Friday, December 28, 2018

A Journey into the Past; A Hope for the Future

I hope you've all enjoyed your holidays so far and that the New Year will be full of  good health, hope, happiness and peace on Earth for all.

In this article I'm going to share a journey I've taken with the Connected Learning Community (#clmooc) over the past two weeks, and the past five  years.

I hope you'll follow along and dig into the links.

The image above is the first page of a slide show I created this week. The image below is page two. It shows my goal of connecting leaders, staff, volunteers, donors, alumni, researchers, media and others in an on-line community similar in practice to the #clmooc community.
Just before Christmas I saw a post on Twitter from Terry Elliott, who I've followed for the past five years.  As I do often, I clicked on the link and went to Terry's blog to see what he was writing about.
The slide below shows one section from Terry's blog, and illustrates a common feature of the #clmooc community. Terry has embedded a Tweet posted by Kevin Hodgson, another member, who is a 6th grade teacher from Western Massachusetts. Kevin frequently embeds videos, music and cartoon graphics into his articles and his Tweets. 

Moving further down on Terry's blog you'll find the section I'm showing below.  One reason I visit Terry's blogs is that he's constantly showing ways to use different digital tools. Here he's created a video to show the Internet Archive, then he's sharing the annotated version that he posted on Vialogues.  I circled my comment, where I said "Your post on Twitter got my attention and led me to your blog, then to the video."  It's also part of what prompted me to create this blog article!
After reading through Terry's blog I went back and opened the link to Kevin's blog. The slide below shows the top part of the article. Along the right side you can see topics of articles Kevin has posted recently. This is a feature of most blogs, which makes each of them an archive for learners. 

The slide below shows the first part of what I found as I started reading Kevin's blog article. He starts out, writing "About six years ago, in 2012, my friend, Anna Smith, and I had a conversation. A chat about Digital Writing. Through digital writing. With meta-explanations of how we write digitally, pulling back the veils on our process notes. Others, like Terry, joined in. We wove this all together, somewhat through our blogs and through the National Writing Project’s Digital Is site, and curated the conversation through a site called Jog the Web."

He followed with a paragraph, pointing to a blog by Anna Smith (#1), which I opened and read. In the comments section Anna responded and suggested creating a collaborative blog article with Kevin.  Then (#2) he responded in  his own blog showing how Anna and Terry's articles had motivated him to start digging through the web archives of a writing activity he'd done with Anna.

Below is a slide showing just part of what Kevin included on the rest of this article.  He used a combination of videos and cartoons to not only show what he was finding, but to walk through the process of building the archive.  He also issued an invitation for others to join in, which is a common feature of the #clmooc group that I really welcome.

So, I did. I spent a few days trying to think of how I'd point to archives of my interactions with #clmooc, and how I'd relate this to my goals of having other people look at my web sites and strategy presentations, the way interns had been doing, which would lead to new (and better) versions reaching more people in more places.

This is what I created. Open this link and then follow from left to right. In each node there is a small box at the bottom, which includes web links to all of the articles I've mentioned so far in this article.
I intended to create a video to walk people through this journey, and created these slides as visual aids. Unfortunately the screen recorder I'm using (or my mic) is not working properly and the audio is really bad. Thus, I've created this blog article.

This is the upper left section of the map, containing links to information I wrote about above.

In this section of the cMap I show how I've archived my 40 year involvement with youth tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and the formation of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993. I also show my digital learning life, and point to some email and blog articles from the late 1990s and mid 2000s that illustrate my involvement.

Then, I used this section to point to some of the #clmooc articles I've posted on this blog since 2013.  While many of these point to interactions I've had with Kevin and Terry, there are many other educators in this community whom I've enjoyed connecting with and learning from.  The blogs I point to on this cMap are just a few of more than 100 articles I've written that point to #clmooc, MOOCs or similar on-line learning communities.  You can find these if you scroll through the tags on the left side of this blog.

The next part of the map points to some of the work done by interns who worked with me from 2006 to 2015.  Their work is a model of what I hope educators from #clmooc and other communities will do. 

One thing you'll see very quickly if you start reading blogs by #clmooc members is that they all are better writers than I am, and far more knowledgeable and creative in using video, music, animation and other digital tools. 

That's what inspires me. What if people with far more talent than I have are creating articles with the same ideas and messages that I've been trying to communicate for the past 25 years? Could we have greater impact if this were the work of hundreds, or thousands of people?  Yes. I believe so.

The final part of the map, in the lower left, points to some things people might investigate, such as the "Our Kids" book by Robert Putnam, or the "Uncharitable" book by Dan Pallotta. 

I hope you've taken time to read this. It's a form of engagement and learning that anyone can be part of. It just requires a personal commitment to spend time reading, watching and engaging.  It's a dynamic process, in that everyone is adding new content every day. You can join at any time. Do as much, or as little, as you want, or have time for.

I normally put hyperlinks in my blog articles pointing to the web sites and blogs I'm talking about. I did not do that here. Instead, I hope you'll open the concept map, then open the links under each node, which are the sites I've referred to.

If someone wants to create a video narration of this, please do.  If you can suggest other easy-to-use, high quality, FREE, screen capture sites, that would help, too.

Thank you to those who have already send contributions to my BirthdayFundMe campaign or my EndofYearFundMe campaign. This blog is part of what you're helping keep alive with your contributions.


Dogtrax said...

Documenting the journey is a map in and of itself. I love the cairns you leave for us, little markers of where we might go to wander off trail and return again.

Sheri42 said...

Hi Daniel, As always, your posts have so much information. I love your cMaps but am hesitant to download them and the web version opened to a warning in Chrome. I did find help videos at the ihmc site: I love how you've linked all your cMaps together in this review of your work and the connection to CLmooc. Thank you for your persistance in carrying your work through and inviting others. You've left a trail that is detailed but clear. May your new year be filled with more explorations and connections. ~ Sheri

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thank you Kevin and Sheri. Your work and the ways you've interacted with myself and others, are part of the inspiration for this post.

Sheri, I sent you a message on Twitter, looking to learn more of the problem you mentioned.

Dogtrax said...

The cmap opened fine for me on Chrome .. just fyi

tellio said...

I am going to play with archiving then screencasting about the archive. Instead of a Director's Cut like you did Dan, I will do a "User's Cut". Might take awhile.

Your synthesizing here is what always draws me back to your work. And your work is a long standing and upstanding vision of what it means to build the road by walking it. I love it.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thanks Kevin.

And thank you Terry, too. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Thank you both, and Sheri, for your contributions to my FundMe campaign.