to me that this post could be much, much more than just a morning inspiration.

These 20 Photos Are Going To Make You Cry. But You’ll See Why It’s Totally Worth It.

There’s nothing like a good visual to prompt and inspire writing.  Each one of these go over the top very nicely.

Imagine viewing the image and imagining what was going through the minds of all the participants in the photos.

  • What happened just before the photo was taken?
  • What happened immediately afterwards?
  • How did the people in the photo feel about the moment?
  • More importantly, does this inspire your young writers to want to do something to improve their part of the world?

Could these writing prompts be a real call to action?

In Support of Poetry


A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a passionate young blogger in the Toronto area.  Her blog has some incredibly written content.  She’s doing a great job.

April is National Poetry Writing Month and TheBookyBunHead is participating.

She mentions the hashtag #NaPoWriMo as she kicked off her own posts.  There’s something really intriguing about her first three poems.

  1. Zombies
  2. Business of Lies
  3. Totally inaccurate sea chanty

So, as I write this post, she’s off to a good start.  Why don’t you show some blogging love and drop by her blog and be supportive?  There’s no way that I could write 30 poems in 30 days.  Kudos for those that are able to do that.

I’ll just follow from a distance.

If you enjoy this form of writing, follow the hashtag and see how creative people can be.

The easiest way, of course, is to use Tagboard to get the job done.

Is anyone doing this in their class?  If so, please drop a note.  I’d be very interesting in checking it out.

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The Deal with Infographics


I must admit that I find the field of infographics fascinating.  In my Zite reader, I’m excited when one of them makes any of the categories that I follow and, to be sure that I get a daily fix, I have the category “infographics” selected.

What impresses me about the whole infographics concept is that one that is well crafted can convey so much information in one document.  Those of us who do presentations regularly will use pie charts or bar charts to identify data or elements of the data.  However, the conventional wisdom has always been to keep one piece of data analysis on a slide to make it readable.

Infographics take that conventional wisdom for a walk by the river and shoves it in.  In fact, infographics puts it all together in one place.  Unlike a pie chart where the experienced designer stands out by exploding a piece, infographics can share just a tonne of information all in one spot.  They’re not intended to be glanced at and moved on.  They are a work of art and data in themselves.  I’d go so far as to say that they’re another contemporary story telling technique.

Here’s one of the infographics that I spent time looking at this morning.  It’s titled “The pros and cons of social media in education” and was blogged by the Edtech Times who credit the authorship to OnlineUniversities.com.  Meet me under the infographic.

If we take a look at the infographic for its design, we see:

  • four major categories identified; (there are two number threes)
  • some bar charts;
  • graphic organizer showing relationships between items;
  • logos that we all recognize and are immediately drawn to;
  • sources credited for the resources;
  • identifier of the author;
  • a great deal of work with an image editing tool;
  • elements of design – colour, alignment, attractiveness to the viewer.

So let’s step away from the infographic per se, and think about this in the classroom.

A simple way to use the infographic would be as a resource from which to pull answers.  I’d like to think that we could move much deeper with the concept of infographics.  Why not make it the end result of a project?  Consider what the student or groups of students would do in order to be successful.

  • more than trivial use of their graphic tool; (Photoshop Elements, Powerpoint, CorelDRAW!)
  • the need to design the story they wish to tell;
  • research for facts, details, authorities;
  • design element choices – fonts, colours, graphics;
  • respect for copyright and the use of others’ efforts;
  • collaboration and agreement within their group;
  • choose the most appropriate way to display and tell their story;
  • determination of ultimate filetype;
  • critical decisions made about what information goes into the final design.

There is huge potential for this particular activity.  Not only is the process so important, the final product will display so nicely in the student or class blog or wiki.  Where do infographics fit with your curriculum?  If you are doing infographic activities with your class, please share challenges and successes below.

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Free Sound Clips


If you’re a digital storyteller or podcaster, you know the value of having sound clips in the middle of your creation.

They can work as a lead in, a seque between moments, a concluding bit, or just something to spice it up in the middle.  Depending upon the program that you use, it may come with a good library of clips, a minimal selection of clips, or no clips at all.  You’ll also want to check the copyright of any sound clips that you choose to use.

Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to model for students.

My preference has always been to create your own but that’s not always possible or feasible.  So, where to turn?

The internet, of course.   But keep in mind the need to respect the copyright of the creators.

One site that is very friendly is SoundBible.

Culled from public domain and creative commons, look to this as a nice collection of sound media for your productions.

Playing Pool (.mp3, public domain)

Armed with these new resources, your podcasts will never be the same again.  Sounds are available in .wav and .mp3 format.  Make sure you properly attribute the resources licensed under Creative Commons.