A call to action and the dark side of publishing

Darth Vader, Library Page

tl;dr: I published a call to action in the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory and I provide some additional context and thoughts.

In the early summer of 2016, Markus Deimann asked me whether I would consider to author a contribution to the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, a Springer Publication. Three thoughts almost immediately struck me as odd. For one thing, I never really thought about publishing anything academically. I hold a Bachelor of Science, a degree many ‘serious academics’ don’t take too seriously. Many people I talk to wonder how I can work at a university although I only hold a B.Sc., some simply assume that I have a PhD for some reason. I was invited to conferences and workshops because people held that belief and most of them then try to re-negotiate conditions like a reduced rate when they find out that they were mislead to assume that I have academic credentials. So imagine my surprise when I was asked to write an article for an encyclopedia (thanks again for the opportunity, Markus). More importantly, maybe, I never found much joy in writing papers – never understood how people could love doing this. This might change, you never know. If you take a look at the list of authors for this publication, you will see that all of them are achieved academics who have a serious track record in science and research. To be included in that list is an honor and it seems weird.

My most immediate thought, however, was this: I never considered writing something for a publication administered by one of the large science publishers who would then own the copyright and lock my thoughts and ideas behind a paywall. Continue reading A call to action and the dark side of publishing

Giving to causes I care about – edition 2016

tl;dr: I give to organizations, causes and people I care about because it makes me sleep better. And because this is a crucial time to do so.

I am not going into too many details what the year of 2016  lots of people I care about and work with. John Oliver already did a great job. The global rise of ‘alt-right’ racist and fascist movements, a new level of hate speech online (or at least a new level of awareness of it among people who look like me), the proclaimed age of post-truth. All of these developments have made the people I follow in the realm of open and online education question both their strategies of coping and teaching but also their approaches to openness and safety in online education. Continue reading Giving to causes I care about – edition 2016

Quick Note on Storytelling, Security and Privacy

In a post from Nov 17, I tried to give an update on what happened after my Ignite Talk at #2016DML. As I mentioned then, I joined Cornelia and Anna to co-facilitate a small group of students and refugees who started working on storytelling in teams of German students and refugees. Over the last couple of weeks, teams and tandems were formed and some were split up again. Usually, this happened when some of the refugees could not attend the class anymore for various reasons: some moved, one found a job, one decided to attend more German language classes. Continue reading Quick Note on Storytelling, Security and Privacy

I was Virtually Connecting from #OEB16

tl;dr: I was Virtually Connecting from #OEB16 and I am trying to give two main reasons why this was an essentially important part of OEB – at least for me.

I wrote a short blog post about my first time as onsite buddy of Virtually Connecting (VC). In my previous post, I noted a couple of reasons and motivations to virtually connect and now, after participating in four sessions as onsite buddy of VC, two main motivations kept on creeping up on me during our sessions at #OEB16:  Continue reading I was Virtually Connecting from #OEB16

Hack the Edu System – 6 Weeks after my Ignite Talk

tl;dr: I promised regular updates after my Ignite Talk at #2016DML and this is the first post that is meant to catch everyone up who is interested.

It has been six weeks since my Ignite Talk at the 2016 DML Conference. After the talk, many educators and practitioners reached out – not only from the conference site but also from elsewhere in the world. Some gave feedback directly as comments in the Google Doc (resulting in a slightly edited draft), some tweeted and some sent me email. I promised that I would try and keep everyone in the loop and so I will try and sum up what happened since #2016DML. Continue reading Hack the Edu System – 6 Weeks after my Ignite Talk

#2016DML – Warum nicht auch in Deutschland?

tl;dr: Ich war bei der #2016DML Konferenz des DML Research Hub an der UC Irvine in Kalifornien. Inhaltliche Breite und Tiefe, der konstruktiv-kritische Blickwinkel der Teilnehmerinnen bei gleichzeitiger Begeisterung für das Erproben und Machen haben mich beeindruckt. Nun überlege ich: was können wir davon und daraus lernen, was sind mögliche Ursachen für die wahrgenommenen Unterschiede?

Vorab ein outing: ich bin Fanboy. Wenn Bezug zu Digitalisierung von Hochschullehre besteht, lese ich die Veröffentlichungen im Blog des DML Research Hub, teile sie gern, spreche darüber mit Kolleginnen, in einem Podcast und bei Konferenzen. Ich versuche Bezüge zu Entwicklungen im deutschsprachigen Raum herzustellen und empfehle jedem, der neu oder alt im Thema Digitalisierung von Bildung ist, einen Blick auf die Website des DML Research Hub. Mir fehlt also die kritische Distanz für einen möglichst objektiven Bericht zur diesjährigen Konferenz. Deswegen unternehme ich auch erst gar nicht den Versuch, sondern schildere lediglich meine Eindrücke und versuche daraus abzuleiten, was ich in den deutschsprachigen Debatten rund um EdTech, Offene Bildung und Digitalisierung von (Hochschul-)Bildung vermisse. Continue reading #2016DML – Warum nicht auch in Deutschland?

#2016DML – a look back

tl;dr: I visited the annual conference of the DML Research Hub #2016DML and I tried to pin down some of the many experiences that stuck with me. This should be a much longer post than it actually is.

When I was introduced to the DML Research Hub and the inspiring people in its wider network by Nishant Shah, I was a bit overwhelmed by the complex and critical questions contributors to the blog and to the ‘twittersphere’ (is that still a word?) were asking around digital media and pedagogy, connected learning and its impacts and influences on learning and teaching in general. Leuphana Digital School had been around for a bit longer than one year, we had finished our pilot course and we had also tried out how to apply its infrastructure to the freshmen week at Leuphana. We were still in the process of figuring out things on our own and we had no real capacity for the conscious and planned integration of others’ theories, ideas or practices (see my related post “Where would you start?” for context).

While attending a DML conference seemed out of my world by then, imagining to present during an Ignite Talk session would have blown my ‘2013 self’ out of the universe. So, in October 2016, I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the conference and, while memories are as fresh as they will ever be, I want to take the chance and ban some of them onto the web. Continue reading #2016DML – a look back

Hack the Edu System – Ignite Talk at #2016DML

tl;dr: I gave an Ignite Talk at #2016DML in which I talked about access to Higher Ed for refugees in Germany. In the transcript below, I am inviting you to give feedback and to suggest ideas. If you want to dig in deeper, there also is a Google Doc with first ideas.

Here’s a recording of my talk

As I write this post I am on my way from Hamburg to Los Angeles, both excited and a bit nervous about the upcoming #2016DML conference at UC Irvine in California. This is the the first time for me to be presenting at an Ignite Talk session and I don’t have that much experience at international conferences to begin with. When I submitted my proposal, I would not have imagined for it to be considered and so I didn’t pay too much attention to the format itself. I followed an “I’ll see about that when I get there” attitude. So, I am on my way now and I have decided that this will also be the first time for me to publish a blog post about a talk I am giving. I am doing this for several reasons: Continue reading Hack the Edu System – Ignite Talk at #2016DML

Where would you start?

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Newcastle_Library_800

Newcastle Libraries

tl;dr: I started to curate a list of topics, trends, literature, people and conferences related to open education, open learning and teaching, connected learning and many more. Take a look here and please do add readings, comments and links. Thank you!

Over the last years, co-workers and colleagues have frequently asked me something similar to this: “I’d like to read up on the recent developments in open education. Which resource can you point me to as a starting point? Which blog or text, which author or publication is most valuable to you? Where should I start if I wanted to dive into connected learning (depending on the context, replace with: open learning, digital pedagogy, open teaching, online teaching, personalization of online learning…)?”

Depending on who asks and on their context, but also depending on the amount of time on my hands, my answer can turn out quite differently. I usually come up with 2-3 references for someone to start with – depending on their background, their assumed expertise and interests or regarding their specific question. Of course, these recommendations are biased by what I have read and what I care about on that particular day and, even if I tried, it would never be an exhaustive list or overview. It would not even come close to doing this question justice. Now, most recently, I was not only asked for some recommendations on the fly, but for an exhaustive list of publications, authors, conferences and the like. And while I still certainly have not reached the status of an expert in any of these fields, I wonder what would have happened if someone I trust had provided me with a list of resources and people she admired when I started out in online learning and open education four years ago. Continue reading Where would you start?