The DV8 Sound of Trust

I’ve been completely grooving on the new album by Toronoto-based Trust. The track “Rescue, Mister” sends me spinning back in space (to Salt Lake City) and time (the mid 90s) to a beautiful, but gritty club called DV8. The club served as an after hours headquarters to the DJs of KJQ and X96, many of whom did weekly stints behind the turntables of its dusty crows nest of a DJ booth (read Todd Nuk’em’s spot-on memorial of the club, written when it burned to the ground, a surprise to no one, back in 2008).

I put in my time at that club, under the moniker Sean Boy Walton, risking my health (the smoking was incessant), to play the unique blend of darkwave, industrial, and goth pop that was always popular in Salt Lake City. Trust fits that place like a black leather glove (fingers optional).

You want to experience DV8 circa 1995, drop this track into your head. The time warp is uncanny.

Show Your Work : : A Networked Reading 2

Reading @Braddo Reading @AustinKleon continues as Show Your Work: A Networked Reading

The old writing adage holds true with student work: Show, don’t tell!

I love John Green’s question: “is there a way that we can use this technology to build places for engagement, instead of just places for distraction? ” As Douglas Rushkoff has pointed out, yes the youth of today are digital natives, but they’re thoroughly worked over by social media. It’s not just the digital natives by the way. We all need to act more and not let ourselves be acted up, in other words: Program, Or Be Programmed.

 

Reading @braddo Reading @austinkleon 1

I’ve been stealing ideas from Austin Kleon for my classroom for about five years now and I’m thrilled to have other teachers join in the looting. Brad Ovenell-Carter started blogging his reading of Kleon’s new book Show Your Work over a month ago and since then I’ve been itching to join in the fray and blog my reading of his reading.

I’m starting 76 pages into Ovenell-Carter’s reading and that doesn’t bother me. It also doesn’t bother me that I’ll be working backwards and forwards as he continues. We’re getting all McLuhan on Kleon’s little book, ya hear!

I’m floored by flow of ideas and insight that this process encourages and I can’t wait to see how all these things will blossom, wilt, flower. Feel free to join in the conversation.

A note on the process: While I’m jealous of Ovenell-Carter’s hand-drawn work (and I dig his handwritting—those loops!),  I decided to differentiate our ideas by diving into a digital toolbox, namely Skitch for Evernote.

Twenty years ago today I flew into Seattle for Sub Pop Record’s birthday celebration only to be greeted at the airport with the somber news of Kurt Cobain’s death. The party went on, but not even great sets from Sunny Day Real Estate and Velocity Girl could lighten the atmosphere of that weekend. Imagine all the music that could have been…

Show Your Learning

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 10.08.27 AMTeaching is a science—that’s how it feels when I’m collecting and combing through student data looking for how to proceed next. Teaching is an art—that’s how it feels when I’m in front of the class trying to hook them in with an introduction to metaplasmus, zeugma and other rhetorical tropes, schemes. Wait, that sounds like science. That’s because teaching is both an art and science—especially when I’m deep in a stack of essays working to understand the thoughts and  arguments of students while at the same time helping them craft their way to clarity with cadence and rhythm.

Either way, teaching is a creative and rewarding effort. And ever since I stumbled upon 20% projects and the work of writer and doodler Austin Kleon it’s only become more creative and more rewarding as I’ve worked with students to do what Kleon calls for in his new book Show Your Work!

David Theriault, a colleague/cohort, and I have been obsessed with this idea of showing our work: making our classrooms transparent, our work and that of our students laid bare for the world to see.  Not to show off what we do in our class, but to try it out in public, share it, and hope in comes back new and improved. Thus our activity on Twitter and in the edublogosphere (wow, that’s an ugly word). We’ve brainstormed hashtags, schemed up entire books on the subject. We’ve read the books. We’ve encouraged other teachers in our district to do the same. We follow people with similar obsessions.

But nothing really gets to the heart of the matter like Kleon’s book, which just arrived in the mail yesterday! And it’s much more rewarding to take a breather from the pummeling of pedagogical jargon, kick back with this bright, rakish tome and dream up ways to twist and tweak Kleon’s principles for my curriculum, my class, my students.

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I’m not the only educator stealing from Kleon.

Show Your Work! is subtitled 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, but a better way from my students and I to think about it would be: Show Your Learning! 10 Ways to Share Your Learning and Discover: Your Thoughts, Your World, Yourself.

Consider this one example from Zara who realized that she writes the same way she plays volleyball: timidly. But as she writes you can see her writing grow more assertive. I can’t wait to see her on the court next year.

Do you want to see the rest of my students learning? Stay tuned here, here, or here.