One image can generate a story. One image can define a space.
This is true of physical places and digital spaces. We learn to recognize a story or space from one image, icon, logo, or representation. Think of an image of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. The iconic scene of ruins in Peru represents a place rich in cultural, metaphysical and historic importance. An image of a pair of red, heeled shoes draws forth the Wizard of Oz journey or a white picket fence the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Images connect us individually and collectively to these stories and spaces. We share meaning from our own perspective when our shared experiences connect us to a particular image that we hold in common.
For CLMOOC, week five make cycle, the focus is on open, public spaces, both physical and digital. One image, from the Project for Public Spaces, captures the qualities and characteristics of great physical spaces. This shared image connects our common understanding about open physical spaces. The intangible elements from this image connected my thinking to the notion of affordances within digital spaces. One image can shape our understanding, but does not define the totality of the space or place. Just as an image of the Great Wall of China brings forward underlying concepts of power and control, the image does not define all that relates or connects people’s learning to that place or space. This resulted in my ‘aha’ realization that there is no space that can be all things for all people at all times. There is no image that defines all there IS to a space or place. There is a balancing required – to seek out that which is most important – to bring meaning to images.
So with these thoughts about images, places and spaces, it brings me in a natural progression to #blimage challenge. The background to this challenge can be seen on a variety of blog posts:
- Amy Burvall – Breaking Bread with Steve Wheeler
- Steve Wheeler – Blimey its #blimage!
- Whitney Kilgore – The Web: network, dreamcatcher, patterns #blimage
- Ignatia de Waard – Taking up #blimage challenge
- A larger collection of images and responses curated by Simon Ensor is found here: https://www.pinterest.com/sensor63/blimage/
The interesting thing about this challenge is that it puts an image into a blog with a focus on an educational context and frame of reference. It builds connections and meaning among those who see, share, relate experiences and tell stories around a particular image. It openly integrates the key attributes of great physical places – sociability, use & activity, access & linkages, and comfort & image – into digital spaces.
So here’s my #blimage response to Ignatia’s challenge and the image she shared.
This image represents education and tells a story of connecting, relationships and making the most from what you’ve got. The individual is alone in the educational landscape. This learner (whether teacher, student, leader or designer) is resting after an intense day of making and creating. Although they are isolated within their own meaning making space, they are connected through technology to others. Creativity and craftsmanship has resulted in a mechanism that will reach out to others. Ingenuity and innovation has enabled the individual to connect outwards and view new vistas. Although the environment is impoverished there are resources available to make the most from the available materials. Secure in a safe place, with a solid foundation upon which to rest, the individual can spread their wings and soar. The paradoxes found in today’s digital learning spaces are evident – alone but connected, secure but unbound, resting yet active, innovative within limitations, open but with closed arms, seeking outward while viewing inward.
So my challenge extends to those who see this and feel the call of the open, wild, untamed spaces. The learning landscapes await – it’s yours to discover. Link to these images – MatthewWiebe, Jordan Sanchez, Blake Richard Verdoorn. Here are three images that may generate a story or define a space.