A Twitter Recipe for Learning

A few days ago I had a question. It had to do with tech and I decided to ask some twitter friends for ideas. I wanted to know if I could collect the links I tweeted on Evernote. See the tweets below.


I promptly received an answer: go check out IFTTT.com and make a recipe.
So that’s what I did and when I arrived it felt like I had just entered a sort of tech facilitating candy store.

IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That” and what it offers is a platform for for creating recipes for apps to trigger and carry out actions on one another. I want my twitter account to talk to my Evernote files and IFTTT makes it possible.
Here’s my recipe:


What’s cool is that you can create all sorts of recipes to meet your individual needs. On the website itself I fully enjoyed the absolutely user-friendly interface, no-fail, step-by-step instructions, and a generally a remarkably upbeat, encouraging user experience. I understood almost immediately how to define what I wanted and how to make it happen. And once it was all set up, within an hour I had a two new notes on Evernote documenting the links I had tweeted out.

Imagine that: I got what I asked for easily, with smiles and a whole lot of satisfaction. That’s product. Asking questions, tapping into resources, making new discoveries, and sharing the experience: that’s process, which in this case involved real people, offering real support in real time with the aid of some useful digital tools.  Sounds a bit like a recipe – for learning.  Power and powerful.

Huge thanks go to Beth Still for responding and sharing. Kudos to IFTTT.com for designing an excellent platform for users to become inventive in meeting their mobile tech needs.

My 10 best online discoveries of 2013

Once in a while, it’s worthwhile to look back before forging ahead. Here are 10 online discoveries that rocked, changed or otherwise shook up my lifelong learning curve:

1. Twitter -Joined in July, never looked back. Proved to be an extremely powerful and fascinating tool for expanding both my horizons and my reach. Still working with it on a fairly rudimentary level. Look forward to learning more, reaping more benefits.

2. Rafranz Davis – I stumbled onto an article of hers via twitter and my engagement with the aforementioned medium has never been the same.  Follow her and you will gain access to a huge number of diverse voices within education and at the same time feel encouraged to make your own mark at your own pace in your own very distinctive way. What I so admire and respect about Rafranz is her capacity to remain extremely real (and therefore vulnerable) in her interactions as she hosts an audience of thousands. (I know, it’s not about the numbers, but still…) Thanks, Rafranz! (I’m thinking fierce…)
3. Terry Heick and Teach Thought – again another twitter discovery of great significance; A welcome source of reason and insight. Already invited this group to join my first ever “What if” Summit: https://edifiedlistener.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-1st-annual-what-if-summit/ .
4. Elena Aguilar – Education’s “Coach of the Decade” in my book. Speaking of, buy and read her book, The Art of Coaching to really grasp the depth and weight of what she brings to the conversation on school transformation. She has also provided me with ample encouragement as I have ventured to find and express my voice online.
5. Tom Whitby consistently offers plenty of food for thought on a range of topics in education both through his own blog posts and countless valuable links through tweets. It was in response to a blog post of his about the wisdom of the “college for all” assumption in US education that I wrote my first comment way back in July.
6. Knoword – This is just a great vocabulary game that it has been fun to share and even more fun to play. If you enjoy literacy on any level, get this game: knoword.org
7. On similar note, a link to this literacy challenge offered by substantial surprise and amusement: http://games.usvsth3m.com/write/
8. My oldest son, James, is a producer and DJ of electronic music. Thanks to his input I have become acquainted with platforms for storing and sharing music, primarily mixcloud.com and soundcloud.com. It is by far one of the coolest things to plug into one of his mixes while preparing stuff for work and know that “Wow, that’s my boy!” Have a listen:

9. brainpickings.org – talk about intellectual nourishment! My best buddy Cathleen turned me onto this daily feast of literary, artistic and humanist nuggets. Looking for ongoing mental and emotional sustenance? Add Brainpickings to your twitter feed and be edified.

10. Evernote – I’m still growing into this app. It has enormous capabilities and features that may well change the way I work – once I get around to playing with it and really discovering what could happen if I truly chose to get organized. Hmm…..

So that’s my top 10 online discoveries for 2013: some great individual contributors, some tools, games, and above all, plenty of fuel for learning. Who knows what’s in the pipeline for 2014?
Happy New Year, by the way!