Celebrating CLMOOC Connections
CLMOOC 2016 has sped by. This third week has been devoted to celebrating connections. Things on the G+ community seem to have continued as usual, with all kinds of creations being put forth and played with. As well, there have been some reflections about connections different folks have made and appreciated.
What strikes me about CLMOOC is its fluid, ongoing nature. People waft in and out according to their availability and/or interest.
I have in mind writing that’s been done about networks, how each of us is a node in networks that are constantly shifting. (I’m partial to sociologist Manuel Castells’ description of this, ‘tho there are lots of other folks who have talked about networked lives.) I was startled the first time I read about how one’s status in any network would change according to the needs or interests of the network and what one could offer at any particular moment; that’s been borne out in my Web life. Positions shift, interests swell and wane; networks flow. Connections come and go, but I don’t think it means they dissolve, only that the amount of room a connection takes in one’s life can change.
When I go to a conference and am introduced to folks clustered in a group, it’s not uncommon to have a name leap out at me. “Oh, I know you from online,” either I or the other person will say. Suddenly, the moment billows away from the familiar borders of clock or calendar; this other person and I know a life in another zone.
Ongoing connections are important in this world, they’re just different. Maybe we haven’t figured out how to do them yet. Karen Fasimpaur’s postcard project crosses worlds in interesting ways. I know many of my longest-running connections from the Web are those where face-to-face life weaves in with Web-life. I also know that being connected via the Web strengthens connections face-to-face.
I’m glad to have been involved in CLMOOC these past weeks. I’ve felt welcomed in to a fold of creators and educators who keep dreaming of ways for learning– schooling– to be passion-driven, fun, connected.
And, I love the way TAGSExplorer visualizes connecting as a living process. Martin Hawksey created TAGS as a hobby. TAGS is a free Google Sheet template which lets you setup and run automated collection of search results from Twitter, and then, through some interwebz magic, it gets translated into a living, moving organism. Below are two visuals of TAGS. The first is a screenshot of a moment in#clmooc Twitter time. Below the image is a brief screen capture I made of the map’s movement. It’s beautiful to watch.
You can click for an up-to-date map or to play with it yourself.
Hat tip to Ray Maxwell for bringing this tool into CLMOOC.