Crowded brush and bushes with a small opening through which animals can travel.
Replied to #oext356 #oextend Find a Desire Path | The Daily Extend (extend-daily.ecampusontario.ca)

Desire paths are “the trails that are instinctively chosen and created over time” in spite of constructed pathways.

In a recent post on The Open Faculty PatchbookMaureen Glynn reflected on her experience with desire paths, both literal and the figurative ones we see in our courses.

“students will always find unanticipated and wonderful ways to enter, exit, and navigate through the learning events and environments that we design…”

For this Daily Extend, we ask you to either find and take a photo of a real desire path near you, or describe a “desire path” in the navigation of a course that you either took yourself or witnessed students taking. Bonus points for taking some kind of desire path route to completing this Daily, or the June Daily Extend Challenge as a whole!

“Caminito de deseo_desire path_Girona” by felixphs is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

I mentioned it yesterday, but my “desire path” for the June Daily Extend Challenge is to accomplish the entire trip using only my personal website and just a few feeds in my feed reader rather than using Twitter directly.

smeuse n. \ ˈsmyüz, -üs\ plural -s
dialectal, England
: a hole in a hedge or wall, often created by the regular passage of animals

I always knew that it was more valuable and powerful to have my own domain and post my content there. Sadly, like many, around 2006 I started taking the well-paved roads provided by social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al. But in 2010 a few people began a “desire path” of travelling back through a more open and free internet. They created a proverbial smeuse called the IndieWeb through which many have now passed and which, over the passage of time, is becoming larger, better worn, and even comfortably paved with sidewalks and custom lanes for bicycles and other modes of transportation in many places. Best of all, they’ve created a system which doesn’t require travelling down the roads of others, but provides a lot more freedom and self-determination. They’re slowly, but surely, making it easier for everyone to choose their own desire path on the internet.

I consciously re-started down my old desire path in 2014 and have found a variety of students, teachers, and even friends have not only benefited from it, but that it opens up the ability for them to pick and choose their own paths.


Featured image: smeuse (animal path) flickr photo by debs-eye shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

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  • Terry Greene

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