Phipps Files

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Toy sorting October 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sjphipps @ 9:07 PM
Kids toy bins by askpang, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  askpang 

As I cleaned up and sorted my children’s toys into their toy bins for what seems like the 1000th time, I find myself making links to George Siemens lecture from last week. Siemens spoke about all the fragmentation on the Internet. I am not used to this. I am used to the whole. My entire life, I have been given a text-book to master and learn- my whole. I could put the pieces together and make sense of the whole. Now, with the Internet as a vital learning tool, people are left without a whole. We have all these experiences of pulling apart the pieces only then to try to put them back together and make sense of the whole for ourselves.

When online, we have all these filters that control us or at least what we see. I see these filters as compartments. I get to see adds and website suggestions because I am a woman, around 30, mother, wife, scrapbooker, reader, educator etc. I am, online, compartmentalized into all these small little boxes. These boxes are not that different from the bins in which I insist my children store their toys; GI Joes- yellow bin, cars- blue bin, Mr. Potato Head- red bin etc etc.

What I have come to realize is this whole time, I have pretty much been way-finding. I am orienting myself on the Internet, in this land of Web 2.0 tools and applications. I am trying to connect the pieces between what is the application, how do I use it, where do I find it and how can I apply it to my class. The whole process of sense-making is still in the works for me! For me, this effort of trying to understand all the pieces and trying to piece them all together is really difficult until I am well-established in my navigation.

Now that I understand the difference between the two concepts and I have been able to place myself on my way-finding/sense-making journey, I just need to continue taking the steps on the path toward reflection and content. To me, the sense-making process means I will reflect on learning, create based on what I have learned, revisit my reflections and integrate them into my every day life.

Lastly, Siemens said that as we participate  in digital forms, we are giving birth to ourselves or our digital identity. I found this an interesting analogy which took me back to my question: Are we really multiple selves or the same self in multiple forms? I would say the latter is true. I am still the same person, born by the same amazing mother (thanks mom) but now I am a part of a digital system. Same person, different community. What do you think?


3 Responses to “Toy sorting”

  1. I heard a few days ago a presentation where someone was criticizing Facebook as seeing identity as a mirror (that what you reflect on Facebook is you). He argued that it’s more like a diamond, much more multi-faceted. danah boyd talks about context collapse, where, on social networks, you will have so many of your worlds collide that it’s difficult to maintain an authentic self. Interesting times we live in. Thanks for your post!

  2. lmorhart Says:

    First off kudos to you for organizing the toys! I gave up on that a LONG time ago! My sanity was far more important!

    What an interesting post! I had to read it twice because you made a lot of interesting connections that I really hadn’t thought of. I find that I do a lot of things but often don’t take the time to reflect on what I have done after…and by reflect I mean really take the time to think why I did it, what would I do next time…

    I too am still in the process of sensemaking when it comes to how to use these tools in my class. For fun, I use a lot of Web 2.0 tools but I am still trying to make sense of how I can use them for educational purposes with my students. It is a journey and for some it is quick and others it is slow but if we can all get there in the end then it was worth it!

    I believe we are the same self in multiple forms…I think of it this way; Do I talk the same with my friends as I do with my colleagues or students? No. I think we can take on many forms and one of these “forms” is our digital identity.

  3. Sense-making and way-finding are not locked into the digital world. That’s what living is all about – or perhaps should be.

    I tend not to look at self as fragmented (unless broken, as there are broken selves) but rather multi-faceted. Ditto the world. That makes us and everything around us awe-some; there is much to discover and fill us with awe. And that sense of awe, comes in a moment of feeling that things are making sense and knowing where we are (finding our way).

    But, it’s all a journey isn’t it? We don’t stop. It’s an interative cycle of ambiguity to certainty and all over again. In this journey, we grow and “polish” some of the facets of our selves. That is learning. That is living.

    The other beauty too is that we bump into people in this journey; paths cross sometimes multiple times.

    I consider categorising and filtering as ‘box-ing’ because they help us to focus – giving us a chance to make sense, find our way, grow, polish, learn. The problem is sometimes we forget to take the ‘boxes’ out or when the ‘box’ is too small. In terms of self, it’s when we forget there are more facets than what is readily seen.

    I could go on but I’m hoping you already get what I’m trying to say. I’ll finish with the question – how will this affect your teaching, parenting and socialising both in the real and digital worlds?

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