Collecting Video Vines Together


I know this is probably obvious to others, but I discovered that all of the short Vine videos I had been making as part of the Making Learning Connected MOOC were not just online at Vine, but also were sitting as files in my Video folder on my iPad. So, I took them, popped them into the iMovie App, and created a larger (which is relative, given the size of Vine videos) video collection. It’s kind of odd to see them all together, though.

Peace (on the vine),

The MOOC Meme Collaboration

For the past few weeks (more in past weeks than in recent weeks), fellow explorers in the Making Learning Connected MOOC have been making memes about what we are doing. Here is the full collection (so far), created in Google Drive as an example of collaboration:

Peace (in the meme),

My Credo: I Believe in Change and Collaboration

MOOC Credo WordCloud

For this Make Cycle in the Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration (MOOC), Terry Elliott and I are asking folks to explore their beliefs and credos around the principles of Connected Learning. These include the values inherent in the principles, the issues of equity and access, and participation in the networks. That’s a lot of ideas to grapple with, but Terry’s blog post — which you can read here — gives a nice “map” of how one might go about doing that.

For me, I turned to the “This I Believe” podcasting idea, writing a short essay as I thought about how what I believe in coincides with the principles of Connected Learning. I then decided to create a VoiceThread, opening up my beliefs to others to add to, comment on, or share their own beliefs and credos. I recorded the audio in Audacity, first, and then imported the file into my Voicethread (in case you are wondering). The image is a word cloud of my text. I used Word It Out to create the cloud.

I invite you, too, to add to the thread (you need an account, and then you can click on “comment” to add your voice, text and more).

And tonight (Monday), we are hosting a live “Make with Me” session on Google Hangout with Chris Lawrence, of the Mozilla Foundation, and co-MOOC facilitator Chad Sansing to talk about credos, beliefs and more. (Hangout happens from 8-9 p.m Eastern (5-6 p.m. Pacific/ 6-7 p.m. Mountain/ 7-8 p.m. Central and it will be embedded at the MOOC, along with a chat program that is open to anyone.)

Peace (in the credo),


Reflecting on the Importance of Maps

My Twitter Map Collage

We’ve had maps on our minds at the Making Learning Connected MOOC this week. You’d be surprised (or not, if you are in the MOOC) by the range of mapping that went on — from typical geographical maps, to metaphorical maps, to maps that were flowcharts mapping out an idea. And lots more in-between.

Maps are interesting things, aren’t they? They help us shape our world. We make maps to put ideas and people and places into some semblance of order and connections. Maps are heuristics, a way to make sense of things that at first seem beyond making sense. Maps are also place markers. They document where we’ve been, and where we are going, and how we are going to get there.

In terms of the principles of Connected Learning, what makes maps so important is that they can show connections forged between ideas and between people. In the collage above, which I created early on in the week and then never posted, notice the bottom right image map. This comes from a service that will map out connections from Twitter (Mentionmap), and I’m struck by how important those people have become to my professional growth as a teacher. I turn to folks in my network a lot for help, for advice, for sounding board ears. You can’t quite see all of the smaller connections, but there are tons of folks that I orbit around on a regular basis. That’s something I know without having this map, but the map helps me see those connections from a new angle, and it documents where I am right now. (And the site allows you to click deeper into connections, moving through the nodes of people and hashtags — that’s something the static image does not show.)

The top map (via Tweetsmap) in the collage shows followers from around the world. That map is not nearly as useful and as interesting to me as the other one because I don’t “see” connections in the top one. I just see data points, and data points without context are not all that useful. In the bottom map, in the live version, you can follow the linking lines, and watch as other connections unfold, and the web that comes into play makes you realize that we are immersed in the connected educator movement. The map makes that more visible than ever.

The other day, I was thinking about maps in connection to literature because my youngest son and I were immersed in “reading” a map that is part of a book we are reading aloud (The Familiars). He was running his finger along the river crossing the world, and asking about the names of these imaginary places, and I realized how important this map was to him, the listener of this story, as we situate ourselves as readers to a magical place beyond our view. This map was a document we come back to regularly as we read, following the heroes on their journey. The same thing happens with maps in other books we read. When we start a read-aloud, we often turn to the first and last page, searching for a map to orientate us to the story.

The question of whether making maps is “writing” and interpreting maps is “reading” — and thus, part of literacy came up in a few discussions this week — and I would argue, yes. What about you?

Peace (along the terrain),


Blogwalking at the Making Learning Connected MOOC

(with apologies to my good friend, Gail Desler, who uses the moniker Blogwalker for her blog.)
clmooc blogwalk
Yesterday, one of the questions I wondered about is whether folks in the Making Learning Connected MOOC are writing and sharing in spaces beyond the typical field of vision. The answer is “yes” and one of those spaces are on their blogs. There is a Blog Hub at the main MOOC website, but I was also curious about how to collect all of those blogs together. I decided to use Jog the Web and encourage you to take a blogwalk through the field of blogs, where folks are doing sharing and reflecting.

Go to the CLMOOC Blogwalk Jog the Web site

Another view on Jog the Web is the Index view.

Go to the Index View of the CLMOOC Blogwalk

If you are in the MOOC and blogging, be sure to add yours to the Blog Hub and drop me a note here, so that I can add you into the Blogwalk, too.

Peace (in the tour),


Five Questions on Friday for the Making Learning Connected MOOC

Dear MOOC,

How are you? It’s about about three weeks now since you were launched, and I was there right at the start. Actually, I was there right before the start, too, helping to plant some of the seeds and hoping you would find some roots.  You have! It’s been pretty amazing to watch you grow as more and more people add ideas and connections. Today is Friday, which is a Find Friday idea that Anna came up with to connect those of us in you with more of us in you — sort of like a Spider’s Web of connective threads. Today, Anna asks us to consider asking some questions about you, and I figured, who better to ask, MOOC my friend, than you?

So, Mooc, my friend, I have a few points of inquiry that are on my mind:

  • Is there demographic diversity in the MOOC? It may be my own impressions, but participants seem to be mostly white Americans. This is a topic that I wonder about as a facilitator of you, most of all, because it forces us to examine our invitational messages, our openness, and our outreach into diverse communities. We want more voices and more perspectives. This question does not mean what you are is not rich with experience and with creativity because, well, just take a look, and you’ll see that it is. It’s amazing. Still, how can/could we have expanded the possibilities even further and could we have done more to help bring in more cultural diversity, MOOC?
  • Why are you so Google Plus-centric? I have to admit, MOOC, that being part of you and the Teach the Web MOOC has brought me new appreciation for Google Plus as a place for an online community. I wasn’t a huge user before, but I am now. There’s a lot to like. Still, given that “open” is your middle name, we were hoping that more folks would find other spaces in which to collaborate and reflect. Twitter is your distant cousin, and blogs seem a far third. Is there a fourth space that people are using? (Is anyone using Facebook for you, MOOC?)
  • Is it OK that much of the activity seems chaotic? I suspect you don’t mind, MOOC, since you thrive on decentralized activities but I wonder if some people are turned off by the way each Make Cycle unfolds in a flurry of activity? While we try to make clear that people can enter at any time, I wonder if that is the message newcomers get from the activity. MOOC, if you were to stumble upon yourself right now — in the third Make Cycle — what would you think? Would you feel invited to participate?
  • How can we better encourage folks to break off into smaller, interest-driven groups? We seem to cluster around each other in large groups, in a positive way, and yet, one of the hopes, MOOC, is that folks would begin to see others with similar passions and similar interests, and create pathways to connect. Is there something more we can do/should have done to set the stage for that kind of small group setting?
  • What will happen, MOOC, when the last Make Cycle comes to a close in early August? Will the energy of you keep the ideas alive so that the “making” and “connecting” will filter into classroom experiences? Ultimately, that’s why we put you in motion, MOOC, for people this summer. First, to give folks time to play. Second, to encourage all of us to consider implications for learning environments.

So, MOOC, there you are — a few questions on my mind. Be sure to write back, won’t you?

Until I hear from you, happy making and joyful connecting, and always remain open and collaborative in spirit and in deeds!

Peace (in questions),

PS — the image above was created with the Newspaper Clipping site. Give it a try, MOOC, and make your own news.


Mapping the MOOC and the Front Yard, Plus a Poem

I am trying to see mapping from a few perspectives this week. One one hand, I have a collaborative map project going with the Making Learning Connected MOOC in which I have created a map with Google and opened it up to the public, inviting MOOC participants to “pin themselves” on the map and consider adding a six word memoir. It’s been nice to begin to situate where people live, putting some geographical ties to the words and sharing that has been flowing in the MOOC adventure.
mooc map

And then, inspired by a fellow MOOC participant, I decided to try out the idea of something on a much smaller scale. This “learning walk” is from my front yard. I took my camera and shot a bunch of images, straight down to the ground, of my front yard and then stitched them together into a collage (I ended up downloading a free app – Picture Collage). I really love how the whole captures the essence of the yard, and how one can find elements of beauty in the small focus, too.
In both activities, I was seeking to make some sense of my world — from my connections in online spaces via the MOOC to connections to the soil and pavement of my house, and both senses of mapping have value, I think, in that they bubble up information in a way that puts things in perspective.

Finally, all these mapping activities reminded me of a poem I once wrote, in which the mapping idea went very inward.

On the Cartographer’s Map
Listen to the poem

This creeping cord
of tension slips
its knot
and moves as a snake to the heart
I’d fall apart
but the world needs
an Atlas to keep it balanced
(precarious as it is
and such a reluctant hero, burdened)
Always there is this sense of renewal
just around the bend
with outstretched hands waiting
to grab this globe and spin me free
on the cartographer’s canvas –
crisscrossed with longitude –
layered with latitude –
I am wondering all the while where the edge is
where I will fall off
and tumble into the nothingness.

Peace (in along the lines),

Maps, Music and Me

We’ve been asked to make a map this week as part of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, and I wonder if people are struggling with the idea. I’ve started any number of maps that seemed like they might be interesting (one was a map of my childhood apartment complex; another is an ongoing attempt to map out some elements of Twitter), but I didn’t get very far. I think I have struggled with how to make the map have deeper levels, to move beyond the literal. This is not part of the assignment, but I felt myself wanting to do that more and more.

So, taking a cue from the concept that mapping can come in many forms, I wondered if I could use the metaphor of music for a way to map out my life, or at least, views on life. Music has long been part of the fabric of myself — from playing music, to writing music, to just plain loving music.

I decided to do it in comic form:
Maps, Music and Me
Peace (in the melody),

PS — Joe created this cool playlist about mapping.



Collecting Stopmotion Makes

Over at the Making Learning Connected MOOC,  folks have been dabbling with Stopmotion as part of their playful “makes” and I’ve been collecting them as they are shared. Check out this emerging playlist:

Peace (in the frames),


Remixing the Sunday Comics

Yesterday, as I was reading the newspaper on Sunday morning, I had one of those “make epiphanies” that come as a result of being part of the Making Learning Connected MOOC. I had the Sunday Comics in my hand and I began to wonder what it would be like to remix the comics. What if I cut out frames and then put them back together, creating a new narrative? I dove with with scissors and tape, but I have to admit: figuring out how to tell a story with assorted parts from other stories … that was difficult and the thinking took me quite a bit of time.

Here’s what I came up with:
Sunday Comix Remix2

And, in the spirit of the MOOC and the spirit of the comics, I decided to reflect a bit on the experience in the form of a comic:
A Comic Reflection about a Comic Remix

Peace (in the frames),