Today I got an email: “Please find attached a fold-your-own zine titled: Echo. Zine”
Exciting! What would it be? I opened the attachment and followed the instructions.
I pondered, I wondered, I got out my colour pencils.
I coloured, I savoured the words.
I pondered, I remembered Steller.
I did not remember my password!
Eventually I got access. I played for a while.
Time to stop dithering. I publish. I did not add a description. You can imagine it is there.
Thanks Wendy 🙂
This is my Granny, Constance May Hobbs. Her father had a soft furnishing company that went to the wall during WW1, so she left school at 14, but was fiercely proud of her teacher husband, her 4 children and all her grandchildren. She was so talented at crafts – she painted, knitted, embroidered. My favourite flower vase was made by her and I have two of her embroidered cushions on my sofa.
When Grandpa died I went to live with her – she taught me how to read cookery books and adapt recipes, how to love the evening skies, how to drive faster than my mum thought safe (she was like the Red Queen in a passenger seat – always urging me to “go faster”).
I still miss her.
A frog, to celebrate the leap year
Were were you six years ago? When I asked myself that question earlier this week I realised that I was participating in the first week of rhizo14
So much has happened since then – so much that I don’t know where to start. I tried to remember who I met for the first time then and put tagged some people in a tweet:
Kevin suggested that we all write something to mark the occasion:
So here’s an open invitation – to anyone who wants – let’s have a rhizo reunion. Let us know what you’ve done since rhizo14, or 15, or whenever it was that you first encountered this networked learning that we do. Tag it #rhizo, if you like, and share it with us.
Image is a Gephi graph of #rhizo14
My Granny taught me a lot about cooking. She’d read a recipe – say for pork chops with apple – and say that she thought she’d make it for tea, and maybe alter it a little bit, because she realised that she had some lamb chops and apricots that would make a good combination. Whatever she made was delicious – she was a great cook.
I thought about this today when I attended a seminar which was advertised as being about Team Based Learning (TBL). TBL is a very structured approach to active learning, and it has a fairly formulaic recipe. Some proponents say that it should be followed to the letter, others say that there can be some leeway in modifying it – but my experience today got me wondering: when does a learning design stop being a modified version of the original and start being something else altogether? The version I was told about today was an interesting type of active learning, but it was very removed from being TBL. It was not bad teaching and learning, in fact I think it was very good – but I don’t think the presenter had understood what the original design was all about.
So where do we draw the line? If I tell you that I am making you a Shepherd’s Pie, but actually I substitute the original filling with apple and the topping with meringue, is it still a type of modified Shepherd’s Pie? Surely not. How about if I keep the original filling and top it with meringue – is it now a not very palatable Shepherd’s Pie? Possibly.
To return to Granny’s cooking, of course in the example above she wouldn’t have told us that she was giving us pork chops with apple – she’d present the dish as her own, maybe as inspired by the original. And, importantly, my Granny understood cooking – she understood why the original elements worked together and why her substituted ones would also work together well. I think that’s the same for teaching and learning – before we can start swapping bits in and out of a successful design, we need to understand how and why the original design works.
Some people might say that TBL is poorly named, and that others can be excused for not understanding that it is a particular type of design. That might be so, but I don’t think that’s much of an excuse.
It took me a long time to start doing the Daily Create. I wanted to participate, but I was not sure I should, or could. Although it’s an open community, I still felt that I’d be an interloper, rudely bursting into a private conversation (and I’ve heard others say this about similar situations, so I know that this is an issue for open educators, but I am going to side step this for today). And the people participating all seemed so proficient – they seemed to do it all so expertly and effortlessly that I was sure that my feeble efforts would not be worthy (again, there’s lots here to tease out that I will pass over for now). Still, I finally took the plunge on March 19th 2016, and now I have 1148 submissions under my belt. For the last couple of years I have made sure to submit something every single day. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to submit my daily create, other days it takes a few hours, but every day I make sure that I do something – it’s now part of my everyday practice. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to find the time, and sometimes I feel that I am not putting in the effort that I should, but doing something every day helps me in ways I don’t always recall at the time.
So this is my resolution for 2020 – to keep on keeping on. To submit to the daily create every day, to continue with my doodling challenges, and to rejoice in playful learning.
More doodling – a reindeer today. Again I searched Google images and scanned through to get an idea of the basic shapes I wanted to draw. Then I sketched, quickly, using a Tombow brush pen this time (lovely pen, I am enjoying drawing with this). I grabbed a red crayon and coloured in the noses and hats.
Then, when the first piece of paper was full I grabbed a pad of plain paper and drew another reindeer, coloured it in with pencils and scanned both sheets to my PC. Uploaded the results to Flickr and here we are.
One reason that I like participating in daily drawing challenges is that it encourages me to try to draw something new, rather than doodling the same shapes that have become familiar to me. So when I saw that it was a poinsettia for Thursday’s drawing I was a bit daunted, but luckily I had a few minutes before going into a workshop to do an image search. I searched for poinsettia outline and scrolled through the results to get a feel for the basic shapes. Then I grabbed some crayons and a notepad and headed off to the seminar room. As the prof spoke, I sketched some basic shapes in pencil without worrying too much what the end result was going to be – I wanted to get the shape of the petal/leaf right. Then, when I was confident drawing them freehand I got out my 0.5 micron pen (I usually have one of these in my bag) and drew the basic outline. Then I got out my crayons (I could sense at this point how envious the others at my table were that I had something to occupy my hands!) and coloured it in. The end result is not perfect – I’d meant to sketch some more leaf detail on the red petals, but the workshop was over.
Imagine how pleased I was to see this post by Sheri talking about how she’d taken inspiration from my drawing – this is connected learning at its best.
PS: tomorrow it’s a narwhal. Um, eek?