Monday, August 15, 2016

Want To Make a Difference? Spend Time In Deeper Learning

Saturday I included this graphic in this article, and pointed to an annotation platform called NowComment, where I highlighted sections of the map, and offered comment to try to help readers build their own  understanding.

As my #clmooc friends Terry Elliott and Kevin Hodgson took a look and added their own comments, I responded. Thus, we've started a conversation around this strategy map, using the NowComment annotation platform.

It takes a certain level of commitment, and time, to create these maps, explain them, and read them. They are not 140 character sound bytes.  Yet, unless people spend that time, they won't know what is being offered and how the ideas might be used by them in their own efforts to help reduce poverty and inequality in big cities like Chicago.

After posting my blog on Saturday I came across an article by the Global Priorities Project,  with the graphic shown below embedded as a Prezi presentation. You can see it at

Just looking at this graphic will probably cause a lot of people to move on to something else. I spent about an hour reading each node and following the lines that helped me move from one point to another. I did not open the links that were provided, and dig even deeper into the ideas, but that would be the next step.  I did respond to the invitation to share my own ideas.

When I started  using the Internet in 1998 I was excited by the potential for putting complex ideas on a web site that other people, from anywhere in the world, could find and their own pace.

I use concept maps the way this group uses a Prezi, to try to guide people sequentially from one part of the map to another.  If you visit this page, you can find a few Prezi presentations done by interns working with me from 2005 to 2014. They work the same way.

In order to teach, and motivate, people to spend time looking at these documents, I think we need to be teaching young people to create them, as part of their own classroom and non-school learning experiences. I've invited others to look at my presentations and create their own interpretations, applying the ideas to their own community, or to the work they are doing in their own tutor/mentor program.

As you do your research, take a look at this article where I introduce systems thinking work being led by Gene Bellinger and apply it to my own efforts.  The graphic is a screen shot from one of Gene's videos.

I hope some of  you will spend some time looking at these presentations and reading the linked blog articles. Then take me up on that offer as you begin a new school year over the next few weeks.

As your students create new understanding through their own work, let's aggregate that work so others will find it and learn from it.

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