In the last two weeks I've had three important PhD conversations. One was with a friend who, coincidentally, had the same plan as me. He said he was closing down to write during August, by the end of which he would decide if it was time to draw the curtain or continue. Like him, I'm tired of this creature who sits on my shoulder, nibbling away at my ear, constantly, tiresomely, there.
I also spoke to Lilia Efmova in the Netherlands the other day, who also said she was using her blog as data. Lilia's constant struggle with work-life balance and our shared pursuit of hybrid mehtodologies, and of autoethnography give me hope. She's a good few steps ahead of me.
Then, yesterday, I spoke with the writer whose work has most influenced me in all aspects of my life. He told me that I should be both hard on myself and also take care of myself. Be modest in your expectations, he soothed. One bit at a time. Aim for one chapter in August. Perhaps you can take another month in December to do another chapter. We spoke about the joys and tribulations of writing and I was inspired.
And I'm listening.
And I'm marvelling at the fantastic support I get, in different ways, from people in my communities and outside the formal channels of my doctorate.
"...Narrative work, in the sense that I presented it involves the mass capture of anecdotal fragmented material. The material is primary sense-making is self-indexed at the point of origin (for the method, there is a draft paper here). Meaning then emerge
"MyStickies allows you to place little yellow squares of digital paper anywhere and everywhere you feel like in the whole wide web. Along with the ability to put sticky notes on webpages mystickies offers a powerful interface to browse, search, sort, edit
A discussion developed yesterday around the issue of "the needs analysis" in an online workshop on communities and technologies.
Some people felt that a more detailed needs analysis should have been carried out to better identify the problems and the level of digital compentencies that people had before they did the workshop.
If I had known that the workshop could have solved some of the problems facing me in my daily working life, then I might have got more involved.
Others thought that such a level of detail would have spoiled the nature of the workshop and turned it into a conventional training course.
If the workshop had been along the lines of "this tool will help you solve this problem", then it wouldn't have been as helpful as it was. Being able to imagine different ways of using different tools in different contexts, was far more helpful than an initial analysis of my problems or digital competencies.
Imagination: how do you trigger the imagination
needed to make the tools meangful? Using them requires a leap of
imagination and a transformation in thinking, it's not just a technical
competence. How do you design for triggering imagination?
Then this morning I also read this Aha! from Euan Semple:
I don't do Enteprise 2.0, I don't help organisations improve their effectiveness - I don't even evengelise about the web.
What I do is open people's eyes to the most wonderful opportunity
that the internet has given them to grab their lives with both hands
and make the most of them.
I do this in the firm belief that if we all do it then the world will become a better place.
I am curious to discover different ways that people manage to "open people's eyes to the most wonderful opportunity ... to grab their lives with both hands .. ".
I can imagine enthusiasm and rousing discourse is important, so is modeling. I would love to hear more about how people do this, maybe at the beginning of an event or a workshop, or even a presentation. Is it enough to be convinced and articulate or do people adapt processes like appreciative inquiry, scenarios ...?
Yesterday I was facilitating a "phase change" that is the reuslt of a six week workshop I presented last year about communities and web2.0 technologies. It's fascinating to look back on a post I wrote as I did the preparations for that workshop. When I wrote the post I never imagined the ongoing life of the workshop a year after it was over.
The ongoing activity and conversations after the workshop have been energising. Participants are divided between the "crentes" (believers) and the agnostics. The believers are those who felt transformed by what we did and the agnostics were the ones who didn't engage in the workshop - but who still give up a mornings or afternoon to participate in conversations about it.
The workshop and its processes and results have now been called a "product", something that can be validated and re-used, a step in the process that friends in the CPsquare dialogue were a part of. Yesterday I was facilitating to help the group articulate better what
exactly this product is: A workshop? A methodology? A wiki? A
community? During the afternoon we planned the next steps to "finalise" it as a joint product.
I was really energised to see that the workshop no longer belongs to me. Rather, the experience of the workshop and the follow-on have resulted in the group taking ownership of the whole package. And that was what they decided to call it: a package.
The result is a dynamic package of:
Communication tools (e.g. Skype, wiki etc.)
Training (including the needs analysis and methodology)
Action (including examples and stories of where it has been applied)
Production (for example, the Wikis that have resulted from it)
One group defined this package as "a combination of tools for the animation of networks for:
autonomy/empowerment of the participants;
open to the exterior;
("conjunto articulado de ferramentas para a animação de redes para:
autonómia/empowerment dos participantes;
construção a medida;
abertura ao exterior;
The other group defined it as "interactive, dynamic methodologies, tools and guidelines to mobilise the management and animation of communities to improve communication, interaction, training, monitoring and information."
("interactivo, dinâmico metodologias, ferramentas, guidelines para mobilisar gestão, animação de comunidades para acrescentar comunicação, interacção, formação, monitorização, informação.")
I've had a number of deeply honouring moments this year, and I count this phase change as one of them.
I'm at the KM4Dev workshop in the Netherlands. It's a beautiful location and a really great group of people. And I feel so at home at a place which bans Power Point, Word documents and Flip charts. But it's the third big event in amonth and I'm sorry not to have more time to pause and reflect inbetween. I have set up a KM4Dec2007 blog for this event and a blog for the Knowledge Expedititions workshop.
Among other things I've been really busy in Cagliari, Sardinia. Putting up my flickr photos I got to thinking about how flickr photos shape a particular story - a story which leaves out the anxiously-searching-for-WIFI/ Internet moments, the Skype-calls-at -unthinkable-hours, waiting to leave the official merry-making night so you can make last minute changes to your Power Point presentation, working online with other people for whom your time and place don't count, the dog and son at home wondering when I will have time for them. Not to mention the pre-trip online searching and organisation of cheap flights, connections and multiple places to stay depending on event, budget and opportunities for seeing friends or networking.
I remember when my father went away on business. We said good-bye to him at the airport and knew that the next time we would communicate with him was when he came back. He normally sent a post-card. The office knew he was unreachable, except for emergencies and he focused on what was at hand, with some correspondence to catch up on in his briefcase. A travel agent organised his flights and booked his hotel. Work was work. Family was family. A business trip was a business trip. Corrrespondence was correspondence.
What are the rewards for this swirling, whirly-gig life some of us now dance in?
My name is Bev Trayner and I live in Setúbal, Portugal. The focus of my research and practice is designing for learning in distributed communities. I am particularly interested in connecting people in international communities. Key words are: communities of practice, learning, meaning-making, inclusion, multiliteracies, Portugal, and Web2.0 technologies. Keeping a blog helps me navigate my way through different practices and world views. Phronesis includes pondering on the specifics and the universal. It follows on from my previous blog "Em duas línguas".
Eu sou Bev Trayner e moro em Setúbal, Portugal. O objecto da minha investigação e da minha prática é o design para aprendizagem nas “comunidades distribuídas” (virtuais). Estou particularmente interessada nas ligações entre pessoas nas comunidades internacionais. As palavras-chave são: comunidades de prática, aprendizagem, a produção de sentido, inclusão, multi-literacias, Portugal e as tecnologias de Web2.0
Escrevo este blog porque me ajuda a navegar entre diferentes práticas e diferentes visões do mundo. Phronesis, a contemplar o particular e o universal, vem no seguimento do meu blog "Em duas línguas."