The fourth make cycle of the 2015 #CLMOOC has focused on systems – specifically the systems that inhabit and shape our lives. I chose to focus on the system I use to teach writing, but others chose a different approach as you can see in the “System Reflections and Connections” produced by the make leaders near the end of the cycle.
Simon Ensor challenged us to think about the many systems that we might overlook as simple “piles of stuff” and made me think about the definition (and creation) of systems. Sarah Honeychurch pushed us to think about the systems we might dismiss to discover their hidden meanings and purposes in “piles of tyres.”
Many others gave us examples and images of systems that make me think of systems made by man as well as by nature and how those systems interact. Sheri Edward’s example of the system of papercutting and Janis Selby Jones transit system as well as the natural systems brought to us by Ida Brandao (mangroves) and Monica Multer (fractals).
Other “teaching” systems were brought by Christy Ball who shared her system for using project-based learning to enact social change and Jamie Jackson’s system for teaching kindergarten writers. Martha Kein created an explanation for the liberal arts system for her students which I might need to steal/borrow for my own students.
However, it was Kevin Hodgson’s post “Don’t Give Up: Change the System From Within” and Tania Sheko’s “Hacking the School System Softly” which really inspired me. Tania’s post was something I could identify with as this is my current “system” for surviving my own hostile work environment and Kevin’s post reminded me that we need to keep working on our broken systems or we will be broken ourselves.
I think this was an important make cycle for all educators, heck all humans, to consider. Too often we don’t think about the systems that shape our worlds and our lives. We need to think about these systems and we need to push back on them and sometimes we need to hack them.
And here is a Thinglink representing my system of reflecting on #CLMOOC Make Cycle 4 (the image above with links embedded)!