Leading, designing, and participating in networked communities to regularly engage the conversations, research, and scholarship of connected learning is a great passion of mine. Building strong collaborative professional relationships across contexts helps me to stay engaged with the various different ways that technology is impacting higher education. I have found these communities particularly helpful in creating several faculty development communities around openly networked resources.
Virtually Connecting (VConnecting) – VConnecting is a hybrid connected/connectivist learning movement with a mission of enlivening the virtual conference experience for scholars who cannot attend academic conferences in person. I serve as Co-Director of Virtually Connecting with the two founders of the movement Maha Bali Ph.D. Associate Professor of Practice at the American University in Cairo and Rebecca Hogue Associate Lecturer at University of Massachusetts Boston and Ph.D. candidate at University of Ottawa.
Along with our Board of Advisory Buddies we coordinate with our team of over 100 volunteers to organize conversations across the globe during educational technology conferences. While our focus is on people and not topics the areas of conversation often pertain to open learning initiatives, connected learning, social justice, learning analytics, security and privacy, and much more.
Virtually Connecting is an active research hub with various members of the community publishing on the evolving nature of the community. The Virtually Connecting scholarship page lists all of the contributions of the community. My contributions can also be found on my CV/Resume.
#DigCiz – I co-founded #DigCiz with Sundi Richard, Lead Instructional Designer at Davidson College, to explore digital citizenship through the lens of higher education with a particular interest in the liberal arts. The liberal arts have long been concerned with developing critical global citizens who will lead and serve in society but how does that change in the digital age?
We have run several connected learning events around this approach to digital citizenship using twitter chats, live synchronous conversations, blogging and shared document annotation over a series of weeks. We also just delivered a half-day workshop at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2017 conference on Digital Citizenship in the Liberal Arts Community.
#FYSChat was a two week connected learning experience for first year students that I developed and delivered in collaboration with George Station a Lecturer at California State Monterey and Robin DeRosa Professor in and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Plymouth State University.
For this project we gathered all of our first year students that we were teaching in first year seminar courses together online in connected learning spaces. The event was meant to give students a taste of connected learning by starting with a one week shared digital annotation of a Washington Post article called Why Students Who Do Well in High School Bomb in College followed by an all day twitter chat.
This project allowed for students across the country to participate together in discussion around various nuances of their shared experience around being first year college students. Rooting the experience in an article allowed us to ground the project in something of interest to the students since the students had never met one another before. The twitter chat allowed growth of connections from the annotation project. Many of the students additionally followed up on their personal blogs to reflect on the experience. This project allowed students to see their shared experience from a variety of perspectives while building digital and networked literacies.