Why I Talk This Way

I spent quite a lot of time with my wife and oldest son looking at the dialectic survey map1 and trying to figure out which one of us said a particular phrase or pronounced a word a certain way. About half the time I answered “all of the above” while my wife was tried and true Massachusetts for just about every one.2 I figure my wandering ways are to blame so I figured I’d take a shot at visualizing that. I did recall that Google Spreadsheets would let you visualize spreadsheet data on map with no trouble at all. It’s an option under “insert chart.” All I needed was a location in the first column and the numerical value for the circle in the second column (years in this case). Said and done.3 Too easy. Mine is immediately below and is followed by my wife’s map. Turns out it has a rough time with two different data sources from one document- even if they’re on different sheets. I could have made an additional spreadsheet but I don’t like this enough. Easy-ish but not much control. I’m going to look for some other options. Image Version Turns out I’m starting to hate these as there are more issues than they’re worth. I don’t know how to allow access to the interactive […]


English in the Wild and Mapping Thoughts

Word Games/English in the Wild I made a blog focused on the idea of English in the wild. The goal is to look at language and how it works outside of school, to capture the things people find interesting, odd, or broken about English as they interact with it. Essentially, I keep finding things that are interesting (at least to me)- strange phrases, interesting sentences, games comedians play with words1, even a little Scottish poetry recently.2 I thought it might be useful to aggregate content like this. Naturally, it’s just me at this point but I’ll invite/beg some people to join me at some point and hopefully it’ll map out to students as well. This content can then become fodder for all kinds of reuse. I see aspects of it falling short of the weight of Defective Yeti’s book review posts but containing elements of them. His structure would make a grate template for larger scale project and I like his “Words I Looked Up” at the bottom of the post and his neologisms (and I had to look neologism up). So between neologisms and paraprosdokian you have some unfortunate names but interesting items. This idea may be something that was submitted Henrico 21 at one point. Gaynell remembers it but hasn’t provided me with proof yet. I went through […]


I don’t know what to call this

TL;DR Greetings good people. We, some HCPS ITRTs and hopefully some other people, are participating in a MOOC-ish type of thing guided semi-synchronous online learning experience and we’d like you to play along if you’re interested and excited. The experience slanted towards people who care about the spaces where technology, culture and learning become blurry. Sign up over here and the first “assignment” is here. Masochist Version Massive Online Open Courses are currently being heralded as the future of education and there are lots of them out there.  It is fairly typical edtech hyperbole to hail the newest thing as the solution to all of our educational ills but there is a lot of value in having educational experiences with mixed enrollment that live in the open web and take advantage of that ecosystem of learning and communication.  That value is particularly evident for people who are focused on exploring and shaping how technology impacts learning.  If you aren’t personally leveraging technology to reach new understandings, to see things in new ways, to make connections, to energize yourself, to build communities, to educate yourself- it’s going to be impossible to speak with authenticity, nuance and authority on the subject to teachers and students. So in order to put my time and energy where my mouth is, I’m going to work with […]


6 Degrees of Allusions

Like six degrees of separation or six degrees of Kevin Bacon, the goal of this game is to link six separate works through their literary allusions. The key element here would be to get students playing early on and reading/watching/viewing/listening to lots of things with this lens turned on. This may even be a decent reason to use Prezi as an authoring tool to get at mixed media embedding and connecting with text and the benefit of zoom levels. Two possible options follow . . . Option one is to link the works through common literary allusions. For example, the myth of Icarus could be used to tie a variety of disparate1 works together. This becomes a more interesting English assignment as you compare the ways in which the allusion is used by the various authors/artists. With Icarus as the central theme, I might connect the following. The Letting Go – One of the stories from The Moth2 about an oncologist dealing with death in America submitted under the theme Too Close to the Sun. Here I should get points for audio, modern, and either philosophy or science. Breugel’s painting The Fall of Icarus (maybe this doesn’t count as an allusion) but it connects in poems by Auden and W.C. Williams. I might count this as one item. I would […]