Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Reflecting Fast Collaboratively – Epiphanies from #FacDevChat

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Monday was the first ever #facdevchat and I was really impressed both by the breadth and depth of the conversation. The timeslot seems to have been a timezone sweet spot, because we had people from Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, UK, Sweden, and coast-to-coast across 5 timezones in the US and Canada.

It was so multi-threaded and quick I could barely keep up, and that usually makes me too overwhelmed to storify. But some tweets stood out for me:

That faculty development should be about starting conversations and asking questions :

And that maybe faculty development needs to be less about “how to” and more about “why do/should/would we?”

There were also the inevitable discussions of how faculty developers are often perceived as tech support, and how to tackle the tool vs pedagogy issue when approaching faculty.

There were also the inevitable discussions of how to motivate faculty, particularly with institutions that reward research more.

Some interesting experiences and resources were shared. Rice University’s open classrooms, AUB (American University of Beirut) implementing faculty ambassadors, and Laura Czerniewicz’s center sharing approaches to fac dev of varying levels of formality

We also discussed terminologies – should we be called eddev or academic devs to shift focus from individual faculty shortcomings? Are faculty developers service people, teachers, peers, mentors? All of the above? 🙂

And another thing struck me. A discussion of value of PLN for digital literacy. It is a chicken and egg question – for me, my digital literacy and PLN developed in parallel, and together they fuel my lifelong learning and what I wish faculty development was like for all faculty who wanted to keep learning. It’s like Lee says about unconference style fac dev. It’s what I meant when I said I am living an unconference life 🙂

And here is one more digital literacy I figured out I had today:

Just that morning my boss said she was surprised by how quickly I responded to an email asking a difficult question and how QUICK yet deep and thought-out my written response was. In today’s Twitter chat I realized that frequently participating in Twitter chats has made me…quick on my fingers? It has made me able to engage deeply and quickly with ideas and find concise ways of responding and expressing my own thoughts. Rather than limit my thinking into superficiality and distractedness, the quickfire speed and multi-threadedness of a Twitter chat inspires neurons in my brain to fire in different directions and helps me focus in ways that give me deep but also new ideas.

Thanks everyone – looking forward to more (thanks Lee for the TAGS)

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