Reflections on the start of #tomereaders: Disclaimer on a living artifact

Well, #tomereaders is set to “start” this week and I am feeling a little out of sorts. I mean what the heck was I thinking opening this thing up to the whole world? I’m not Dave Cormier or Jessie Stommel – I’m just some girl with a twitter account and a newly christened blog. What if this goes horribly wrong? What if I say something mean and hurt someone’s feelings? What if I commit some egregious online sin and they all laugh at me? What if I break some kind of law? Sigh… Old age should burn and rave at end of day… I suppose…

You may have noticed I like disclaimers – If not let me just state “I like disclaimers”. Maybe they don’t do anything but make me feel better, however, they spur the conversation in my head and help me set the extremes of what things are and what they are not; somewhere along the way I realize the gradient of in betweenness.

I don’t think #tomereaders is a MOOC

I’m not sure what #tomereaders is exactly but I don’t think it is a MOOC. It is not a course – it is a book club. There is no way it is massive – I think there are less than 20 of us. It is online but I am meeting face to face with just as many people most of who are not participating online. I want to discuss the online interactions face to face… I’m sure the face to face discussions are going to shape my blog posts – which will be “in the wild”. I’m not sure what #tomereaders is but I don’t think it is a MOOC – I am borrowing from what I learned in #moocmooc and #rhizo15 and I have debt to those experiences for sure but I think #tomereaders is different from a MOOC… I could be wrong…

I don’t think #tomereaders has a teacher – since it is not a course

I can’t speak for Matt but I am not really thinking of myself as a teacher or even a facilitator (okay maybe a facilitator) – I suppose I have promised prompts… (why did I do that?) I’m just reading this book. I would love it if other people would read this book too and talk about it so that I could process it from multiple perspectives… because that is how I learn best – and I think that some other people like to learn that way too…

“Focal Dates” work for everyone

I want to announce that the first prompt is not coming on the 11th (it will come out around the 11th) that daily Spur’nMakes may not come every day and that they might actually start before the 11th… What can I say… On a nomadic journey you never really know when or where you are going to end up or what is around the next corner… embrace it…

I’m not sure #tomereaders is rhizomatic

#tomereaders is a living artifact of #rhizo15 born from my desire not just to learn online and in the open but also to serve as an example to some others in my face to face life about how that works.  I am sure that I will be applying what I learned in #rhizo15 to #tomereaders. It is rhizomatic for me – but I’m not sure it will be rhizomatic for everyone. I’m still figuring the rhizome out and I’m not sure if I can convey it to others. I want to embrace the spirit of the rhizome but I’m not sure if it will answer. Let’s see.

8 thoughts on “Reflections on the start of #tomereaders: Disclaimer on a living artifact”

    1. Thanks Kevin! I think this post is more about my own insecurities but also trying to figure out what it is that I am doing here. I’m not sure how unique it is – I have seen the stuff they are doing over at VCU and Berkeley and it is very impressive.

      I didn’t know you could take notes in Goodreads – time to go exploring!!

  1. Hi Autumm,

    This is a learning experience for me, but I believe I am here to assist with organizing, capturing and perhaps disseminating what we uncover in the face-to-face and online universes. As a librarian, my primary responsibility is to infect the world with information. If we somehow can capture this experience, it is at least, like you say, a living artifact until I grab it, kill it, catalog it and store it on a library shelf. I will do my best not to entomb it though and let it breath.

    As far as other impressive work from Berkley and VCU, I would rather not let that cast a shadow over what we are working on. Originality comes often when you simply look at the boundaries you (and others) have created around you and put a dent in the box. That way you in effect take what you know and just keep pushing their boundaries. We’ll get there.

    1. Thanks for coming down this road with me Matt. Despite this post making me sound terrified (which I am) I’m really excited to see how it all goes.

      I’m not sure if you would be killing it by cataloging it… it may be dying anyway. But that goes into my death post which is still rattling around in my head. We gotta get busy living or dying either way.

  2. I’m looking forward to participating, whatever anyone wants to call it!

    Many years ago I did an online reading/making thing using Joyce’s Dubliners that was similarly chaotic and self-organizing. It was called the Motley Read. I basically set some non-deadline dates and said “read and make things with your reading” and people did–the made web things, drawing and watercolors, postcards and letters (many of which were sent to me to scan because that was back when that was a less common capability), blog posts and wiki entries…

    It was amazingly successful despite only being 20 people or so. And it was a seed for, among other things, DS 106 and such…who knows what the #tomereaders will do?

    1. Thanks Chris,

      Motley Read sounds amazing!! I love that name. I need to go through DS 106 at some point it looks like a great MOOC (or whatever you want to call it).

      Are you going to be joining us on Monday at 11am Eastern? We are doing a Twitter chat then.

  3. I am a hooked on disclaimers, like Autumm, perhaps because I like to duck responsibility. I I frequently begin a contribution to a discussion by announcing, “I don’t know if I believe what I am about to say. I need to hear myself say it first and then decide. So…please don’t listen too closely.”

    I’m so pumped to be part of this not a class, not a MOOC, not exactly a book club, learning adventure that is not being facilitated by not a teacher. I am convinced that relationships are influential and that environments matter when and wherever learning is happening. Prompts or no prompts, I am thinking a lot about what it means to maximize both the technology and the human connections when teaching and learning. I will do my best to keep contributing to the artifact of learning in this context. I don’t know how to use tags and/or attributes as yet…so who knows who will be able to see my missive. Does that matter at this point? Probably not.

    1. Hey Tobie,

      I’m more than happy to help you find places for your missive. I’m glad you are excited. Prompt on the way I promise.

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