Day Fourteen: Write on My Wall

I set up some butcher paper (though I am doubtful that anyone has actually slaughtered an animal in our staff lounge) on the wall and ask students to respond to my comment, “I’m going to miss this class.”  I also set up a “class wall” where students can arbitrarily add their own comments.

It’s primitive.  Cave walls.  Graven images.  Simple, perhaps, but more complex in its simplicity.  We are limited and yet, these limitations foster the creative impulse.  Students not only write comments, but they also sketch pictures, change colors, alter hand-writing and draw arrows to comments.  On Facebook, my wall is linear.  In my classroom, the wall is a web.

It’s more than that, though.  “My wall” quickly becomes a collective space and it’s nearly impossible to differentiate the two sides. On Facebook, my wall is always mine.  In the classroom, the wall is ours.

“That looks pretty cool,” I mention to a student.

“I guess so,” he says.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“I guess it’s nice to write on a wall.  That’s the appeal of tagging.  But I like that,” he points to the mural on our wall.

“Why?” I ask him.

“It’s us without the words,” he says.

His friend says, “Besides, we won’t throw it away a day later.”

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3 thoughts on “Day Fourteen: Write on My Wall

  1. Your video conveys the energy of your classroom. I would love the opportunity of visiting it sometime. I am a web-based person too. That is one of the drawbacks of Twitter in my mind. I cannot quite map my conversations. It is hard to see how they are related. I hope this continues to improve as time passes.

    • I wish I could visit your classroom as well. And I’m with you. I have a tough time mapping out a non-linear Twitter conversation in a format that is so linear.

  2. Well, John, last night I got the email with your video and I watched it quickly, delaying my needed rest time by only a few minutes. I have had a blog (Tom’s University) for over a year now. I do these podclasses on “Basic Life Principles for Healthy Human Beings” every day based on brain research, social psychology research, evolutionary psychology, healthy mental health research, happiness research, mind-body integration research (etc.) and my personal experience of studying “what is a healthy human being” for over 30 years. I do at least one class every day, but I haven’t posted to the blog since early February, partly because of my technological “low skill level” (I don’t know how to make any changes to my blog theme design and the person who was helping me “flaked out”) and partly because of my social media and marketing “low skill level (for example, I have no Facebook presence for Tom’s University because I just had no clue as to how to it could be applicable for Tom’s University. As soon as I watched your video, I “got it!” I now “get” how Facebook can be relevant to sharing what I know and want to share about “being a healthy human being”. (Hint: Being a “healthy human being” -an emotionally, mentally, behaviorally healthy human being – is all about skill building. It is not about “fixed character traits” or genes or temperament or rules.)

    I don’t know how long it will take me to figure out the “technological aspects” of Facebook, but I now have the reason to learn them and apply them for Tom’s University and my other learning to share with “the culture” (my friends, my community, my world). Thank you!

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