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!