Work on things that you like If you have no clue what to do, fiddle around
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Find a friend to work with, share ideas!
It’s OK to copy stuff (to give you an idea)
Keep your ideas in a sketchbook
Build, take apart, rebuild
Lots of things can go wrong, stick with it
What a week! Inspired by this wonderful list created by 12 year olds, Samatha and Andrew highlighted it for us via their blogs. Marie-Laure wrote to tell us how she took advantage of the prompt to play and snow day to go sledding with her kids and shared that she was in “was in awe of seeing so much fun and learning going on at once.” During our hangout on Thursday, Alan suggested that we don’t just think about “play” but add more to it like “play along,” “playing with,” “play around,” “playing off of.” Tosch got creative and almost freestyled for us (I won’t ask, I promise) while creating an awesome v-blog in the process. And even Jamie, the self-proclaimed “workaholic,” got some playtime in. As did others.
Very nicely done everyone. I am inspired (and, ps. I also lost the game!).
This week …
This week, let’s continue to play and learn alongside colleagues, with a focus on what it is like to learn, and to wobble, in connected communities. And what are the implications for learning and for equity?
What does it mean to wobble? Let’s start to think about this by doing some social reading (and writing) with Antero Garcia and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen using their chapter What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow from Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction.
… we offer a framework we call Pose, Wobble, Flow, which will prompt you to maintain the continual focus on personal reflexivity and professional growth that is so necessary for acknowledging how privilege and cultural positionality shape one’s practice.
This chapter has been shared on the Marginal Syllabus project and therefore you can annotate and also see the annotations of others from a previously scheduled annotation event (Tech tips: 1. Use the tag #ED677 when you annotate so we can find/see each others comments. 2. Use the eyeball icon to turn on/off annotations as you wish when reading).
A second reading is titled “Globalization, Localization, Uncertainty and Wobble: Implications for Education” by Bob Fecho. (Note: If you can’t get this article with your Arcadia account, let me know.)
… As the field of education struggles to catch-up with ever-burgeoning technology that brings the world and our uncertainties about the world to our fingertips, this article theorizes the role of uncertainty in the classroom, particularly as it occurs at the intersection of the global and the local.
And then, stop by a site that Bob created with others called Storri at Teachers College at Columbia University. This is a site where teachers share their stories of wobble (and hence making themselves vulnerable by revealing aspects of their practice that raised hard questions). Pick out 2-3 stories from across the different categories to focus on. Makes notes to yourself — What issues were causing wobble for these educators and what complexities were discussed?
You can return to any of the blogs we’ve been looking at recently … or look at one of the three linked below. Again, make notes to yourself — In what ways do you see this educator-blogger wobbling? What are the ways they are doing this in public networked spaces? What are the implications?
- Lacy Manship works with very young learners doing what she called “social assessment” in this Digital Is resource Wanna See the Movie?
- Jennifer Smyth tells the story of a cross-school student-led Bioethics Day in her Digital Is resource Bioethics, Informed Consent, and Open Networks: The Story of Bioethics Day
- Danielle Filipiak writes about her collaboration with teaching artist Issac Miller in her Detroit high school classroom: Using Media to (Re) Claim The Hood: Essential Questions & Powerful English
Note: this may take you more than just this week to accomplish, depending on when you start. You are welcome to keep going with it into next week and I will try to account for that in my planning.
This week, check out the set of provocations that Antero and Cindy offer at the end of their chapter (page 14 of What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow):*
- Keep a journal or diary (digital or nondigital) and begin listing the areas of your practice that you continue to struggle with. Prioritize those areas that require the most in-depth scrutiny. [slight edit] Do you think any of these are poses? If so, make notes to yourself about this.
- Try jotting brief notes in your daily lesson plans or recording a few words on sticky notes that will later jog your memory about classroom events related to your wobble. If it’s easier, you can even record voice memos on your phone or computer and listen to them on your way home to reflect on how your teaching went that day. As you interrogate your wobble by inquiring into your practice, what insights are you finding? Where are you experiencing flow?
- Use the same process above to reflect on your students’ work. Seeing this as data for meaningfully informed wobbling, what are your students producing, and what does their work say about your classroom’s culture, your teaching practice, your understanding of who your students are? Don’t forget that your students are the best source of information about their own learning. Talk to them and try to find common ground.
Try these suggestions for one week. And then share a reflection on what you learn in the process of doing these things. If you are comfortable sharing notes you took along the way, feel free (but always consider the public nature of blogging). Otherwise just keep those notes to yourself but continue to hold onto them through the semester.
Remember in your reflection to come back to our main questions, ie. what is it like to learn, and to wobble, in connected communities? What are the implications of wobble for connected learning and equity?
*If you aren’t teaching right now, think about something else you do where you are continually assessing and adjusting your practice. This could be at work, at the gym, through a hobby, at home, etc.
The 12 year olds above tell us to “Find a friend to work with, share ideas!” Antero and Cindy also ask us to “Seek out allies and mentors” and write:
… even though the model as we’ve described it above often sounds individualistic, we don’t intend for it to be. In fact … we have found that we go through P/W/F cycles most successfully when we collaborate with colleagues who provide moral support and at the same time challenge our thinking.
This week, start to identify some allies and mentors for yourself or others who you might support you when you wobble. Are they people you work with or connect with through school? Are there networks to connect to, professional alliance or organizations that can be supportive? What about some of the new connections you’ve been exploring, both on and offline? Where do you as an educator find moral support while challenging your thinking?
Why I love Teaching and Tweeting!
Finally, if you are up for it (no pressure – totally for fun/experimenting), it is Valentine’s week and love is in the air. Why not share with the world what it is you love about teaching? Check out #loveteaching for more about how this works and why.
New or not so sure about Twitter? Many educators are using twitter to connect with colleagues and also to engage in discussion about education as professionals in the field. If you are interested, the Studies of Literacies and Multimedia (SLAM) Assembly of NCTE is launching SLAM School, a new bi-weekly online web series and class #1 (lead by Antero Garcia) was on Learning to Tweet. Check it out.
Also, as we discussed on our hangout last week, there are other ways beyond blogging that we might want to connect/share at #ED677. To do so, tag things with #ED677 and then invite us to follow-along. For example:
- #ED677 via twitter
- #ED677 via hypothes.is
- Where else do you already hangout out online and want to start a discussion with us … Instagram? Others? Make suggestions as part of your Find 5s if you think it can be supportive.
And finally, there is a Connected Learning Network Google community at Arcadia that was set up to support sharing across folks engaged in the Connected Learning Certificate Program. You are welcome to join this and share your blog post links there too if you want to grow your audience.
In learning and connecting solidarity,