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Chloe Varelidi's Blog - Legendary Lands And The Design Of Learning Pathways
"I recently stumbled upon Umberto Eco’s Book of Legendary Lands. This wondrous book is an illustrated journey into some of history’s greatest imaginary places; from Jules Verne’s ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (one of my childhood favorites and probably the only book I ever read in French) to Thomas More’s ‘Utopia below.

As Eco talks about in the book, maps have always been a way for us humans to make sense of our world. They often present a way to explore abstract ideas, the cosmos and our self.
Given it was a lazy Sunday afternoon when I first got a hold of this book and started going through it’s pages, it made me ponder about the connection between these imaginary maps and the way we have been talking about the Discovery Project.

We have talked a lot about the notion of empowering youth to take on the “Explorer Mindset” through openbadges pathways and we envisioned those as highly customizable maps of one’s personal career journey (or flight if you are Amelia Earhart fan like me :)).

Learning Pathways Are Malleable 
We view pathways as non-prescriptive and highly customizable experiences that evolve according to a learners’ personal needs. For that reason we are creating a  tool that allows for pathways to be re-mixable and personalized. Carol Dweck talks a lot about the idea of a growth mindset within it intelligence and talent are malleable factors. In her book Mindset she says; “This view creates a love of learning  and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

They Are Also Playful
We use the notion of playfulness as one that both creates a joyful user experience that makes taking a pathway exciting but also playfulness as a means to think creatively about your future. "Play enables the  individual to discover new approaches to dealing with the world"- Bateson & Martin say in their book “Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation.”

And….Storylike!
This is something that emerged from the interviews and user research that our esteemed team members Lucas Blair (Content Specialist) and Emily Goligoski (User Research Lead) worked on. Telling the story of your pathway is a story people love both telling and listening to. For that reason we are introducing story bits, a pathway element that highlights the narrative side of your learning and career pathway. In addition research literature, like Savitz-Romer & Bouffards’ book Ready Willing and Able, A Developmental Approach To College Access and Success,  tells us that trying on an identity and following a narrative is especially important to youth when it comes to pursuing a career pathway.

With all these ideas in mind we have started to create a UI that is greatly inspired by maps and a UX that allows for this kind of playfulness and malleabl-ity (if that is a word:)). Here is a sneak peak on what our UI Designer (and Amsterdam native/map lover) Sander Giesing has been working on. From a UX point of view the badges are re-arrangeable like a puzzle and users can add new badges they have wishlisted and/or remove existing ones that are not relevant to them. In addition the little books represent what we mentioned above as story-bits, little notes that add a narrative flair to the pathway."
umbertoeco  chloevarelidi  play  discovery  learning  howwelearn  2014  julesverne  thomasmore  maps  mapping  discoveryproject  pathways  caroldweck  malleability  growthmindset  storytelling  narrative  creativity  playfulness 
march 2014 by robertogreco
DAILY SERVING » Summer of Utopia: Interview with Ted Purves
"I feel like a project is successful if we have had substantive encounters with people, if we have created spaces where a kind of exchange—whether it’s family history, or talking about why something should or shouldn’t be in an art museum, or sometimes it’s just swapping recipes—some form of animated or engaged dialogue comes out, or some sort of story emerges. It means we learn something, a story can be brought forward from that, that’s when things are successful. Another high-five moment comes when there is something compelling to look at. A lot of times when you see a social practice show, it’s either a room full of crap to read, or it looks like a place where they had a party and you didn’t get to go. I’ve been to a lot of those, and they’re not satisfying! You either wish they had just printed a book you could take home and read in your own chair—because it’s not very comfortable to sit in a museum—or you wish that you’d been at the party."

[via: http://randallszott.org/2012/05/25/ted-purves-aesthetics-social-practice-personal-economies/ ]
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may 2012 by robertogreco

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