This week in the Making Learning Connected MOOC, we were asked to develop and publish our “credo.” In short, we were to develop a short statement of our values, or belief systems in teaching, learning, education, “making”, etc. Also this week, I had the privilege of starting up our long awaited IT&DML program here at UNH. So, somewhere online right now are 15 people on squeaky new Chromebooks, signing in to Google+, Google Groups, starting blogs, and building their web literacies. One of their first assignments is to start up their blog and post their “philosophy statement” to his new space. This blog post is meant to detail my thinking as I assigned the assignment to the IT&DML students, and developed my own credo.
I’m no stranger to writing a “philosophy statement.” I had to write one to get into my PhD program. I also had to write one for my comprehensive exams. I needed to submit one, or a variant of one when I applied for jobs in higher ed. Finally, I’ve been fine-tuning this the two or three times per year that I need to compile materials for my tenure packet. (just received the email from my Dean…the second year materials were also successfully recieved 🙂 )
In preparing the assignment for the IT&DML group, and building my credo, I didn’t want to just post my statement on Scribd, or dump it into Wordle, or Tagxedo. I gave some thought to using an awesome tool (PRISM) that Chad Sansing showcased. Ultimately, I decided to make something in Mozilla Popcorn. I was also inspired by the work by Chris Lawrence as he developed his own credo. I’ve built one, or two Popcorn pieces previously. One of which was my Six Word Memoir for Mozilla’s #teachtheweb MOOC.
I thought the initial use of Popcorn, and expression of identity went well. But, this Popcorn clip was more of an overview and introduction to me. I wanted something that expressed my credo…my learning beliefs and statements. Already inspired and motivated by Chris Lawrence’s work, and determined to showcase an example of the direction we’re headed in with the IT&DML program…I started building a new credo in Popcorn.
For my credo I thought about the theories and principles that form my thinking about literacy, teaching and learning. I thought about possible artists that I listen to that might echo these trends. Initially I gave thought to My Philosophy by BDP, but that didn’t quite fit. Instead I went to Public Enemy and thought about the first album I bought by PE. I remember walking around Wall to Wall: Sound & Video in Cinnaminson, NJ as a high school teenager. I saw the CD for Fear of a Black Planet sitting in the New Releases section. The cover, graphics, and message of the CD immediately attracted me. This CD seemed to be something other than “me.” It seemed like this music was not meant for me. And I loved it. I routinely listened to the album again and again in my CD player. Always using head phones because I knew my parents wouldn’t understand why I was listening to this. Many of the themes and messages behind the album appealed to my nature, and in some ways inspired the philosophy that I bring to my own views on education.
To build the Popcorn video, I used Wikispaces to first review the tracks on the album. I selected a couple possible tracks, and then searched on Google for lyrics, and YouTube to find appropriate videos to use. I left these various elements open in multiple tabs on Chrome and then started building my Popcorn clip. I’ve previously detailed the thinking involved as I “make” online content like this. I followed the same process as I collected, curated, added, and revised my video production. My credo focuses on education, literacy, critical literacy, and empowerment. Many of these themes are seen across my various writings and presentations available online. Most of these aspects coalesced into elements of activism, cyberactivism, and advocacy in my dissertation. The end result is a documentation of my “philosophical statement”, infused with the power of online, multimodal informational text. Enjoy.
Image CC by walkercleaveland