Category Archives: digital learning

Happy Family Day & Happy Chinese New Year’s – Year of the Monkey

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I am fascinated by this image, and this lawsuit.  It seems to me this raises some questions of what it means to be human…  [Also, this is a Macaque, and is that a monkey (yes).]  Or perhaps interdependence, my favourite topic….   and it’s about social media, which is another interest of mine.  Selfies 2.0 – to whom do they belong?

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You can read more about this here.

It’s not all as silly a stream of thinking as it might seem at first…  it harkens back to some of our earlier social history of segregation.

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How we historically othered and marginalised people, instead of looking to find and build on their gifts and assets.  How we continue to do so – described by the brilliant Eve Tuck, one of my favourite researchers.  And why we possibly are motivated to do so – in a Garfinkel paper that has been crucial to my thinking for about 30 years.

So, Family Day in British Columbia, and perhaps a time to think more about who might be part of our families and how we might foster a future of belonging, as described by Ken Gergen in what has been my favourite paper for two years now…

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#clmooc Remediation Make Cycle 2

I’ve been really fascinated by what’s coming across my social media feeds as educators of all kinds have tackled the idea of “reMEDIAtion” over the last week in the #clmooc group.  As my avocation is special education for adults, I was particularly interested in this idea: “Remediation – as we’ll be thinking about it here – is unrelated to another use of the term in education: we are not talking about “remediating kids” as in “remedy”-ing them.  Here, the focus is on media, and ways in which moving from one medium to another changes what we are able to communicate and how we are able to do so.”  On the other hand, I’ve been travelling, and teaching in some new places, and trying to wrap up some projects, and dealing with a hospitalized family member and a paper I am supposed to be readying for publication so I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself…  but one of the folks was talking about the idea of constraints as compelling…

I’ve been teaching drawing as communication to adults, and it’s always fascinating to see who is scared of what.  To watch someone draw perfectly well and beat themselves up with every line.  To watch someone who didn’t think they could draw anything, draw something recognizable, and then the next day come back to say their children were so thrilled they insisted she hang it on their fridge door.

Yet, as interesting as it is, it’s a bit hard to relate to, honestly.  I’ve always been able to draw pretty much anything, and while I had a few art teachers who didn’t think that was true, or wanted me to want something “more,” the shyness people have about this skill range is difficult for me to fathom.  Thinking about this, I realized how invested I was in the idea of control…  even when I decided I’d rather fail the drawing course than do what was wanted, I was in control.   About the same time, I ran across an old reference in some notes I was looking at, twitter bots – in this case, twitter-bots you send images to and they re-create (re-mediate) your images – either randomly or by sending them commands.  This led to me discovering a whole family of twitter-bots that, as it happened, were at war!

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As a graphic recorder and facilitator (and illustrator and researcher), my actual job a good part of any month is re-mediation – I listen to the conversations people have about certain subjects, and turn them into drawings.  In my research I get a lot of people talking about one subject and then turn that into a drawing as a recording.  This was part of my Master’s thesis and is part of what I am continuing to look at in my PhD program.

So, this kind of interaction:

CommunityMappingVictoria

Turns into this kind of documentation, through my drawings and (often) the incorporation of drawings and work by the groups (in this case, “name tags” in which the “my name is…” was replaced with “the gift i bring to community is…”):

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There are lots of good things about such projects but in essence what I like is that we focus on the ways people can communicate (visually) as a way of congregating information that they can present to those who are empowered to make changes.  In this project we went to six different cities in the end, in which agencies, government and policy makers were as excited to hear what people with disabilities wanted as people with disabilities were to tell them.

I also continue to be fascinated by technology and its effects on our lives and relationships.  So I started sending some of the documents and images to the twitter bots.

I combined a picture of me drawing with a drawing and send them to imgblender – which takes two images and overlays them in different ways: 

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Then, using the twitter-bots JPGglitchbot, imgshredder, lowpolybot and Quilt Bot, I continued to experiment with the photo of me drawing a research project plan for a collaborative group of researchers with intellectual disabilities:

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This led to me combining and re-mediating more of the graphic recordings, and in particular one of me and my family, combined with a recording about how people who live with folks with disabilities feel about their “jobs,” lives and the idea of “home”:

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Finally, I made myself stop but then, in bed with my iPad and reading one of my favourite comic series, Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100, I could not resist combining the iconic cover of this future-Batman in a dystopian world with a publicity photo of me, and really liking the effect 🙂

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and then, the next day, I discovered the twit-bot UShouldFrameIt and decided my new portrait needed framing:

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and then, in an act of post-structuralist robotics, that a sarcastic comment from LowPolyBot to UShoudFrameIt as part of the twit-bot-war needed a little framing too….

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To see the Imgblender Gif in action, go here.

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#CLMOOC the deconstructed introduction

The first suggestion from the #CLMOOC folks arrived today:

So, what’s the first thing you usually do when you enter a room of folks with some familiar and unfamiliar faces—you introduce yourself, right? So let’s unravel “the introduction” to dive into the Connected Learning principle of equity. The theme this week is Unmaking Introductions. Let’s consider the ways we name, present, and represent ourselves and the boundaries or memberships those introductions create. How do we name ourselves in different contexts—personally? professionally? online? What happens when those contexts converge? How might we take apart our introductions to answer some of these questions? What will happen when we put them back together again to share them in CLMOOC?

. . .

Sarah Ahmed writes:

Let’s take the example of hospitality. There is a relation of host to guest. The host not only was already here, or here before, but the “here” belongs to the host…To accept the invitation you go along with this coming along. Such an ordinary invitation: one could accept it or not. But in being welcomed the “you” is positioned as not part of the “us,” or should we say not yet part. What does it mean, what does it do, for the participation of some to be dependent on an invitation made by others?

So what’s interesting about this is the foray I am part of making with some folks from #rhizo15 into the idea of hospitality as understood by Derrida:

As Derrida makes explicit, there is a more existential example of this tension, in that the notion of hospitality requires one to be the ‘master’ of the house, country or nation (and hence controlling). His point is relatively simple here; to be hospitable, it is first necessary that one must have the power to host. Hospitality hence makes claims to property ownership and it also partakes in the desire to establish a form of self-identity. Secondly, there is the further point that in order to be hospitable, the host must also have some kind of control over the people who are being hosted. This is because if the guests take over a house through force, then the host is no longer being hospitable towards them precisely because they are no longer in control of the situation.

I have been thinking of this a lot in some other work I’ve been doing around the idea of segregation – that we cannot understand “inclusion” until we accept that there has been a history of constructed otherness that continues in many forms, more subtle and less overt, but there.

Like the idea of “community,” to which it is the central tenet, “hospitality” turns out to be more than one might have expected and, again, so does “introduction” – a thing we expect and suggest and depend on without consideration…   As we break down these ideas of how we belong and gather and meet each other, we quite quickly begin to see why Derrida uses hospitality as an example of an impossibility to consider.

I often think of the various ways the Buddha’s hands are poised to heal, hold, beckon – always accepting, never judgemental.  Hospitality.  And then of this, from the Tao te Ching, and particularly this Ursula LeGuin translation:

Verse 8: Flow Like Water

Verse Eight
True goodness
is like water.
Water’s good
for everything.
It doesn’t compete.

It goes right
to the low loathsome places,
and so finds the way.

For a house,
the good thing is level ground.
In thinking,
depth is good.
The good of giving is magnanimity;
of speaking, honesty;
of government, order.
The good of work is skill,
and of action, timing.

No competition,
so no blame.

I look forward to meeting other folks from #CLMOOC 🙂
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