The world fell silent.

The world fell silent for me as I heard the news from family that Jim Maxmin died. For those who know me well, you know that Jim Maxmin and Shoshana Zuboff are cherished mentors and friends.

Over the last six years I have learned so much from the brilliance of Jim. I can still remember our first meeting — to discuss an audacious design that would become Global Civ. Unlike so many others, Jim embraced the idea of a distributed networked learning ecology without reservation — he said, with his fiercely intelligent smile –“This is ten years ahead of its time for popular understanding, but perfect for our work.” That work, a hybrid learning collective, which was co-led by Jim’s son, Jake and under the research guidance of Jim’s wife Shoshana would become a three year project that influences everything I do professionally.

Jim, I am in shock at your death. I am holding you, Jake, Chloe, Shoshana, Pache and all you have shaped in the light.  I want to reach out and have another conversation around the kitchen island….I want to see you outside– you were always working, always reading, always helping, always smiling….. always holding me to the highest standard, always being a role model of what a husband and father and intellectual can be, always, always, always.

The world fell silent this week. We have lost a visionary, a caring and loving father and husband, mentor and friend.

In love and with reverence.


Hannah Arendt–Understanding, Humanity and Responsibility

The film clip below came across my stream today…. I have learned so much from Arendt’s work and find her work as foundational philosophy.  Ergo, I suggest reading Arendt (Reprint 1997) The Promise of Politics to anyone who is interested in understanding democracy, humanity and action in schools and the world.  I Also recommend Arendt (Reprint 1998) The Human Condition.

“I see it as my responsibility to understand….”


Deep Mapping

Roberto Greco and Selin Jessa wove a beautiful information sharing stream via Twitter last night and thankfully included me in their posts.  The research conversation started with Deep Mapping.

A deep map goes beyond simple landscape/history-based topographical writing – to include and interweave autobiography, archeology, stories, memories, folklore, traces, reportage, weather, interviews, natural history, science, and intuition. In its best form, the resulting work arrives at a subtle, multi-layered and ‘deep’ map of a small area of the earth.

This method of exploration has my full attention as it connects to the larger body of networked field studies I have created and those currently in creation.  My designs of late do not feel at all like curriculum development but rather like spatial sensemaking of new methods for learning. The interdisciplinarity of the learning through field studies goes without question, but what is fascinating to me is the very real potential for The Bridge Year Learner and young people in general to deeply map the areas they live, study and play in.  This goes so far beyond “service learning” or Experiential Education, ect… and into realms we need to consider, and enact with understanding.

To ground truth learning and reflect upon the experience is done to different degrees in different learning situations now.  A classroom teacher may follow this pattern or conversely a sailing semester at sea.  What interests me is the idea of curating intuition, folklore, patterns and authoethnographic self-observation and reflexive investigation (Maréchal 2009) while exploring, learning and giving back to an area of study. Creating new maps and new frontiers of possibility for self and community social, environmental and economic mutation. This post to be continued….

Where the blog things are

Well I am done resting my blog at this URL and and will be writing for public audiences again (or so I am telling myself right now).  There is a break in blogging that occurred after my Drupal fascination wore of and I returned to WordPress.

Those posts exist at

Looking forward to writing again here and I hope you find value, inspiration and use of the designs, bits, and ideations to come.

On Human Nature: A Few Resources

“Humans, in short, are yet another primate with an intense and rich social life — a fact that raises the question of whether primatology can teach us something about a rather important part of human sociality, war and peace.”

Sapolsky, R. (2006) natural_history_of_peace (PDF)

“The mutual-aid tendency in man has so remote an origin, and is so deeply interwoven with all the past evolution of the human race, that it has been maintained by mankind up to the present time, notwithstanding all vicissitudes of history.”

Kropotkin, P (1902) Mutual Aid (Via D, Ward.  Full Text Online)

Playing the iPad Drum

I was asked to join in a “teacher” band performance of the Avett Brother’s Kick Drum Heart and offered to play the Nalgene (water bottle) drum or Garage Band Drums on iPad. I plugged in the iPad and did not look back.

Chomsky on Education

Sound doxa on critical education, deschooling, open learning, complexity in reform, technology in education.

Rural Learning Exchange Resources

Looking forward to the arrival of Ward (1988), The Child in the Country.

Thank you to Roberto Greco for pointing me to more of Colin Wards work

Playing with TheNewHive

More on TheNewHive

The New Hive from TheNewHive on Vimeo.

Back to WordPress!

I just could not get a hold of my blogger blog so I took the trail hook and came back to WordPress for blogging.  There are so many things I like about WordPress but it boils down to comfort and ease of use for me.  I plan to use this blog as a stream of my web in many ways.  Thanks for putting up with my move.  Look forward to reading your comments