#clmooc #light #constellation collaboration


Chief Astronaut: Kevin Hodgson

In Week 5, our challenge was light. How do we make and write with light? Under the inspiration of Kevin Hodgson , we were invited to remake the night sky with our own constellations and stories. How? He created directions, and let our imaginations take us to find in our #clmooc sky, the stars and stories hidden inside our own worlds. Click on the Star Sky Chart above to enjoy the constellation stories created by us.

Listen to the sounds of our space, courtesy of Kevin: G+Post. Kevin’s Post. Sound Cloud Audio.

Remember who we are.

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden   …..   Joni Mitchell  on Rock.Genius

I think this is my favorite Make of all the #clmooc cycles. It brought people together with different tools. Problems arose and people hacked the solutions. For example, the story length was an issue, so members wrote blog posts of their stories. We were challenged, we were interested, we helped each other, and we created a sky worth viewing.  It brought us to places in memories and imaginings that we shared, like Jennifer Sharpe’s snowstorm and my Three Brown Dots. Thanks you Kevin.!

CLMOOC StarChart Complete


#clmooc Writing Hacking Defining Week 4 Reflection #k6diglit

Writing Hacking Defining

14192_voice_elliot_friToday, I celebrate conversation, and the continuing celebrations each day at #clmooc. In the Hangouts and chats, in our posts, we continue the conversation about writing and making and hacking.

I keep thinking about the conversations about defining ‘hack.”

I think about what I do at home when I need a hack to fix something. It fixes something. It’s a positive. Maybe that’s not a hack. It’s fixes something, making it better.

So what do I do? I have read the excellent history of hacking from  Terry Elliot’s post on hacking, and it is the celebration of what is true in life: there’s good and bad.

Even so, I’m not convinced what I do in writing is destructive, nor does it need to be in order to be a hack, because there are two sides.

And I need to think of my presentation to middle school students; what do I want them to understand and consider?

So, I’m hacking a definition for hack. Well, I’m sharing how the word has evolved with my voice, and how my students will find their voice through their hacks.


Here’s my thoughts, with thanks to Deanna Mascle, Kevin Hodgson, and Terry Elliot:

I saw throughout the week this reshaping,

re-imaging of ideas–

IDENTITY Re-imagining

My favorite Hack is from Larry Hewett, an About Me project to begin the year. I’ve done something similar, but I love this. Here’s what he did, hacked slightly by me:
1. Choose three words that describe yourself.
2. Pick one song for each of your three words that represents that word.
3. Find the lyrics of the songs.
4. Lift words, phrases and entire lines from the three lyrics in order to create an original song about yourself.
5. Find an image to represent both the word and the lyrics you choose.
6. Decide how you will present “Your Song” (lyrics / images / words).

Connecting, Modifying,  and Re-imagining Meaning

Love what Amy Cody Clancy did with HyperText and more. Check out all her posts and blog.

Students connect in their writing in Google Docs through hyperlinks that link to content that explains their meaning.

Or students highlight only the key words for a poem or insights into their topic, adding hyperlinks to more information or images.

Not only could you create a “choose your own adventure”, but I think this is a great way to start or end a collaborative research project. Students find links / resources to add to the document. Then students take their focus of their first search to create what +Charlene Doland mentioned — their part of the conversation. They could create something that explains the research but adding their insights. Below the initial text then could be placed a thinglink or list of the collaborative research — with a final collaborative paragraph as a hypertext team syntheses as a summary.

Devising New Meaning

Next, Kathleen Galarza gave a great idea which I thought could inspire kids to write in their homework journals.  While listening to one of her favorite TV shows, she jotted down lines she linked. She used those to write a “one-sided phone conversation” which looks like a poem, and we infer the message from those lines.
Kids could do the same — maybe at school, they could make a poem for two voices by combining with a friend.  Could prove interesting. They will have devised new meaning from the same words. Responding to the conversation concept, Mary Morgan Ryan did continue the conversation from the same TV serious but different show to counter Kathleen’s conversation. You can see the fun, and the discussions about writing that could begin.

Devising New Meaning for New Audiences

Mary Morgan Ryan hacked her school annual report to be a poster for students in her library. Same words reapplied for different purpose and audience.

Audience and Purpose

So, in very positive ways, writing was hacked to modify or devise writing through insightful choosing of words — cutting the clutter, rearranging, or linking to make meaning more clear for different audiences and purposes.

As #clmooc organizers reflected this week:

The highly participatory nature of the cultural moment we live in demands a new kind of critical literacy. As educators we want to empower our students to become engaged complex thinkers. Meenoo Rami stated “I want my students to code, decode, make, break things. I want them to shape an argument, to engage civically, to be critical thinkers.” Perhaps hacking (as a methodology applied to writing) might help us get there.

Another excellent reflection on this comes from Kevin Hodgson [who introduces us to the Hack for Change movement] and also asks, what ran through my mind:

What concepts bubble up when you “hack writing”?

  • Agency of the writer/composer

  • Lens of the reader

  • Word choice/Image choice/Video choice

  • Ownership of content

This is what I think of while teaching and learning with my middle school students. So, again, celebrate our conversation — and choose your path.

 Connected Learning / DigLit Sunday

How was all this hacking accomplished?  Many ways– and we should celebrate what we’ve done and what we’ve learned:

First, the folks at Connected Learning Alliance created a Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration through a Google Plus Community whereby participants could network, connect on topics of interest, and openly share their creations and hacks. Participants’ interests determined collaborative projects and conversation [see above], and when issues arose, questions were asked, and peers supported each other with tips, solutions, and further collaboration. Throughout the production-oriented “hacking” week, posts included possible applications to the classroom [ academically oriented]. We were connected learners.

Besides the CLMOOC blog, Make Bank,Google Hangout, and Google Plus Community, Kim Douillard started a CLMOOC Flickr group for participants to openly share their work. Hopefully, people there will license their work as Creative Commons so others may reuse, remix, and hack their originals for further sharing and hacking. And of course, Twitter sharing and conversation [clmooc chat].

Other Tech Tools that provided opportunities to collaborate, share, present, and remix are:

Blogs [see Blog Hub ]

Visual Poetry

Google Docs

Google Forms to submit Kevin Hodson Comics and join Voxer Chat



Prezi [ above]






Various Photo Apps depending on devices, for the various Kim Douillard Photo Challenges



Technology is a tool that allows literate learners to connect and collaborate. Let’s celebrate our conversation and collaboration. If you are new, choose a tool, and join #clmooc today — just to lurk around and learn one thing new! Then celebrate one thing you learned today!  Let us know!

#clmooc Possibilites Done; More to Be

What’s Possible?

A large group of people work together to learn by connecting together, creating together, and sharing in a connected learning massive open online course (#clmooc). And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a map to show who we are.

Remember when Kevin Hodgson asked us to pin ourselves on a Google Map and write a Six Word Bio? Here’s his badge project “Mapping the CLMOOC with Six Word Bios” to explain how that started, and the video he created of our bios with the map of where we are. Thanks, Kevin, for a collaborative, creative, model “make.” Video and map:

View Making Learning Connected MOOC Map in a larger map

Four things about this:

1) Be sure to thank  Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax)

2) Be sure to submit your work in our #clmooc and Google+ community to the “Earn a Badge,” whether you lurked, linked, launched, or lead. If you participated, share what you did.

3) Be sure to consider how you could use this in the coming school year.  How about:

  • Students map places in the news and write six word headlines to reflect their take on an issue.
  • Students map places they’d love to visit and write six word adventures for themselves.
  • Students map the origin of their favorite food (song, movie, book, etc.) and write a six word connection to it.

4) Create a “Make Bank” entry for your idea or one of your other projects for the next school year!

Thanks again Kevin, and #clmooc -ers!

#etmooc #clmooc Week 3 Reflection #f5f

#clmooc Week 3 Reflections

How is what you create driven by your interests?

Since this is voluntary learning, it’s all based on interests; I have no preconception or grade to concern me. I love being inspired by those who jump in and share, so that I can piggyback on their ideas or find the spark that leads to my own creative work.

How is your learning and making supported by peers?
We all love receiving feedback, and this group is great at that. I believe the reflection week in this #clmooc provides the time to make those reflections and connections. Excellent leadership in this mooc. We’re given options and permission to try, to fail, to try again, or to just lurk and comment, which is also learning. Everyone is at a different place, and those places change as our lives “happen.” Peers encourage and suggest often in comments on the Google+ community and in the blogs/projects. Thanks.

How is your learning and making connected to larger systems?
Don’t you love that you can share our learning in the #clmooc and others? in Twitter and in blogs? Each of us finds the focus of the week, and then connects in ways that extend the learning to others — that rhyzomic type of connection.
How is it useful to know the boundaries of something? What do you learn from bumping up against boundaries? How do boards help board games? How do playing fields help sports? How do rules and systems shape learning? Can we describe how our learning spaces look right now for us and our kids, and can we revise those maps of learning to open them up for all of us?

In such a large #clmooc boundaries are flexible: we have a focus (maps), but each member must create the boundaries that fit the situation and vision each needs. Our boundaries are dotted lines that can be opened as needed to create our own boundaries of solid lines, contained to our situation. As I work through these, I wonder how it applies to my classroom. What it suggests is that I need to share our goal — and then talk about what that might look like, and allow students to frame the boundary in which each will meet the goal.

An example of a hacked boundary:
Grade 8 CCSS Reading For Information 8:
“Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.”



What does that mean?
Where would you find an argument?
What topic are you interested in?
Where could you find the information?
Student-driven vocabulary padlet
Shared collaborative google doc (form groups on topics; peer help for search terms and formulate topic/questions)

Information Connection:
What did you discover?
What do you believe?
What are the facts?
Team brainstorm mind map (http://www.mindmeister.com/ or other); share and discuss
Information Analysis:
What arguments/claims were presented?
What is valid?
What is relevant?
What is missing?
What are your arguments/claims/evidence?
How have your ideas changed?
Team share (tool options: presentation; prezi; mind map; info graphic; photo/captions;

Information Survey:
What do others think?
What other experts?
Other arguments?
How will you find out?
(Repeat Connection/Analysis)
Peer comments/feedback (f2f; doc; Edmodo)

Information Hack:
Annotated Media Remix: tool of choice for own article/reflection demonstrating goal based on target topic analysis
Possible: Blog/Wiki/Google Site with Animoto/YouTube/Prezi/Slides/Map

What is the connection between place and story? When is a map integral to a memory, or vital to a memoir?
Do you love to open a book, it’s faceplate a map of places within the world to be imagined, like The Hobbit? We still must imagine the place, the scene; but to have it organized helps us understand the author’s world. In our digital maps, we can provide a place for a story, and an image that hints to a part to lead the reader in. A map that adds flavor allows the reader to breathe in the aroma and imagine more, as did Stephanie West-Puckett with my map/poem/bio/story in this post.

When is it useful to have a map? When is it not? Do we become learners dependent on one set up or the other? How do we preserve flexibility to move and judge between the two?

Mind maps, visual maps, illustrated maps, flow chart maps, photo-maps: this project has helped us all to open our minds to the possibilities so that we aren’t stuck with one image of “map.” A main idea of #clmooc is to open choices, to imagine a product that fits the message for two reasons: 1) share a clear message and 2) allow others to hack or copy the form. We are learning to be flexible and fluent, elaborating on the originality of others, the process of these is called creativity.

Keven Hodgson asked:

Is there demographic diversity in the MOOC?
Yes, it seems that diversity is an issue. I noticed in one post, a facilitator asked: “Who will you bring to #clmooc next week?” Perhaps we do need to reach out to our own PLN and invite others, anyone who might want to expand their connected learning.

Why are you so Google Plus-centric?
I am glad we are in the Google+ community (I don’t usually connect to the Facebook groups); I enjoy the ease of use and the fact that we can form smaller circles. Perhaps that is what members are doing, besides using the +name sharing. I’ve connected with Google Docs to collaborate, and that works well for projects. In the #etmooc experience, several of us connected in a wikispaces, and that helped during #etmooc, but then everyone was pulled back to their usual connections — though still connected through Twitter and Google+, we aren’t using the wiki. People connect as needed for interests and projects; it can’t be contained, but must remain fluid: neighborhoods we visit (an #etmooc discussion). I still think there needs to be a way to show who’s who as far as work position, grade bands, interests. Instructional Coaches have different needs than professors or teachers. A primary teacher has different needs than a middle school teacher or a high school teacher. A writing teacher has different needs than a science teacher. Although seeing ideas from everyone is terrific, our needs determine how connected we stay, and how collaborative we can be beyond the #clmooc. My question in #f5f insights asked about this.

Is it OK that much of the activity seems chaotic?
It is difficult to watch the flurry of activities, but that’s what gives me ideas. Considering question two, I would find looking at the community ideas would inspire me, and then connecting to a smaller “grade/subject/interest community would motivate me to communicate and collaborate with those who would be able to use the project idea in the coming school year. I think it would engender more connections.

How can we better encourage folks to break off into smaller, interest-driven groups? Is there something more we can do/should have done to set the stage for that kind of small group setting?

I don’t know if there is such a thing as “sub-communities” on Google+, but perhaps people could sign up on separate Google docs created for interests, topics, grade bands, subjects, etc. Not to keep people in groups, because members could sign in at several.

What about using tags? So I could add #clmooc #middleschool to my posts, and a search would show me others. Ronnie Bincer’s About Tags


What will happen, MOOC, when the last Make Cycle comes to a close in early August?
Perhaps we need a “Follow-Up” topic in the list so we can add connections and projects that have resulted from the #clmooc. I’ve continued some friendships from #etmooc and follow on Twitter and Google+, and I hope to find some to develop projects with that connect students. I’m not sure the education community in our schools is completely ready though; the people here are connected learners, but in their schools and in the policies of their schools, the opportunities may be different and less inviting to connections. That said, the connections made here will provide the support to inspire and transform the “back home” communities and institutions. So, a question is for me is, “If you want to inspire ‘connected learning’ in your own school/community/institution, what would you share first as motivation and introduction to your colleagues?”


From David Truss

So how do I build capacity here? What are people doing to help them make their role as a leader more about what they want it to be? What strategies work? And how do people ‘find the time’ to do the things they really want to do?
I’d like to know that answer to this as well. I see George Couros @gcouros and Alec Couros @courosa online, blogging, and all their other duties, and they always find the time to answer my silly questions as a struggling leader. Do they schedule times? Probably.

That’s what I need to do, because I sometimes go for days doing what I must, but without connecting. I then feel the need to catch up, especially with the MOOCs and other places; I don’t want to let anyone down.

I’ve seen some bloggers who blog tweets with comments, and I started that (SoConsider). If I were a principal, I might do that for staff and community — helpful blurbs with links to the resources.

Hootsuite helps me connect to lists of people I follow and want to remain connected to by following the stream from that list, my one or those I’ve subscribed to.

If I were a principal, a Google+ community might be a great place to keep up to date – or a collaborative blog. I hope to add Google Plus to our staff Google Apps for Education and will do just that as Tech Liaison.

As a leader, I need to be what is possible for our needs and with our tools (fortunately, we have Google Apps for Education) in ways that provide others with a path to join in. For example, I helped several teachers start blogs, but that didn’t continue due to many factors. So, this year, I will start a collaborative blog – so when the time and topic presents itself, any teach can blog their class story. And I also try to do as much of the secretarial stuff in collaboration through Google Apps so I have more time for face-to-face interactions and the projects I want to do. I’m sure David is doing some form of these because that’s why I read his blog posts at http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/  — to learn from a master.


This reflection seems so “I” heavy, but questions were asked. I’m not an expert, so the reflection helped me consider a path to take. I hope it helps others.


Again, my question:

“If you want to inspire ‘connected learning’ in your own school/community/institution, what would you share first as motivation and introduction to your colleagues?”

















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