Monday, June 15, 2015

DML Day Two... a few days late! :-)

After Day One of DML, I didn't go out to dinner (too tired!), which meant I wrote up a blog post about that day: Day One: WOW. But on Day Two I went out for dinner afterwards, and on Day Three I had nice LA adventures after the final session, and then I spent a day traveling. But now I am back home, and ready to rewind to Day Two and all the good stuff I got to see and do on that second day.

Nichole Pinkard. The plenary for this day was my favorite of the three: Nichole Pinkard talking about all the great work she and her colleagues have been doing in Chicago. You can see the video here:

She started off with this piece by Tupac:

That metaphor about the rose and the concrete was a beautiful way to get us to think of the multiple approaches that Nichole and her coworkers are using: they want to help roses be strong, but they also realize that we need to do something about that damn concrete! For some examples about the fabulous work they are doing, take a look at this video which she showed to honor Brother Mike Hawkins; it's a powerful tribute to him and a strong statement about the work going on in Chicago:

One of the themes that Nichole talked about what the importance of public spaces and visibility, sharing ideas and accomplishments so that you can inspire others: "I can do it too." And also: "I need it," tapping into what really matters to people, helping them to build social and educational capital, being able to make the choices that they confront, which can be incredibly difficult choices and complex systems to navigate. She also emphasized the idea of personal history, personal journeys, and how collecting data can help with that; one of the mottoes (I think this one came from Brother Mike) is "learning as a lifestyle." The examples she gave for data use were really compelling, so different from the kinds of data analytics that I see being hyped in the higher ed ed-tech world. She also talked about distributed mentorship, which resonated perfectly with what I learned in the Fan Fic presentation on Day One.

Individual Papers w/ Twitter. The next session I went to was a collection of individual presentations, and I was really glad that I attended! There was one Twitter presentation in particular that I wanted to hear (see below), but I ended up enjoying all of the speakers: I got to hear about a computer science academy in an Oakland school (the "STEM Gal" game that one of the students created out of her anger at the way she saw the gender imbalance in her classes was both hilarious and thought-provoking), then I learned about the online communities of K-drama fans (that resonated really nicely with the Fan Fic panel), and I also heard about a Maker project in Japan (which included learning about the woodworking that goes on with a tree festival there). My favorite part turned out to be the presentation by Leah Teeters and Susan Jurow on the "promotoras" from a food justice movement which supports backyard gardens, among other things. The presentation itself was excellent in terms of being able to tell us what we needed to know about the context and goals and achievements of this project, and it focused on an app that the promotoras built to help in their data collection and sharing, making their work visible. So, like with Nichole's presentation, that helped me see data collection in a new and empowering way, because the data collection is part of the push for visibility, recognition and mutual support, with the design of the data collection itself coming from the participants, the promotoras who are out there doing incredible work in their community. I found this webpage which gives an overview of the project (we only heard a small part of all that they are doing): Learning in the Food Movement. I think there is so much we can all learn from this program! Here is the website for the Re:Vision program, and this is the page about the promotoras, where I found this video:

Critical Curation of a Collaborative Media Feed: This was so thought-provoking for me! Kyle Booten is a grad student at Berkeley, and he reported on an experiment conducted in an undergrad education class he was teaching. It gave me so many ideas for things I might want to try, and it also made me feel better about the problems I've been having getting some good Twitter momentum going in my classes. His experiment used a collective Twitter account (he shared the account name and password with all the students) that was for curation purposes, so the idea was not about tweeting but instead about following accounts in order to create a useful class resource. It was up to the students which accounts to follow and unfollow relating to the topics they were working on in the class. I loved the way this was a collective endeavor, and I think that approach could help me get some Twitter momentum going; having students do individual Twitter activity was just not working really well as my students either are not Twitter users to start with or, if they are, they are using Twitter really as a messaging app, not as a tool for learning and networking. Kyle's experiment showed that even these education undergrads at Berkeley did not start out as being very proactive and self-aware about using Twitter as a tool for learning and educational networking, although they were able to use the experience to think about that and explore new ways of using Twitter over the course of the semester, not so much through direct instruction but instead by reflecting on the results they were seeing from their collective effort. Just like with the Fan Fic panel, this gave me so many ideas to think about that I need to write up a separate post. Anyway, it was really super: a simple experiment, but very revealing and prompting all kinds of possible variations and follow-ups. I talked to Kyle again later and met Glynda Hull, the faculty member he is working with at Berkeley, and she told me she is doing work in India. What a great connection to have made; I am really excited about this!

Domain of One's Own. After lunch was the fantastic presentation by OU's own own Adam Croom as part of the Domain of One's Own panel organized by Mikhail Gershovich. Adam presented some really great examples of projects going on at OU's, and I hope he will find a way to feature those projects at the create site itself; right now it's not easy to "see" what is going on without some pointers and links, in addition to the actual content stream. I was really struck by a collective commentary project that someone from OU's Expository Writing project has set up; afterwards Adam let me know some more of the technical details and it sounds really do-able. One of the nursing instructors from CSU Channel Islands, Jaime Hannans, presented on her experiences with open teaching and her students' blogs, and Mikhail showed some of the work they are doing at Emerson. Tim Owens was also there to speak both about the amazing results at Mary Washington and also about some behind-the-scenes details at Reclaim. There was a good discussion afterwards about technical issues but also the broader questions about open pedagogy and public sharing as an alternative to the LMS. I also need to check out which Tim brought up in discussion re: link rot (one of the reasons I am thinking I want to stick with my current system of working with student projects is that it will do a better job of avoiding link rot than investing in a system which is going to disappear when students graduate).

What is Open For? This was a couple hours of pure fabulousness, thanks to Mia Zamora, Howard Rheingold, Nik Koyama and David Preston. Listening to their own stories was inspiring as always (I know Mia and Howard already, and I had heard Nik and David in a great Connected Courses hangout), and then we had a really fantastic break-out session afterwards, prompted by some good questions from the presenters. As a result, I got to have a wonderful talk with the awesome Gardner Campbell that way (the first time we met was at that session!) along with Karen Page and Janis Selby Jones, two wonderful women I kept encountering at the conference again and again (it's a sign!). David's "Open Source Learning" sounds very congenial, and I need to get more involved with that.

Ignite. The Ignite Talks were even more fabulous on the second day, and thus the wind-up even less welcome, truth be told: the excellent speakers did not need any help from the introducer because they all had such powerful things to say. I would really urge you to watch them all (and skip the intro). I think I've embedded this so the video will start with the first speaker, and you can see the speaker list here: Ignite Talks. I need to write up a separate post about Rudy Blanco and the great things he is doing; I met him on the first day of the conference, and he is one of the Ignite presenters here:

And of course I was so excited to see Gardner Campbell in action with Radio Redux:

After the Ignite session, I went out to dinner that night with Gardner (it felt like going out with a celebrity after that radio talk!), along with Kim Jaxon, Alan Levine, Tim Owens, and Amy Burvall; what a great bunch! We had too much fun... hence the lateness of this post about the wonderful Day Two of DML. At dinner, Amy shared some of her History for Music Lovers videos, and those are going to be part of the Bestiaria line-up as you can see already in the Bestiaria post for today, featuring her Pompei. Whoo-hoo!

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