Enter the Rhizome: Roots Take Hold

I’m checking out a new P2PU offering by Dave Cormier (whose work around open learning has inspired many) around Rhizomatic Learning. It’s a term I heard folks using during our Making Learning Connected MOOC but I have not yet come to fully understand it. I had the sense that it means a circular learning pattern — where ideas spark ideas spark ideas — and there is a keen unfettered world of discovery to be had, if we can only be open to anything.

Or, you know, something like that.

So, in I go.

First, Dave’s great introduction is here but I popped it into Vialogues to add some comments. I invited others in, too, but we’ll see if anyone takes me up on it.

Earlier in the week, I read some posts by Dave and looked up the word (online, of course) and then began to consider Rhizomes in terms of a poem. Here you go. (The poem looks more polished here).

Rhizomatic Journeys: Roots Take Hold
By Kevin Hodgson

buried here
beneath the ground …
… roots take hold …

fingers like fibers
reaching out ….
… roots take hold …

interests collide
paths, align …
… roots take hold …

we move in starlight, together,
here in this undiscovered country
navigating without maps or stars
or compass points north

we close our eyes
sensing if not seeing …
… roots take hold …

move into the unknown
community as nodes …
… roots take hold …

discovery as learning
learning, discovery …
… roots will take hold …

we learn our way, together,
here in these distant connections
nurtured with passion and interest
our compass points north

And I did a podcast, of course.

You come, too.

Peace (in poetic understanding),

PS — Terry Elliott took my poem and did something cool with it. I’ll share that out tomorrow. But I am starting to envision rhizomatic thinking in terms of my own views around remix culture and collaborative learning, and how the threads — though disparate and global — can begin to come together to make meaning out of the parts.

Making is Connecting in a Digital Age

Making is Connection by David Gauntlett
We’re exploring connections between the Make Movement and writing/literacies in a digital age in one inquiry group that I am part of this summer. I thought a video by David Gauntlett (the image is a screenshot from the video, embedded below) really established some firm connections along key points: that agency is in the hands of the creator to make something new out of existing materials (even digital material); that the activity of making shifts consumers away from mass-produced materials and therefore, provides an individualistic sense of creation; and that the social element of digital literacies has the potential to increase engagement and heighten the creative element of making something that will impact the world.

Gauntlett’s lecture is worth a view,  I think, particularly in his criticism of television as a tool
“that does not allow everyday people to share their vision” as opposed to new media sites that do allow for that (although he admits that we should not fall into the dichotomy of television-bad/digital media good – there’s a lot of crap in digital realms just as there is a lot of quality programming on television). His lecture had me thinking about the ways to make more connections between how we encourage our students as creators of content, and not just passive users.


Peace (in the making),


Consuming versus Creating

I’m in charge of a writing prompt over at a P2PU inquiry group around digital writing. My topic is to connect writing with “making,” and creating, and as part of that discussion, I shared my view that we need to make sure we are using technology to provide avenues for shifting kids from consumers to creators. A link to this chart by Gary Hayes was an interesting connection, too, for while it looks at the ways that people participate (or don’t) in online spaces, it also maps out the role of consumer versus creator.

Myth of Non-Participation

One of the questions I pose to our inquiry group: where are YOU on the chart? What about you?

Peace (in the creating),


The Changing/Unchanging Literacies of Our Times

The creator of this video — Frank Romanelli — shared his work in an online inquiry group I am part of. It’s a fantastic and intriguing video — from content to presentation. Notice how the theme is the ever-increasing importance of teachers even as literacy is undergoing change. The power of writing — in whatever form — still remains a powerful force of expression and understanding.

Peace (in the literacy),

Curation and Our Digital Lives

I’m involved in an online inquiry over at P2PU around “Curating our Digital Lives” and we are just now exploring our conceptions of curation. The video is part of what is being shared to get us started as we think about how we collect, organize and share information in digital spaces. I am also adding in the idea of identity, and how identity shifts in digital spaces, and impacts our considerations of curation.
This quote from the video jumped out at me:

“(I) find the most interesting things in this onslaught of messy information.” – Rex Sorgatz

Peace (in the filters),

The Recursive Response System

An interesting thing happened yesterday. I posted an introduction to a P2PU study group that I am part of around digital curation. I used a webcomic to create my intro (see yesterday’s post). And then, my friend Terry, who is part of the study group, took my comic and used a screencapture program to respond to my points about identity and curation. His views of my points was fascinating to listen to.
I decided to go another step, and grabbed his video of his response, put it into Vialogues (which allows for discussions of videos), and then responded to his responses, which he (of course) added further responses, too. It’s an interesting concept, how these tools allow for interactions on a variety of levels (from comic to video and voice to chat), and I appreciate Terry for coming along for the ride with me as I explored the possibilities (plus, he gave me a new hat — see the end of the video to understand). You can join in, too.

Peace (in the response),