Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

A Day of Living Online

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It’s been an unorthodox day by anyone’s standards. Even people who work fully online, I suspect. It was a weird weaving of my embodied and virtual self, and each encounter was different. In my centrality vs marginality, in how tense or relaxed I felt during…

Here’s what the plan was for the day (the work part of it, with the non-work part in brackets; note that AMICAL is a consortium of liberal arts universities outside the US and there is a conference in Greece right now that I couldn’t go to):

8-9:30: AMICAL coordinating committee meeting virtual participation. (8-8:45 taking kid to school and getting back home – could not connect to AMICAL Connect on my phone despite downloading the app – had audio probs, gave up, came back to catch end of the meeting; didn’t really understand what was going on but checked Google doc and chatted briefly with director near the end)

10-11:30: AMICAL Professional Development committee meeting virtual participation. Chair, myself and another member were virtual; 2 folks onsite. We talked and worked on Google doc. Occasionally, the virtual folks and onsite folks seemed to be having different conversations. I had to multitask a little bit because I had other stuff coming up soon (you’ll see in a second) but we had a good meeting overall, I think, and made progress on several fronts.

11:30-12:30 try to grab some lunch, fix something on my computer and get some grading done (not done!)

12:30-2pm AMICAL Digital Pedagogy Committee meeting virtual participation. I’m the chair, the chair of the previous meeting was also virtual with me and we had the 5 other members onsite. I’d put some notes in a Google doc and started the meeting from my computer, then had to go pick up my kid from school and was on the phone with the meeting as long as I could, then had to leave and come back once I picked my kid up.

2-3pm LXConf session by Jolanda Morkel. Had my kid on my lap and having her lunch while I attended that meeting and she insisted on watching Peppa Pig so I let her watch some on my phone so I could interact a little with the conference

3-5pm Went w my kid to my mom so I could see her today, but also simultaneously participated in the annotation of my own article that was taking place somewhere in the US (Bryn Mawr I think?) at a conference. The folks running the workshop took my permission and invited me to participate in their private annotation of my article as part of the workshop. This was really fun and gratifying for me.

5-7pm family stuff and moving around, doing errands and trying to get home before 7pm

7-8pm waiting on call on Twitter in case they wanted me to join a hangout to talk briefly about #OpenLearning17. In the end, they just wanted me to write something on Twitter. I’m a bit annoyed that I booked myself for this inconvenient time only to write a couple tweets, but also understand that onsite people don’t always know when they’ll have time to integrate someone who isn’t there, and they did tell me Twitter alone would be fine, so…

8-9pm getting kid in bed

coming up – 10:30 meeting with some Egyptian friends who don’t live in Egypt and we’re working together on an online course thing that’s been running for a while.

In between all these things, I’ve been answering student emails coz it’s end of semester and they’re (as usual) confused about the last few assignments due.

I’ve been also organizing/planning several Virtually Connecting events, something like 4 events… published a blogpost for one (Thanks Wendy for doing the visual for it!), answered a few emails about another, lots of Slack about another, and signed up a few virtual participants for a couple of them.

I don’t know why I’m blogging this. I felt the need to reflect, but this isn’t a very reflective post, really. Just figuring it’s been a really online day… and each of the encounters had a completely different effect on me – the most engaged and focused I was, was in the 10-11:30 session probably because my kid was in school and I wasn’t at any stage of moving away from my computer… and maybe because there was a heavy load of online people vs onsite people. I was most relaxed during the annotations because I could be spending time w my mom and daughter who both knew I was multitasking (but multitasking textually is less intrusive on family life).

Ha. Yesterday a new thing happened when my kid joined a vconnecting hangout. Not only does she now like really know a lot of my online friends (she’d met Autumm and Amy in person and was in love with both, but she also knew Alan at least quite as well though she had never met him). The thing is that now she can read a bit, she can read her name when I type it and she got into this cute new phase where she realizes we are muted and she wants people to type to her in the chat even if she can’t talk back to them. And she typed back once, even! And even funnier, actually, one time we were NOT muted and I was introducing myself, and I asked her to introduce herself and you know what she did? She mouthed without making a sound as if she was muted? It was hilarious and not at all expected 🙂

Anyway… signing off to get to another meeting. This was a dear diary 🙂 I should be doing a million other things now anyway!

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