Make Cycle #5: Stories and Spaces!

We would like to begin by thanking the folks over at San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP) for engaging us in deep analysis of systems and their influence on our lives. It’s been great to see the variety of creative approaches and makes people have shared in the CLMOOC community.

This week we are going to explore public spaces and their meaning through digital storytelling. But first, we are going to start with some definitions and characteristics of public spaces.

What’s a public space?
Public spaces are places that are open and accessible to anyone. They can be both physical or digital.


Children playing in Hågelby Park by Viktor Karppinen, CC by NC-ND 2.0

Examples of physical and digital public spaces:

  • Parks
  • The Internet
  • Libraries
  • Virtual Worlds and MMOs
  • Museums
  • [hack this list]



A diagram of the different social media spaces by Brian Solis and JESS3, CC BY 2.5

KQED is also a public digital space. We provide content that is accessible to anyone, and encourage the community to get involved whether it’s through commenting,submitting a story, or engaging in civic discourse through Do Now. Do Now is a participatory space for users (primarily youth and educators) to actively engage with media and current issues, and  use digital storytelling tools (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc.) to express and share their views.

Why public spaces?
The fight to keep the internet public and the disappearance of public spaces are timely issues in our society. Additionally, we believe there are interesting connections between the public spaces we interact in, and the media we make. We want to explore those public spaces through digital storytelling to see what these connections are.

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) identifies four key features of successful public spaces: access and linkages, sociability, comfort and image, and uses and activities. As you are exploring both physical and digital spaces, you can use the following diagram to analyze them.



The Place Diagram is a tool to help people judge places, developed by Project for Public Spaces

Make with Me

For this make cycle, we invite you to create a digital story about a public space – physical or digital – that holds an important meaning to you or your community.

Here are some additional questions that you might think about as you’re exploring spaces:

  • Why does this space matter?
  • How does this space shape you?
  • How do you shape this space?

Your story can take on many forms. It can be a video, a photo slideshow, an interactive image, a website, a song – anything you want to make! You can create a game about a public space, remix an existing text to tell a story about a place, or remediate any of your previous makes! Maybe you’ll design your own public space and make a story about it through multiple mediums!

In addition, we have a few questions to spark our thinking as we embark on this journey:

  • 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?

Check Out These Resources

The CLMOOC Make Bank is a great place to look at past projects and get inspiration for your ideas.

Here are some examples of digital stories about public spaces:

Digital Postcard about Teotihuacan
Thinglink about Wikipedia

Here are some examples of public spaces:

Digital stories come in a variety of formats. Here are some digital tools and tutorials to explore:

A collection of readings on public spaces, community and design:

Places to Share


  • Join our Make With Me live broadcast with chat on Tuesday, July 21, at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT/8 pm 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 23, at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT/8 pm UTC  with the #clmooc hashtag

Need More Information?

Finally …

As fellow storytellers, we can’t wait to explore and make with you!
Randy Depew, Merisenda Alatorre and Annelise Wunderlich


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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It’s Find Five Friday! #F5F

It’s Find Five Friday! As always, feel free to “find” what you’d like and make #F5F in your own way and on your own time. But if you’d like a nudge, here are a few things I’ve been thinking about…


Image by Anna Smith of friends and neighbors learning together intergenerationally both on and offline

Because composing and learning with digital tools and in digital, networked communities is so new to so many of us, sometimes “connected learning” is interpreted to mean “learning online;” however, this is not the intention of the educators and researchers working to understand what it means to write and learn these days. Certainly, it is not the intention of #clmooc!

So, for this Find Five Friday, let’s hear how your learning via making is connected both on and offline–-in and with the #clmooc community, as well in other offline communities and with persons otherwise “disconnected” from #clmooc!

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Welcome to Make Cycle #4: All Systems Go!

gearsCC BY 2.0, via Pete Birkinshaw

We would like to begin by thanking Paula Escuadra, Evan Rushton, and Lori Stone from GlassLab, Inc. for a fun week of making focused on leveling up game design with an introduction to the idea of systems. The imaginative approaches to games shared through a variety of media validates the creativity that exists in the CLMOOC community. (See Kevin Hodgson’s blog post, Surfacing Connected Learning Principles and the ThingLink that he created for examples.)

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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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