Why do I explore ideas like being, belonging and becoming in relation to networks, but I hardly talk about communities any more? In this post I will look at why networks and affinity spaces more than communities have come to dominate my thinking. My professional context is as educational developer and innovator – that means I think about staff development and the spaces we devise for learning in equal measure. However, my outlook is shaped more by my own history of being a musician in bands and an artist in studios – these settings have attuned me to the significance of creating co-operative spaces for creativity. Learning is the ultimate, unifying act of creativity – we all continually experience, struggle, resolve and learn independently in a social context.
The concept of Communities of Practice (Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002; Lave and Wenger 1991; Wenger 1998)…
I’m absolutely rubbish at keeping track of my sketchnotes, I’ve tried putting them on Flickr and Pinterest but I’m really not very good at updating either of those. So seeing that I use PADLET really quite a lot I thought I would I have a go at putting them there – it seemed to work for some other stuff that I have curated … lets see .. in the spirit of openness I have put them all on there – warts n’ all right from the early days so there are some not very good ones and some that I really like … please be kind …
I must try and get into the habit of writing regularly and I am thinking that journaling might be the way to go …
There are two main reasons for this: a) as a PhD candidate it is really kind of a good idea to practice ! Clearly my blog is a different sort of writing but I figured any attempt at regular writing just might help and b) I don’t think I am particularly good at being reflective and by writing a regular journal might help with that and of course it will probably be good for me in other ways ( eg mental health and well being etc )
I really like the idea of journaling … I used to keep a journal as a kid back in the prehistoric days before t’internet, computers and my probably poor attempts at adulting … but that was really only for me and only me – so I guess that would be more of a personal diary ? Is there a difference ? I’m not sure. I looked it up in Miriam-Webster dictionary but I’m still none the wiser ? Answers on a postcard would be most appreciated ..
In the last week or so I have come across a few different sources of inspiration that have really struck a chord with me. I so wish I could have the sticking power to actually do one of these things. I’m not sure which one I will adopt or even if I might try a different approach but either way I thought I would share in case they are helpful for others and also by way of saying thank you to all these lovely people for sharing their stuff ..
Inspiration 1 : Natalie Sheridan’s Blog, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and #SoTLwalk
I’ve recently connected with Nathalie in relation to our shared love of Flipgrid. We are still trying to have a hangout so we can come up with a cunning plan. However, we have actually been connected for a while now and are currently trying to work out exactly from where! We are like minded souls … it could be #LTHEchat perhaps ?
I have fallen in love with the SoTL walk. It is a great way to engage in reflective practice and with colleagues across the world. This month’s topic was more challenging than I thought. Once I began writing it grew vines and tentacles all over the place. So instead of sharing directly on the padlet, I am trying to disentangle here first. My walk began in our garden and looped around an overgrown path along the canal (because on this side there are barely any people). So nature gave me quite a bit to reflect on.
This is something that is now in it’s 5th month and I have missed it all ! I am really very sad about this as it is such a brilliant idea. Participating in this would mean that I could a) give my regular writing a kick start and b) actually get me out of the house which would be an excellent plan as if I don’t do something soon the good old ‘Covid Lockdown ‘ weight gain will mean that I will be the size of a house if I am not careful …
This weeks theme is ‘‘When life gives you lemons…’. I don’t think I will get to actually think about that by tomorrow but I look forward to seeing what the theme is next time !
Inspiration 2 : Doug Belshaw’s Blog and #100daystooffload
I’m always inspired and completely in awe of how Doug manages to be so productive in all that he does … clearly not an easy feat … I have learnt so much over the years from him (kind of where my love of Open Digital Badges comes from) .. his blog is an absolute treasure chest of hints and tips .. what is so lovely is that he so open and genuine and gives such an insight into how he does stuff
Doug has been doing a series where he has been writing regularly with the aim of doing 100 posts in a year.
This is a link to Doug’s first post in the series where he explains how he was inspired to take part in this initiative started by Kev Quirk
I came across someone using the #100DaysToOffload hashtag on Mastodon. Curious to find out more, I clicked the links on a few updates that contained the hashtag, and eventually discovered this blog post from Kev Quirk:
What if we had a hashtag that encourages both existing and new bloggers to start writing? The posts don’t need to be long-form, technical masterpieces that should earn you a masters in English. But instead, just a simple and fun way to get people writing and sharing their thoughts. You never know, the whole might be cathartic too.
Living a good life is not a theoretical exercise : I have spent much of my adult life studying Philosophy, either formally at university or informally through reading and discussing. But living a good life is not a theoretical exercise, and that is why my Mastodon bio simply quotes Epictetus in saying:
Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.
Doug Belshaw 2020
… anyone who knows Doug would find it diffcult to comprehend that he needs any encouragement to write regularly ( as he recogises himself in the first post) as he is just so productive it is unbelievable … although it is so good to see that he knows he needs to take time out and slow down at times … this gives me hope .. even if I could have a little bit of Doug’s magic productivity dust I would be happy .. )
I found links to Ken’s blog on Mastodon . I’m already connected with Ken and have been for a number of years now through things like Virtually Connecting, but for some reason I had missed his blog series on his experiences during lockdown. Ken uses a set of questions as prompts for reflecting and this approach looks really good. I wonder if this might be something that I could do ? Maybe ?
The questions Ken answers in each post are :-
The core questions:
What did you do today?
What did you enjoy?
What did you find difficult?
What has changed?
And then, there are some more ‘stretch’ questions:
Entry 000 : Yes, I left three digits there so this will roll over after 999 more entries. Let’s hope it doesn’t reach that number.
Ken Bauer 2020
and the most recent one where Bailey gets a shout out
Reading: Entry 103 for Saturday July 25, 2020 When did you last laugh? Our dog Bailey is good to keep us in a good mood, smiling and laughing. We are sure glad that she arrived on our doorstep almost three years ago.
Ken Bauer 2020
I also have to include this one as it has a piccie of Bailey who is like the cutest doggo ever ..
A Dog’s Life : Entry 009 for April 23, 2020 What has stayed the same? Our dog Bailey is very happy about this entire situation. She gets today’s title and picture because we all need more pet photos to keep our spirits up.
Ken Bauer 2020
Photo by Ken Bauer ( I think ! )
As far as I can tell Ken has mostly been blogging daily , even if there are one of two days when he doesn’t quite manage to blog a reflection in the series, it is still so impressive and VERY inspiring ..
So, all in all I think all these approaches are just brilliant and they have all in some way inspired me to write this so that is at least a start isn’t it !
However, there is a teeny part of me that is wondering if this isn’t another attempt at procrastination and some sort of weird attempt to avoid writing my research proposal and perhaps making that public ? Do I feel brave enough yet … hmm that is a question for another day …
Deb’s Bitmoji is probably having more success in writing …
I needed to revisit an old padlet that I set up years ago earlier today so I was prompted to update it a little bit.
It basically is something that pulls together some of the digital creations that I have made over the years, not everything as I am so bad at remembering to update it but there are a fair few on there.
Some of these are better than others .. I really liked doing some of these though … I still need to try and update it with some other stuff but here it is in all it’s glory.