Here we go. I’m presenting my work developing the #Tomereaders online reading group today at the AAC&U Gen Ed conference in New Orleans. This is a part of collaboration with Laura Gogia and Jim Luke on bigger overarching theories (see below). You can check out blog posts from them about the presentation as well (Laura’s post and Jim’s post.
Here are my slides that I will present in the workshop.
We get to do a short plenary session to talk about what connects all of our projects; the intersections of open, networked, and connected spaces. The slides for the plenary can be found here:
Matt proposed the prompt for this focus area – Transformation
We each made a video around it
And in conversation with Matt around where we are at in the book group we wanted to attempt to take this up a notch. We have had some great conversations both online and face to face but we would like to extend the conversation.
But I am really yearning for some one-on-one conversations around this prompt. I want to record them and put them here on my blog but if you are uncomfortable about that I can go without pressing the red button.
Any takers – who wants to talk transformational teaching naked?
The second focal date for #tomereaders is approaching and that means that we will have our second face to face meeting under the tulip tree. I was chatting with Greg Zobel the other day and he was like “you do #tomereaders face to face as well?”
Yep – that is actually how the whole thing started – I have been facilitating these book groups for several years now face to face. They are not always books – they have been chapters, they have been MOOCs… but the idea is just let’s get together and talk about some of these influences.
Most of the people participating face to face this year are not participating online in any way. This is often par for the course and that is okay. I actually think that it brings a really interesting perspective.
During the last face to face meeting Matt had this awesome idea – he said why don’t we live tweet the face to face meeting. It was brilliant! The only problem was that he thought of it like a day before the meeting and we did not get a lot of online participation. So we are going to try again.
Live tweet of the #tomereaders face to face “Under the Tree” conversation around part 2 of the book Thursday, July 2nd – 11am EDT. Please tune in tweet questions and feedback to our live face to face group.
Calling all #tomereaders – Prompt 1 is here! Matt and I each took a stab at it. Though I have done a fare amount of video work I think this might be my first time addressing the Internet in a video… maybe Matt too??? (He’ll have to comment and let us know). Check it out.
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.
Every summer I facilitate (or at the very least instigate) a book group on my home campus and sometimes include a small group of friends. This year, inspired by my participation in #rhizo15 (don’t worry if you don’t know what that is), I’m wondering what will happen to this thing that I do every year if I cast an open call to invite everyone.
There are many ways to participate online so if you would like to come along on this journey let’s start down the trail.
The first thing is the book. If you can get a copy of the book it will make participating in the online group much richer. We are going to be reading Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning by Jose Antonio Bowen. I recommend getting it from your local library because libraries are awesome!
In the nomadic travels of my youth I met another nomad named MiRanda who used to say “Time is nothing; Timing is everything”. There will be no “due dates” in this group. We will have “focal dates” instead that will correspond to the three parts of the book and one date for reflection. If you fall behind, jump ahead, or go off on your own it is fine – this is more about timing than time.
June 11th – Part 1: The New Digital Landscape
July 2nd – Part 2: Designing 21st-Century Courses
July 23rd – Part 3: Strategies for Universities of the Future
Aug 6th – Wrap up: What did we learn and how is it going to affect our practice
Next choose how you want to participate online. “In the wild” or “From the lodge” (you can always do a little of both).
How to participate “in the wild”
Participation in the wild will happen on the Internet at large in the open. The trail gets a little rocky here and may be for more experienced travelers but I want to encourage everyone to push their boundaries a bit and learn something new. This can be a great way to build your Internet literacy.
It will help if you know something about facebook, twitter, blogging and other online tools to play in this way. If you need help, try google or post to one of the groups with your question.
On Twitter we will be using the hashtag #tomereaders
I would like to start a google plus page too.
How to participate “from the lodge”
Participation in the wild is not for everyone – it is a little scary out there. When I first pitched the idea of opening this up to some others they felt the need for a more private area to work. Fawn Winterwood a director at a local university over here in Central Ohio offered space on their LMS and they are offering accounts to anyone that is interested in working in a more private centralized area. If you would like to participate in this way you can sign up here http://svy.mk/1K14wDM. Once your account is created – you’ll get a link via email to confirm things. Once in the course there may not be much in there as I am still sorting that out.
(Much of this is stolen from conversation with Laura Gogia and from participating in #rhizo15 and watching Dave Cormier – I think maybe they stole some it from others but shout out them from me):
Promt’nBlog: Around each focal date Matt or I will issue a prompt/challenge to the group for your consideration. You can then blog on your own personal blog “in the wild” or the group discussion board “in the lodge”. Blogs do not have to be a written narrative! They can be a graphic, a video, an analysis, anything you would like.
Daily Spur’nMake: Once a day a short prompt will be posted (taken from the book) to spur your imagination. With the prompt make something in 15-20 minutes and post it to the groups “in the wild” or the discussion board “in the lodge”. This could be an image; a selfie of how the prompt makes you feel, some take on an Internet meme, or even some art. It could be music or a sound – post it to soundcloud or some other sound hosting service. This could be video or some text… your choice but quickly respond to the prompt and post your results. This is just to get you thinking creatively.
Read’nTweets: I’m really hoping that Laura will help me with this one. The idea is a synchronous reading of a chapter and live tweeting impressions. Laura does this several times a year with Twitter Journal Club and it is not just enlightening but also a lot of fun. I would like to have one of these around each focal date depending on interest and participation. Read’nTweets can only happen in the wild because Twitter is about as wild as they come.
I hope that you will consider joining us online be it in the wild or in the lodge. I’m excited to read this book with a bunch of others that are interested in it too. 🙂