Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My lawyer is a dog.

"Wuf, wuf, snarl"

I am, against my better judgement participating in conversation with people talking about...
(who is this better and why is he/she speaking to me?) 


"wuf, wuf, snarl...huh?"

I felt it wasn't for me.

I never read instruction manuals (until it is too late).

I once worked with people who called themselves  'Ingénieur Pédagogique'
(instructional designers).

I was impressed.

I am just a teacher.

I asked annoying questions about LMS's.

I obviously didn't understand.

Serious Business.

In France if you are the business you are an engineer of something.

I blame Napoleon bloody Bonaparte, that great liberal thinker.

I looked at the invitation to participate in #MOOCMOOC it included the words:


I had nightmares of Skinner and bloody CD roms.

"It's a nice day today, isn't it? [REPEAT] It's a nice day today isn't it?"


"Oh gawd!" I thought.

I didn't feel that it would be for me.


I have been conned into participating.

It happened on Twitter.

I fell into a dialogue with PEOPLE.

They have my attention least for now...

I now have a bloody Storify to work on from last night and then blog about.

There aren't even any deadlines or badges.


What am I letting myself in for?


Coffee break.

So I sat down for coffee with a bunch of playmobil and a few students.

We started talking about their research questions.

With about two hundred students to help get up and curious, I need coffee and a comfortable chair.

Banter scaffold.

Some are immediately curious and are looking for a sounding board for their ideas.

(It was pretty much like the conversations that I am still working on for #moocbloodymooc.)

We engage in a bit of banter - throwing ideas, pictures, and sounds off of each other.

They go off with enthusiasm...(like me here.)

Banksy approach to education.

I was delighted to be learning in the company of some of my fellow co-learners (students) this morning.

With one, we started talking about Street Art and its influence on political debate.

We framed and reframed the debate...together.

Is Street Art still Street Art when it is shared as a photo on Twitter?

Is it Street Art when Deborah De Robertis 'exposes' herself in the Musée Orsay? 

Is her performance art pornography?

Why is Manet's painting of Olympia not pornography?

What is the relationship between viral images like 'Je suis Charlie' and the 'traditional media' and the politicians and mass demonstrations in Paris?

I wasn't expecting to be co-framing such a debate with one of the students from Sport Science...over coffee.

Coffee tables, and comfortable chairs restructure relationships.

I never know what I will learn.

That is the joy of what I do, it is never predictable, I have to jump from Drugs in Sport, to Perfect Pitch in musicians, to Sport Fishing, to mushroom hunting.

I feel energised by our dialogues.

Other students have much more difficulty to ask questions.

They seem to have little practise in asking questions, most of their time is taken up by content.

Changing symbols...playing with people.

We sat around the coffee table and a bunch of Playmobil.

We started playing with the little people, the dog, the cow, the house, the boat, the medical bag.

Manipulating the toys seemed to help them to disassemble the tortured sentences that they had been trying and failing to write.

Were we talking about all the people, the kids, the women, the doctor, the policeman?

Were we talking about all the world, a town, a village, a house, an organism?

Do I have to speak dog?

Confronted by the request to define a research question, one student was freaking out and came up to me to ask:

"Est ce qu'il faut que la question soit poussée?" "Does the question have to be sophisticated?"

What he meant was:  does the question have to use that language that the experts I don't understand in class use.

We sometimes forget that others don't understand us
We sometimes forget that others are not all as enthusiastic as us.
We sometimes forget that others don't have the same literacies as us.

Being literate...being illiterate.

Playing Minecraft with my son made me realise how our joystick/gaming literacies are so far apart.

We are playing the games of others...

Working with high-performance athletes makes me realise how amazing their physical literacies are...

Moving around a dense text (network) requires the ability to connect, engage, orientate, select, synthesise...

It is not quite the same as pole-vaulting.

There is not quite the same exhiliration...for them.

Maybe we are blind to our/their literacies?

We could imagine 'scaffolding' which might be more or less adaptive to the individual learner.

(often text based or computer based - no good for people who are allergic to text.)

Liberté pour tous?

We could imagine 'scaffolding' which is deliberately opaque to certain groups of learners so that they are excluded from a knowledge community.

Language is clearly a hell of a great way to include and/or exclude people.


Language is clearly a hell of a great innovation to enable sophistication of connections between people(s) and their environments.

Cultural/narrative environments...(networks) are clearly more or less apparent to us.

After all, I'm a fish what the hell is water?

Fish interlude.

Scaffolding may be deliberately, or unconsciously conceived to protect certain groups' privileges.

(The LMS anybody?)

(I am ingénieur pédagogique)

Dog speak.

My lawyer is a dog.

He is deliberately bred to obscure contractual relationships, for the benefit of the privileged.

When I read the small print on terms and conditions of internet services...

I can't be bothered to work through every clause...

Is this web freedom?

I submit. 

We go for a walk.

Dog translation

There are others who are prepared to translate dog into English.

But God, those guys are necessary.

Our relationships have become so complex...(complicated?) ...we need experts.(we do don't we?)

They can give us a cheat code to get to the next level...
(for a small sum)

I suppose this is what we try to do in education.

We unpick dog.

We teach dog.


Science, technology and text literacy are holy untouchable.


I understand much more now one of Dave Cormier's provocation:

"Books are just stupid people."


There is a question which keeps dogging me.

Are we so used to unpicking dog that we kill the dog?

Is our frame of reference, our Western culture: this frame we have had since the Lumières... killing us?


Are our frames of reference the only way to live the world?

Are our frames of reference killing the world?

We frame so we are human.

We encourage agency of the individual. We live by freedom-Freire. Does that kill (a) people?

In encouraging agency of the individual do we lose sight of how we are connected in this tapestry we ourselves have woven?

Our tapestries are so beautifully diverse....yet.

Are we missing this essence beyond our words, beyond our ken?

"wuf, wuf, snarl..."

My dog is trying to tell me something...

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