commentary reflection Tyson Seburn  

Me manifesto

I’m going to read you a story, our story.  As you listen, I hope you’ll share what comes to mind. The more people who do, the more we’ll all benefit.

To interact with this story…
(and ultimately make the most of it), you will have to click here to proceed to the source recording on Soundcloud.  You’ll also have to log in to Soundcloud, which you can do at the click of a button through the Facebook login option (nothing gets added to your Facebook page, but your Facebook image does show on the track’s comments, which is a nice touch) or by signing up through a separate email address. In the end, you’ll be glad you did (see here for reasons why).

How this story works…
As you listen, you’ll see an orange shading follow along (on the soundcloud site itself) or a dark blue one on the embedded soundcloud wave below the wave indicating the point in the story we’re at.  At certain points in the story, I’ll leave a silent space.  When you hear (and see!) this space, click the blue/grey comment bar under the where orange shading is progressing and type in a word or phrase that suits that space for you. You’ll then see your comment left at that point.  If you need extra time (you may – I only left 7 seconds of space each time), you can click the track’s pause button.  It will be most meaningful if you wait until after the entire track has played before you focus on previous comments.

Once all is said and done…
You can listen to the story again using the embedded file here and read the comments left by anyone who participates.  What you’ll get by seeing all the differences between comments is obviously an almost choose-your-own-adventure story, but also many other manifestos to reflect on, helping you build your own.


My Me Manifesto is what this story represents:

  • collaboration between individuals for learning, be they fellow teachers or my students;
  • reflection on past experience and the process of learning; and
  • inspiration, which I hope participating in this interactive story with this interactive tool has sparked.
Leave a comment using FB here or WP below:)

33 thoughts on “Me manifesto

  1. Baiba

    Brilliant idea, Tyson, very creative!
    But the commenting part did not work for me. I was not allowed to write a comment though I could read your “answer” for the gap. And… the moving shade was bluish grey on my computer, not orange 🙂
    I use Firefox.

    1. seburnt

      Thanks, Baiba… did you read the “To interact with this story” part and follow its instructions? I’m thinking you didn’t. 😉

  2. Baiba

    You are absolutely right! I behaved like a teenager who rushes to the task w/o reading the instructions 🙂

    1. seburnt

      Haha. I knew it. But don’t feel bad; we all do this sometimes when we’re excited by the task. 😉

  3. Louise Taylor

    Brilliant idea, Tyson. It’s been a while since I actually re-visited/re-visualised that first English classroom.

    1. seburnt

      Thanks for participating, Louise! =) I’m excited to see everyone’s contributions, but not just yet.

  4. Cecilia Lemos

    So creative, Ty!!! I really enjoyed forcing my memory to remember it all. It had been such a long time since I had last thought about that first teaching job (which started out as something to help me make some money while in college and turned out to be my real calling).

    Thanks for that!

    1. seburnt

      Yes, me too (in the long time perspective). I haven’t yet added in my own answers. I think I’ll do so after others because I didn’t want to influence anyone. I really thought about how one could deductively see their own manifesto and perhaps do so of others too. I think the answers given here may say alot about what people really feel about how they approached teaching before and how it may have modified over time.

  5. Rembrandt

    A very cool idea and easy to follow instructions to participate! Definitely I have some food for thought about my own manifesto thanks to your story.

    1. seburnt

      Thanks, Rembrandt. I’m glad you took the time to participate. =)

  6. Tara Benwell

    You always said we should use Sound Cloud. This was a fantastic way of proving how useful it can be with learners. Loved it! I would have liked more time to think! (longer pauses)

    1. seburnt

      That’s why I suggested you pause the track if you needed more time. 😉

  7. Brad Patterson

    This is awesome, Ty. Your creativity with your blog inspires me. Not at all easy to come up with new ideas that match with sharing resources and involving your community.

    Really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and hearing your voice. It was a fun reminder of how close our accents are, and yet, as when I met Tara the “out” sounds rang beautifully canadian and it gave me a smile (my best bud in China for 3 years was from Toronto).

    To add my 2 cents, the character in your manifesto image is 宝 which means precious. The top line actually means a house or cover/like a roof. Underneath is the character for “jade”. So, something that is precious is what we keep under a roof. Likewise, country in chinese is similar: 国. You’ll notice the “jade” in the center, but this time protected by four walls. So a country was originally the town or district walls or GREAT WALL that protected the king’s jewels… just for a bit more fun, king in chinese is 王… so jade is just a little added line on a king: 王 and 玉.

    Cool, eh? 😉

    1. seburnt

      That is very cool! I was expecting (or hoping) for your commentary on the character in my title. I tried to distinguish whether it was the one I wanted or not. When I searched for ‘manifesto’ in Google images, a link to an art website came up with this character overtop of the author’s menu item for ‘manifesto’. I was skeptical that it exactly meant that, but also wondered why they’d use it there if not true. So I used an online translator to get the Chinese character for ‘manifesto’. Though the two characters didn’t entirely match up, they looked close enough and figured the difference would have come more down to the cursive aspect of the one in my title. Thanks for your explanation though; it’s very cool how Chinese works.

      It’s funny you picked up on the ‘out’. I know we say it less pronounced than our US neighbours, but it’s not as extreme as ‘oot’ and if you think so, I’ll kick you. 😉

      1. Brad Patterson

        Kick me 😉

        You know, the cursive script is a tricky one, and it tricked me here. The character above is not 宝 but 宣 which are close, but not too close either. So, yep, 宣 does mean declaration of manifesto.

        Now yer chinese students reading this are gonna laugh at me 😉 Good stuff as always, Ty!

        1. seburnt

          Aww, it’s ok Brad. I’m sure your explanation it still as valid as ever, about the other character. I’m always impressed by what you know.

  8. Shelly Terrell

    Absolutely brilliant! You’ve just upped the level of creativity displayed this year! I think this is going to be an incredibly strong year for us! I’ll post my comments soon! Thanks so much Tyson! You’re amazing and meeting you was one of the best experiences of my life.

    1. seburnt

      It’s funny, when I made this, its creativity factor didn’t occur to me, but several people have said so–always heart-warming to be told of unexpected positivity.

      I’m glad you liked it and look forward to your added comments. Though I’m not sure meeting me really qualifies as one of your best experiences, I’m glad we’ve both been inspired and affected each other in several ways. =)

  9. Naomi Epstein

    This is amazing! Now I know why everyone was excited about this post! I kind of behaved like a student, thinking the instructions look long, it may involve registering for something, so I’ll look at it later…
    Such a clever idea AND
    It was great to hear YOUR VOICE! Your students must adore the way you speak so clearly!

    1. seburnt

      I know how it is – you see a lengthy post (though this one wasn’t very long) and think, I’ll read it over when I have more time. Often I don’t get back to these lengthy posts, but I’m really glad you did. =) Thanks for the compliments. Didn’t you hear my voice before on the unfabricated sentences post? 😉

      1. Naomi Epstein

        Oh, true, I guess I did hear your voice then but this was different, this was storytelling mode. Different kind of reading!
        That was good too!

        1. seburnt

          Yes – I also normally speak much more quickly. 😉

  10. sharon noseley

    I can’t believe you didn’t consider yourself creative!
    Firstly, it was soooo creative of you to introduce this tool to us all and secondly, you created a mini story that made me reflect on my past teaching years and stop,think and reflect! Thank you!

    I m particularly interested in YLs and loved this example of a tool I could use with them to create their own stories..with guidance from me as their level would struggle to write their own complete story….I’m gonna put it to the test!!

    1. seburnt

      /shucks/ =) It’s not that I didn’t consider myself creative, but rather that creativity didn’t really factor into my decision to make this.

      I’m very happy to hear that this use of Soundcloud (and the tool itself, ultimately) is being so well received. I’ve introduced it in a few places and people seem to like it, but haven’t really found its particular use in their contexts (previously I presented it more in terms of an EAP listening and writing context). I wanted to think of a less specialised function and some way to facilitate everyone’s reflection on their own manifestos. So glad it’s working.

      Thanks for taking the time to participate and comment, Sharon!

  11. […] 4C by Tyson Seburn […]

  12. Eileen Murphy

    Hi Tyson,

    Am joining in the conversation very late here but thanks so much for sharing this – great tool and I loved the suggestions in your presentation too. Will be getting a mention in the ‘speaking tools’ section of my essay and I hope to use it this summer in teaching 🙂

    1. seburnt

      I’m so glad you took a look, Eileen. I like the idea of being mentioned in an MA paper–show me, show me! After yet another weekend off (I’ve been visiting my folks), I’m ready to get back into hardcore reading and writing.

      1. Eileen Murphy

        The mention is in 😉 Thanks again.

        1. seburnt


  13. Kaplan PLI workshop | 4C in ELT

    […] Soundcloud ( – practical example Me Manifesto […]

  14. 12 posts from 2012 I love | 4C in ELT

    […] Me manifesto – What you’ll get … is obviously an almost choose-your-own-adventure story, [and] many other manifestos to reflect on, helping you build your own. (Seburn) My first post this year, for Shelly Sanchez Terrell’s 30 Goals Challenge for 2012, showcased practical ways for using Soundcloud, a tool I recommended repeated in 2011, with students. So many participated. I loved it. […]

  15. Jennifer

    Love this! Will definitely try this out with my students. Thanks! Just wondering whether anyone has tried using blogging in their writing classrooms and if so, how did it go?

    1. Tyson Seburn

      Hi Jennifer – Thanks for the comment about Me Manifesto and Soundcloud. Also, I’m sure quite a few people have used blogging with students for writing, though I doubt you’ll get much response in this post. You might try joining the #tleap community ( and posting your question there.

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