Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Virtually connecting w #hastac2015 today w @rjhogue @profrehn and more

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It was a cool day.  The #hastac2015 hangout we did today was definitely one of the highlights. Here is the recording (it felt like a condensed HASTAC panel of sorts! Or like recap of highlights at the conf)

My morning began with a chat w my perpetual buddy Rebecca Hogue. We have recently decided to start a new site, http://www.virtuallyconnecting.org for these virtual conference buddy/correspondence/connection things we’re doing. This is our 3rd one after the extensive #et4online one when Rebecca was onsite. HASTAC is one of those organizations I have admired from a small distance for some time. I knew so many people who would be there, and wa excited to see they were streaming one session per timeslot! I also asked a bunch of people to join Rebecca and me for a hangout, with Andrea Rehn as our onsite buddy (Rebecca spent a good amount of time giving Andrea tips on how to make this work best). We embraced imperfection. not everyone could promise to come, but we announced it anyway (i created the image coz i could tag many pl and stil have space in the tweet to invite ppl:

Unfortunately Roopsi couldnt make it (but we knew she had a keynote to prep for so we understand) and Lee had something at work come up so had to skip. We  a great lineup, though: had Andrea, Mia and Ana onsite, and we had Scott Johnson (no audio) Autumm and Helen (all 3 rhizo ppl), as virtual participants, with Rebecca and me facilitating:

We always try to encourage ppl we don’t know to join but it didn’t work out that way. Every person in the hangout was a friend of mine.

It was great to see the onsite participants enjoyed it: Andrea, our onsite buddy:

Mia Zamora one of the onsite participants

The hangout felt very conversational and relevant. it made me realize how much the HASTAC conference had conversations I am interested in. we talked about a variety of important digital pedagogy and DH topics, including projects we had worked on, challenges and highlights, and connecting some of HASTAC topics with stuff we were doing these days. I loved the discussions on what it meant to get students public with their work, ups n downs of that; also the course at Whittier Andreadescribed that taught about Islam in Americaby getting students to go out into the community and do things, not just learn theory. I loves Mia’s emphasis on importance of play in learning. We talked also about identity and trolls and Wikipedia power and more. Watch it for yourself 🙂 if you have time. It was interesting how we maintained what i consider to be relevant content even tho there was also a little emotional elation at all of us being in the same room (Scott didn,t have a mic, Autumm joined from her phone while on vacation; the conf wifi was amost as bad as my internet at home, and i think Rebeccas internet was too fast for us all!)

This is all interesting, really, because I just had a piece published on Prof Hacker  about serendipity on Twitter, and each person in this hangout is someone I met thru social media. Rebecca and Scott thru #rhizo14, Helen thru #moocmooc and #rhizo15 and Autumm thru #rhizo15; Miathru #clmooc and #ccourses, Andrea #tvsz and Ana just coz I also work on edu games (and i was lucky enough to have her here in person in Cairo a few months ago).

I need to warch it again to capture it all, because i kept getting distracted by my daughter who just wanted to be a part of the action and kept touching everyone’s faces on the  screen (she had already spoken to Rebecca before we started; they are budddies in their own right).

Thanks to all who join us. I look forward to more of these 🙂 and i hope more virtual participants who don’t know us will join!
Got a conference? Willing to buddy? We’ll let you know how we plan to organize this soon

2 Comments

  1. Thanks to everyone again for this. Though I feel the need to get better at hangouts it was a very comfortable encounter and next time I’ll try the microphone this replacement computer must have.

    One thing I found very positive were the small glitches. I’ve been to high definition video conference covered events that were sooo uncomfortable with the technical people tut-tutting camera angles and the “wrong” people speaking “out of turn” spoiling the “production values.” To me conferences are supposed be like family picnics with pets, loud uncles and kids spilling things.

    I’m thinking this comfort and familiarity displayed today would be perfect for bringing conferences alive to people who have limited budgets and time. It’s a natural community builder and idea generator in a incredibly manageable time frame. Close your office door, attend a conference and in less than an hour you’re back with a smile and lots of ideas.

    More later.

    Something for your panel:
    learning by design – emily carr and kenneth gordon maplewood students team up
    http://www.ecuad.ca/about/news/325493?utm_source=Communications+%7C+University+%2B+Exhibition+Subscribers&utm_campaign=9fd220c07e-Emix_May_2015_Issue_325_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8604409635-9fd220c07e-314064929

  2. So, I’m thinking the measure of “new people” shouldn’t be that neither of us knows them already, it should be that one of us doesn’t know them already … and using that perspective, this would could. I didn’t know most of the people – I’d met Andrea at et4online, and I knew Scott, but otherwise, I didn’t feel like I ‘knew’ anyone else … so from my perspective, I’ve been introduced to a bunch of new cool people thanks to the Virtually Connecting program 🙂

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