An Idea That Just Keeps Growing

I woke up this morning and one of the first messages on Twitter was this from @thecleversheep.  Now, Rodd is usually good for a thought provoking thought or two so I checked it out.


I was quite surprised that the original post was one of mine. As he noted, it led to this and then This all dates back to a posting that I had made about using images from Google Street View as a launch to a story telling activity.  These weren’t the first responses that I had from the post – Stephen Downes shared images and thoughts from his own childhood earlier.  I still think that his image of the Anglican Church in Metcalfe is pretty spectacular.  I found the responses to his post very interesting.  Not all invoke the happiest of memories; it was a sobering reminder to me that my trip Clinton this time wasn’t under the best of circumstances.

I also was quite interested in a parallel conversation roughly on the same topic by @peterskillen.  His post had received some responses from others who liked the concept.


When you dig deeper into Peter’s message, it is very supportive of the content in @mrspal ‘s posting, Stephen’s post, and mine.  The concept is relatively simple.  So simple, in fact, that it’s the stuff that could be classified as low hanging fruit if all you’re doing is scrapbooking images.  The power, it seems to me is in the story telling.  Stephen and I had used the power of the blog as our platform for our stories.  However, Megan had moved to YouTube for hers

and also to a Google document.  ARgh.  Which won’t centre or embed …

Therein lies the rub.  All of us had done it ourselves first before going anywhere near students with it.  Learning and teaching at times needs to be selfish so that you totally understand the concepts before going any further.  We needn’t apologize; we want the best of learning experiences for all.  What better way to understand than to do it yourself in preparation for going live.

And, if you have a good idea, why not share it so that others can grow on your experiences.  Megan has created this document which is student ready.  Why not use it?

In her blog post, she also detailed a number of publishing platforms.  I’d like to add a couple of others.  How about Comic Life?  I recently did a workshop about storytelling with a very talented colleague.  She made reference to the power of the gutter when you’re writing or reading.  Sure, pictures and captions are important but there’s so much that happens between the pictures to support inference and prediction.


or a Prezi?  There’s lots of gutter there if you spread the images apart.

So, who can do this?  It just takes a quick trip to Google Maps and to drag the little person onto the map.  If it turns blue, it means that there is Street View available.  So, if I head back to Clinton, I get this.


But, that’s thinking pretty small.  (Sorry, Clinton)  How about this?


Why not take a good idea globally?  If you’re in the blue, you can do it.  Or better yet, take the original premise and make it so much better.

Last week, I shared this concept twice during presentations in Bow Island.  I hope that it turns out to be great story telling fodder for students there as well as Philadelphia or wherever Peter’s mother lives.

If we all look around or up, way up, who knows what story might be around the next click?


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10 thoughts on “An Idea That Just Keeps Growing

  1. Hi Doug,
    Ok, I have to tell you. This has sparked something for me. I mean, I have used Google Street view in the class before – for, what I thought at the time was a pretty cool project. (See the grafitti kmz file at

    BUT, your post, and Megan’s, led me to take my 91 year old Mum on a trip down memory lane to her homes in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I had it on the big screen tv so that she could see it better. OMG. She walked over to the tv and touched her old house, naming all the rooms for us…tears on her cheeks.

    We ‘walked’ the neighbourhood to my old school – ‘Belmont Church Road’ – where I was a student before we came to Canada when I was 8 years old.

    After we were done, my Mum and I went out for a walk and we chatted about old times for ages. That experience had triggered memories in her that had been dormant and somewhat inaccessible to her.

    Did I capture this whole experience electronically to share with everyone? Nope. I couldn’t. I just lived it ‘in the moment’ – a moment that has me still moved to tears.

    Thank you Doug and @mrspal for setting the stage for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Doug, this story and the interconnectedness of the ideas shared, is exactly what I’ve been trying to explain to people as the power of networked learning. Kudos, and thanks. I’ll be sharing this link with colleagues and students as a demonstration. Keep up the great work!


  3. Doug

    I think this is great! Found your original and this post via Stephen. I live in Australia and hope to do so work on your ideas here.

    Best wishes



  4. It’s a fabulously simple idea that everyone in the world can run with.

    I did one back in 2005 to show my house and middle school, when the flickr Memory Maps group formed; and GMaps was pretty simple (no street view)
    My Memory Map (1965-1981)

    The neat thing was I had a comment exchange with someone who was currently working at my old school.


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