Along with some time here in this wonderful 6×6 space, I am also part of one of the learning communities on the Bothell campus at the University of Washington. Each year staff and faculty can choose to join one of the many communities offered, and for the last five years I have elected to participate in the same one: Teaching and Learning on the Open Web. Several others have as well and we rely on each other for help. You know, like friends. My post for this week is about that community.
It feels good to have a sense of community, and all of the things that go with it. Trust. Continuity. Common ground and common goals. Shared values. We are fortunate.
In November of last year, we wondered about how to best fulfill our mission of learning about and practicing “Teaching and Learning on the Open Web.” We had read articles in the past and discussed them. We have gone to conferences and shared our learnings. We have ordered and read books. We have retreated together and explored new tools and teaching practices. We have done good things. But in November, we pondered another way to be with our groups and shape our community. We wondered what it would be like to bring in a guest speaker to our monthly meetings and have them share a story with us. It seemed reasonable. Maybe it would work?
So, we looked for some people in the field of teaching and learning to tell us a story. An epiphany even! In December, we had Robin DeRosa hare a story about her discovery of Pressbooks. In January, we had Lisa Young share her story of the inception of the Maricopa Millions project. And just last week we had Jim Groom tell us about the origins of the digital storytelling class, ds106. In April, we have Claire Howell Major sharing her story of a book she crafted with the help of many others titled, Teaching Online.
So that is what we did and where we are. For each of the “campfire visits” we have a notes document that gets turned into a post on our website.
Here is the post about Robin DeRosa
Here is the post about Lisa Young
The one about Jim will be posted there by Wednesday. For today, here is the recording if you have an hour
This new idea, and the incredible amount of wisdom and opportunity generated within us the desire to meet twice a month as a community! The new meeting is scheduled a week after the “fireside guest” visit and we debrief and ponder our futures. It also gives us some dedicated time to write. If only all of our vibrant discussions were reality! We would have an amazing effect on the campus and our students! We have been in the presence of visionaries and we have been inspired!
For me, the next level up is to take our combined funding for the learning community and invest it back in professional development opportunities for the whole campus. I am going to ask our community to buy 1,500 dollars work of books about teaching and learning so that our small campus will have a learning library. Currently, the plan is to spend it on a conference… I imagine our work will be to push the books out to the community and hopefully get some others to read about teaching and learning. We will see.
Anyway, that is the story for the week. I am off to Scotland and Ireland for a couple weeks so my next two posts will be a bit different. I am going to try to do them using only my phone and my voice! I hope.
Lastly, how exciting that this is beginning at the start of Open Education Week! Sharing our knowledge, our stories, our hopes. This is good. Check them out on Twitter here and maybe attend a workshop from one of the universities participating in open shared work!
The post This Community
first appeared on The Whole Classroom