Designing for Equity and Possibility

The marsh lungs will breathe again by Tolka Rover CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The marsh lungs will breathe again by Tolka Rover CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all. — Helen Keller

When we enlarge our view of the world, we deepen our understanding of our own lives. — Yo-Yo Ma

Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe. — John Muir

To know the world one must construct it. — Cesare Pavese

Happy Monday!

Wow … what a semester. From getting started with our online presences to exercising our voice and agency as teachers and learners, to making map, memes, badges, bedazzlement and pop-ups … it’s been super exciting to engage with you all this semester.

As we start to get to the end, you are probably wondering about your final “make” and also assessments. Below this email are some details that I will also update in the syllabus. We can talk about both of these things on Wednesday’s gathering and feel free to email questions/comments you might have. I’m happy to talk it through.

In thinking about this week though I realize that I wanted to go back to articles we have already looked at to help us move towards our final “make” … and when I looked up those articles, I realize I sent them to you all during our week of “Playing with Playful ways of Knowing and Thinking” which is actually perfect! So let’s go with that – let’s continue in the playful pop-up mode we started this past week and continue to grow our collective knowledge and resources about equity and connected learning.

(I lost the game, btw.)

To dive back into play, don’t forget that we have our gathering with Chad Sansing to refer back to:

As well as John Seely Brown’s keynote focused on the role of play in being an entrepreneurial learner:

And there was also Howard Rheingold’s interview with Kylie Peppler about the role of playing and tinkering with new tools and materials in understanding how to be a change agent in our world today:

(Note: To tap into more resources related to e-textiles and systems-thinking via Scratch and Gamestar Mechanic, the new curriculum series Kylie is talking about is called Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design.)

Taking a take a prompt directly from Kylie then, let’s practice playing and being designers ourselves in a way that leads us to creating what we need to take equity and connected learning forward from ED677 into your learning and teaching spaces. Mitch Resnicks’  “kindergarten approach to learning” provides us guidance in this design cycle:


What did you create, play and share this semester? Reflect on these in the context of the Connected Learning principles and values, including equity. Use your inquiry question/s to take these reflections even further.

Considering all that, what do you start to imagine and re/imagine?


This week ahead →

Wednesday: We will be gathering again at 8pm ET on Wednesday and do some short-design thinking activities to support us in imagining forward. We will also talk about the final “make” and a self-assessment process (see more details below about this).

Our make(s) this week: Work on your final make.

Seeking/Searching this week: Find six to seven things this week that support your thinking about your final make—from our community/class, from your readings, from your own work, etc.—and share how you feel that impacts the way you are thinking about equity in connected learning moving forward.

In connected learning solidarity,


Final Make
Due the week of April 20-26

Final “makes” should be something that you design that emerges from your inquiry and supports you in building towards equity and connected learning beyond ED677. This make can relate to your work with youth and/or in your personal/professional practice. When you share your final make, I’d also like you to also reflect on and then describe what connected learning principles inform your make as well as how it addresses or impacts questions of equity. Including at least 3 of the principles in this reflection/sharing plus equity.

Please note that do you do not have to start from scratch— you can continue, remix, remediate something you or your classmates have already started in this class (or in any other). That said, I’d like you to take whatever you do to its next level and consider it as something you are creating that can help make connected learning and equity a reality in the world (in a big or small way).

Please complete your make and share it, with your reflections during our final week April 20-26. You are welcome to share your make on April 22nd during our 8pm gathering if you are ready.

Due the week of April 20-26

I’d also like you do a self-assessment of your learning and connecting in this class that I will take into full consideration in my own assessment process as the instructor. If you look back at the syllabus, the performance expectations that I had for all of you in January included (how this breaks down into a grade is also on the syllabus btw):

  1. Exploring key ideas of connected learning (within weekly topics and cycles).
  2. Contribute to our classroom community in some way each week.
  3. Engage with another community outside this course each week.
  4. Document your journey as you go in support of your own assessment and reflection, with specific attention to issues of equity.
  5. Design a framework for a project you will take forward past this class
  6. Share/demonstrate/perform some aspect of this for community input/feedback.

Copy this list in your blog (if you want to share it publicly) or in a Google document that you share with me (if you want to only share it privately), reflecting on these things:

  • How well do you feel you successful met these expectations this semester?
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance over the past semester?

Please share your self-assessment after you complete your final make, ie. also during our final week April 20-26.

ps. I will also be asking for feedback on the course overall and how it did or did not support you in meeting these expectations as well as your thoughts on the expectations themselves. That will be done anonymously, however, and will not impact your grade in anyway. I appreciate your feedback and input and thank you for whatever time you can also put into it and just fyi that I will send that next week.

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