February 17, 2018

Feeling [not] very happy on FB

You are probably aware of the 2014 'experiment' by Facebook. There has been assessment and re-assessment of that fb issue. Well Jess says they got it wrong. We don't want to see the people we don't like (but appear on our feed) happy. But I'm here to say Jess might have it wrong! This is not backed up by big data but by my small data.

The past few weeks I've been bombarded (emotionally) with different types of images from one place. On the public feed there are happy smiling faces, at the beach, going to town, on holiday, visiting overseas. On the other [Messenger feed] I've been haunted by tragic images of my mother-in-law dying. Four bare walls and mats on the floor.  At first I just wanted to hit Facebook over the back of the head, like a naughty child. But then this software facilitated our first video contact with this situation and it saved our sanity for that week. How could you complain? Messenger just seemed to work when our land lines/under sea cables and wireless/mobile/xG connections with various people, did not. (Assuming the credit lasted.) But now I'm waking up at night and thinking of these two disparate sets of photos. I'm thinking that the happy smiling faces deserve to lead their life, while others are dying. I'm thinking the tragic pictures are pared down and stark and probably over emphasise the tragedy (or not). I can't see who is just out of lens range or the singing that might be heard or the food smells from the kitchen. Then there are the pictures not taken, the unseen (from my eyes) events that we recreate by reading between the lines of the dm messages. All I'm left with is stale, hard bread crumbs of time past. I'll cry by myself, when she passes. I'll be grieving from afar. Having family in another place is very difficult at these times.

The other contrast is between different social media platforms. Recently when my friend was diagnosed with ....oh will I say it? ..... you know....the 'C' word. Yeah, breast cancer. I hinted (without saying too much) on Twitter and got a few, lovely 'sorry to hear that' replies. However on Mastodon, I was able to express myself much more (and add a hide/expand option for people not wanting to be bombarded with that info). I got candles (virtually flickering), sharing of same experiences, sharing of strategies and other words that felt like a comforting hug. Does this make it a 'better' platform with better design? (maybe) Does this mean that I should stop sharing such stuff on Twitter? (well, no) Does this mean that I feel better after writing about this in this space? (absolutely) Is this the best place for such public/private writing? (who knows)

January 22, 2018

The DT Robot

Comic strip created by Wendy Taleo CC BY SA

This comic is in response to Zoltar (the #Netnarr robot who is programmed by an Internet Dog) and design thinking in Education after a Twitter chat last week on this subject.

December 15, 2017

Seeing Squounds

In #DecDoodle we have been having fun! Fun with shapes, colour, drawing, poetry, Youtube playlists and other variations on a daily theme. In this post I'm contemplating the rounded corners of a square. 
My work in #CLMOOC enables me to see around the corners. To see beyond the bleeding obvious. I can play, make, make mistakes and play some more. This play allows me to cut corners or round off corners that I see. Here are some squound examples.

Mesmirising squounds

Square Corners
Sherri shared this blog post about Square Corners in nature: https://mistralmtn.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/square-corners-in-nature.html. Good to know that we can always observe wombat poo if we want to see some squounds.

Granny Square
Now a Granny Square should be square, right? Then they go and do this to it! Eight petals could appear square but they don't! Flowers are round, petals create gentle corners and adding square corners allows an easy path to connect these panels together.

Not Square
From Simon's post of a few years back (do all these themes just go around and around and around?) I was inspired me to create a cell 'dance' in Excel set to Simon's oration (wubbed). In an effort to see beyond the square cells, rounding off the cells, this dance allows me to see beyond the page.

December 5, 2017

Bare Attention

This continues a conversation with Sarah Honeychurch and others about activities we do in meetings or workshops that help us concentrate. Sarah has since followed up with a question about how to 'ask permission' for such activities in the workplace.

This post by Nancy Chick "Doodling & Knitting" mentions the body language of paying attention. This is part of the issue. There are direct expectations in these work situations of eye contact and body positioning that is 'indicating' to the facilitator or speaker that you are paying attention. By occupying our hands with things other than a pen, our body language is sending an 'inattention' message. What is happening in the brain is the opposite. 

Bare Attention
Another term for mindfulness. I love the quote from T J Manning in Mindful Knitting "an intense form of paying attention". In my recent workshop, I was in a room with my seven colleagues for the whole day. I find that I was paying a lot of attention to their body language and this was distracting me from what was being said. To be able to listen to somebody speak and have the freedom to allow our own thoughts to form, we need to reduce the visual input. By occupying my hands with crochet and wool I can have that intense focus and be able to pick out the crux of the message. Yes, it was reducing eye contact, but that gets jaded after awhile and I find my eyes glazing over.

This train of thought is also relevant to this month's #CLMOOC theme of doodling. You might need to go behind a firewall somewhere to get to this article “What Does Doodling Do?” (Andrade, 2010). This talks about doodling while listening being a beneficial 'dual-task situation'. When the first task (listening) has a low resource requirement, we might tend to daydream or drift off. By adding a second task like doodling or crochet (repetitive, self-paced task) it is increasing the mental resource load but not blocking the ability to remember things heard.

Now I'm off to read more about visuomotor learning!

November 7, 2017

Mapping the Journey

Image: www.brainyquote.com
Kevin Hodgson recently presented at the #4tDW2017 (virtual conference on Digital Writing). The pre-talk information discusses emergent ideas and paying attention.

Here is my reflection prior to the presentation.

Maps are for those that want to pay attention to where they are going. Navigating the natural world includes paying attention to the wind, sun, stars, moon and the seasons. How do we navigate the digital world? What pointers do we use? Is there any point in using the natural world as a metaphor for something that is not? Nick Sousanis (2015) in his book Unflattening refers to this:
"The ways of seeing put forth are offered not as a set steps to follow, but as an attitude - a means of orientation- a multidimensional compass, to help us find our way beyond the confines of "how it is", and seek out new ways of being in directions not only northwards and upwards, but outwards, inwards and in dimensions not yet within our imagination..."
Chapter 2.

European explorers employed the detachment methods of descartes - reducing the swirling three-dimensional world to a static flat grid, relying on instruments to guide them.
Chapter 7.

Sousanis (2015) then refers to Pacific Islanders who were 'immersed in the complexity of their environment' using nature in the form of 'stars, birds, patterns in the wind and waves, fronts and swells, the illuminating presence of undersea life, everything offered a living sign.' to direct them.

"Attuned to these invisible traces - vectors - they found their way."
Chapter 7. 

The underlying aspect of any map is the journey. Hopefully, you have time to grab a copy of Nick Sousanis marvellous experiment in visual thinking, as he puts it. The graphics that accompany the above text are amazing and add so much more to the words. These vectors appear in many places, both in nature and in the digital world.

The existence of here
depends on those peaks there
by bearing grid backward
        Haiku by Michael Giacometti from Portraits of Country (2017)

Without going too Zen on you, we could say that we are all travellers. Maybe we can only create our maps after the events and journeys of life. Everybody travels a bit differently and has different requirements. We are map makers.

Reflection after Kevin's talk

Things that are planned give energy to ideas that emerge. Freedom to branch out from the trunk.

Kevin gave these keywords for emergent learning activities:
Identification : Validation : Amplification : Invitation : Collaboration : Celebration 

I have found all of these aspects in the CLMOOC endeavours.

At the end of the presentation, Kevin invited us to participate in a collaborative poem. A few days later he posted the results.

A pop-up cycle created with CLMOOC folk is an excellent example of emergent learning. See https://clmooc.com/clmooc-mapvember/. Most of my blogging for this will be on Tumblr and here is my first map!