Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

An Invitation: Share #BobTaughtMe

Did Maine teacher and educational technology pioneer Bob Sprankle teach you any lessons or inspire you? If so, you are invited to share at least one of those lessons and stories on the open web, with a wider community. It’s been two days since we heard the tragic news of Bob’s death. Since that time, some of us have started to share about ways Bob taught, influenced, and inspired us using the Twitter hashtag #BobTaughtMe. (The initial thinking for this originated with a July conversation with Darren Kuropatwa, to encourage Bob as he continued to struggle with his health.) I created a Storify archive of those initial Tweets tonight, which I’ll embed at the end of this post and continue to update in the days ahead. Many memories of Bob and comments have also been shared on Facebook, however, like this photo and story from Ewan McIntosh.

Ewan McIntosh’s Remembrance of Bob Spran by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Wesley Fryer 

One of the great things about social media is that it permits quick, frictionless sharing… but a disadvantage can be its lack of persistence and natural aggregation. By this I mean: Social media posts can become invisible if you don’t happen to see them when they are shared, and they are not always collected for later viewing. (That is particularly true of Twitter.) Some people are sharing posts directly on Bob’s Facebook page, like these from Bob Garlitz, Stephen Rucker, and Elizabeth Thompson. Others are writing to his wife Jody, posting to her Facebook page, or she is re-sharing them.

People grieve in different ways, at different times, so this isn’t going to be appealing for everyone right now. Because of financial and geographic restrictions, however, I know there are LOTS of people who are going to wish they could travel to New Hampshire or Maine for Bob’s funeral, but won’t be able to. For those of us who want to do something, but aren’t sure what that could be, perhaps sharing a #BobTaughtMe story could be a constructive answer. Not only could this be an intrinsically valuable thing to do as we seek to individually process and deal with Bob’s death, it also can be a contribution to the learning of others and the much-deserved digital legacy of Bob Sprankle.

Here are some initial ideas. If you have others, please suggest them as comments or via Twitter.

1. Share a Tweet or Facebook Post

Share about something you learned from Bob on Twitter, using the hashtag #BobTaughtMe. Alternatively you can post directly to Bob’s Facebook page. Here are a few examples others have shared on Twitter in the last 24 hours:

2. Record a 5 Minute Audio Podcast

Record a short (less than 5 minute) audio recording about something (or several things) Bob Sprankle taught you. Remembering and celebrating Bob with audio podcasts is certainly appropriate, given his love of podcasting! Many of us have spent countless HOURS listening to podcasts Bob created.

If you’re looking for a good, free audio recording app to use on an iPhone try Ferrite Recording Studio. Voice Record Pro is also free, and can export as a video to the iOS camera roll.

Upload/share your finished audio recording using this DropItToMe link: and the password “bobsprankle” in all lower case. You may need to do this on a laptop or desktop computer, I’m not sure how this link will work on mobile devices. I will combine and publish submitted audio files as podcasts on in upcoming days and weeks. Use this outline for your recording:

  1. Your name and where you live now
  2. How you knew Bob Sprankle
  3. Something you learned from Bob

If you can share a special story about Bob or how he impacted you, your teaching or your students, that would be fantastic and make a wonderful contribution to one (or more) combined audio podcasts about him.

If you include student voices or the voices of others in your audio podcast (or video as described below) be sure to obtain their permission and parent permission to openly share/publish the recording on the Internet’s World Wide Web. Sample permission forms are available on the OklaEd Learning Showcase website.

3. Record a Short Video

Use a smartphone or tablet to record a short video about something you learned from Bob. Again like the audio podcast option, consider recording just five minutes or less, and follow this format:

  1. Your name and where you live now
  2. How you knew Bob Sprankle
  3. Something you learned from Bob

After you record the video, upload it to YouTube and include the hashtag #BobTaughtMe. That will allow others to find the videos with a YouTube search. I’ll create a YouTube playlist of these videos and add it to the website in upcoming weeks.

4. Share a Blog Reflection

Bob was an avid blogger! Share about something you learned from Bob on your own blog, or create a new blog and make one of your first posts this reflection about Bob’s impact on your life. To insure others can find and read your post, and possibly provide feedback for YOU, please share the link to your post:

  1. On Twitter using the hashtag #BobTaughtMe
  2. On Facebook, directly posting it to Bob’s Facebook page
  3. By completing this short (3 question) Google Form, which permits anyone to view the results including the blog post link after submitting a link.

5. Share a Sketchnote or Photo

In the past couple years, Bob become an avid artist sharing drawings and sketchnotes regularly on his Facebook page. Share something Bob taught you via a drawing, sketchnote, or photo. Share it directly on Twitter using the hashtag #BobTaughtMe. If you post it elsewhere, share the link using the same Google Form mentioned in suggestion #4 above.

6. Make & Share Something Else Creative

Bob was passionate about creativity and student voice. Make and share something else that creatively shares something you learned from Bob or how he impacted your life. If you can, share it using one or more of the methods described above.

With the Christmas holidays / winter break (for northern hemisphere dwellers) there may be some days ahead when you’ll have some extra time on your hands. Take some time and share with others how Bob Sprankle taught you. There’s a good chance others will take time to read, watch, listen, and enjoy whatever you create and share.

This is an invitation I’m confident Bob would approve of.

Dean Shareski and Bob Sprankle.jpg by willrich, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  willrich 







One response to “An Invitation: Share #BobTaughtMe”

  1. Jemima Williams Avatar
    Jemima Williams

    We met some years ago on a Surgical Mesh Support Group. Bob inspired so many of us, everyday. He and I always had a saying ‘Keep Looking Up ! ‘ …. Mesh has robbed so many of us and destroyed so many lives, but we’ve met so many good and loving people, whom we will hold close to our hearts forever. Bob was and is SO loved by every one of us.
    Bob taught my husband and I how to Skype! ….. Always there for a ‘Techie’ lesson or a word of encouragement.
    He loved everyone. We all miss him. Gone too soon, but his light will shine forever <3