Archive for eci831

The year of the MOOC – feeding the two wolves…

Posted in etmooc with tags , , , on January 14, 2013 by onepercentyellow

Wow, this world moves FAST!  “Keeping up with the Joneses” is like chasing the tail of a rainbow in this place.  I was only gone for 8 months… what has happened here!!!???

This time last year I was into the digital world up to my neck.  I had been living in Montreal with wifi in my room, participating in the infamous and highly inspiring #eci831, breaking into the #ds106 crew by stalking them on DTLT today and writing and reflecting deeply on the digital project.

Then it hit me.  The gaze of a lovely man across a crowded street… and I was hit dead in the face with extreme PRESENCE.  Add to that a long bout without internet in my house and a month-long trip to the shop for my macbook and BOOM!  8 months gone and the whole digital landscape changed.  Ok, so Twitter is still around, but Coursera? Udemy?  Maybe these were around, but back to that explosion word… BOOM!

So here I am, still wrestling with the extreme presence that happens in the analogue world when some chance meeting changes the fabric of your existence, and wrestling myself back into the digital world – and not just Facebook (which has somehow taken a larger and larger chunk of my digital time.  So much that I’ve requested an intervention from my roommate who will change my password sometime today!).

This is the digital world…. and I need to be here.  I have situated my research here.  I have built my masters degree in here.  I have people in here who are interested in the work I’m doing.  But I’m torn by the draw to the analogue.  By the presence of people in the flesh.  By the draw of smiles on the street as I play my ukulele.  Our digital lives always leech time from the analogue… and vice versa.  They are at odds these two – like the wolves of the old Cherokee legend:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Now, I’m not suggesting that either of these – the digital or the analogue – is evil… but there certainly seems to be a war going on in my own experience of my multiple lives.  The digital calls me with the voice of a professional.  It asks me to plug into my computer and spend time interacting in a virtual space.  I begin to care about the person I create in there – the thought of deleting my digital self is as easy as deciding to destroy my ego!  The analogue asks me what I’m really creating in there – in all those 0’s and 1’s and asks what it contributes to the relationships I’m creating here and now.  A question that came up repeatedly in the series I did called The Social Artist that brought out concerns about doing Liberal Arts education in a digital space.

Of course this is all further complicated by my nomadic lifestyle and the fact that I rely on the digital world to keep my multiple lives on multiple continents prepared for my return.  But perhaps this is the big question I’m really asking… where are my roots?  And is it possible to root yourself in the digital realm… really right now, that’s the best I’ve got.

 

The Social Artist – IS COMPLETE!

Posted in eci831, Online with tags , , , , , on January 11, 2013 by onepercentyellow

About a year ago, I started on what turned out to be a daunting journey.  For Alec Couros’ #eci831 class, I interviewed 7 individuals from the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta, and 3 individuals from the University of Mary-Washington (UMW) in order to flesh out a series of descriptive words to aid me in conducting a course review for the UMW’s Online Learning Initiative (OLI).  I also used the interviews to create a series of videos meant to introduce the two campuses to one another, a role Nancy White calls being a “social artist”.  This involves creating a space that allows others to come together to learn from each other.

When I began the project, I had little experience in either conducting interviews or editing videos, and I quickly realized the huge time investment required.  I have since read in professional video editing, each minute of video requires roughly one hour of editing.  For me, a beginner, it took me twice that time!  In addition, the motivation to complete such a project long after my course was finished required that I draw on my own self-directed learning skills.

Moving forward, I’m excited to see the developments in the OLI since I participated in the course review a year ago.  Subsequent cohorts have added to the list of Liberal Arts values  and have begun to contribute to the teaching ideas page.  The digital community at UMW is growing, and I look forward to conducting my final research project for my MAIS program – a case study of the OLI.  I have submitted a Fulbright scholarship application to support me in this project, and hope that my research will feed into Teagle Foundation research being conducted into digital education by the COPLAC group.

The world of digital education is expanding rapidly with large universities participating in the MOOC movement, but Liberal Arts has a particular contribution to make in this digital environment.  It centers on community and connections and will push us to ask the big questions in the digital realm: Who am I? What does it mean to be human?  What does it mean to interact and contribute to my community?

So here is the link to the complete Social Artist Series.  Thanks to all who participated and followed along!

The Social Artist – Interactivity

Posted in eci831, MAIS with tags , , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by onepercentyellow

Learning happens when the world bumps up against what you already know.  In our clumsy stumble through life we’re constantly colliding with new ideas in text, in music and video, in objects around us, and in other people.  The thrill of having your own notions of existence confirmed, and the conscious-raising experience of understanding a resistant view of the world is one of the great drives of education.  We want to understand our world no only for ourselves, but for each other.

In the educational world, it’s tempting to submit this interaction to a top-down structure that reinforces power relations found throughout society, but one of my favourite pedagogues, Paulo Freire, argues (with the help of Erich Fromm) that this type of interaction is a drive toward “necrophily”.

“The necrophilous person is driven by the desire to transform the organic into the inorganic, to approach life mechanically, as if all living persons were things… He loves control, and in the act of controlling he kills life” (Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 77).

It is not enough to simply have interaction among the players in an educational enterprise.  We must encourage authenticity, presence, and a drive toward a dialogical method of teaching that will encourage a love of life through a profound curiosity and desire to interact with ourselves, one another, and our world.

ART – keeping you real since the internet began

Posted in eci831, MAIS, Online, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2012 by onepercentyellow

Well, it’s that time again: the beginning of the semester.  While I have not signed up for my next MAIS course, I have been enticed into participating FOR REAL THIS TIME in #ds106, the MOOC with the MOST (other than ECI831 – sorry, all… @courosa still holds the special place in my digital heart!).  This coming as I prepare to present on autobiographical theory and digital identity development, or as I like to think of it – living the autobiographical self.  I put out the question – what makes people real in the digital world – to the #ds106radio audience on my birthdaycast.

So I have finally made my first true entry into the #ds106 world… I AM REAL!!! I can make an ANIMATED GIF!!! With @cogdog’s help, of course.
#makesomeartdammit

The Social Artist

Posted in eci831 with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by onepercentyellow

In June of this year I returned from my world travels to my undergraduate university, the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta in order to volunteer at the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) annual general meeting.  I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to connect with people who may be able to help in my investigation of the role of narrative in liberal arts education.  I knew that should I attend this meeting, I would be inspired by initiatives at other institutions, and find a way into the COPLAC group.  Much to my surprise, I knew one of the speakers!  I had been following Jim Groom (@jimgroom) on Twitter due to the activity around his digital storytelling course, #ds106, and he was scheduled to speak, along with John St. Claire and Steve Greenlaw (@sgreenla), on the Online Learning Initiative (OLI) at the University of Mary-Washington (UMW).  While Jim was not on the campus in person, choosing instead to Skype into the presentation, I was able to continue the conversation with him via Twitter, and came to volunteer as a reviewer for the upcoming online course.

In the meantime, I continued my masters work, taking Dr. Alec Couros’ (@courosa) Educational Technology and Social Media course, #eci831.  For this course, I created a proposal to broaden my role in the OLI.  Since the summer I had been investigating UMW’s online presence, and, being an online student myself, was quite impressed with the openness of their digital campus.  I wanted to not only assist the UMW with the review of their online learning initiative, I also wanted to showcase the possibilities for connected online space to the folks at Augustana.  In order to serve these two needs, I conducted a series of informal interviews regarding liberal arts values and the role of online learning.  I have compiled these interviews into short videos meant to not only inform my role as course reviewer, but also to digitally introduce, or e-troduce, these groups of people to each other.  In short, I want to become a social artist that helps link these two institutions.

I hope that in this space, interview participants as well as others who are interested in online learning and liberal arts will engage in a discussion of the topics presented.  Feel free to comment, even if it’s just a short hello.

And feel free to connect with each other!

@onepercentyello
@jimgroom
@sgreenla
@lethejerome
@sherbani

If you didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen.

Posted in eci831 with tags , , , , on December 19, 2011 by onepercentyellow

As I’m reflecting on the #eci831 experience and actually thinking about something like a grade for my participation, I realize that I may not have been as good a student as I thought. Not that I didn’t do a lot of wandering around the interwebs, connecting myself, exploring spaces of education, learning about digital learning theories, examining how others were using these theories, and determining what, of all of this, would be useful to me and to the analogue educators I am closest with. I certainly did that, but I didn’t capture all that here. Why is that a problem? Because if you didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen.

Over the term I wrote a paper on autobiographical theory in the online world, and came to the conclusion that the development of a digital autobiographical self requires a certain level of presence in the form of artifacts. The lived process, the trail of phrases and photos and links and videos that we leave behind as we play around in this world, is largely how we build an identity in absence. In many ways, this self is strewn around the internet. It lives a little over here in a reply to someone’s blog, and a little over there in a photo I put up, but it can be hard to pin down if I don’t create a home for myself – somewhere my friends can stop by and see me on a regular basis. I’m now coming to realize one of the great roles blogs can play in that development of self.

I’m thinking of it in terms of the way I roam around the world. In the last two years, I have lived in roughly 8 places in 4 countries. In the last year I have not lived in one place for more than 3 months at a time. I have drifted through town, absorbing, contributing, having fun, and sharing with others and then moving on. While I made connections with folks along the way, I have left little behind that they could point to in 5 years and say, “See, Leslie was here!” While there is something liberating about living like The Littlest Hobo, there is something to be said for building things. In that same time period, a friend has done amazing work on her back yard, another has been instrumental in a youth organization in B.C., another has helped develop a community art therapy program in Calgary.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that the things I have created have value. I know that I have made meaningful contributions to the world during this time, but I also know that I could be doing better. I could be building a tiny corner of the internet where I can call home. I can show what I have lived; I can share the beauty of the digital and analogue world; I can amass proof of the kind, sharing, safe, open people of the world and convince others that they need not be afraid. I can do this for myself and for others who may be interested in knowing what I’ve been up to for all this time! (MOM!!!).

So , as this “graded” moment passes, and I move into the space again as myself, I consider how I may use it as a showcase, a hearth, a kitchen table, a backyard oasis. I think of how this space will be visited, not only by others, but also how I will return to this space over time. Living as a gypsy I can’t carry much with me, but maybe I can stash a few artifacts here for safekeeping.

home in pink

a course in time

Posted in eci831 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by onepercentyellow

Is it a good thing if a reflection on your learning moves you to tears?  I think so.  It means that I have been affected by the course I have taken.  I have let myself be known and opened my perspective of the world to influence.  This has been a wonderful experience.  Here is my video reflection on my learning along with a long list of links directing you to the people and places on the web that have had a significant impact on my learning this semester.

I must give special thanks to the amazing gabyreel, a friend here in Montreal,  for giving me the idea of doing a stop-motion assignment.

in order of appearance: #ds106radio, david goa@gsiemens@shareskijohn francis@bryanjack@intrepidteacher@noiseprofessor@davecormierabject.ca@drgarcianomadopen oath@courosadtlttoday#ds106assignment bank@cogdogd’arcy norman@lethejerome@mburtis@jimgroompurposeful playpaulofreireepisode 86@giuliaforsythe@malynmawby@timmmmyboy@rushaw@sgreenla@sherbani, Sandra ReinSean@nancywhite#eci831.

and here’s the transcript:

Reflection on your learning is always so difficult because learning is for life.

School is a pilgrimiage.  It is the movement of the heart and mind in a particular way.

It requires wayfinding and sensemaking as there is no coheret whole. You have to find your own way.

And so we move from one temporary centre to another, never knowing who we will learn from.

But don’t worry… if something is important, it will resurface.

For me, this journey is a map of people.  Planetwalkers John Francis and the peace pilgrim have shared the road, showing me that the secret to finding a special place in life’s patterns depends on living in harmony with others and having the right attitude – that being wonder and humility.

I am indeed humbled by the beauty people create together around the world – and the affect that can have.   All through the power of sharing ourselves openly with one another.

I have shared john francis’ words with many over the term… maybe you can’t change the word by your actions alone, but you can change yourself.  And when you do, the world around you may change by trying to understand you, as we all try to understand each other.

For me, this is the base of rhizomatic learning.  When I change myself, though the interconnectedness of thought and knowledge, I have an effect on the beings around me.  Through the deep and broad roots that ground the human legacy in the earth, I can tap into ancient wisdom and by sharing those cashes with others, I shift the means of the whole.

Counter to what we have known, this is not a question of Who belongs here? rather it is a space where Free Range Students wander as nomads and encouter Free Range Teachers – our knowledge production happens in the space of everyday life. It is founded on an open oath that holds that the world’s knowledge is a public good – a part of the commons to which we all deserve equal access as beings on the planet.

Who is teaching me? Is the wrong question.  I both learn from and teach who I share with.

Who am I sharing with?

What am I sharing?

How am I sharing?

The DIY or do-it-yourself model seems cold – like a mechanical repository of contextless media – but the opportunity to be a producer puts the agency in my hands – am I producing something meaningful?  I guess that’s up to me to decide!

In the meantime, I get to participate to collaborate to contribute without boundaries or borders – d’arcy Norman

I am able to participate in live knowledge building on a daily basis with a group of peers – dave cormier

The point of it all is intellectual emancipation –  taking us to a place where we understand ourselves and our reasons for acting beyond ideology and beyond the commonplace. – Jerome melacon

One of the ways to reach this space of freedom is through art.  “poetry is nothing…..

Purposeful play helps liberate students and teachers from passivity – validating their experience by honouring the process.  It is a safe place to experiment and become a producer of knowledge. And from that production we begin to see and understand ourselves.

A gift of authentic human expression cannot be paralleled. It is a gift of self in the form of artifact.  And it is the foundation of the online life.  Sharing with one another authentically makes social truth transparent and makes a direct challenge at those who perpetuate lies.

“Let your actions reflect that which burns within you like a voice”

Quote by Paulo Freire “True revolution cannot fear the people, their expression, their effective participation in poer.  It must be accountable to them, ust speak frankly to them of its achievements, its mistakes, its miscalculations and its difficulties” (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, p. 128)

If I am free

I will choose to be free

With people who are not afraid

To be human

This is the growing space of learning.  This is where people are gathering.  It is a global space.  It is a space of existential revolution. It’s about discovery and change, community as curriculum, personal learning and emmersion and it’s a place where art is welcome, and sharing encouraged.  Where the artifacts of the lived process provide presence and authenticity.

This is the space of the social artists

I want to thank these social artists

You have introduced me to each other

You have introduced me to ideas

Validated my personal expressions of self

And made them meaningful

And showed me that they have meaning

I would especially like to thank Alec Couros for being my professor for the past 3 years that I have sat in on this class.  And to the 2011eci831 group, thank you for your presence and your willingness to embark on this educational journey.   And for letting me play my uke in class!!! Xoxo

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