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Saturday, June 23, 2007


Ana Neves

Stories are a good way of triggering people's imagination. One can either tell stories or invite them to tell their own: it helps participants to remember events they went through and, at the same time, helps get other participants involved.

Beverly Trayner

Hi Ana ... nice to see you here. Tell me about a time when you've used stories to trigger people's imagination at the beginning of an event. I'd love to hear the details of one that took place in Portugal.

Ana Neves

Hi, Beverly.
I have never done it to kick-off a workshop but I have done it during workshops, inviting participants to tell about a time when "something" happen (the "something" obviously related to the topic of the workshop) as a way of showing how people have similar concerns, how they can learn from each other, how they can trust each other.
I have also "played games" at the beginning of presentations as metaphores to "real situations" people often experience at their organisations. For example, I have asked people at the audience to come up with ideas of how to improve a specific thing (relevant to the audience). The first person in each row, is then asked to share their idea with the person to their right. That person can then choose to pass their own idea or the one they've just received.
It is interesting to then ask people to reflect on:
- how it makes them feel when they realise their own idea was dropped;
- how it relates to organisational structure and burocracy; etc.
When you ridicule something which frequently happens in their organisations without saying it like that, it is easier to speak about it but... you have already triggered their imaginations and captured their attention.

Beverly Trayner

Hi Ana .. I'm going to steal the idea of organisational whispers at the beginning of a presentation. Thanks!



I'm always glad when Appreciative Inquiry comes up as a way to open possibilities . . . that having been said, I'm not sure that in its basic form, it will accelerate imagination. Creativity is elusive, for sure, however I am prone to think we can build more of it by triggering ideas from perspectives that are varied and cause us to work from uncomfortable positions. The Ideo organization has teams composed of members with vastly different backgrounds and disciplines. I would go beyond that and want to use the tools and approaches of fields other than my own. What would a clothing designer do, a poet, a musician, a chemist, a gardener, a nurse?
Back to the question of opening the imagination for online tools. Nancy White and I have wondered how it is that some folks want prescriptive direction and boundaries in their online interaction. There are intelligences that we have not yet defined that underlay the abilities to imagine and to visualize online interplay. Scaffolding may help, but we are experimenting since even those of us who can use these abilities may not be able to articulate what it is that we do.

Beverly Trayner

Thanks Loretta ... I think that "some folks want prescriptive direction and boundaries in their online interaction" is also rather fuzzy. I want prescriptive direction and boundaries in some contexts and not in others. It often depends on how much I want to invest in that set of interactions.

There is something here about capturing people's context as well as their imagination!

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  • My name is Bev Trayner and I live in Setúbal, Portugal. The focus of my research and practice is designing for learning in distributed communities. I am particularly interested in connecting people in international communities. Key words are: communities of practice, learning, meaning-making, inclusion, multiliteracies, Portugal, and Web2.0 technologies. Keeping a blog helps me navigate my way through different practices and world views. Phronesis includes pondering on the specifics and the universal. It follows on from my previous blog "Em duas línguas".

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  • Eu sou Bev Trayner e moro em Setúbal, Portugal. O objecto da minha investigação e da minha prática é o design para aprendizagem nas “comunidades distribuídas” (virtuais). Estou particularmente interessada nas ligações entre pessoas nas comunidades internacionais. As palavras-chave são: comunidades de prática, aprendizagem, a produção de sentido, inclusão, multi-literacias, Portugal e as tecnologias de Web2.0 Escrevo este blog porque me ajuda a navegar entre diferentes práticas e diferentes visões do mundo. Phronesis, a contemplar o particular e o universal, vem no seguimento do meu blog "Em duas línguas."

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