Mapping and a sense of place

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I was reading this article on how mapping can help us better understand how people relate to space the other day. I’m trying hard to look for more quantitative methodologies when I’m doing my review. Right now I’m taking a quantitative class, and it really pushes me, so I want to see how people approach this idea of sense of place from a quantitative perspective.

I’m not sure the research really pushed my thinking further, but it was good to have more evidence that supported where I was going and what I was thinking.

Most interestingly, perhaps, is this idea that the closer people are to the environment, the less likely they perceive the government as willing or capable of helping.

One of the lines that really resonated with me from this reading was “ Where the attitude variables were concerned, on average, respondents tended not to trust the water authority or technology to solve stormwater pollution; felt that paying additional sums of money to fix the problem was more unfair than fair; and were pro-environmentally disposed.” (Jorgensen & Stedman, 2011) 

This idea really reminded me of Edward Abbey and the Monkey Wrench Gang. It seems like the more you believe in the Earth and the systems that work within it, the less likely we see hope coming from people being able to organise support or care for the Earth.

Maybe it was just a one off thing, but really got me thinking this week.

Jorgensen, B. S., & Stedman, R. C. (2011). Measuring the spatial component of sense of place: a methodology for research on the spatial dynamics of psychological experiences of places. Environment & Planning B: Planning & Design38(5), 795–81

Using New Media for place development

For my new media course, I still want to explore this idea of place and place making. I recently found this article, “A gateway to the global city: Mobile place-making practices by expats”

The major themes that seems to be prevalent in the literature like places matter, but people might matter more seem to prevail in this article. One of the things that really struck me while reading this was how we can almost be part of a place. When studying expats (like my interest in international teachers) I focused on people staying in the expat community not really having a sense of place. This article suggests they have a sense of place, although it may be slightly different.

Many of the expats in this article desired to have a more international experience, so while living in a place is important, knowing the people in that place wasn’t as important. They can be a part of the international community living in Paris, not really know any Parisians, and still (maybe) have a developed senes of place.

It will be interesting to see how these ideas progress and change along with my thinking. While it may not be the most engaging article for my research, I never thought about how participation in an online community, can bring me closer to understanding the international scene in a city, which will help me develop a sense of place (even if it’s not the “genus loci” sense of place).

Polson, E. (2015). A gateway to the global city: Mobile place-making practices by expats. new media & society, 17(4), 629-645.

New Media?


 Some rights reserved by See-ming Lee (SML)

One of my courses this year is on New Media and the impact it has on education.

These are always interesting things to think about, but right now I’m in a class where many of the people who are working are in a school that has different views and ideas than our school has. Our underlying philosophy of education is somewhat different which means, we have different access to how they can use media.

One of the things that has always struck me as a digital literacy coach (although I’m not one anymore) is the idea that people really need to shift their thinking before they really dig deep into new media. We can’t really get into what Web 2.0 is if we don’t know how to act in a participatory way. If our whole world is top down, why does 2.0 matter?

Other people are concerned with the types of tools, and the idea of screen time. While I get that I can be wrong (and mostly likely am wrong about this and many things) I really believe, from my experience, that tools come after frameworks and thought shifts. If we don’t know how to build, why do we need a tool?

Anyway, some of the conversations are interesting, the course is structured in a way which allows students to feel the experience of participation (which was very uncomfortable for some). She believes, from what I gather, that we can shift thought through experiences. I agree, for the most part, but we need to reframe the conversation I think. The experiences have to be more focused on collaboration of anything, rather than just a digital tool.

My thoughts will likely change, but these are my wonderings for now.

Asking questions

 

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This is how I felt today

First day back after two weeks of holidays, most of it went pretty well. The work with the kids was pretty amazing. We talked about the power of stories and metaphor. We did some math games and learned how to connect our order of operations into something meaningful (I hope).

Everyday I’m reading, mostly about doctorate stuff but I go back to Give and Take by Adam Grant as much as possible (sadly not that often). The part I read today was discussing this idea that being powerless can be a powerful negotiating tool.  When we go in asking questions like, “How would you do this?” or “What would you do in this situation?” it can put us in a powerless position. But most of the time, especially if we are a giver and well respected in our work community, it can reap large rewards.

Most of the time we try to pretend like we know something or have some sort of power. When interacting with others we try to show how we deserve something or argue about our importance to our institution, but if we really just ask and try to learn I think we can maybe go further with both our relationships and our actual understanding of how to do our job better.

How do we position ourselves to be better at asking for help? When and how could this backfire? What do we need to be actual givers? I had a lot of questions today.