Three completed days of the UDG Agora, and while I don’t expect to “relax” until it is over, I feel like we have our footing and overall the vibe is great. I don’t have the energy or focus to attempt a proper update, but I’ll pass on a few positives:
What a blast to work with this team. It feels as if everyone brings distinct strengths and perspectives to the table, and even under conditions of fatigue and no small sense of pressure we’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve learned so much already.
In addition to helping to facilitate “foundational” studios on topics such as collaborative learning and course design, I also have developed and facilitated studios on open educational resources, and “meme media”. I have been gratified by how well-received these sessions have been so far. The open-minded and very focused attitudes of the participants has been an incredible thing to experience.
I also got lucky when Pedro Ortega Gudiño offered early on to co-facilitate with me. Pedro brings an insane amount of knowledge and a very groovy sensibility, and the way we work together has allowed the sessions to proceed in Spanish about 80% of the time. (It also helps that our participants are unbelievably generous and understanding, and possess an almost supernatural ability to decode my mangling of their beautiful language.)
The facilities are quite impressive — most of the rooms have Apple TV enabled, so you can do live demos of processes off the laptop or the iPad (untethered, walking around the room), or swap in the screens of anyone in the room — I am still getting my head around what this makes possible. The UdG Center for the Arts, Architecture, and Design is set alongside a stunning set of cliffs (picture above). And the near-perfect weather has allowed us to have our meals and many of our activities outdoors (the wifi works there too).
* The food, music, energy in Guadalajara is off-the-charts amazing. I need to do more to capture that. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more headspace to do so.
Early on, Nancy White introduced our group to the concept of “confusiasm” (confusiasmo), a portmanteau of confusion and enthusiasm. It seemed to resonate with everyone right away, and if I had to choose one word to describe our current state, that would be it.