This photo of my family, or it’s doppelganger was the basis of my How To manual this week. I took the instructions literally, and made a “How To Be Me” manual. I made it in the form of a ThingLink. This was my first attempt at one of these, and it wasn’t without some stumbling blocks. I did it on my own on Monday night, in preparation for our first Maker’s Party on Wednesday morning. I wanted something to show, since I’m coordinating these events for our local writing project. It was interesting to struggle with this project with no help or sounding board. For example, I wanted to attach some of my own photos to it, but the only choices for linking items are text you write or URLs for outside sources, so I had to somehow give my photos their own URLs. I used Pinterest as my source, but in retrospect I’d use Flick’r next time.
On Wednesday morning Peter and I attended our Maker’s Party, and as I showed him what I’d made, I could see how much more deeply the experience would have unfolded had I done it in the company of others. The bouncing off of ideas is invaluable in deepening the process. I did realize again, as always when you make something that the valuable part lies in the process rather than in the product. The product is fun to share, for sure, but growth and learning happen while you are doing the making, not so much in the sharing at the end.
At the Maker’s Party of two, Peter suggested we try making Twine stories. These are a little HTML-y, and a little tricky to figure out how to do initially. I had to call on Peter’s support to figure out how to make things connect. He was figuring it out at the same time, but is techier than I am and got it to work a little more easily, I think. This sharing process was way more fun than just figuring out my ThinkLink all by myself. And I’m not sure I’d have persevered with the Twine without Peter’s collaboration.
Now that I’ve figured out how this Connected Learning MOOC works, I think I need to focus more on the connected part of it. The making I’m good with, I’ve always been a person who makes things. Historically I’ve made things by myself or I’ve been the one teaching others how to make something. The process of learning or refiguring something with others is new to me, and I like it. I feel like it expands me in unexpected ways.
I read the Connected Learning site tonight and there is a challenge there called F5F in which we describe or otherwise share five new people with whom we connected this week. I think I only connected with about two. I seem to be missing out on that part of the deal, right? So. I’m ready for next week, when I will focus more on the connecting part of this experience. Oh the growth I foresee this summer!