My hometown

mapInspired by Doug Peterson, who was inpsired by ZeFrank that then inspired Stephen Downes and others I’ve created a little video of my life growing up in Morden, Manitoba.  Thanks to the every growing database of Google Streetview, it’s now reaching even small towns like the one I grew up in.

This one’s mostly for me. Yet, it’s been interesting to learn about other’s experiences growing up. Lots of similarities largely due to a very different attitude toward safety and community. (By the way, I recall a blog post/website a few months back where someone detailed the changes in how far kids are allowed to roam from home, if anyone knows it please leave a link)

Besides the content, the use of Google Maps/Streetview as storytelling tools is largely underused as Alan Levine has said a number of times. Watching Jim Groom’s video, was like literally like going for a walk with him.

I created this with about 3 Jing movies stitched together and then uploaded to blip and youtube. One take. No rehearsal or editing, other than adding a title and one image I had handy. It lacks polish but most of our stories aren’t rehearsed, they’re spontaneous accounts of memory. I’m not advocating for us not to edit and craft our stories but we need to have room for many kinds of stories, some polished and edited to death and some a little rough around the edges. Bottom line is we need more stories about significant experiences. Google maps and street view is powerful tool for that. I for one would be happy to take a walk with people sharing significant stories about places that have meaning.

Here’s mine.

What’sWhere’s your story?

That was fun

So that fact that your birthday is splattered in any number of places means some interesting things.  We get all kinds of well wishes from different spaces. It’s nice. It’s part of the glue of social networks, little bits of sharing to build community.

My life is pretty much an open book. For some that’s just too weird, dangerous or stupid. It works for me.  My network of acquaintances/colleagues/connections and yes, some friends, know a lot of odd things about me.

I received many birthday wishes but David Jakes (I linked to his blog so you’ll all head over and urge him to blog more) started this little beauty:

And the fun began.  I’m not sure I capture them all but I hope so.

For those who  have had the opportunity to observe my online nattering, I can see how some might find it trivial, self-absorbed and even perhaps useless. There’s some truth in that for sure. But I can say that much of this it isn’t far off from the way I approach teaching and learning. Wrapped around the glaze of foolishness lies the belief that you need to invest and embrace a level of vulnerability and be prepared to engage in idle chat in order to build community and in turn truly learn from each other. For me this means sharing silliness, exploring new ways to share and communicate and discovering that being playful and curious about other people actually matters.  I also think this doesn’t necessarily lose you academic credibility, although again, many would write me off because of my overt sharing practices. I hardly care. I’m sure there are other ways to do this but I’m quite happy with how things have worked out for me. Not that I’m seeking power but “the less you share the less power you have.” In a time of economic downturn, I have tons of social capital.

So with that I give you a really neat little gift that from some really cool people. They supplied the gift, I wrapped it up and put it in a box.  That was fun. (FYI, I uploaded this first to youtube but the rendering of the screen captures was pretty unreadable, vimeo does a much better job. There, you learned something)

Birthday Tweets from shareski on Vimeo.