Make Cycle 1 Reflection: Herding Cats with Curation

HowTo Flipboard Mag
This week has been an amazing thing to watch unfold with the Making Learning Connected MOOC (CLMOOC). I think I wrote last year about the sort of anxiety that teams of facilitators and designers of free, online courses have just before something launches, and you wonder: Is anyone going to come to this party?

Boy, they arrived, all right, and with Make Cycle leaders Chris Butts and Rachel Bear leading the way with a fantastic theme of creating “How To ….” projects, the bubbling expertise of participants came fast and furious, and a steady stream of participation rocked my email notification system all week, as updates flowed in from Google Plus, Twitter, the Blog Hub and other spaces where people are making and sharing and connecting. We know we don’t know all of what is going on, which is what makes our CLMOOC so interesting. There are many pockets of activity here, there, everywhere, and we honor that that is happening outside our field of vision, and we honor all of those who just want to lurk and hang out as viewers.

The difficult in this kind of system is: how do we even begin to curate the wonderful projects being shared out in these spaces? It’s a bit like herding cats. We struggled with this same idea last year, too. It’s part of the system of our collaborative ethos: We encourage you work to work in a “domain of one’s own” and yet, we would still love to archive and curate the work being created, as best as we can. That dichotomy is what we grapple with, rather happily, to be honest. We would not want to change it to a closed a system. Yet, this conundrum is tension in open networks, I think.

The How To projects are good example of this. With the shift in many of our states (mine included) to Common Core and a push for more expository text, these assorted media-infused How To Projects have the potential to be a gold mine of mentor texts for teachers and maybe for students, too. In our Twitter Chat the other night, I mentioned how I thought Chris and Rachel might want to collate the projects into an e-book or something, which Chris rightly responded by noting they had thought about that, but wondered: how does one even do that when the flow of projects is to furious and far-ranging and not in one place to begin with?

This idea continued to dance around in my head. I thought, maybe Diigo bookmarks as a collection? Or maybe Jog the Web? I thought about making a Table of Contents in a collaborative document, with links to individual projects. But I didn’t like any of those. They weren’t visual enough. They would not capture the magical energy of the projects. They didn’t honor the people who were knee-deep in the making.

Then I thought: Flipboard!

Why not create a Flipboard Magazine just for the How To Projects, and so, I did just that, and then spent a considerable amount of time going through our Google Plus community, adding projects into the magazine. That work reminded me of the range of projects and the vast talent that resides in the emerging CLMOOC community. Pretty amazing stuff, from tutorials on cooking, to parenting, to teaching, to so much more. And the look of Flipboard honors the work, I hope.

Come check out our CLMOOC How To Magazine on Flipboard. As more projects roll in, I will be adding them into the mix. Curation is as important as creation, and our CLMOOC community is hopefully the richer by seeing the larger picture of all of our projects merged together.

Peace (in the flip),

PS — Here is a Storify collection of the wide-ranging, informative Tweet Chat we had this week, with Chris and Rachel leading the way and Karen gathering up the tweets. Tweets are in reverse-chronological order, just so you know.



One Comment
  1. Wondered if you saw my G+ comment about where to go next with your 99 how Balloons in the original German. Shearing sheep this am. Making comments like this on rest breaks (shearing is really tough on the lower back).

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