A wrap on #etmooc and Digital Citizenship…

This was my the final vlog post for #etmooc. The experience was fun and I learned a lot about about myself as well as the potential of connectivist learning. I’m happy to say I was one of the many participants. However, what’s next? It’s been over a month since the course wrapped and I’m just now posting this video on my blog. It’s been sitting on youtube collecting dust. There needs to be a new focus like the focus we had during the course. I need something to speak about and have a couple ideas. We’ll see what happens, but in the mean time… enjoy.

A Take on an Open Movement…

I know this is a little late as the #etmooc conversation has moved onto Digital Citizenships, however I wanted to add my take before too much time passed. This vlog post is in the same style of the first using ScreenFlow to capture what is on my screen as well as use the built in webcam on my laptop. I try to get my thoughts in order before hitting record, but of course a couple “um’s” and “so’s” get in there. I’m hoping to get better with these things for feedback welcome and comments are great… enjoy.

A Take of Digital Literacies…

The talk over the past two weeks about digital literacies have been the heaviest topics discussed so far or at least they have been for me. I’ve had to spend a little more time thinking about what digital literacies means, so I decided to try something new. This is officially my first vlob post. I probably won’t share how many takes it took me to record, however I will tell you that these ideas and visuals have been bouncing around my head for a while now… enjoy.

A story with perspective… in time

There are many ways to tell a story.  One such way is to use time in telling a story.  We are all familiar with time even though for some it moves extremely faster and for others incredibly slow.  Time is something we use to connect with other people.  We carry time on our wrists or with our phones, we mark future times in our calendars and we remember our favorite moments in time for as long as possible.  The clip below shows the passage of time and how ones routine fleeting moment can have a different perspective depending on time. 

A picture(s) can tell a story…

THE SCENE: As many of you may know or have heard the Northeastern part of the United States was hit hard by a blizzard going by the name Nemo.  Apparently we are naming snowstorms as well as hurricanes and topical depressions.  Anyway, here in the Boston area around 27 inches of snow fell as people were told to stay in there homes until a transportation ban was lifted on Saturday, February 9th at 4pm EST. However, when the snow stopped and the sun start to ever so slightly shine people poured out into the street to see what happened.  These seven pictures tell a digital story of what saw after the storm. 


Top Left Pic:  My wife and I smiling for the patented long arm.  It sure was fun enjoying the sights and sounds after the storm.

Middle Left Pic: A sidewalk completely covered in snow.  There was so much snow people had to walk in the once busy streets.

Bottom Left Pic: The side of an apartment building with ivy covered in snow.  It was amazing to see how the snow blanketed over everything and stuck to everything else.

Top Right Pic: A parking meter barely high enough to be seen.  What you don’t see is the four feet of snow between the meter and the street.  Don’t think anyone will be putting in quarters anytime soon. 

1st Middle Right Pic: Some where in there you’ll see our car.  All that is showing is the rear view mirror and the windshield wipers pointing to the sky.  Can’t wait to get my workout in digging this car out.

2nd Middle Right Pic: A cross-country skier on the main street of the city.  It was interesting to see how people took to the situation and even in the snow you have a fast lane. 

Bottom Right Pic: A bobcat construction vehicle equipment with a snow plow.  This is when it hit you; this was one big storm.

A fractal view of rhizomatic education…

Quick Disclaimer:

I seem to be struggling with is putting the nib to the page or at least selecting the submit/publish button.  It must be because I find it different to join the conversation or worried about being wrong.  I hoping these blog posts will get better.

ImageAnyway, now for the blog post:

I’ve been reading and watching and thinking about this new term rhizomatic education.  This doesn’t seem to be a concept easy to get your head around.  For one, it is such a different model of traditional forms of education you can’t help but chew on the idea until it makes more sense.  I seriously must have read the section below of Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriclum a half dozen times.

“This is the new reality. Knowledge seekers in cutting-edge fields are increasingly finding that ongoing appraisal of new developments is most effectively achieved through the participatory and negotiated experience of rhizomatic community engagement. Through involvement in multiple communities where new information is being assimilated and tested, educators can begin to apprehend the moving target that is knowledge in the modern learning environment.”

It was amazing to me to think about knowledge as a path and a path of our own choosing.  And, if everyone is choosing his or her own path then how could there be any sort of continuity to knowledge.  Is there supposed to be standards and wholeness to what we know as a group of learners.  I couldn’t help but think this mode of learning must be a complete mess and completely out of control.  Then I remember a scientific concept from my freshmen year of college… chaos theory.  The chaos theory I remember was defined by patterns emerging from what seemed to be unpredictable events and in many cases absolutely beautiful when visualized.  Those visualizations are called fractals.  Now, I don’t know if this is what Dave Cormier was trying to explain in the article, but when I saw this video again it started to make more sense.  In this less than two-minute clip we follow the path of one person’s knowledge.  In the theory of rhizomatic education if another person were to enter this fractal we’d see a completely different path, however the patterns of knowledge would be the same.

What’s in the N…

ImageI’ve been thinking about Benjamin Wilkoff’s vlob post called From Network to Neighborhood: A New Definition for PLNs.  I really like how he challenges the viewer to think differently about what the (N) stands for in PLN and want to extend this discussion a little further.   I think creating an acronym is relatively easy, but clearly defining one is much harder.  For me the whole idea of having a Personal Learning Network is new, so I needed to create a game to better understand the concept.   The game was simple.  I wanted to find new words beginning with the letter N, but still accurately defined a Personal Learning Network.  Here is what I came up with.  How’d you play?




“An interconnected system of things and people.”  A good place to start considering it’s the original definition.


“A district or community forming within a city or town.”  Although it does not occupy a physical city or town it’s definitely creates a virtual sense of community.



“A structure in which animals give birth to their young.”  We humans are animals and in this context it’s our ideas that have of a safe place to grow.



“The writing point of a pen.”  Thoughts are just thoughts unless they are put down on paper.  It’s the act that connects us.



“A large hard-shelled seed.”  This ones kinda stretch, however a tree does grow up from a single seed.



“A slight push into action.”  Our thoughts and idea beget more thoughts and ideas.  I’d say this MOOC has been the slight push I needed to get going. 


“The means of connection between things.”  I like this one a lot.  If there is only one connection from this experience it’s the connections between the people we meet.


“The positively charged dense center of an atom.”  It’s been amazing how welcome and open people have been in this community.  It’d say that’s positive. 


“An organized body of people under a single government.”  There is a clear group of leaders putting this MOOC together and standards have been set for its citizens.


“Tortilla chips topped with yummy goodness.”  Has absolutely nothing to do with a learning network, but happens to be my favorite food.