I’ll refrain from writing about the old days when I’d blog a presentation, and all the other ones I attended, the same day.
To cut the glowing short, the OER18 conference was amazing on all levels for the location, the venue, the conference organizers, the co-chairs, the weather… and above all, the people who come to this conference.
I last attended this conference in 2014; it was the “vibe” of that conference that compelled me to want to come back for 2018. For what it’s worth, both times I did the travel etc on my own dime. I do want to thank the organizers for providing a dispensation that covered the registration fees. That is but one example of some remarks I made at the end acknowledging the “human” way the conference is run. AT every step, communication, it feels like you are communicating with a genuine person, not some faceless organizational acronym.
Okay, anyhow, my colleague Mia Zamora and I decided to submit a presentation on our Research Networked Seminar, which I ran at Kean University connecting with the seminar Mia taught in the fall 2017 at the University of Bergen.
With already too much ado, our session was long titled Networking the Seed Plot: #ResNetSem as an Experimental Transformation of the Research Seminar
— Mia Zamora (@MiaZamoraPhD) April 18, 2018
Embracing a networked learning context for academic study that thins the walls (Couros, 2009), we propose a new form of research networked seminar. Keeping a traditional small number of direct participants engaged in dialogue driven by individual research interest, our design incorporates networked forms of inquiry and reflection. In this presentation we consider impacts of introducing networks and tools for Masters level scholars, and how a practice of open networked inquiry might lead to a revision of academic research.
We present as a case study of #ResNetSem, a co-located research seminar that bridged a Writing Studies research seminar directed by Alan Levine at Kean University, USA (http://resnetsem.arganee.world/) and a Digital Aesthetics research seminar directed by Mia Zamora at the University of Bergen-Norway (http://networks.miazamoraphd.com/). While very different seminars, a common ground is research and writing about digital culture. Our #ResNetSem design encouraged students to expand their reach of resources and expertise to develop a learning network for their individual inquiry.
We have some slides… next slides:
And there is a video archive:
The fifteen minute slot goes fast, but one of the things we wanted to get in the session was perspectives from our students. I originally had some idea about doing a Laura Ritchie type idea to have my students raise money to attend the conference; we talked about it in November, and they submitted abstracts, but the time frame ended up looming very short.
Two of my students provided a bit of video testimony that I edited together into a 3 minute blurb:
We also had one of Mia’s students Nicholas who was able to solicit funding from Bergen to attend the conference and be the closing statement of our session.
The wonderful part of Nicholas story is that his idea for his Masters Thesis changed as a result of the seminar. His original research idea was about the role of anonymity in online spaces, but as a by product of the seminar experience, he changed his focus to be researching networked learning.
That’s about as good a result as one can ask for.
Without much grand summarizing of the conference experience, it, combined with a pre-conference set of sessions for the Disruptive Media Learning Lab at Coventry University, has me thinking how much more effective we are at connecting and understanding each other at the human, individual level. Like these two folks:
or with a fun shoe
How about launching with a VHS tape?
or maybe it helps to have more sessions with ukuleles
Things seem to get bogged down in openness at the institutional or movement level.
I’m more interested in the human level.