Project

Tree of Life and a Maturity of Learning

I must admit my bias ahead of this post here. I adore Terence Malick. His four films, Badlands, Days of Heaven, Thin Red Line, and the New World are all favorites of mine. I love the pacing, the contrast with nature, the friction, the resolution of the struggle of humanity and nature. They are inspiring in ways that I assumed was intended in the earlier artistic approaches to film-making. Art as expansive thought. A visual philosophy.

What this trailer reveals to me is Malick as flaneur, a learner of the long story arc type. A comfortable rootlessness jostled by the winds of circumstance. I see a very confident learning style here, an understanding that there is the path of nature and the path of grace. Only one of those struggles against the current. Both dictate perpetual motion, the way of all nature.

No director, in my opinion, presents the primordial pulse of nature like Malick, that metronome underneath everything we all do individually and collectively. That if we were to just listen and cut through the interference and tap into that pulse, we would reveal a complexity of learning and understanding like never before. Not to be too simplistic about the conclusions, but I see crowdsourcing like this. Rather than centralize and struggle against the grain of overwhelming participation, why not align the ship of collaboration with the current? Open it up and let come what may.

The trailer struck me as a confident and complex expression of knowledge, multimodality that we are all aspiring to.

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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