Learning (and Wobbling) in Connected Community

As the 12-year olds tell us in Mitch Resnick’s article:

Start simple
Work on things that you like If you have no clue what to do, fiddle around
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Find a friend to work with, share ideas!
It’s OK to copy stuff (to give you an idea)
Keep your ideas in a sketchbook
Build, take apart, rebuild
Lots of things can go wrong, stick with it

Excellent job doing these things over the past week. For those who missed our gathering, we had an excellent conversation about play and games, so make sure to watch the recording (starts around 5:00).

Here is the related document we were using; find our spectrogram as well as  a link to a consent form for participating in a Connected Learning Study that Dr. Kira Baker-Doyle talked to us about.

Let’s bring these ideas into our work ahead … thinking about how we might not just play but also play along, playing with, play around, playing off of, etc. as we pose, wobble and flow together this week ahead.


This week, let’s continue to play and learn alongside colleagues, with a focus on what it is like to learn, and to wobble, in connected communities. And what are the implications for learning and for equity?

What does it mean to wobble? Let’s start to think about this by doing some social reading (and writing) with Antero Garcia and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen using their chapter What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow from Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction.

… we offer a framework we call Pose, Wobble, Flow, which will prompt you to maintain the continual focus on personal reflexivity and professional growth that is so necessary for acknowledging how privilege and cultural positionality shape one’s practice.

This chapter has been shared on the Marginal Syllabus project and therefore you can annotate and also see the annotations of others from a previously scheduled annotation event (Please use the tag #ED677 when you annotate so we can find/see each others comments).

A second reading is titled “Globalization, Localization, Uncertainty and Wobble: Implications for Education” by Bob Fecho. (Note: If you can’t get this article with your Arcadia account, let me know.)

… As the field of education struggles to catch-up with ever-burgeoning technology that brings the world and our uncertainties about the world to our fingertips, this article theorizes the role of uncertainty in the classroom, particularly as it occurs at the intersection of the global and the local.

And then, stop by a site that Bob created with others called Storri at Teachers College at Columbia University. This is a site where teachers courageously share their stories of wobble. Pick out 2-3 stories from across the different categories to focus on. Makes notes to yourself — What issues were causing wobble for these educators and what complexities are discussed?


Note: this may take you more than just this week to accomplish, depending on when you start.

This week, check out the set of provocations that Antero and Cindy offer at the end of their chapter (page 14 of What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow):*

  1. Keep a journal or diary (digital or nondigital) and begin listing the areas of your practice that you continue to struggle with. Prioritize those areas that require the most in-depth scrutiny. [slight edit] Do you think any of these are poses? If so, make notes to yourself about this.
  2. Try jotting brief notes in your daily lesson plans or recording a few words on sticky notes that will later jog your memory about classroom events related to your wobble. If it’s easier, you can even record voice memos on your phone or computer and listen to them on your way home to reflect on how your teaching went that day. As you interrogate your wobble by inquiring into your practice, what insights are you finding? Where are you experiencing flow?
  3. Use the same process above to reflect on your students’ work. Seeing this as data for meaningfully informed wobbling, what are your students producing, and what does their work say about your classroom’s culture, your teaching practice, your understanding of who your students are? Don’t forget that your students are the best source of information about their own learning. Talk to them and try to find common ground.

Try these suggestions for one week. And then share a reflection on what you learn in the process of doing these things. If you are comfortable sharing notes you took along the way, feel free (but please make your own decision about this; you should always consider the public nature of blogging before posting). Keep those notes so that you can look back and reflect on them throughout the semester.

Remember in your reflection to come back to our main questions, ie. what is it like to learn, and to wobble, in connected communities? What are the implications of wobble for connected learning and equity?


The 12 year olds above tell us to “Find a friend to work with, share ideas!” Antero and Cindy also ask us to “Seek out allies and mentors” and write:

… even though the model as we’ve described it above often sounds individualistic, we don’t intend for it to be. In fact … we have found that we go through P/W/F cycles most successfully when we collaborate with colleagues who provide moral support and at the same time challenge our thinking.

This week, start to identify some allies and mentors for yourself or others who you might support you when you wobble. Are they people you work with or connect with through school? Are there networks to connect to, professional alliance or organizations that can be supportive? What about some of the new connections you’ve been exploring, both on and offline? Where do you as an educator find moral support while challenging your thinking?


Finally, if you are up for it, it is Valentine’s week after all and love is in the air. Why not share with the world what it is you love about teaching! Check out #loveteaching to learn how.

New to Twitter? Many educators are using twitter to connect with colleagues and also to engage in discussion about education as professionals in the field. If you are interested, the Studies of Literacies and Multimedia (SLAM) Assembly of NCTE ran a webinar (yes, that is the same Antero Garcia and Nicole Mirra you’ve been reading!) on Learning to Tweet. Check it out.

Also, as we discussed on our hangout last week, there are other ways beyond blogging that we might want to connect/share at #ED677. To do so, tag things with #ED677 and then invite us to follow-along. For example:

#ED677 via twitter
#ED677 via hypothes.is

Where else do you already hangout out online and want to start a discussion with us … Instagram? Others? Make suggestions as part of your Find 5s if you think it can be supportive.

In learning and connecting solidarity,

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