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Heading to the commons

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Can you see my feet? That's me on the left in the boots. My foots tapping a little because we're heading to the commons and I'm excited. There is something developing that bridges virtual education, global and local community. It's like a library but different, it has characteristics of a MOOC, it has a buzz of inquiry and intention. It's alive with critical thinking and caring.  In August, I start a graduate program in learning technologies and in searching around for a topic or area to study,  the commons keeps grabbing my attention. Creative Commons, Wikispaces, the Commons mall down the street, libraries, Starbucks, MOOC discussion boards, places where people hangout and share info. A virtual commons where members can share and learn together. I'm interested in the caring part of a virtual community and how educators and facilitators can create a culture of support through a virtual portal. Also, how resiliency plays into keeping people engaged in a virtual program, session, site, workshop.

Does a resilient mindset have a role in engagement in a virtual community? How can we develop a strong participation in the commons?  Is there a way to provide additional pedagogy to those who need a scaffold of extra support?   I'm wondering . . . . 

Open Fluency

Open Fluency

Open Fluency I’ve been thinking about lenses on the Web Literacy Map again. Specifically the “Leadership” component of what we do at Mozilla. In his post, Mark called this piece fuzzy, but I think it will become clearer as we define what “leadership” in the context of Mozilla means, and how we can offer professional development that brings people closer to that definition. What does it mean to be “trained” by Mozilla? Or be part of Mozilla’s educational network? What do the leaders and passionate people in our community have in common? What makes them sustainable?
What do we need to cognitively understand? What behaviors do we need to model? How do we unite with one another locally and globally?
I have some theories on specific competencies a leader needs to be considered “fluent” in open source and participatory learning. I’ve indicated possibilities in the above graphic. The Web Literacy Map Doug Belshaw and the Mozilla community created is extremely relevant in this work, which is why this post is using the word “fluency” – to indicate the relationship between the map and this lens on it. It feels like leadership in our context requires fluency in specific competencies - the highlighted ones on the web literacy map above. There is a lot of content for professional development around teaching Web Literacy. I’m working on collecting resources for an upcoming conceptual and complete remix of what was Webmaker Training (and before that the original Teach the Web MOOC). Last week in a team call, we talked about my first attempt to use blunt force in getting the Web Literacy Map to cover skills and competencies I think are part of the “Teach Like Mozilla” offering at Mozilla. I made the below graphic, trying to work out the stuff in my brain (it helps me think when I can SEE things), and I immediately knew I was forcing a square peg into a round hole. I’m including it so you can see the evolution of the thinking behind the above graphic: Open Fluency I’d love to hear thoughts on this approach to placing a lens on the Web Literacy Map. Please ask questions, push back, give feedback to this thinking-in-progress.

My Planning Process

Constant Iteration

My method of planning is very much based off a constant iteration process. I’ve been teaching delivering classes for 20 years now in mostly the same location so I have the luxury of those experiences (and contact with colleagues) to pull from.

So I iterate each semester. I use what worked the past semester and throw out (or re-tool) what did not. Each end of semester whether summer or Christmas is a reflecting time for me.

Pick One (or two) Changes

This picture has nothing to do with planning, I just love the bunny. Original @ Flickr

I often make a large change each year and sometimes even each semester. Last January I switched to full-on flipped master (see post here),  and this year I made a massive switch to fully open content in the style of a #connectedCourse (see blog post here).

Learn from Others

I am the teacher #facilitatorOfLearningExperiences that I am from working and talking with so many colleagues in my institution as well as the large internet (thank you Twitter). The time I spend on networking with other teachers is more important than time spent looking for yet-another-assignment.

Find people that interest you or that will at least listen and answer your questions on teaching. Don’t be shy, get out there and blog/tweet/network.

How do you Plan?

Your turn, what is your planning process?

Transparent Blogging

This week’s #dmlcommons welcomed the blog sisters – high five ladies! I sometimes wonder what I must look like when I’m sat smiling and nodding at my computer because when I caught up with the Hangout on Air, it just solidified everything I thought I knew about why I blog.

I’ve moved from (in 8 years) from writing on a personal level, to writing about notes, research and project development in photography to not blogging at all. To worrying about my lack of blogging, to reading about blogging, to watching videos about blogging, to then starting to want to blog again. HOORAY. KateGreen28 is back!

I’m kinda gutted that I haven’t blogged all the much at all about developing Phonar Nation classes for 8-11 year olds. Because I look at what I did and have forgotten a lot of the challenges I had to overcome and why. This isn’t just for my benefit, but it would also benefit the growing Phonar Nation community so that some of the answers are already out there.

There is also so much to be said for ‘being transparent’ online which is something I have learnt and grown to love (thanks to Dan Gillmor). I think that showing your work and thought process not only opens bloggers up to get advice and help, but it is a frank and honest display of motivation. I think that says a lot about a person and makes them more trustworthy- as long as they are a actually discussing something with integrity (obviously).

Picture: CC-BY-NC Wonderlane

On the Archive

The Internet Archive in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, mirror of the Internet Archive in San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I got to hangout with the #DMLCommons folks in the blog garage (complete with tools) to talk about our views on blogging.

In that conversation, we talked a little bit about control and how driving your own online space, and caring for your online presence is so important to your career (and life) pathway. I mentioned (a few times) how important it is to me that I create an archive of my thoughts, ideas, processes and Jim expanded with the fact that it isn’t just an archive, it’s an open, searchable, interactive archive.

Lee followed up with a point about how blogging doesn’t always need to be open. I internally agreed because I have another one, you know. Another archive. One that isn’t open, searchable or interactive. I have my personal pathways in a mess of journals, files, floppy disks (yes, truly), CDs and external hard drives. My closed archive is personal, but Lee’s point was that some topics can’t be explored in the open because it’s just not safe. Sad, isn’t it, that we haven’t come far enough as a species to truly transcend judgement and practice unconditional empathy?

Anyway, I was just thinking about this mess of me, and it makes me happy to know that someday I get to organize it. Then, I read this article about the Internet Archive, a brilliant, important non-profit organization that is working to archive human knowledge, and I became even more excited that I will be able to look back not only at my personal and professional pathways, but also the cultural pathways the web allows us to document.

Just another reason I love the web.

Blogging secrets – it’s the wind

(2 min read) Yesterday was the second webinar of those helpful Blog Brothers, and they were visited by some helpful Blog Sisters. I could only tune in to the second half as I am away at a conference and although the formal programme finished about halfway into the webinar, forgetting my headphones meant that being inconspicuous while listening was a bit tricky. Nice thing was a few others came over to see what I was listening to.

I am going to cobble a few of the lovely things that people said because they reminded me of a story- There was a discussion about how you just have to be you in your blog, and then some comments about the audience and who was listening.

I woke up this morning and thought of those things and how it feels sometimes to blog, and the audience (or lack of one) and the possibilities- so I was reminded of this story/folktale (and forgive me if I get it wrong or miss a bit – folk tales are like that when passed around folk!)

There was once a man who had a secret. He couldn’t tell anyone his secret, but he desperately wanted to tell the secret. He worried about what to do and finally came up with a solution. (I think this is the abridged version of the story – I am sure there is a longer one out there) He walked far away from his friends and family, far away from his house, walked until there was nothing around him. There, there was the place he felt he could tell his secret and finally get it out. He began to dig a hole, and he dug a very deep hole. He dug and he dug, and then when he thought it was a good enough hole to hold his secret, he told his secret into the hole and then he buried it. Safe within the Earth’s belly he left his secret and then he went home and felt better. …Now some time had passed and the seasons changed and the winter came and went, and it was springtime- just like now- and in that place where there was nothing, the grasses sprung up and when they did they went to seed- and as they swayed in the wind they sang. They sang the song of that man’s secret and it was heard all over the land, and it didn’t stay buried in that hole, but thousands of seeds carried the secret and wherever they landed, that song was passed on and sung out to be heard.

I always liked that story- not because the man had a secret he couldn’t deal with, but because of the magic of the song on the wind and how it could be shared. I think the story was originally about a lie, but I like to look for the positive, and it reminded me about blogging. Sometimes it feels like talking into a hole, and there may or may not be an audience, but whatever it is, there is that possibility that it will be picked up on the wind and shared, or somehow reach someone else. And for me life is all about connection, so that is reason enough to write. I’m not always good at academically informing or technologically advancing whizz-pop posts, but sometimes I am. Mostly I write about the little things that I have learned from others and how those happen and impact my own learning and teaching and living.

Photo CC licensed by-nc-nd here:

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Professional Pathways, Here I Come!

I am looking forward to attending and engaging with the open #DMLcommons course, Professional Pathways. It is starting this week (or last week, to be precise), though I hope to engage with some (new) colleagues and further explore what this #AltAc (alternate academic) work looks like, or at least to better consider my options.

BTW, [...]

MySpace Profile – Deleted

I just logged into MySpace for the first time in years. Until today, I thought that I was only an active blogger since starting university in 2011; but that’s absolute rubbish- I’ve been blogging since 2007.

I just downloaded and read all of my blog posts from my adolescence and it is what you would expect any teenage girl to write- a lot of angst and inside jokes. There were a lot of ‘urghs’ and ‘arghs’… How cringe.

But still, the blog is a narrative of my life. What is also interesting is how much I refer to my Crohn’s, but make a conscious decision to not dwell on it publicly. I guess, I was more sensible with what I was writing than the pictures I uploaded. I packaged all the posts and deleted my account. I know full well that the pictures and posts haven’t been removed from the MySpace servers. Since reading Mediactive by Dan Gillmor, I’ve learnt that I need to keep hold of my online profile. So I’ve been backpacking across old websites I used to write and share pictures to really see what kind of digital fingerprint I have left and do what I can to pull in the reins.

Christmas 2007 – Sourced on Myspace