September 10, 2019

Why I didn't GovHack this year.

GovHack happened September 6th to 8th 2019. The Northern Territory was represented by events in Darwin and Alice Springs.

I wasn't there.

I participated in the inaugural 2017 GovHack in the Territory, ensuring that Central Australia had a presence in this National event. I wrote about my experience here. In the next iteration I took the position of assistant director for the regional event, securing Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) as an Event Partner. I attended the red carpet awards evening in Sydney and had a great time meeting other competitors, volunteers and sponsors. This year I assisted in hosting the Information Evening and created a mini-series of promo videos discussions on Twitter. See the "What is GovHack" moment. The official 'What is GovHack' video is linked on this About page.

I didn't hack.

I'm never short of ideas and GovHack 2019 was subtitled 'Festival of Ideas'.In the last #GovHackNT interview (see the moment linked above) Shannon Loughton (Director for the NT) said 'this is definitely the best thing to do, in the Territory, on this weekend'. However, for me, that was not the case. Alice Springs is spoilt for choice and maybe overrun with festivals at this time of year. Desert Mob (Indigenous Art), Desert Song (music and singing), Bush Bands (more music) and King of the Mountain (fitness) were four of the events that I knew were running on the same weekend.

There is no flexibility in dates with GovHack as it is an international competition and people are vying for prize money. Prize money was not a motivator for me. It is a team sport and my tentative team members fell away with other commitments and priorities. It is a full weekend commitment and an ideal team has a variety of skills to complete a project and a pitch video. The data available for the challenges is perpetual. The NT Government released the Open Data Portal which is documenting a growing feast of data. I can use that at any time.

The main reason that I didn't participate in the hack-a-thon, is that the ideas I have for a project might take longer than a weekend and not be relevant to a sponsored challenge. Like any hack-a-thon, it is short in time and there is no space to learn new skills. For the project I have in mind, there is a few new skills that I need to acquire, test and review.

I support the ethos of the hack-a-thon to be legal, inclusive, free and open. I'll be supporting those that participated by working with the NT Directory for the Territory awards ceremony with a presence in Alice Springs. I support this free and open format for those that want to give it a go in 2020 and create a project to improve your community!

Projects: (Up for judging)

July 23, 2019

Angry bird


I'm an angry bird

Angry at Google

Google Plus was knocked into the tech bin

All the comments on my blog posts were binned

All the interactions, lost.

Every day

I have a few moments


Why have I spent my whole career staring at a glass screen?

For what?

Where is the profit?

Where is the life?

What have I got to show for that?

Then I find myself

Lifting the net curtains

Blowing away the grime



Responding to others


Learning from others



Is there life beyond the dust soiling our net curtains? Simon asked

Photo by Vivek Doshi on Unsplash

How silent is silent?

From: Manifesto by David Gasca

The Silent Meeting format recently came across my Teams feed (silently). I picked it up and ran with it for an online meeting last week. Here is a Three Bears* Reflection.

Baby Bear: There were five of us in the online meeting. We have worked together for at least 12 months with two members working together on projects for a bit longer. I allocated myself as the facilitator (with agreement) and started with the objectives of the meeting and what was not up for discussion. Each person then had a minute to express ideas or their contribution so far.

Father Bear: The Table Read for this meeting was an academic paper that we are trying to collaboratively write. We had a draft to read and comment on. This was in Teams Wiki which has an easy commenting feature that shows who said what and allowed threaded replies.

As a facilitator, I needed to reign people in from the talk-fest model of previous meetings. The bulk of the meeting 30 - 35 minutes was taken up with the table read. We transferred our attention from video images and talking to reading and commenting. Comments flowed thick and fast like good porridge and maple syrup.

Mother Bear: There was only about 10 minutes left for the last section of the meeting and this was not long enough. As the facilitator I found it difficult to synthesize the amount of comments in a short time. Even the first section in the wiki needed longer than 10 minutes. However this provided fodder for continuing to write the document asynchronously over the following days.

Online meetings always have the challenge of setup, testing sound and coping with locations or when the mic stops working. Overall, I would say that this format of meeting was very successful and matched our requirements. The silent read and online commenting allowed each person to express their ideas or correct assumptions by others. This meeting definitely progressed the paper writing in a collaborative way even though the end discussion was not long enough. A follow-up meeting will be held this week (non-silent mode) to discuss.

* No chairs were broken in writing this blog, no porridge spilt and no bears were left hungry.

Post Script: Goldilocks is running a marathon through the forests of the world.


July 4, 2019

Small perambulations

In #CLMOOC we are looking at the small things. It is called the Feldgang Variations with the subtitle 'exploring the world'. I have created two collages so far.

1. Getting to Work
2. Bamboo and Bark

In the grand style of perambulation, rambling and taking a break, I slow my breathing, open my eyes, take my lens and capture the things that I see everyday but mostly step over. This is a solo adventure.

I was inspired by Simon Ensor's painting and drawing and responded to his Tweet:
I’m hoping to see the abstract in the real in . Thanks for the inspiration of drawing as a way to spend time and observe the small.
Capturing the image with a lens is far quicker than drawing but the composition of the final piece takes time. I'm aiming to compose them with an avant garde lens, making the ordinary become new by the fact of the way it is presented.


May 8, 2019

Anchor Points

Anchor Points

In the anchor points of life
we hold
In the memories we have
tales are told
In the experiences we never ask for
is gold
In the crashes we nearly had
but didn't fold
In the buzz of creation
we are sold
In the notes we didn't play
silence is bowled
At those moments of flow
we enfold
Keep the anchor points of life.

by Wendy Taleo

A response from The Art of Is
Kevin Hodgson story of improvisation.

April 11, 2019

From the river to the stars

Image: Wendy Taleo 2019 Todd River, Alice Springs, Australia

From the river to the stars
Where the hemispheres meet
There we sat

Breaking the ice, silently,
'Who taught you to read?'
Invited in.

A quilt depicted
many squares, one picture
open unite.

On my way to work
I cross the Todd river
not one in crisis.

I stand in the riverbed
Only magpies warble
Optimists, each one.

The intense blue sky
will be filled with that milky band
over my head tonight.

The richest blanket of stars
endless possibilities of understanding
learning for life.

Inspired by Kate Bowles, Keynote at OER19, Galway, Ireland.

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which I live, create and work. The Arrernte people in Mparntwe. This incredible land that gives us natural desert beauty, the landscape of this image. I pay respect to elders past, present and emerging.

March 29, 2019

Entr'actes and other ways to fill silences

A journey in Haibun* style

I sit in the space
Between life Act II and III
Cue musical score

I have previously written about the importance of spaces and recently there was some talk of preparing activities for introverts and being able to participate in class 'without speaking' (Activity 3 from Dave Cormier's Open Pedagogy Lab). Kate responded and said she was designing a silent icebreaker for her next conference presentation.

Create thinking gaps
Heavy heat enfolds all sound
Gentle cracks in bark.

Autumm said that media training provides a scare campaign for dead air. However, when the focus is on human connections, we don't need to fear that space. In connected learning, human connections are critical. For the #CLMOOC bookclub we have been thinking about Affinity Online (Ito et al 2019) and this has led me to think about how space and silence contributes to the affinity space.

All places defined
By the space around the edge
Every season known

If no edge defined
Can we measure the centre
Or pivot from that?

Sarah inserted some D&G to think about rhizomes and what part the centre plays in rhizomatic learning. I've never thought of intermezzo in relation to connected learning. Laura gave me a poetic explanation of the function of an intermezzo.

The sideline song hums
Underlying daily chores
Concentration cracked

The intermezzo was an operatic solution to cover the scene changes. It provided a story between the main Acts, more than a musical interlude. Later it was an Opus in it's own right (Brahms)

Links may break in future
Lost in Error 404
Our words remain here

I compose my own intermezzo, converting the letters of 'Affinity Network' against the 7 key scale....I play with keys and chords, melodies and instruments. This is my happy place.

Intervals in life
Follow no easy pattern
Music intersects

*haibun, a mixture of hai(ku) poem and bun(sho) prose

January 21, 2019

Reconstructions Remix

Looking Through the Shoes
Looking through the shoes. Alan Levine 2019

What do we see when we look through the shoes of another persons trampling? Terry shared this video for some #Netnarr #MoDigiWri #clmooc kind of swing. It ain't got that swing. I took the subtitle of the video for inspiration for this 12th post in a series.

Recommended listening while reading this post (by Kevin Hodgson)

The art of reconstruction is not that easy. The above music and the following example is like taking 'news from poems' as Terry mentioned. Take the following example of a very talented uke player reconstructing a piece of music given to him.

In the music world this is called an 'arrangement'. Listening to the music and then playing it on the ukulele, trying to pick out the nuances and the main themes of the music. This is a process video where he is sharing his thinking and skills in how to pick apart the music. There is repetition and a middle (or bridge) section. He starts by getting the rhythm, chords and picking up beat numbers. He has a creative constraint with a timer and this impacts his thinking but also forces the activity to some sort of a closure. I love the 7:45min where he appears to get distracted by the icon but really it's about 'getting in character' for the piece.

This is what Kevin is doing in this post where he reconstructs not only his own work but remixes some of Terry's work. . I go to Terry's original work and let my digital eyes trace the paths of others. Walking in the margins and stomping in the comments.

Reconstruction never seeks to break things but rather to enhance or keep the main body alive for a few more rounds. This is closely related to recreate. Re-forming structure is one way of understanding the structure. This seems to be one step past a close read. Remix seeks to enhance while putting a little of ourselves into the mix.

January 18, 2019

The Net

Photo by Aaina Sharma on Unsplash

It's summer in Australia and that means tennis. There is something self-mesmirising about watching the ball go from one side to the other. But this game is not about the ball, or the racket. It's about the net. The net has the power in this game. 

Have you ever played gif volley? Here is the result of a recent match. The pirate (aka @Telliowkuwp) blogged about dark ink and with a literal twist, I responded with some dark ink. Gif's were passed over the net, back and foward until it came to rest with plain, dark ink again. A shy yellow tear, sliding down the face. As @dogtrax asked about the point of 'sense', I realised that this is not senseless. Play and response is always getting points on my court.

This post in a series for More Digital Writing #MoDigiWri

January 15, 2019

Anti Spam Poetry


To prove I am a person, I wrote this Anti-spam poem.

This story may not mean much
May not hit any spot
But I like to think
And then I like to jot.

By jotted I mean
I scratched it on gas walls
In graffiti paint
Just so you would know
That somebody wrote

The isles were hers!
Bended like bows
Tied with the wind
Scattered with force
Sandblasting noses
Puncturing roses

The month of June.

Try your own Anti-spam poem. Find a website that uses this type of Anti-spam. Refresh it 5 times and use those words to write a poem or a letter.

Dictionary Reimagined

Photo by Romain Vignes on Unsplash

Dictionary Re-imagined

I'm picturing all those words
blown into the sky
landing gently on somebodies shoes
wherever they go.

I'm seeing those books
with dense lines of words
being shredded
for pet bed padding
or new-age house cladding.

I'm feeling the weight
of language translation
paths from my world to yours
but clarity disguised with heavy gauze.

Are we blinkered by our tradition?
What could these books become?
part of the landscape
left in the sun to dry
pages curling
meaning unfurling.

My fingers touch the pages
tracing columns and lines
memories sparking
other times and textures
written as personal fixtures.

Those books gathering dust
can only mean so much
if held
polished with silver brush
let meaning never be rushed

With heavy heart beating
my thought drops blood
on pages
with dread and light vanished
darkness of dictionary banished.

Sparked from 'A paper dictionary is absent in my house' Sheri Edwards

Wendy Taleo

January 8, 2019

Learning Journey

v-poem written by me, inspired by conversations with Colin Simpson, created in Lumen5

January 5, 2019

Creative Constraints

Creating with constraints. Word counts are a constraint. Depending on how you approach it, it may be a creative kick. Amy Burvall says 'human creativity craves constraints' and encourages people to do a daily challenge of some sort because it gives you the constraint of theme/mode/material.

In the style of a Ling Ling Workout, I dug deep into a bag of tricks and created a 'Wendy Writing Workout' for a #MoDigiWri challenge.

Blog 50 words. Open a dictionary to a random page and use the first 10 words in the blog post.

I opened to the page "daiguiri | damp". This silly tale is title 'Dakked' which I might need to explain for those not familiar with the Australian colloquialism daks. Daks are trousers and to be 'dakked' means someone pulls your trousers down. Before they made footy shorts (ie Aussie rules football) with better designs, this was a common occurrence in games. Another word not used often: dally means to waste time. I used Notepad++ to count my words for me.


Amy's full talk is here. (2 mins watching and transcript provided).

There has also been a discussion on collecting resources and archiving material in a way that is accessible to others. Here is a wonderful collection by Amy on her Keynotes and other pieces.


January 2, 2019

Word Count

What could one hundred and fifty words say? Word restrictions in academic writing are standard fare. In my postgraduate writing, we are given strict word counts and point penalties and threats of 'your tutor will stop reading this'. 

On a positive note, this is a creative constraint. It makes you analyse words more carefully and weed out the waffle. Like writing a haiku where every syllable is counted. 

On a less positive note, this is a noose! Maybe my next sentence might be brilliant. Maybe I need some extra words to give you all the context you need. Do books have a word limit? What about leaving an audio comment? How many words can you fit into a one-minute audio response? What about a video assignment? Do hand gestures count? 

I’d like to share some thoughts about these questions but I am at the end of my word count, sorry.

Word Count 150

In a series of blog posts for #MoDigiWri challenge
1. Jump Start - More Digital Writing