Here is another project for this week’s Make Cycle for the Making Learning Connected MOOC. We don’t expect folks to do more than one, but it is neat if they can. I had this idea for a How To .. for music-related things, and this Haiku Deck is about how to rock the house and get people to dance.
How To Rock A Show And Get People To Dance – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Can you tell my band — Duke Rushmore — has a gig coming up? It’s next Friday, at a local brewery, where they open up the main floor, hire a band, give out free “samples,” send patrons home with free beer, and let the party rock for two hours before the whole thing shuts down. It’s an odd gig, but hey, it’s a gig!
Hey, if you live in Western Massachusetts, come on down to the Paper City Brewery next Friday night. If you don’t live in Western Massachusetts … CLMOOC Road Trip!
Peace (in the boogie),
I admit. I’m partial to flowcharts that explore odd ideas, and inflect humor into the choices. Some of the best ones that I come across these days are on the back page of Wired Magazine, and if appropriate (which is not always), I put those flowcharts up on a closet door in my classroom so that my students can read them. You should see them gather around, following the paths of decision-making.
There are all sorts of things going on when you compose/write a flowchart. You have to imagine a “conversation” with the “reader” who needs to make choices about which way to go. But you also realize that every reader will ultimately follow all of the paths, too, if only to figure out where things might have gone. The questions have to be written in an engaging way. You want to draw the reader in.
So, I decided that for the first Make Cycle of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, in which the them of the cycle is to create a “how to do something” project, I would create a flowchart that would explain how to create a snarky flowchart. Snark is hip on the Interwebz, and another difficult writing activity. If you go to far with snark, you lose the reader (no one wants to be made fun of) because you insult their intelligence. If you don’t go far enough, the snark loses its … snarkiness, and thus, the appeal. I’m not sure I found the middle here, but I tried.
This is how I went about making this flowchart (in the CLMOOC, we try to lay bare the process of making as part of our reflection):
- I began with a simple sketch on paper, knowing that my topic would be How to Make a Snarky Flowchart. I worked on some basic questions only, knowing more would come as I created the real chart;
- I opened up the Draw.io app in Google Docs (it’s one of those add ons you can know install). This app is designed for flowchart creating, although the artwork is very simple and rather boring;
- I dragged boxes, arrows and text into my flowchart project, trying to keep it to one page for easier viewing. Flowcharts work best when it is all in front of you, the whole crazy map of choices;
- Readability is key, so you don’t want too many lines zig zagging all over the place, and it helps if a few of the “loser” choices point together towards a single box. Working on the right text for that shared box took the most writing time, it turns out. It needs to be generic enough for multiple arrows and yet, still have a message;
- I then exported the flowchart from Draw.io (the file is now in my Google Docs, by the way) as a jpeg file and uploaded it into Flickr;
- Then, I wrote this post which I am writing right now and added the image and my bulleted points that I am writing this very moment in this very blog post, so I guess I better stop typing …. now … right now … stopping
What would you explain how to do? Come join the CLMOOC. It’s never ever too late to jump on in.
Peace (in the flow),
The Making Learning Connected MOOC (CLMOOC) is anchored on the idea of Make Cycles, which are activities sponsored by a handful of writing project sites and affiliated groups. The very first Make Cycle will launch later today (look for it as a newsletter in your email box) and there will be descriptions of what the Make Cycle looks like. There is a solid overview at the CLMOOC website worth reading.
Here is my own webcomic explanation of what that means, as told in comic form (modified a bit from last year):
As with everything CLMOOC-connected, what you make of any particular Make Cycle will be completely up to you, but we hope you dive in and make some cool things happen this summer.
Peace (in the Make),
The first days of the Making Learning Connected MOOC have already brought a stream of cool sharing and connections. As a facilitator, I try to keep an eye on posts, making sure everyone is being greeted into whatever space they share, and just keeping a pulse on things that might emerge (avatar creators, for example).
Yet, even for me, the open nature of our kind of Massive Open Online Collaboration can present the problem of “Where is the center of this whole thing?” Well, the easy answer is, there is no real center, although the main website and newsletters are anchors.
The better answer is, the center of the CLMOOC is YOU, the participant. Even if you are only lurking and observing, which we value, YOU are where things are happening, and no matter where YOU are, it’s the right place to be at the right time. It sounds sort of flip to say it that way, but we believe that to be true, and making YOU the center is the ethos of the entire development of the Make Cycles (which begin tomorrow, Monday) and the way the CLMOOC endeavor operates.
The graphic above a revamp of one I created last year, to try to visualize what that means. In our planning sessions, we talked about the emerging concepts of “A Domain of One’s Own” (a riff off Virginia Woolf) in which folks in digital spaces would ideally have their own spaces, which then connect in to something larger. You carve out identities, and then reach out to other communities and networks, expanding knowledge and connections as you see fit and as it makes sense for you.
Wherever you are, it’s the right place.
Peace (in the sharing),
We’re in the last week and a half of the school year, but we’re still making and creating in my classroom. Students are finishing up a short story project (theme: a person from history is stuck inside a game and the narrator has to go into the game and get them out). Part of the project is to make a media component to the story, and what they make is wide open. I offer some suggestions (make a video game, create a story/movie trailer, compose a comic, etc.) but leave it to them to decide what they want to do.
This chart is just another way of representing some options, and my classroom has been abuzz the last few days as students are working on the media projects and their short stories, with time running out on us.
The chart connects nicely to the launch of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, too, as the ethos of the collaboration is all about choice, making things of interest and sharing within a community.
Peace (in the share),
My youngest son has suddenly sparked an interest in Pokemon cards. I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of Pokemon cards and games, and worlds, and accept that this Pokemon universe is a kid’s world of knowledge. I’m Ok with that.
But I would love to steer him to make his own cards, and I remembered a site that Chad Sansing had shared with me a long time ago that allows you to do just that: make your own cards, online. The site was shared by someone else on Twitter this week, and I suddenly remembered Chad’s idea from last summer.
Check it out
So, I’ve been tinkering with the site, and it works OK. The trickiest part has been getting the image the right size so that it isn’t completely smooshed and flattened in the card. I’m still working on that. But my son (he’s away this weekend) will be thrilled by this activity. You can download the cards as image files, or share/publish them at the site.
Here’s one I made, using an art app on the Ipad. I was going for a saxophone-themed creature.
Here’s another I made for my friend, Terry, using Bitstrips to create an avatar of him as Captain Zeega.
Pretty nifty, even if I have no idea of the different powers and rules of the Pokemon universe.
Peace (in the cards),
As we gear up for the Making Learning Connected MOOC (#CLMOOC), I am dipping into another endeavor underway called 5 Habits of Highly Creative Teachers, and as part of those freeranging discussions, I went into Adobe Voice and created this short piece. It echoes something that my friend, Terry, often said last year, as the first #CLMOOC was about to launch: Make Something. Every Day. (or something close to that!)
Peace (in the create),
As local woodcarver Elton Braithwaite began working with our sixth graders on what has become an annual woodcarving project, he spends less time at the start talking about carving and more time talking about life itself, and how one needs to carry oneself as an artist at all times. I love this part of Elton’s visit, because has a fine way of connecting the themes we discuss all year into a meaningful art project that requires students to do all of the above.
Of course, safety with sharp tools is in there, too, but Elton, who grew up poor in Jamaica before staking out his name as an artist in this country, has many stories to tell of struggle and opportunity, and I am always grateful that our suburban kids get a chance to hang out for extended time with him, learning about making wood sculptures, yes, and also learning more about themselves and the possibilities of their lives ahead of them.
Plus, they make beautiful art.
Peace (in the carving),