Make Cycle #∞: The Neverending Stories of CLMOOC! Reflections and Connections

It’s sunset. We’ve arrived back at the station. This is not a closing. It is an invitation to an opening of new inquiries and new relationships. Switch your seat a couple times. Stretch your legs. Yet don’t let the travel itch subside. There are still oh so many places to go!

Thank you for participating in CLMOOC this summer in an experience that brought us all many insights, both intentional and unintentional in our collective folly. In line with the Connected Learning goals of equity, access, and opportunity, we hope that you continue with us on the journey to a world where all young people have access to participatory, interest-driven learning.

In our final Twitter Chat and collaborative Google Doc, many reflected on what this experience has brought to them:Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.09.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.09.55 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.10.58 PM

While the make cycles have come to an end, let us continue to remember the special CLMOOC Make Bank throughout the year. It will stay open for contributions! Please share if you found a space in your practice to utilize with learners, or even simply for a fun leisure time activity. Here’s a couple that were added this summer:


How to Turn Your Video Clips into Animation submitted by Jill Dawson

Art to Writing System submitted by Stephanie Loomis

We thank you all for your participation in one, many, or all of our six make cycles that rounded out the CLMOOC experience. We also want to send a huge shout out to the many teams and organizations that came together to run the make cycles for CLMOOC this summer; the Writing Projects of North Carolina, the University of Illinois Writing Project, Glasslab Games, the San Diego Area Writing Project, KQED, and the National Park Service.

Kudos all around.

Are there others you would like to send a special thank you? Pay it forward by finding and sharing via CLMOOC and the Find 5 Friday tag #F5F (or maybe, because it’s Saturday, Seek 6 or Search 7 even?).

Moving Forward

In lieu of a Make With Me, here’s a suggested list of actions you can take to further delve into the making and learning with CLMOOC.

  • Connect learning in your own context.
  • Stay connected over social media and continue to use the hashtag #CLMOOC.
  • Share what you’ve learned publicly by presenting to others and publishing/cross-posting your work to communities such as NWP Digital Is.
  • Use, remix, create, share and document Makes others can use in the Make Bank.
  • Continue to build/grow/play/share.

Join The Movement

Just as all of us spent the summer in the CLMOOC as part of a larger community, so too is CLMOOC part of something larger. While our formal make cycles have now come to a calendar-close, the spirit of the “make” will remain live and vibrant in places like Educator Innovator.


Educator Innovator, powered by the National Writing Project, as many of you know, sponsored CLMOOC. What you might not know is that Educator Innovator is both a network of networks and an online community of educators like yourselves who are interested in the intersection of play, learning and creativity. Educator Innovator has great resources, like blog posts and webinars, that help you stay abreast of the latest opportunities from partners who are interested in engaging educators, both formal and informal, in the kinds of production-centered, interest-driven, Connected Learning work represented through events like CLMOOC.


It’s been a great summer. Let’s keep the energy alive!

In making and connecting solidarity,
CLMOOC Team @ Educator Innovator

Make Cycle #∞: The Neverending Stories of CLMOOC!


“Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” Pratheep P S / CC BY SA 3.0

First, a heartfelt thank you to Cris Constantine (@friendlymonster), Megan O’Malley (@flynnernynner), Josh Reyes, Andrew Buttermilch, Nicolette Lloyd (@VagabondNicci), and Martin Christiansen of National Park Service, and Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax) of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. A round of applause for leading our exploration of public/private space. They helped us consider how our experiences of space shape our sense of what is possible…

Today, we want to support you in considering where you are now in relation to where you have been and where you hope to go.  Time for some self-assessment, #clmooc style.


Photo credit:

There might be talk/temptation to think of #clmooc as (almost) over, winding down, wrapping up—what’s up with that? The concept of a course (as all of us know through decades of conditioning) is that classes/courses are clearly bounded in time. School sets the schedule, the teacher gives out the final grade. These telltale signs remain the clear signals that the learning experience is reaching its end. But #clmooc has never been a course, it’s a collaboration! Collaborations don’t end. They keep building. We keep traveling on new bridges to new destinations then back around again until home and being away become a bit harder to recognize.


clmooc lives on and on, via Sheri Edwards

Make With Us

We invite you all to contribute some reflective writing to a CLMOOC open document that will be used in conjunction with our upcoming Twitter Chat on Tuesday, August 4th, at 4p PT / 7p ET / 11p UTC.

In an open community of learning and inquiry, there doesn’t need to be a formalized plan that we all follow. There doesn’t need to be a curriculum and a structure to continue #clmooc. As we reflect, we can continue our conversation. We can continue to learn and play together, we can fuel the movement, and we can continue to build connected ecosystems. We invite you to reflect in a way that synthesizes what your #clmooc experience has meant to you and your work thus far. We invite you to connect with other participants and other learning opportunities. Where are you now in your thinking about making, composing, and connected learning? Has your thinking shifted? Have the tools you used changed? We invite you to extend your making, playing, and learning.

Check Out These Resources

This will always be a non-exhaustive list. We all bring our own strategies of reflection and we encourage #clmooc-ers to diverge, explore, go where there is no path and leave behind a trail.

If you look into the CLMOOC Make Bank you’ll find a range of ways that folks have reflected in the past, including:

Places to Share

Live Events

  • We will be hosting a Twitter Chat for Make Cycle #∞ on Tuesday, August 4, at 4p PT / 7p ET / 11p UTC with the #clmooc hashtag. We’ll use a Google Doc to do some shared reflective writing, and then use these reflections as the basis of our chat.

Need More Information?


Just as all of us spent the summer in #clmooc as part of a larger community, so too is Making Learning Connected 2015 part of something larger. While our formal Make Cycles are now coming to a close, the spirit of the Make will remain live and vibrant in places like the publishing sites listed above and Educator Innovator.

We invite you to consider subscribing to Educator Innovator by visiting

Peace in the connecting,



Make Cycle #6: GeoLocate Your Space! Reflections and Connections

Wow! What a world-wide whirlwind of a week! And what a way to engage in the final Make Cycle of the 2015 CLMOOC! A quick reminder to stick around for next week’s Reflections/Connections mini-Make Cycle so that we may exhale together! The past few days have been enlightening, inspiring, and (maybe) even a bit sweaty as we re-connected to our physical (and digital) public spaces. We saw makers connecting to places and to each other, solidifying Connected Learning principles into practice in many different directions.

The week’s theme of Geolocate Your Space provided another dimension to the global community that is the CLMOOC. That’s you. Collectively, we curated nearly 200 little windows into the public spaces in our piece of the planet on the collaborative Google Map. The collaboration brought together shared stories, images, videos and soundscapes, and reminded us all of how precious our cultural and environmental heritage is, no matter the nation. We brought a new lens to how we perceive our world.


Our CLMOOC Collaborative Map, via Kevin Hodgson.

Many of you stepped into someone else’s shoes as you messed around and tinkered with image-on-image layering to #RangerMe yourself, creating a new avatar or photos in celebration of the partnership between National Writing Project and the U.S. National Park Service for this Make Cycle adventure. The results were rather goofy, but celebratory.

rangerme collection

#RangerMe collage, via Kevin Hodgson.

This unplanned and impromptu activity also brought to light some tensions amongst ourselves about the role that uniforms and park rangers, and the historical legacy of the military in a nation’s history, play in our connections to public parks in our lives. Here in the CLMOOC, we encourage exploration of those ideas as part of our continued exploration of Connected Learning. Fred’s thoughtful post about this issue, as well as his digging back into personal history, brings to the surface how powerful stories can be in grappling with serious themes.

During the Twitter Chat on Thursday night, as we hiked together through many different topics — from spaces near and dear to our hearts, to how a nation’s story is told through its preservation efforts, to whose stories are not being told and more — Monica and others brought up the issue of rock cairns in parks. Cairns are handbuilt stone towers, often used as markers and sometimes, viewed as public art. Many parks and open spaces now ban the building of cairns, a fact that brought another pathway of conversation in the Twitter Chat.

We imagine this newsletter as a collective, open, public space, with your posts and sharing as the “cairns” which can guide us forward. We love cairns because they embody the openness of art and learning and exploration. So, put on those imaginary hiking shoes and take a short hike with us through some of the projects that our community created as we use our cairns as points on a map forward ….

Monica cairns

An example of cairns, via Monica Multer.


Cairn One: Equity and Access

Along with celebrating our cultural and environmental heritage by going outside and noticing our public park spaces, we also began to take careful notice issues of access and equity. Daniel pointed this out as he dug deeper into some statistics about national parks and noticed the racial makeup of visitors. This same point was recently the heart of an essay in the New York Times entitled Why Are Our Parks So White? by Glenn Nelson.

daniel post

via Daniel Bassill

It is an issue the National Park Service is taking seriously, as Megan, a park ranger who helped facilitate this Make Cycle, noted in a response to Daniel that became part of a larger discussion about outreach to youths, particularly in urban centers. Megan pointed out not just the Urban Agenda of NPS but also the Every Kid in the Park initiative on tap for next year. A space is not truly public if segments of the population lack access.

Cairn Two: Noticing the World

During the Twitter Chat, many of you shared stories of discovering spaces near you, either for the first time, or perhaps, noticing something about that space for the first time. Sometimes, as the KQED DoNow activity around microviewing the world showed us, we need to look closer to really notice something in depth. Grace found her space outside her front door in New York, and she shared a discovery of collaboration across public and private agencies, as art students work with city officials to create inviting areas for the public.

Grace post

via Grace Raffaele

Cairn Three: A Place, Changed

Sometimes, we both celebrate and mourn the spaces we call our own. Charlene documented this sense of both loss and discovery with a photo essay about the “park in my backyard,” where she both appreciated the park’s transition to more public domain and also laments the loss of private discovery afforded to her own family. When we mark trails and give people maps, and set in motion a script, we sometimes close off the sense of the “unexpected” that gives public spaces and parks their real beauty.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.54.20 PM

via Charlene’s HaikuDeck

Cairn Four: Where We’re From

We were so appreciative of friends from outside the United States to get involved in the Make Cycle activity. The pins on the GeoLocate Map were wonderful examples of how a collaborative learning space pushes against borders as open learning. And Wendy, who lives in Australia, took the whole GeoLocate to another level with her story of mapping out our personal history to GeoLocate ourselves in time and space and community. Her use of the map as metaphor is another example of creativity, and how one idea can be stretched into unexpected ways as emergent ideas and inspiration.

Wendy map

via Wendy’s map.

As we come to the end of this newsletter, we want you to know that we loved everything you did this week as we explored parks and open spaces in our lives. You are always welcome in the wilds of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, and in Jellystone Park, for that matter. Now, come here, you big galoot … we’ve got a Yogi Bear hug for you:


from Yogi Bear

We hope that you stick around to reflect with us and the rest of the CLMOOC community next week as we make some end-of-session connections to explore throughout the rest of the year. Look out for a newsletter on Monday with more info!

In collaboration,

Cris Constantine (@friendlymonster), Megan O’Malley (@flynnernynner), Josh Reyes, Andrew Buttermilch, Nicolette Lloyd (@VagabondNicci), Martin Christiansen, U.S. National Park Service; and Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax), Western Massachusetts Writing Project

Make Cycle Archive: GeoLocate Your Space!

The final Make Cycle for 2015, facilitated by the US National Park Service, is designed to encourage you to head outside to your local park, or greenway, or bike path, or museum, or library, or street corner, or wherever the public you are part of comes together, #FindYourPark and document that public space for this week’s Make Cycle. The focus for this cycle is on the cultural, historical and/or environmental spaces of our communities.



Download a copy of the Chatroll Archive here.

Make Cycle #6: GeoLocate Your Space!

Adventure with sneakers image

(Created by teachers in the Western Massachusetts Writing Project 2015 Summer Institute, as part of a writing workshop presentation)

So, here we are … the last Make Cycle of the 2015 CLMOOC (save time for reflection next week!) and just think of all the amazing work and learning and play and reflection that has gone on in the weeks before us. We’re deeply appreciative of the Make Cycle facilitation by the KQED team and the ways in which they helped us envision our public voice on important issues. Their questions and your exploration of “the public” along various lines of inquiry is right in tune with activities for this Make Cycle, too.

And now, as the Welcome Wagon for Make Cycle 6, we want you  …. to get out of the house.

That’s right. Power down that laptop, grab your sneakers or walking shoes, and head on out into the Great Outdoors and continue to explore the public spaces that surround you. You may need to bring a camera or mobile device with you, so we acknowledge that you might not be completely technologically untethered.

And be sure to find your way back, too. Maybe you will need a map. Hmmm.

The final Make Cycle for 2015, facilitated by the US National Park Service, is designed to encourage you to head outside to your local park, or greenway, or bike path, or museum, or library, or street corner, or wherever the public you are part of comes together, #FindYourPark and document that public space for this week’s Make Cycle. The focus for this cycle is on the cultural, historical and/or environmental spaces of our communities.


Of course, National Parks are so much more than the panoramic, wide-open spaces found out west! Maybe you’ve already had your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to #FindYourPark in spaces like Yosemite in California, or Yellowstone in Wyoming, or Grand Canyon in Arizona, but did you know that there are over 400 national parks (and national monuments, and national seashores, and national historic sites) across the country?

Maybe there’s a site closer to you than you think!

And for our CLMOOC friends from outside the United States—yes, we know there are a lot of you and we love that you are here in this tapestry of learning—we hope your country or municipality has its own system of parks and natural spaces, and we encourage you to share some of those spaces out in this Make Cycle with us, too. We want to avoid this being a United States-centered Make Cycle, so we will need YOUR help to broaden the scope of spaces in the world.

Here in the United States, however, the National Park Service invites you to find your park! The 100th birthday of the National Park Service is right around the corner—in 2016—so let’s spread the word about the amazing places, the inspirational stories that national parks tell us about ourselves, a country’s natural resources, and the diverse cultural heritage.

Use the hashtag #FindYourPark along with #clmooc to share out what you discover.


Be creative with your photos. Like this fisheye panorama! Public domain.

Make with Us

If you end up noticing something about the world on your travels into the public spaces of your community, then you have already Made with Me. But we would love to have you share what you found with the rest of us.

Remember the map that many of you contributed to during the very first week of the CLMOOC? We’re circling back around again, and we have constructed a new Google Community Map project that we invite you to contribute to. This GeoLocate Your Space map is a way for all of us to work together to create something special: a larger look at our world.

GeoLocate your Space

Geolocate Your Space Map

Come add images and/or video and/or text to the Geolocate Your Space Map

  • Need a tutorial on how to pin to the map? Or change your map icon? Or find the URL from your Flickr photo in order to embed the image? We’ve created a short tutorial just for you.
  • Feel free to pin digital work that you may have done in the last Make Cycle as well.
  • We also have an ongoing CLMOOC Photo Group on Flickr that we encourage you to join. It’s a place where we hope you might share your photos of public spaces with the larger community, creating a collective, community visual celebration of what we are discovering.

As an aside, we wanted to talk about sharing media, too. We are hopeful that whatever space you share in, you consider using Creative Commons license designations so that we all contribute to the growing collection of media resources available to us all. Think of it as another way to engage in the public. CLMOOC friend Karen Fasimpaur has created a blog post  — Sharing Your Photos Openly — on this very topic that we suggest you peruse, and then examine your own settings.

If you are seeking even more ways to Make with Me beyond the map project, feel free to use this additional list of ideas that pull in themes from previous Make Cycles and push into various directions.

Check Out These Resources

United States National Park Service

Flickr Collections with Creative Commons Licensing (re-mix! re-mediate! mash-up!)

Photo Editing

Places to Share

Live Events

  • Join our Make With Me live broadcast with chat on Tuesday, July 28 at 7p ET/4p PT/11pm UTC live streamed with a synchronous chat here at CLMOOC. This session will also be recorded so you can watch the archive later.
  • We will be hosting a Twitter Chat for Make Cycle #1 on Thursday, July 30 at 7p ET/4p PT/11pm UTC  with the #clmooc hashtag

Need More Information?

Finally …

We hope you can find time to enjoy the beauty of your world and reflect on how to bring that experience to your students at your school or learning space. Let’s make the map together, but even more importantly, let’s share the wonder of the world with each other.

See you in the woods!

Cris Constantine (@friendlymonster), Megan O’Malley (@flynnernynner), Josh Reyes, Andrew Buttermilch, Nicolette Lloyd, Martin Christiansen, National Park Service; and Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax), Western Massachusetts Writing Project.

Make Cycle #5: Stories & Spaces! Reflections and Connections

Thank you so much to everyone in the CLMOOC community for your incredible contributions to this week’s “Stories and Spaces” Make Cycle. We’re blown away by the variety of makes shared in the Google+ community, on Twitter, and on Facebook that reinforce the power of Connected Learning.

This week’s theme led to some interesting discussion threads that we wanted to highlight. For example, during Tuesday’s Make With Me, we had a thought-provoking conversation about the “clashing” of public spaces, and how groups of people may be included/excluded in those spaces by design. We also discussed ownership and maintenance of public spaces, and how norms are established. Thursday’s Twitter chat exploded our thinking around equity and access even further.

Here are some of our observations about this week:


Daniel Bassil’s remix on System’s Thinking

1. Systems Thinking

The Systems work from Cycle #4 helped or perhaps guided this week’s Make. It gave many participants a lens and frame of reference. Even if some had not participated in last week’s Make, it is clear that the systems discussion colored the discourse about #DoNowPublic.

Ponderings: We wonder if this was a salient method of setting norms or expectations or common values that prepared #clmooc for such a fruitful discussion. We wonder if this inadvertent contextualizing of this week’s cycle set those unspoken norms in a way. Who sets the norms? How? How do we encourage others to return to the norms or do we need to do that?

Helen DeWaard posted a fascinating blog piece about “wayfinding” in systems design – the design of cues in spatial and digital spaces that orient the participant as they navigate their experience in that space. She observed the cues that invited her to engage in the #clmooc: “My actions are determined by sites that catch my eye, just as sights do in physical spaces. I’m navigating my way through and it’s only now, close to the end of the journey, that I can look back at where I’ve been – finding my way forward while sometimes looking back.”


Janelle Bence’s six-word story about #DoNowPublic

2. Invitation to Access

The notion of an invitation to engage in public spaces was mentioned numerous times. When Susan Watson created the HackPad and invited people to collaborate in that space, that’s when energy and activity picked up. It was an invitation. People accepted and contributed. Throughout the week, there would be several more invitations. Even the Google+ platform itself invites participation, and there was a feeling of ownership and accountability to contribute/respond to one another’s Makes.

The notion of invitation had much to do with “welcoming” the public into the space. This characteristic of feeling “welcome” was explored much during the Twitter Chat.

Intentions + inclusivity

Several folks emphasized the difficult and constant work of “welcoming” participation in public spaces. It’s not as easy as “build it and they will come” – people who may not be familiar with a space or the events happening there need special welcoming attention, and constant encouragement to stay engaged and interested.

Ponderings: What creates this sort of participatory culture in other spaces? What happens when people stop participating or contributing to that space? Is is no longer public or just obsolete? The tree in the forest conundrum.


via Kim Douillard’s post on Public Privilege.

3. Equity and Access

How quickly the discussion turned to equity! An interesting piece to note was the idea of not only people who felt they were never granted access in the first place but there were also those who first felt welcomed and then lost that access for whatever reason. This sentiment of leaving or being pushed out of a public space could be due to a change in “norms” of that space, change in the participant, hostile or exclusive behavior on the parts of other members to the space, feeling unsafe whether it be in schools or on a discussion area, etc. Check out Kim Douillard’s blog post on Public Privilege and Susan Watson’s blog post about discriminatory design in public spaces.

Ponderings: Can someone leave a public space whether by choice or by feeling excluded and return at another time? Is the invitation a one-time event? Is there any way to feel full buy-in and regain the urgency to contribute significantly? Here were a few tweets from the Twitter chat that questioned how we design access:

convo re inclusion

4. Spaces were Physical and Virtual

There was almost an even division between makes that involved digital versus physical public spaces. Xiaogao Neil Zhou made an intriguing observation: we can digitalize physical spaces (creating greater opportunities for connection across space and time) and physicalize digital spaces (meeting new people in digital spaces). Here is a video from him that elaborates on this intersection:


Xiaogao Neil Zhou, CLMOOC Cycle 5

Kevin Hodgson also explored the Internet as a public space and Susan Watson compiled survey results about favorite public spaces in this presentation.


Susan Watson’s “Accidental Pumpkin Vine”

5. Organic Ebb and Flow or Remaining True to Original Purpose/norms?

Some addressed the tension between public spaces aiming to be inclusive and individuals hacking the space into what they need it to be, resulting in some exclusive behavior or violation of norms. Susan Watson’s story of “the accidental pumpkin” invading her yard was a vivid example of nature “hacking” a public space and creating something unexpected and beautiful (possibly in violation of her Homeowners Association guidelines). Of course there are always the negative “hackers” (park vandals, online trolls, etc.) but ultimately our discussions seemed to lead to an appreciation for opening public spaces as widely as possibly to participation and often reinvention.

What’s Ahead

We are looking forward to seeing what you share in Make Cycle #6. The last make cycle begins on Monday with the National Park Service. We’re excited to see you continue learning, playing, and making!

We hope you feel free to continue making and engaging dialogue around stories and public spaces!

Thank you for making with us!

Randy, Annelise, Merisenda, Chris and Janelle

It’s Find Five Friday! #F5F

This week’s #F5F ideas come from Sheri Edwards:

Cycle 5: Unseen Stories and Invisible Spaces

Powerful questions and discourse occurred with this make,
thanks, to KQED and Nick Sousanis, [video]
who both helped us step back and step aside
to discover perspectives, problems, and possibilities
in our virtual and physical spaces, inspiring the need
for open and inviting spaces
for all our stories,and to protect the opportunities
to develop and maintain OUR public spaces.

What five ideas, issues, possibilities 
did you uncover 
when you stepped aside 
from your perspective?
Here are mine to remember:
  • Kevin: But if the Internet is a public domain, or if it should be, then we all need to do more to protect that space from the encroachment and control of private companies. How could we be ever diligent to protect our rights as “We, the People?”

  • Wendy: The crumples in the paper are the sub-text, they can be ignored or they can dictate the marks on the page. What crumples in public spaces do we ignore when we might add or help?

  • Janelle: Denied. How can we include? How do we overcome disenfranchisement?

  • Xiaogao Neil Zhou: The community, the intersection of a physical place and the digital place…the relations between these two public spaces is something will bring the development of digital technology to the next level. Will this new level also help us protect our stories and spaces as “the People,” wherever we live?

  • KQED Make Cycle Newsletter: How can the design of a public space influence and shape interactions and identity? How do people connect and learn across different public spaces? How are norms established in public spaces?  How do we build community norms that are accepted?