Wednesday, August 23, 2017

This event is brought to you by...

A post event reflection.

Structured unpredictably...

A gif of dynamic systems.

"If one has to start anywhere..."

"Will this animation move when published." He wonders.

"Will it just become static on the net?"


I keep trying to figure out where this should start.

Narrative(s) attempt(s) fail unmanageable reality.

It will have to do.

Such universal failings are, after all, what connect us.

"How do I express this with ever-changing feeling?"

"Oh damn it."

This is absurd.

“Writing has nothing to do with meaning. It has to do with landsurveying and cartography, including the mapping of countries yet to come.”  

"Fuck IT."

"Fuck Google."

It's all we have.

A fragile agency... 

"A speckulation?"

"I'd like to thank my mother, my father."

"I'd like to thank (GOD?)... er those who missed attempting to kill my grandfather in the war."

This is brought to you by...

A dog barking?

I hurriedly pulled on a pair of boxer shorts and a tshirt.

Modesty saved.

This is brought to you by...


"Do you have ID?" 

I went back for my passport and signed off the parcel slip.

This is brought to you by...

The cable for my laptop.

At two o'clock in the morning attempting hamfistedly...

 "Why do we say that?"

I type a blog post on a smartphone...

I lose the contents of the post three times.

This is brought to you by...

What was lost.


A laptop with POWER.

This is brought to you by...

A caring community.

This is brought to you by...

A Slack backchannel.

"I am sorry, my laptop has died on me, I won't be able to set up the session for Eurocall tomorrow."

This is brought to you by....

A response from Helen DeWaard over in Ontario.

At virtually no notice, Helen really backs me up for Virtually Connecting at Eurocall.

She will share her? Google's?  our? POWER to allow? to enable?  us to hang out in Southhampton.

"What about Saturday?"

Ken Bauer, over in Mexico silently interrupts a meeting at his daughter's high school to offer help.

On Saturday, he will be up for 5:00 am in the morning.

This is brought to you by....

Friendship, fellowship, faith, love, hope....a belief in something bigger than each one of us.

This is brought to you by....

Teresa Mackinnon  she offered to be an onsite buddy at Eurocall.

This is brought to you by...

Steve Wheeler  who mentored me on his so many others.

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Rhizomatic learning...Dave Cormier...

"A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo."

This is brought to you by...

"Will it ever end?"


Martina Emke started it. 

She kept bringing up rhizomes.

We hadn't even gone live yet.

"A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo."

I met Maha Bali, Apostolos Koutropoulos, so that's a sort of start to this story here.

"A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo."


"A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo."

(I tire of fighting with html formating. It's small. It's small. )

"Fuck it."

This is brought to you by....

A common language...

POWER embodied? disembodied? 

POWER to order chaos? to give semblance of order to chaos? to command? to touch?

POWER to include? to exclude? 

This is brought to you by....

A language.

"An Open Educational Resource" offered AK.

This is brought to you by...

A keynote recording.

"Will it be available openly?" I asked.

"Well what's the point of putting it on a website if it is not available openly?" Martina responded.

"Academic publishing etc....?" I countered?

But will it be accessible?

Will the language be accessible?

This is brought to you by....

My interest in language learning.

It led me to reflect.

The more I reflected, the more I was led to experts.

This is brought to you by...

I fell upon a conversation which spoke to me.

This was accessible.

A recognisable conversation between recognisable humans. 

Humans. Speaking English.

This is brought to you by....

An ex-student and reluctant academic.

I remembered being a student at university.

I remembered struggling with what seemed to me to be densely alien gibberish.

"Why can't they just speak bloody English?" I remember complaining intolerantly.

"Why do they need all these barbaric terms?" I remember thinking.

I think of attitudes to scientists.

"Britain has had enough of experts," says Gove.

This is brought to you by...

Reading articles by Steven Thorne and other experts on the complex reality of language learning.

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Combining blogging with reflective practice.

Towards complexity-informed language teaching in higher education.

To what extent is it possible to adopt “complexity-informed perspectives” (Mercer, 2013) for language teaching in higher education? Considering the classroom as a complex adaptive system (Larsen-Freeman, 1997; Ellis & Larsen-Freeman, 2009), we use mixed methods adapted from Nexus Analysis (Scollon & Scollon, 2004) to explore evolving ecologies of learning (Van Lier, 2010) in a French university language centre’s English classes for non-specialist undergraduate and postgraduate students. Using qualitative and quantitative survey, pedagogical programs, capture of interactions: photo, video, and learner portfolios, we trace discourses in place and interaction orders. We study teacher and learner reflection, narratives and interview to highlight divergent perceptions of affordances. We observe how network-connected technology offers the potential to modify pedagogical practices and assessment in the classroom, to better respect learner diversity and to “situate learning” (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Gee, 2004) in diverse contexts, to facilitate observation and analysis of learners and learning activities. We attempt to identify “core components of the system - hubs where the effect of change is more likely to spread throughout the system” both of the learner and the institution (Mercer, 2013).  If research may enable us to identify “general principles which language educators can use to guide their actions” (Tudor, 2003), analysis of individual stories illustrates the complex, unpredictable, emergent nature of learning. What strategies might teachers adopt to facilitate dramatic progress in learning? In an institutional context ordered by program outcomes, marking grids, and time constraints, learners may be more concerned with gaming the system for credit rather than actually learning a language. Teachers’ “historical bodies” (Scollon and Scollon, 2004): experiences, beliefs, attitudes, competences,  and time and or financial constraints may enable or limit their desire or means to adapt practices. Going forward, we consider it essential to develop connected, reflective communities of exploratory practice (Allwright, 2003) including learners, teachers and researchers to work towards manageable pedagogical solutions and the recognition of diverse perspectives, competences and roles.

This is brought to you by....

A growing feeling of becoming part of academic communities.

Thanks to people that I can share common VALUES with.

Despite past feelings of disgust for everything academia.

"What are you?" He scowled.

This is brought to you by...

Something greater than the sum of its parts.

"What is it that brings us to work together here in these spaces?" Wonders Apostolos.

Words emerge chaotically.

This is brought to you by...

Virtually connecting, really connecting people who really desire to connect.

This is brought to you by...

An accessibly human American researcher, Steven Thorne packing an hour long keynote into 45 seconds, responding in dynamic whispers so as not to disturb adjacent partner/sponsor event...


speaking volumes about social issues in conversation with Parisa Mehran, an Iranian researcher refused a visa to attend Eurocall.


This is brought to you by....

Questions from Joe Dale and Teresa Mackinnon to Steven Thorne about how to connect theory to pedagogical practice.

Questions of how to be a teacher in a complex age of change.
("Was there ever an age that was not one of change?")

Questions of how to enable the work of researchers to be accessible.

Questions of what constitutes citizenship in a connected world.

Questions of identity, of language, of meaning, of POWER.

Questions of frontiers, of who defines our boundaries, our bodies, our movement....our lives.

"Teachers have never been so necessary." Steven Thorne.

"Accessibly human, caring, experts have never been so necessary." I think to myself.

"Working together across artificial frontiers has never been so necessary." I conclude.

"On est ensemble dans cette merde. On a chacun sa responsabilité." He thinks in French.

"Working outside the box, inside the box...tricky...hmm" I contemplate.


This is brought to you by....


A desire to go back and listen again so as to better act.

Thank you to

Helen, Ken, Maha, Autumm, Vconnecting, Eurocall, Teresa, Kate, Joe, AK, Parisa, Dave, Steve, Steve, Francesca, Uncle Tom Cobley et al. (and er... Google)


  1. I have no idea what's going on, but keep on.

  2. Ditto. Thanks. Look forward to picnic :-)

  3. Wow! From power cords to power differentials and powerful connections! Interesting example of 'recombinatory & symbiotic system of language learning', and the best part is that I understand and can translate most of this because of common threads in experience and our intercultural exchange! This is 'liquid modernity' in action! This conversation with Steven Thorne has left a lasting impression! Thanks for sharing time and space with me!

  4. Blimey Helen. Is wine liquid modernity?
    I challenge myself to reuse and remix "recombinatory and symbiotic system of language learning" without wine.

    See u later for further adventures :-)

  5. Simon. I was drawn into your article by the animated network GIF at the top. I read through and found the Vialogue, which I've just finished viewing and adding my comments.

    Thus, I've added myself to the network visualization and by doing so connected my own network to the ideas you and the others are sharing.

    Thanks to all.