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 #4: All Systems Go! Reflections and Connections

As we moved from games and the systems inherent within them into a more general and deep dive into All Systems Go, we wondered how CLMOOCers would bridge the similarities.  Would you find the topics too much alike, would you elaborate on your games, would this topic take you in serious or playful directions (or both)?

Imagine our surprise (and delight) when we woke on Tuesday morning to find not one, but two posts pushing back on our example of a pile of tires (tyres) as “not a system” with explanations of why a pile of tires is, in fact, a system (or parts of many other systems that hadn’t previously been considered).  

Simon Ensor explained that piles of stuff are never just that in his aptly named Piles of Stuff blog post, and Sarah Honeychurch’s Piles of Tyres reflection reminded us that “some piles can tell a story or remind one of our shared history.”


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Make Cycle #3: Level Up your Game Design Reflections and Connections

Whether you’re currently losing the game, winning the game, or remixing and redesigning the game, now is an opportune time to reflect on Make Cycle #3.

Throughout the week we dug into some core questions relevant to game design. Many expressed difficulty starting with this make, and were rightfully looking for more clarity around the definition of a game. Extra Credits argues that the definition of a game itself limits our medium (Great share Susan Watson!). The most common questions were:

  • What makes a game fun?
  • Do there need to be rules?
  • Can the rules be changed?
  • How can we celebrate failure?

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Make Cycle #2: ReMEDIAte with Me! Reflections and Connections

So far in this Make Cycle, we have witnessed objects transformed to text, text recast as music, images turned into binary code, and even a small dog turned into a story made of light! So much creation and reflection has gone on – and is still going on – around mediation and re-mediation! In a week that we hoped would highlight the Connected Learning principle of production-centered learning we have been delighted by the conversations and questions about processes, the complexities of moving from one medium to another, and the multiple iterations of productsthemselves often blending and bending multiple media.

Brian Kelley Writer’s Notebooks Quilt

Some projects made us consider the processes we go through and the tools we use to compose. Early in the week, Jessi Watson awed and inspired us with a glimpse into her multiple creative processes as she layered an ink drawing with a musical composition and poem, all remediating one another. As the week progressed, Stephanie Loomis also helped us peek into the work behind remediation, taking us from Photo to Fantasy

Throughout the week, Kevin Hodgson iterated through several remediations of the same poem using resources such as Garageband to highlight the musical aspects of poetry, with results that ranged from revelatory to more abstract. His multiple iterations based on one source text invite us to consider what we keep coming back to as a source of invention as well as the ways a single message changes when expressed through different media. 

Word Drop and Broken Verse: Further ReMEDIAtion of a Poem

In taking one text and translating it – and translating that translation – Kristen Bourgault moved from a photograph to color palette to hexidecimal code to binary code to a visual representation of binary code. This cycle foregrounded each version’s affordances and constraints, helping us consider how well a message translates across various media. 




Visual Representation of Binary Code

Similarly, Janis Selby Jones accepted the invitation to work within constraints and kept coming back to an idea, working through multiple remediating iterations of sense making until she felt she had arrived not just at a new product, but at a new understanding.

Radiant Equity

In addition to playful processes and inspiring projects, there was also much critical reflection. Chris Campbell, after remediating his introduction from Make Cycle #1, noted that: “it’s good to rethink things and try out different ways of doing and as CLMOOC progresses I need to do more things and push outside of my comfort zone and the familiar ways of doing things that I’ve developed over the years.” We found that many participants at our Summer Institute also talked about comfort zones and what is generative – and what is frustrating – when working in new media. 

Remediating an Introduction

Deanna Mascle reminded us of the exhilaration of having too many projects in the air, reflecting that “there are many exciting benefits to re(media)tion for us personally as well as for our students” and  “that some projects require some (maybe a lot) of trial and error – and sometimes we can’t always fulfill our vision, but that’s not important. What is important is the play and the creation and the learning that took place.”


Emerging Themes

There were some truly outstanding moments for our learning this week. As we hosted the Make With Me, a conversation with Paul Prior and the #CLMOOC Twitter chat, we saw emerging patterns across the conversations. 

On Composing

Janet Ilko brought up this great point that might help us to see constraints as a friend and not an enemy …

And Monica Multer pointed out the dual nature of making and creativity …

Sheri Edwards got to the heart of authenticity and what comes along with it …

On Intentions & Audience

In a conversation with Paul Prior, he made us think about…

If we think that the way that we communicate is we learn a language and then we say things and everyone understands us, we’re way off. We’re always way off. And if we think that people will value it the way we intended it to be valued, again, we’re going to be sorely disappointed.

In the Make with Me chatroll, Suzanne Linder (@linderkong) reminded us that…

…[A]s I tried to write up what I was thinking while I was making, I felt like the words were so inelegant compared to what I composed with objects.

Similarly, Wendy Taleo (@wentale), caused us to pause and think about…

… I think the sharing is separate to the process of translating. When I remix I learn during the process and share thinking maybe someone will get it or not.

And Christina Cantrill (@seecantrill) reminded us that initial intentions are just that, starting points, and nothing more …

Let’s say you tried to make a sand animation to get folks to do the make this week … now that would be really hard/ interesting. You might lose a lot in translation … but gain entirely new things!

Classroom Connections

It is clear that the CLMOOC community is constantly connecting the work in #clmooc to their lives and in their classrooms.

Julie Johnson on the importance of different perspectives:

Sheri on meaningful choice for students:

Marc on differentiating for comfort in the classroom:

Scott on idea generation as a collaborative process:

Paul Prior connected these threads for us in our conversation with him:

We should be rethinking education as play, not as some sort of transmission of something into somebody’s head, which is one way we’ve thought about it. We do program computers that way, but that is not how humans develop.

What you’ve got us thinking about

With so much to see, read, listen to, and interact with, this week has produced both new understandings about what it means to compose within and across media and new questions about this kind of work. In curating for this newsletter, and as we wrap up our local Summer Institute, we saw the beginnings of questions that we would like to keep exploring.

What are the relationships between ourselves, our purposes, and the media we work with? 

Throughout the week, people repeatedly touched on identity as they remediated introductions, played in spaces they knew…and in ones that were new to them. With so many potential starting places, many chose first to make a personal connection, others picked the tools they were familiar with (or not!), others chose a purpose, and still others the ‘in’ of play and tinkering. In looking at the spaces and means of making, and how these affect how we are able to represent ourselves, our processes, and our products, we wonder how we can invite students to ask similar questions. What would it look like to offer inventions to create with so many starting points and open pathways available?

How can we use remediation as an entry point to address issues of equity? 

And, how can we draw upon our experiences as makers to consider who might feel (un)comfortable and (un)invited with different approaches? As we reflected on the frustrations of making and remaking with things locally as part of CLMOOC, we found increased empathy for our students, especially in time constraints for innovation and the limited support for true collaboration in many of our classrooms. Chris Campbell echoed this conversation about vulnerability and making when he wrote in our #clmooc Twitter chat that “our choice of media (and language) includes or excludes people based on what they are comfortable with and what they use and what they understand.” And Chris Rogers extended our thinking to consider the socially constructed constraints that create inequity in the lives of our students:

So, what IS the definition of ‘remediation’?

In addition to all the work with media and re-mediation, we also thought a lot about language itself. Many people asked “Why remediation?”a word that has multiple meaningsand offered related words like recontextualize, transposition, and innovation. Working through this definition work (even if we don’t finish it) has helped us pay attention to not only our words but also, as Paul Prior reminded us, to their histories as well. Kevin Hodgson summed up a key point nicely in his series of blog posts, noting that “moving from one medium to another, you can lay bare the agency and affordances of each, and how it transforms/does not transform the original. But it requires reflective stance to make that visible.”

Ryan Kerr, while making his Analog Random Poetry Generator during the Make with Me, noted that “sometimes [what it means to re-mediate is] kind of hard to pin down, but that doesn’t make it not awesome and not beautiful. It gets to bleed into a lot of different realms and channels, different parts of our creative process that we don’t always get to, or always are asked to.” 

Thank you for inspiring us!

We’d like to thank you all for your awesome and beautiful participation in the various realms and channels of the second Make Cycle. Of course the examples in this newsletter just scratch the surface of the great minds at work in the CLMOOC. Thanks to all for an informative and invigorating conversation. We are looking forward to continuing to learn alongside you as we see what else develops through our dialogue in the coming weeks.

Next up? Glasslab Games and the NWP Game Jam team. Stay tuned!

Scott, Katrina, Ryan, and Karla
University of Illinois Writing Project

Make Cycle #2: Re(MEDIA)te With Me

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If you’d rather experience this invitation through video, don’t worry.  Katrina remediated it for you!

Welcome to Make Cycle # 2!

Hats off to the Tar River and UNC-Charlotte Writing Projects for getting us all to think about how we represent ourselves in different contexts. We think it’s safe to say that we all benefitted from taking time to think about our personas and various ways that we can un-introduce ourselves.

For this Make Cycle, we invite you to consider how the media we compose within (like print, sound, still and moving image, or objects) influence how we communicate and interpret.  In this Make Cycle, we will mediate and re-mediate and reflect on how the affordances of different media impact our choices, processes, and meanings.

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Make Cycle #1: Untro Reflections and Connections

Hi there CLMOOCers!

We are off to a messy, fun, and jam packed start with Make Cycle #1 this week. So much was happening out there across Facebook, Twitter, G+, the blogosphere, Hackpad—from #untros to object stories to silent photos. We loved geeking out on all of it with you. Last night’s Twitter Chat along with some blog posts we’ve seen coming in through the week have also been tugging at reflective yarns, considering the Connected Learning principle of equity as we explore what full participation might mean, look like, or feel like in our learning spaces.  We hope you’ll continue to unravel those here and we look forward to untying and retying more knots with you in the days and weeks to come.

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Make Cycle #1: Unmake an Introduction!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Make Cycle One!
Make Cycle One who?
Make Cycle One-who (want to) welcome you!

Image by Stephanie West-Puckett

Image by Stephanie West-Puckett

CLMOOC is this giant virtual makerspace where we can hang out, mess around and geek out, learning about Connected Learning by connecting together to learn. We want to start off with Make Cycle 1 by looking around at the walls, windows and doors of CLMOOC to figure out who gets to be here and who let us in!

So, what’s the first thing you usually do when you enter a room of folks with some familiar and unfamiliar faces—you introduce yourself, right? So let’s unravel “the introduction” to dive into the Connected Learning principle of equity. The theme this week is Unmaking Introductions. Let’s consider the ways we name, present, and represent ourselves and the boundaries or memberships those introductions create. How do we name ourselves in different contexts—personally? professionally? online? What happens when those contexts converge? How might we take apart our introductions to answer some of these questions? What will happen when we put them back together again to share them in CLMOOC?

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Welcome to CLMOOC 2015


Welcome to CLMOOC! We are very excited to be here with you and are looking forward to making, playing, connecting, and learning with you at different points throughout the next six weeks.

You are the heart of CLMOOC. To support you in tapping into your interests and passions, CLMOOC is organized into six open Make Cycles that we hope will inspire you to make, write, connect, and reflect. We take the “open” and “collaborative” parts of MOOCs seriously, and facilitators have designed CLMOOC in ways we hope will make you feel comfortable in customizing the experience to your own interests.

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