Place is very complex and dynamic. It is always changing because the essence of place has a lot to do with our relationship to that place. Even if two people are from the same place, their collection of objects or memories will tell a different story about their experience with that place. In reflecting on my own sense of place, I found myself gravitating towards experiences I could have had anywhere in the world as well as unique characteristics of my home town. As I have moved away from home, I have used many of the elements of “where I’m from,” such as campfire or gardening as a source of comfort in times of homesickness. My sense of place in my home town has also changed with time, since I have mostly memories instead of current experiences in that place. My presentation below represents my childhood experiences of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, though most of my words and images represent the relational and experiential sense of place, instead of the geographical or physical.
Where I’m From – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Between experiences, memories, and concrete items, it can be very difficult to describe what “home” or “place” means to any one individual or group of people. I found it incredibly hard to find phrases to represent my relationship with place, so I found the visual elements of Haiku Deck to be very helpful as I tried to convey the meaning of my poem. For some categories or phrases, I wished there were more image options, and some images lent themselves to needing smaller texts due to the limited text placement options. However, I think the simplicity of the tool is very accessible to students in a classroom, so that not so much time is spent learning the technology, but more time can be focused on developing the content. The limited templates force students to use few words on each slide, which is a great skill for developing conciseness and word choice. There is also great value in choosing images with purpose, as they add meaning to words in different ways. For example, I chose a picture of a parent with a child at the piano for “I am from musicians” because my dad would sit at the piano with me as I learned. I would use this tool with my students as a presentation aid or review tool for students to create meaning using short phrases, buzz words, and images. I may even have my students explore place and identity with this tool!