Lurking in #HEdigid

Small child peeking around the corner of a wall.

On Friday, July 13, 2018, I participated in my first slow twitter chat with Higher Education Digital Identity (a.k.a. #HEdigID) Chat. Once a month, on the second Friday, the assigned host, in this case @SuzanKoseoglu, posts 6 questions and the conversation usually continues over 24 hours. A transcript of the first 24 hours is collected and posted.

I experienced my first slow chat and my first twitter storm. A slow chat, unlike twitter chats that are scheduled over a one hour period, is a chat aimed at a larger population, across time zones or where internet connections are spotty. A slow chat can can last 8 to 24 hours. A twitter storm is a sudden surge in a topic or around a twitter thread where you receive notification of every addition and every like or retweet.

The conversation did not end after 24 hours, it continued through the weekend and into the next week in part because of lurking. This aspect, the idea that people listen in but don’t contribute – in twitter chats, online discussions, forums, online courses, MOOCs and more sparked both debate and analysis. I found it fascinating to hear perspectives from around the world and from different viewpoints as HE professionals discussed their thoughts as both leaders and users of discussions and courses.

I am a lurker. I lurked in the #HEdigid chat, for the most part. I contributed 9 tweets. It was my first slow chat. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I might have to offer. Maybe next time, I will add more. Maybe not. In this round, it was connecting to the discussion that was valuable to me. Let’s just say, I was applying the Educational Theory  of Apprenticeship to slow twitter chats. I posted something to be a part of the conversation and then sat back and learned from others on both the topic and the manner in which they participated in the discourse.

Here is what I learned:

Curiosity. Respectful questions for clarity and understanding are welcome.

Sharing resources. Does the discussion remind you of your own work or someone elses? Share it.

Building on others comments. “Yes and” thoughts make for a fuller discussion.

Agreement. Your comment can simply to agree.

Make it personal. Your antidote regarding your approach, your thinking and your lived experience has value.

Compliments. Building up others is good.

Feel free to mute the twitter storm.

The conversation does not have to stop.

Finally, I would like to share two blog posts from Sue Watling as she continues to explore the question of digitally shy and lurking:

Featured Image: Photo by Aaron Mello on Unsplash

Meet PLN Warrior

PLN Warrior’s  superpower is harnessing the web to create a personal learning NETwork of like-minded heros who will work to build and defend an open learning environment that seeks to benefit all! We are just a few days into #ExtendWest and I am already seeing the benefits of having a personal learning network with the tool of Twitter. It is energizing and nourishing. However, I am seeing that to benefit and to be a benefit to others, you have to go in with a superhero mind-set.

The superhero mind-set is this idea that I will use my gifts and talents, my skills and knowledge to help other by sharing and encouraging and I will accept others’ gifts and talents and encouragement to become better. A superhero works to make the world better, not just for themselves, but for everyone.

A superhero also needs a nemesis and I believe the nemesis is that the open learning movement is a privilege. As Amira Dhalla discusses in her blog post The Dangers of Being Open, “being open is actually elite.” And if that is true, we need to work to make it not elite and not only open to the privileged. I am just starting out, I am a baby or a novice superhero, so I don’t have all the answers. Actually, I don’t even have all the questions, but I am starting with committing to being open and inclusive and to face the potential dark underbelly open learning.

PLN Warrior was created with Marvel HQ Create your own superhero.

This post is a response to Ontario Extend’s Daily Extend #oext168 What does your superhero look like?