Category Archives: Digital Images

Global Project: Visualize Poetry Around the World

visualize poetry around the world

Description of Project:

Based on Taylor Mali’s visit to The American School of Sao PauloMeryl Zeidenberg and I were inspired to amplify students’ poetry writing by adding a visual and audio layer as well as connect them globally to other students’ poems.

We are launching  the Visualize Poetry Around The World project and are looking forward to connecting teachers and students, bringing global awareness and encouraging them to look beyond their own backyard and their own perspective.


  • Encourage students’ global awareness and their ability to share their traditions and experiences based on their cultural heritage or geographic locations
  • Support Third Culture Kids and expats to express their unique experiences through poetry and make the advantages and challenges of International living accessible to geographically rooted children and vice-versa




  1. Become a member of the project by joining the wiki. Questions? Contact me
  2. Become familiar with or already have familiarity with Taylor Mali’s lessons/poems/workshops.
  3. Become familiar with project objectives, expectations, timeline & mini-lessons
  4. Complete task

[ There is no specific beginning or ending date for this project. Each teacher contributes his/her students video poems on their own time to the wiki platform. All we ask is that part of the commitment is to share, connect and give quality feedback to other students’ contributions ]

Task Breakdown:

  1. create poem
  2. find/create images & record voice
  3. publish on project wiki
  4. connect and give feedback


  • expect quality student work using poetic devices
  • students create poem based on one or more of the provided prompts
  • students visualize poem with quality images and overlaying poem text with author’s voice
  • strict observance of copyright conventions and citations.
  • contribution of final student work to collaborative platform
  • participate in feedback of student work.

Time Commitment:

  • up to 80 minutes- write poem
  • 80 minute class: Students present their poems to class (teacher and peer feedback). Students re-edit after feedback.
  • up to 2 -80 minutes class periods digital production

Third Culture Kid Poem Example


I am from…

I am from Germany, Argentina, USA and Brazil

I am from Germany. From the warm Bretzel with melted butter and the sound my shoes make when going for a walk in the dense forest.

I am from Argentina. From the crowds on Florida and Lavalle and the smell of a Bife de Chorizo at a friend’s asado. I am from the smell of Jasmine as I step off the colectivo on a warm Spring day in early December.

I am from the United States. From the smell of salty and buttery popcorn at the movie theaters. The wide streets and gigantic parking lots that fill up to capacity after Thanksgiving.

I am from Brazil. From the language that is almost understandable, but different as if listening under water or with glasses of the wrong prescription strength. I am from feeling almost close, but through the fog so far away.

I am also from lighting Hanukkah candles as I am smelling Christmas in the air and buying Charlie Brown Christmas trees on the 24th day of December.

I speak German, Spanish and English. Ich bin from Argentina y el vos. I am from speaking in all the 3 languages in one sentence without having to be held hostage by staying in one alone.

I am from leaving on a gray, cold and rainy day in October in autumn. Racing along the runway, up up into the sky towards spring air and towards a country far away and forever closer to me.

I am from arriving after a 24 hour journey to a tiny village, at the foot of the Katzenbuckel- The Cat’s Arched Back” where my grandmother anxiously awaits at the door, welcoming the return of the world travelers.

I am from changes, the differences, the friends made along the way. I am from the opportunities to see wonders of the world, tasting, smelling different ways of life. I am from the different faces of the world and history.

I am neither from here nor there or even there. I am destined to be torn forever between Fernweh and Heimweh, from always being far from.

Geographically Rooted Poem Sample


I am from the United States – New Haven, CT- where the imposing, old, stone, university architecture validated my fairy tale-laden child mind.

I am from the warm, loving scent of Aunt Martha’s cookies baking in the flat below.

I am from the one mile, all weather walk, to and from elementary school, where urban flora stubbornly persisted through sidewalk cracks.

I am from the grassy field of the local schoolyards where the kids from my street gathered and grew up, after school, until the street lights flicked on.

I am from the marvel and curiosity of tales from the old country spun out in a mixture of Yiddish and English around my grandmother’s kitchen table with the men drinking schnapps, the women tea.

I am from learning French because it is a “romance” language.

I am from learning Portuguese because of a Brazilian romance.

I am from the security of knowing my way around and where everything is.

I am from the frustration of not knowing the the colors, smells and sounds of everywhere else except from books and movies.

Ready to participate? Head over to the project wiki to sign up.

Documenting FOR Learning

I am a documenter, I have always been… maybe it is in my blood…

…from keeping diaries from an early age on, being the family letter writer, to taking pictures to document our lives, vacations, family and friends… even when it was tedious… (taking 24 or 36 exposures at a time, then taking it to a photo store to develop them and waiting a week to being able to pick them up).


I am the family historian, creating family albums, chasing and writing down family tree connections….I am the storyteller… repeating family stories… so my children and grandchild(ren) will know where they came from…to not let voices of the past quiet down and disappear…

…so maybe it is in MY blood…but… even if it is not in YOUR blood… as an educator… take another look at the purpose and effect of documenting FOR learning…in my opinion, documenting serves a larger…big picture purpose in education…

Documenting FOR Learning is:

  • a supporting piece for the study of self-determined learning–> Heutagogy
  • a strategy, approach and technique to facilitate learning–> Pedagogy

documenting for learningI see documenting as:

  • a process of intentional documenting serves a metacognitive purpose
  • a creative multimedia expression (oral, visual, textual)
  • a component of reflective practice
  • taking ownership of one’s learning
  • a memory aid
  • curation
  • professional development
  • being open for feedback

While I have, until now, primarily seen and used documentation for my own and other’s professional learning by documenting student learning and learning/teaching strategies, one of the take-aways from a workshop I attended  recently with Ben Mardell, Making Learning Visible, was that documenting student learning in the classroom is an integral component to inform the direction further instruction and content is to take.

Intentional educational documenting  is multi-layered and can serve teachers, students and schools/districts:

  • Teachers
    • to share best practices with colleagues
    • to make teaching available for students outside of classroom hours
    • to inform further instructions
    • to reflect on their own lesson plans, delivery and teaching pedagogy
    • to gather and showcase their teaching portfolio over time
    • to evaluate student progress, growth and for assessment
  • Students
    • to articulate (via different forms of media) and showcase their learning
    • to become aware of their own learning growth
    • to gather and archive their digital work via E- portfolios
    • to build their footprint in a digital world
  • Schools/ District
    • to a certain degree in their marketing efforts
    • in parent / community communication
    • to attract like minded potential employees
    • to provide Professional Development
    • provide documentation and examples to linked curriculum maps

I use the following types of tools for documenting:

  • Video
  • Photos
  • Sketchnotes
  • Notes (traditional/annotated)
  • Tweets
  • Backchannel
  • Blogs
  • Slide deck
  • Screenshooting and – casting
  • Mindmaps

A very interesting article, titled Pedagogical Documentation  (pdf) from the Ontario’s Capacity Building Series by The Student Achievement Division supports the notion that pedagogical documentation helps students take ownership of their learning, challenges teachers to

“see children differently. Different kinds of demonstrations of learning moved us all beyond what we had come to expect, and led us to a place of valuing each child’s contribution. What was made visible was the learning process of children , their multiple languages, and the strategies used by each child.”

When googling “pedagogical documentation“, many hits are returned regarding the Reggio Emilia teaching approach in  early childhood.

In Reggio Emilia, teachers make records of events in the life of the school as a tool for research. This has come to be known as ‘pedagogical documentation’ because of the important role it has in supporting reflective practice. (Dahlberg et all. 1999: 144). Pedagogical documentation consists of records that are made for the purpose of pedagogical research.

Pedagogical documentation could be described as visible records (written notes, photos, videos, audio recordings, children’s work) that enable teachers, parents and children to discuss, interpret and reflect upon what is happening from their various points of view, and to make choices about the best way to proceed, believing that rather than being an unquestionable truth, there are many possibilities.

Beyond the benefits in early childhood, I did not find much in regards to Documenting for Learning with older students (K-16) and adult learners as part of their professional development.

What are your thoughts? What type of research have you come across? Have you conducted action research in your own classroom? With your PD? What are the benefits/disadvantages? Should documenting have an “official place” in our overall learning toolbox? Should documenting be part of every work-and learnflow?

NASA’s Global Selfie Crowdsourced on Earth Day


Today, April 22, 2014, NASA is crowdsourcing Global Selfies.

NASA astronauts brought home the first ever images of the whole planet from space. Now NASA satellites capture new images of Earth every second. For Earth Day we are trying to create an image of Earth from the ground up while also fostering a collection of portraits of the people of Earth. Once those pictures stream around the world on Earth Day, the individual pictures tagged #GlobalSelfie will be used to create a mosaic image of Earth — a new “Blue Marble” built bit by bit with your photos.

Need an idea of what kind of picture to take? Get outside and show us mountains, parks, the sky, rivers, lakes — wherever you are, there’s your picture. Tell us where you are in a sign, words written in the sand, spelled out with rocks — or by using the printable signs we’ve created that are available at the bottom of this page.

The Earth mosaic image itself and a video using the images will be put together and released in May.

My students at the American School of Sao Paulo and I  have participated. How about you? There is still time.

Post your photo to Twitter, Instagram or Google+ using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie, or post it to the #GlobalSelfie event page on Facebook or the #GlobalSelfie group on Flickr. You can also join the #GlobalSelfie Google+ event page.


Poetry on Record

Inspired by Poetry, Performance & Taylor Mali and Beyond…, 8th grade Humanities teacher Shannon Hancock coached her students to create their own original “Mali Poem”and record a visual and vocal performance.

I joined the class to give a brief overview of presentation design. I used selected slides from my slidedeck below to talk about image quality, typography, white spaces, metaphors, rules of third, etc.

What type of tools could students choose from to heighten the message of their original writing with sound effects, vocal effects, music and images?

Movie Editor &  Presentation Tool Combination

  • First start out by creating slides in a presentation tool, such as Haiku Deck (web based or on the iPad), keynote or PowerPoint. Add relevant images that represent and support your poem mood,  text and message. Haiku Deck will automatically search within the Creative Commons domain for images and add the proper attribution citations on each slide for you. If you are using another program, search for Creative Commons, Public Domain images and give proper attribution for each image used. As always, you are encouraged to take your own images to use.
  • Keep presentation design principles in mind: more image, less text, rules of third, quality images (high resolution photographs)
  • Export the slides as individual images. When in Haiku Deck, export as a PowerPoint File, then save as jpegs (all slides). You can also take screenshots of each individual slide and save as images.
  • Drag and drop exported images into movie editor software (iMovie or Movie Maker) timeline
  • Add transitions, sound effects, voice recording, music
  • Export movie project as a movie file
In HaikuDeck
Enter text, Search and choose images, Select a layout for your text
In PowerPoint or Keynote
Export individual slides as images
Under option, choose “Save Every Slide”

If I am everything that I ever touched…. from langwitches on Vimeo.

Animoto, Voice Recording & Presentation Tool Combination ( Animoto is limited to a 30 second video as part of the free version)

  • First start out by creating slides in a presentation tool, such as Haiku Deck (web based or on the iPad), keynote or PowerPoint. Add relevant images that represent and support your poem mood,  text and message. 
  • Keep presentation design principles in mind: more image, less text, rules of third, quality images (high resolution photographs)
  • Export the slides as individual images.
  • Upload images to Animoto (note how long the video clip ended up being)
  • Record an MP3 file (ex. Audacity, Garageband, etc.) of you reading your poem (make sure the length of your recording is the same length as the video clip)
  • Before you produce Video, click on pre-chosen song and then choose to upload your own “song”(audio file)
  • Produce video


I am from

In the end, all students chose not to use Animoto due to the length of video limitation. Haiku Deck was a big success, since looking for quality images and the citation was made easy ( I wish many more web 2.0 tools, would make it as easy as Haiku Deck to observe copyright while not sacrificing the quality of the images)

Selfies Around the World



On the heels of The Cultural Phenomena of Selfies and  iPhoneography: Photo Challenges, Ideas & Literacy, students from the American School of São Paulo, Brazil want to know more about Selfies around the world.

If you and your students would like to CONTRIBUTE with actual images for an in- school and online exhibition (part of a slide deck presentation). Please make sure you receive permission to share the images.

Please send the image file to and make sure to include the following information in the email : First name and country you live in. By sending the image, you allow us to use them in the exhibition and share a slide deck presentation online along the results of our survey.

Please consider filling out the following short survey. If you are a teacher, ask your students to fill it out to help us analyze Selfie behavior according to gender, age and geographic location.