TrailBlazing: Rhizomatic Practice


I have been experimenting with the idea of ‘feedforward’ in my work here in #Rhizo15. In a guided journaling exercise I shared with some folks (and I am still sifting through your responses) I discovered a few ideas that I wanted to explore further.

Below is a Hackpad page that describes one of them,  a ‘feedforward’, rhizomatic practice called prototyping.  This is where I prototyped one of several ‘fastforwardings” or imagined futures.

Now that you know the ‘future’, let me move to the second part of the post where I guide it into being. I have been playing quite a bit with what amounts to a creative substitute for my beloved Zeegas–PopcornMaker by Mozilla. It is a little less intuitive than Zeega, but it is capable of much greater control and complexity than Zeega. If Zeega was a ‘low bar to entry tool’ then PopcornMaker is the next level. How do these two ideas (the scout bee in my Hackpad and the multimedia tool, PopcornMaker) come together? Simple: I use the media tool as the vehicle for my scout report.

Below you will see the first of what I hope are many “scout reports” about the practice of rhizomatic learning and teaching. I am creating a map where the hive can find food or as Deleuze and Guattari say,

…the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectible, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight. (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 21)

This is a waggle dance. I am just pointing to the food source, the practice is up to you.  I am giving you a sense of direction but you have file your own line of flight.

I think that rhizomatic learning and teaching has something to do with creating embeddable spaces.  For personal learning this means embedding ourselves in these spaces (internships, mentorings, cMOOCs, informal/adhoc situations) as well as internalizing the most handy of them. For teaching it means creating both simple and complex practices  for our friends that are similar to the ones we learn within. All the better for them to join us later. Embedded and embodied cognition are at the heart of my understanding of this.  We learn in our own hearts and then we invite others in as well.

I will be scout bee for this flight.  The hive is swarming and always moving.  The queen lives within but the rhizo declares she is both core and whole, intermezzo and margin.  Join with me.




  1. // Reply

    I’ve been playing with Popcorn Maker as well. I have teething problems because it is not intuitive, but I love that I can grab one to remix, which means I can get clues about how to use it. Thanks for being scout bee, this is very much appreciated.

  2. // Reply

    While I am no expert yet, here are some of what I have discovered:

    1. I have to start with video first. That helps set maximum length.
    2. You can turn off audio or video. You can skip stuff as well–very handy.
    3. I havr’t found away to layer images on top of each other–are there transparency percentages?
    4. popups are grand
    5. Text has enough choice to make it interesting.
    6. I haven’t gotten the 3d modelling to work yet, but I would love to have it play properly.
    7. There has to be a reason to layer vs a reason to put objects into serial order.

    What have you discovered?

  3. // Reply

    I discovered the thing about video the hard way! I found that when the video ended the rest could be clicked through manually if you guessed it was there. Apart from that, no more than you’ve discovered.

  4. // Reply

    I gotta get onto this popcorn maker thing. And maybe encourage my students to try it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *