About No Boats

September 28, 2008

This blog accompanies the October 1 Afternoon Talk/Presentation/Discussion/Workshop at the University of British Columbia, and will serve as our Untalk Media and Discussion Holder.



Taking a look at the UBC Mission.

From UBC Learning Exchange Website:
” Trek 2010 has three key themes:

* The strengthening of civil society
* The education of global citizens
* The promotion of sustainability, in its three interrelated aspects: social, economic, and environmental.

As noted when Trek 2010 was officially launched, two other principles underlie the Trek vision: excellence and community partnership.”

Here’s how I described my vision for the afternoon:

Both Sides Now: In Person and on the Web
Slow Learning for Fast Times

The tensions between traditional and emerging forms of learning should be energizing, not paralyzing higher education. Harried and fearful of Nabokov’s reminder that “Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form,” we overlook the rich potential of positive deviance and failure; we forget that learning should be disruptive. In this discussion/workshop we will explore how creative dissonance, experienced through the vibrant interplay between face-to-face and online spaces, the rich borderland between old and new, leads us right now, right here to extraordinary, deep learning outcomes.

In other words, we’ll talk about how to move

Classroom to

collage and Slide16


Both Sides Now: A Few Observations

September 27, 2008

Both Sides Now

James Martin calls this the “Transition Generation”:

“If I could choose any time to live, I would want to a teenager now (in a country where great education is possible). ..The most important reason I would choose today is that, more than at any other time, young people will make a spectacular difference. Revolutionary change is essential and today’s young people will make it happen.”

Let’s talk about how that might happen, but first, Exercise One: Word Associations


Exercise Two: Deep Learning Memories

Yi-Fu Tuan: “To become an expert, one must dare to confront the perils of the new.” (p.9)

Richard Miller (Rutgers): “Schools currently provide extensive training in the fact that worlds end; what is missing is training in how to bring better worlds into being.” (Writing at the End of the World, p. x)

Impediments to Educational Change (via Chris Dede) are psychological, political and cultural.
“Even those of us experimenting with progressive pedagogical practices are afraid to change.” bell hooks

Are we contributing to fundamentalism, willful ignorance, insularity? Are we in a post-fact, anti-merit world? Are we hunkering down in tribal units?

Fear Factory

bgblogging’s Fear 2.0 piece

Full ELI Fear 2.0 Presentation

Higher Ed as it is
Open-Ed Vision

Third-Place Learning

For more on changes afoot, see James Duderstadt, Preparing for the Revolution: the Future of the University in the Digital Age

Exercise Four: Mapping your Neighborhoods

September 28, 2008

from Hand Maps

Thinking about the spaces we inhabit and how we move in and through them, and what that might reveal to us about collaboration, connection and contact zones.

1. Draw a map of your childhood neighborhood (or one of them if you moved about).

2. Draw a map of your current neighborhood.

3. Draw a map of your in-situ work neighborhood.

4. Draw a map of your cyber-hood(s).

4. Draw your paths through these spaces, making heavily traveled routes easily identifiable to someone looking at your maps.

We’ll talk about what we notice about our paths and what this visual exercise reveals about the ways we interact with others in our well-traveled spaces.

Third-Place Learning: University, Local Community and Open-Ed Community

September 27, 2008

Slide16 skelleftea

Slide17 skelleftea

Slide19 skelleftea

Slide36 skelleftea

Slide38 skelleftea

1. Contemplation: Slowing Down and Being Alone

Image/Word Exercise

What role does contemplation play in your university life?

2. Reflection: As Connector
Conversation, The Social Dimension of Learning, in Contact Zones
Blogger’s Field Trip
Story with Words Exchange, an example of students becomingBenjamin’s Stage vs. Screen Actors
Slide45 Bergen

Blogging the World

Piya’s “Journey Back” Blogging Experience

Planning conversation within the university, within the community beyond the walls, with the world.

3. Collaboration: Meaningful, Innovative Projects with Impact/Third-Place Learning
Students Dislike Group Work


“Each participant’s individual capacities are deepened at the same time that participants discover the benefits of reciprocity” and “…the achievement of productive collaboration requires sustained time and effort. It requires the shaping o a shared language, the pleasures and risks of honest dialogue, and the search for a common ground.” Vera-John Steiner, Creative Collaborations (p.204)

Loosening the grip of over-professionalization of the higher ed learning experience by opening up our notions of expertise, of reciprocal apprenticeships, entering contact zones.

Murmur Project
Murder, Madness and Mayhem Wikipedia Project

Your examples/plans:

4. Offering the PASSEGIATTA Principle but Updating to a Fluid Community Space
LuccaUrbinoNear Evening Urbino

Ritualistic yet always the promise of the unexpected. Participatory learning. Sunstein’s Republic.com contention that “Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself.”

Bad Examples:
–A college buying space in town for a space aimed at students and faculty.
–One-shot blogging in courses–not sustained, not meaningful; exercises to get through, assigned and restricted.
–One-shot or lopsided service-learning projects in which the primary beneficiaries are the students and their learning goals.

Good Examples:
Dispatx.com Artist Collaborative, Transparent, In-Process, Revising, Stretching, Ambling
-Carrot Mobs
–PS 1 Architectural Competition

Your Examples and Plans:

Exercise One: First Words

September 27, 2008

We’ll generate a tagcloud here of the first words given in response to several prompts.

If you like this sort of thing, you can also play the Word Association Game online.

Exercise Three: Old Russian Custom

September 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by masochismtango

1. Jot down five words/search terms that express WHAT MATTERS to you

a. in the world

b. in the university

c. in your personal life

2. Go out on the Web and see what you find matching these terms on Flickr and Youtube and Archive.org and anywhere else you like to go.

3. Share in your small group.

3. As a group, grab five of the “things” you found on the Web that resonate for you all, and create a collage on Glogster. Do not add text. Post the link to the collage as a comment to this post.

Follow-up: For faculty–how do you use the first weeks of class?

James Zull and Neuronal Networks

Students and alums sharing personal context.

Dan’s digital story

Exercise Two: Deep Learning

September 27, 2008

Maine Greene from Landscapes of Learning:
“…each of us achieved contact with the world from a particular vantage point, in terms of a particular biography. All of this underscores our present perspective and affects the way we look at things and talk about things and structure our realities.”

(A Post on The Crucial Opening Weeks of a Course, Exercises)

Deep Learning Exercise (borrowed from Rita Pougiales at Evergreen State College)

a. How old were you when the experience took place? (The experience should be the most profound in recollection, so there are no age restrictions on when it occurred.)
b. Where were you? (The physical context: outside, at home, on a trip, alone at night, during a thunderstorm—any situational details that feel relevant.)
c. Who were you with? (Alone, with a close friend, performing for an audience, babysitting—the social context.)
d. What was your dominant emotion at the time? (Fear, elation, perplexity, desperation, serenity, panic—try to capture the dominant emotional quality of the experience from which the learning emerged.)
e. What did you learn? (Frame this in the way that best expresses its meaning for you, not simply in terms of skill or content acquired. For instance, you might have learned to swim, but the meaning of this accomplishment is best expressed in terms of the inner strength you discovered through overcoming your fear of water.)
f. How did you know you’d learned this? (This realization might have come much later and might still be unfolding.)

Introduction: Where I’m from

September 27, 2008

Chaos Theory

Originally uploaded by Naccarato