Dusting off


(Image via Audrey Watters)

Another intolerable blogging gap.  If this keeps up I’ll have to turn over the keys to my domain.

No lack of exciting activity on this end. I’m typing this on a flight south to Mexico, where I will be joining a team assembled by Tannis Morgan to work with a cohort of 300 instructors at the University of Guadalajara (UdG) on a program promoting networked and participatory learning. We’re kicking it off with two weeks of intensive face-to-face activities, then shifting to an extended “online coaching” phase, and wrapping with another event in Guadalajara in December.

As an added wrinkle, our programming will have a strong focus on mobile learning, as most of our participants will be using iPads. While I have used IOS on my phone for a few years, I only acquired my first iPad a month or so ago. Trying to do the sorts of things I have always done on a laptop (much less trying to get good enough to facilitate the learning of others) has been an interesting and frequently frustrating experience. I’m writing this post on the damned thing now, and I am moving at less than half my usual pace.

Add in all the uncertainties of pulling off an ambitious program at scale, insanely complicated logistics, with all the attendant language and cultural issues, and the potential for disaster is something that has gnawed at me since we began. That said, Tannis has assembled something of a dream team, and she has done a masterful job of pulling all the pieces together. At this point, before we have even landed in Guadalajara, this has been an enriching experience full of learning and laughter. 

Giving the themes of mobility and activity we are stressing, I think I am going to try a different model of blogging while we are in Mexico. Rather than try to think through and articulate synthetic posts (which I frequently overthink to the point of not posting at all), I’m hoping to push out more stuff, more rapidly, but perhaps in a more raw and perhaps at times fragmented modality. 

So in that spirit, I will hold off on talking about the team for now (because frankly it would take forever to describe how amazing they are), and I won’t even try to provide an overview of our approach and the (nearly ready) online environment. Suffice to say it will be conducted in the open, and if you are a reader of this blog you will be hearing all about it in the coming weeks and months. If you want to poke around a bit, I suppose I can point to the already-active Twitter account and #UdGAgora hashtag and you can decide for yourself whether you’d like to descend into this rather labyrinthine rabbit warren with us. By all means, consider yourself invited to play along.

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