Connecting to be connected? #CMC11 MOOC

Started writing this post a few days ago. Today, I came back and deleted what I had written. It didn’t reflect anymore my thinking. I therefore decided to capture my reflections using photovoices. My thoughts wander to some of my week 2 readings but also to a conference I attended today at the University of Wolverhampton (check out their Learning to Teach Inclusively OER).

reaching out and creating relationships

connecting, reaching out, creating relationships... younger and...

... and older, we all need each other

... older

any colour, texture - we all need each other

... any colour and all colours

any shape, all shapes

any shape and all shapes

we all want to connect. we need each other

we all want to connect. we need each other

we are all unique

we are all different, in fact unique

but part of the puzzle of life, discovery and learning

but we are all part of the puzzle of life, discovery and learning

together we are stronger

together we are stronger

the world in our hands, what does this mean?

we hold the world in our hands, what are we going to do with it?

come on, let's build bridges to connect, communicate and collaborate

I am wondering, is connecting to be connected the/an answer?

11 thoughts on “Connecting to be connected? #CMC11 MOOC

  1. Thank you for this. I love the rise of “infographics” to effectively share facts in a highly engaging format that, I believe, really works for this information age. In this post you’ve taken it farther and created a sort of stream-of-thought-graphic, and to me the result is a poetic statement.

    That course you link to looks very interesting! (but i’m already “full up” of courses!)

  2. Hi Chrissi,

    Loved your photovoices. Beautiful photos and lovely voice of truth. But I am not sure about this one “we all want to connect. we need each other.” It reminds me of what most of us are doing these days, reaching out to search and live on others’ attention, care and love, instead of working on our own. I believe that we are spiritual beings which are naturally connected in a higher level. All we need to do is to be our true selves and realize this higher connection.

    Love and Light,

  3. Hi Ilyse,
    Thank you visiting again and for your kind comments. I made this yesterday when I had a head full of different things, disconnected and felt strongly about the need to connect with like-minded people. Not sure if this is a poetic statement, and I think, reflecting now on the product, I feel that it is a bit shallow… or not open enough.

    Regarding poems, this is something I would like to explore more and was actually thinking to capture some of my reflections in poems. However, I have to admit, that I find it easier to express using images that I feel, are more open to different interpretations. But easier is not always better… I need to challenge myself more, I think…

    Do you use poems for learning?

  4. Hi Sam,

    So nice to see you here and thank you for your contribution. When I read your comments this morning, it reflected well, what I was thinking when I was travelling to work this morning. I felt, that this piece was indeed unfinished and perhaps too closed and shallow(?), as stated in my reply to Ilyse (see above). Then, I had another look at my title, which is a question and links, I think, to what you are saying: “Connecting to be connected?” which is something I am also struggling with. I totally agree with you that we all need time for ourselves as well and there might be an increased reliance of the easiness we can reach out today and expect answers from outside without considering what we already know. However, we are social beings, and I feel that we do need each other. Not constantly, of course.Also, to be connected doesn’t have to mean, shouldn’t mean, exclusively connected online. We seem to over-emphasise on this type of connection and forget about our everyday more immediate connections, the people around us and I have ‘discussed this’ in another photovoice (see

    Thank you for making me think deeper about this. I am going to leave this as it is but will add the question title at the end, reminding readers that I am actually asking this question and try to reflect through these images and make sense of our need and desire to connect but also invite others to comment on my thoughts and debate these.

    All the best

  5. I like the idea of poems as tight distillations of our feelings and thoughts. I have also been exploring this after seeing Chrissi’s photovoices and also reading about using multimedia for new forms of narrative.

    I am in the process of having a go so will share soon (if I dare)

  6. @Chrissi, to date I have used poems for solipsistic self-expression, and that was back in my early 20s (back in the stone ages). However, even poems written in self-indulgent self-reflection may certainly resonate for readers and call things into consciousness that had been suppressed or simply unrecognized. Poetry as a learning medium, what in interesting idea; you ask the best questions!

    @Sam, there are so many shades of meaning on the word “need”. On its surface to “need” something means that thing is simply “necessary” and the statement “we need each other” does not explicitly say anything further than “we are necessary to each other” (which I believe is true). However, indeed, most often the phrase “we need each other” is interpreted to mean “we are emotionally needy and look to each other to make us feel loved and whole”. I absolutely agree with you — it is possible to walk down a street alone under the sunshine or stars and tap into that higher connection, thus feeling not only that we are loved but that we *are* Love itself. In a sense, we don’t need each other because we already have each other … and that is because, fundamentally, we ARE each other.

    My spiritual reflection for the day, phone ringing, back to what they call the real world.

  7. Hi Chris,

    What a lovely surprise to see you here. Thank you for your interest in the photovoices. A picture is 1000 words. This is also how it feels when I put the pictures together.

    During the photo selection process I feel that I have the opportunity to connect with an image emotionally (does this sound strange?). The story is usually in my head when I start. However, I have noticed that during the process of stitching it together visually, my thoughts and emotions are more fluid and I feel that specific images help me crystalise my thoughts and reflections. I don’t know if this makes sense but it is an interesting and therapeutic learning activity… if there is such a thing.

    Looking back at photovoices created I can easily re-connect with these, and re-live situations from a different angle because the emotions are not there anymore. I am more objective and neutral. It is like stepping out of myself and my experiences. Re-reflecting on reflections seems to help me neutralise lived experiences and turn them into valuable learning material. This does not always happen with my written reflections. As mentioned in one of our conversations, I would like to introduce this approach to our PGCAP students as an alternative way to get started with reflection. It won’t work for everybody, but I think some might want to try it.

    Please share a link to your poem when you have a version ready. Maybe we could try collaborative poetry on a specific theme?

    I think Terry Barrett has done some work on using poetry for reflection. See

    Terry was also interested in photovoices and was following my blog for a while…

    Speak again soon.

  8. Hi Ilyse,

    Thank you for continuing the conversation about ‘needing each other’. I would say that when I used the word ‘need’ I didn’t think of ‘being needy’. For me, this is a dependency and not a good thing. However, we all have experienced such phases in our lives, I am sure.

    And if we think of being ‘needy’ in a teaching and learning situation, what can we do to become less ‘needy’ or help others to become less ‘needy’ and why would would this be a good thing and for whom?

    More questions ;o)

    Speak again soon.


  9. Hi Ilyse,
    I forgot to mention that using links to images on the web is not always a lasting solution. I have noticed that some of the images in my previous photovoices have disappeared… so, I will need to go back to these and replace the images. I guess, I will have to start using more of my own images to make sure that they stay ;o) Have you tried capturing your thoughts using images? Would also like to experiment with comic strips.

    Speak again soon

  10. Hi Chrissi — I haven’t really tried to capture my thoughts per se, in poetic form like you do, using images … but I have begun to use images I capture in my own little world, my own neighborhood, things I walk past in the course of my days, in my personal blog. Example at — and I would like to gradually pursue increased incorporation of my own photography and other visual work (but usually just do not have the time after my course load and money earning activities)

    • Hi Ilyse,
      I visited your blog and left a comment.

      Regarding time. There will never be enough time but we can make time for things that are important for us. Resourcefulness also helps a lot especially when we don’t have enough of time or money or space or support or friends etc. The more we think and act, the more resourceful we will/might get.

      Enjoy the weekend.

      Until next time

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