flickr photo by Sharon Mollerus shared under a CC BY license

Learning events from 2014

The following events are posted for the 2014 iteration of the #WalkMyWorld Project.

Please feel free to edit, revise, or hack away at the following activities for your own learning and development. The texts, directions, and “assignments” in each learning event are merely starting points. You should find your own entry point for yourself and your learners.

Please feel free to share these out on Twitter using the #WalkMyWorld hashtag.


Week One: For the first week our goal was to inform others of #WalkMyWorld, to have people sign up for Twitter and to provide participants an opportunity to play with social media. Knowing many of the individuals had varying degrees of experience with Twitter, or online social networks in general, we hoped participants would start a Twitter account, post a tweet, follow someone, and play with Vine/Instagram/digital content.

We also were actively “nudging” notions of text, reading, writing, and “academic literacy.” We hoped participants would begin considering the significant, thoughtful decisions about what they were sharing. We urged participants to think deeply about why they were sharing, and how they were selecting the identity they wanted to represent.

  1. Week Two and Week Three: Participants continued to share, play, create, and express themselves. While many participants used twitter, vine, and Instagram, others began incorporating images, such as memes (an artifact of internet culture).  Participants were also beginning to blog and have conversations to push the communities thinking in terms of what was being shared and how people were representing themselves.

The community continued to have conversations about the power of literacy-based practices, particularly when using online tools. Recognizing that literacy, the acts of writing, reading, and publishing, have always provided a sense of empowerment, and in our current society having online spaces provides opportunities for global conversations. We hoped participants would recognize the power of these conversations, and recognize that there are those who are not freely able or allowed to communicate in these ways. Since many of the participants were involved in the education community, we hoped conversations could continue about the affordances and constraints of using digital texts in tools in classrooms.

Week Four: During week 4 we reminded participants that #WalkMyWorld was also a study of the poetry and themes promoted by Robert Hass. We were inspired by Hass when he said, “naming things is a way of establishing your identity through one’s surroundings.”  We asked participants that as they were developing and sharing their content, to consider what it means to name things.
Specifically we asked participants to reflect on the following questions.  In what ways are you establishing your own identity through your naming of things? In your naming of things in the #WalkMyWorld project, how are you sharing your own private history?  How does your naming and identification of your world separate you from the world? Many participants read the poem “Meditation at Lagunitas” and included references to the poem in their Twitter posts, some even wrote blogs about the poem.
Week Five and Week Six:  Participants continued to share images, videos, and audio using the #WalkMyWorld hashtag. As participants began to consider how poetry allows us to re-examine the world, we asked the community to read “Letter to a Poet” by Robert Hass. We also provided the following questions to consider. What words or phrases spoke to you and influence the overall meaning of the poem?  What does this poem suggest about human connections and isolation?  What does Hass suggest about the ways we are, and are not, part of the world? How do your walks demonstrate a connection  or isolation to the natural world? In addition, we asked participants to collaboratively annotate “Letter to a Poet” using PoetryGenius. This provided an additional way for the community to discuss thoughts about poetry, naming, and identity.
Week Seven: This week we asked that in addition to sharing content, participants also consider two pieces. The first was a quote by Robert Hass about the role of landscape in his poems. Specifically, “if I live in my place and live my life and write about my subjects, whatever they turned out to be–love, grief, the nature of things, the nature of our nature, the riddles of existence–and drew on the materials of my place as the idiom of that expression, then that would be the kind of environmental writing I’d do.”
We also asked participants to read and collaboratively annotate the poem “Happiness.” Specifically, we asked the community to consider the following questions. What is the “subject” of Happiness and how is this expressed as an idiom of expression of place? When Hass describes his life and places in Happiness what connotative and figurative meaning can you find? Can you detail a deeper meaning about the human condition through a description of a walk (image) you shared through #WalkMyWorld? Participants not only read and annotated Hass’ poetry, but began to write and share original pieces and collaborative poems.
Week Eight: We shared with the community that at this point in the project we had 1,700 tweets, with 1,400 being original content. We continued to celebrate Hass’ poetry and the naming of our worlds through poetry. Participants were asked to consider writing an original poem, and including the image, video, or audio. Many participants wrote short poems or haikus. The goal was to capture the image in the most simple, yet richest language.

Week Nine: We believe in the power of educators and students being not solely content consumers, but curators and constructors. We asked participants to curate their lifeworlds (New London Group, 1996) by using Storify as a way to collect, curate, and share their #WalkMyWorld experience. We then asked participants to return to the original prompts and reflect through prose or poetry. In what ways are you establishing your own identity through your naming of things? In your naming of things in the #WalkMyWorld project, how are you sharing your own private history?  How does your naming and identification of your world separate you from the world?

Week Ten: In the final learning event we were inspired by a quote from Robert Hass who said, “they are the kinds of things that make us a community: attachment to place, attachment to local arts traditions, the ability to read literature, the ability to look at paintings, the sense of connectedness to the land, the sense of community that comes from people taking care of their own.” While we had been asking participants to consider their identities, we were also engaged in community building. For the final learning event we asked participants to reach out to someone else in the project. We asked participants to review others’ content and thank them for allowing the #WalkMyWorld community to walk in their world. We also asked participants to consider the following prompts. As you review the work of someone else in the project, consider what they shared and think about what this content says about their identity. Who do you think this person is, based on the content that they shared? Do you agree with the thoughts they shared in their Storify curation?

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