Symposium Progress

Mike, Cathy, Felicity, Jean, Kyungmee and Nina met using Jitsi (soon afterwards joined by Greta!)
Mike, Cathy, Felicity, Jean, Kyungmee and Nina

It was a high delight even to meet virtually last Monday, 1st November, to align our objectives and aspirations for a phenomenology and networked learning symposium at the next conference 16-18 May 2022. Felicity and Mike are gently pinching ourselves – we feel like we have a ‘dream team’ of enthusiastic participants who can genuinely carry the hanfod.NL vision of bringing phenomenology into the spotlight within networked learning.

  • Greta Goertz (2021 PDSE article) – Re-presencing the digital trace in networked learning design
  • Nina Bonderup Dohn – to discuss Merleu-Ponty’s importance for networked learning research (YouTube video abstract)
  • Kyungmee Lee (Twitter profile) – exploring what phenomenological ideas can bring to writing ‘thick description’
  • Jean du Toit and Gregory Swer – reflect on student reports of alienation and self-awareness while studying in a pandemic. (Meet the authors in this YT video and a recent unrelated article in Teorie vědy)
  • Felicity, Mike, Cathy Adams and Joni Turville (Twitter profile) bring a phenomenology of practice lens to the student’s experience of Zoom breakout rooms.

Some of the discussion was about having five solid full papers when a symposium is usually four papers, but we have ambitions around filling a double-symposium and developing something substantial to make good use of the time.

We established a few dates: Mike to draft a symposium proposal outline by 26th Nov. 10th Dec to send around full drafts of papers to each other for feedback and responses, and comment on the symposium draft. 3rd Jan 2021 for final full papers, ready for submission as soon as possibly prior to the 7th January target for Networked Learning Conference scientific review.

In sympathy with Greta’s idea of retaining control of the traces we leave within the Internet, we chose to use Jitsi for this meeting and it performed admirably although browser-based (sometimes app-based video-conference tools are more stable). Unfortunately Greta was delayed and so unable to join the group photo-call.

Planning for the symposium in NLC2022

We feel like our 10/11 June workshop was so long ago…. although it is a happy memory. Another small example of overcoming in the face of the pandemic… However, if you had a summer like us, writing was not easy to fit in. A busy life can really desiccate attempts to enter into a phenomenological attitude…

We hope you have managed to relax a little over the ‘holiday’ period – you may be still trying to do so.  However, we can’t rest on our laurels for long – we have started to properly look forward to next year’s in-person conference – a very exciting and hopeful prospect, given global events.

If you have time, take a look at this site which takes an informal look at the host city: http://www.sundsvalltown.se/ Mike really tried to find a land route to Kolding in 2020, and is wondering whether not flying is going to be a realistic option this time without having to immitate Phileas Fogg!

Nacksta Sankt Olof, Sundsvall, by Hans Lindqvist, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of hanfod.NL’s aims is to organise a phenomenology and networked learning symposium – the deadline for symposium proposals and full papers is the same –  October 8th. We need a clear idea about the viability of a symposium well in advance and so we’re inviting you to join us. Please email info@hanfod.nl with your abstract by 2nd September in order for us to meet online for feedback and review on the 3rd at 2pm (GMT) – you are welcome to join us. We will email the zoom link you if you send us your abstract.  

We look forward to hearing from you (soon 🙂

‘Get the spirit and do it’ – Greg & Jean

Having moved to an online event, abandoning the Petcha Kutcha session that was to begin day two, there was no reason why we could not continue to gather VLOGs. We are very conscious that networked learning draws mainly from North America, Europe and Australasia. So I was delighted when my tentative email to Jean and Greg in South Africa was met with such enthusiasm. Jean’s article (2020), ‘Living in the age of the embodied screen’, in the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology (https://doi.org/10.1080/20797222.2021.1876895 ) had drawn Mike’s attention when we were looking for potential contributors, and the insights, building upon Merleau-Ponty, really chimed with the article we’re developing around learners’ experiences of Zoom Breakout Rooms. Indeed, there seem to be many positive points of connection with networked learning and we hope to continue to explore and grow this in future. But perhaps the highlight for me was Jean and Greg’s reply to my hopelessly broad question about learning technology and phenomenology. They recommended not going overboard on covering the canonical phenomenological writers. Spend time getting the hang of the gist/spirit of phenomenology and then getting on with doing phenomenology, which wonderfully encapsulates the main message of the ‘Lleisiau o’r Afon‘ (Voices from the River) series. Thank you so much Jean and Greg!

#hNL21 Phenomenology of Practice Workshop success

It’s a wrap: you know it was good when people don’t want to leave 🙂 just a small capture of a very full conference but a tardy group pic in the final seconds..

Less than 24 hours ago, we closed down our screens on the successful finale of the hanfod.NL inaugural 2x half day conference. Mike and I would therefore like to take the opportunity to officially thank Professor Cathy Adams for the generous investment of time and energy in the planning and delivery of her outstanding ‘Phenomenology of Practice’ workshop, which is in addition to the contributions as hanfod.NL’s ‘Ffenomenolegydd Preswyl’/’Phenomenologist in Residence‘. The bar has been set high for future events. Thanks also go to Professor Nina Bonderup Dohn, for the lead on our research plans and the wealth of advice on the day-to-day running of hanfod.NL. We must also credit our expert workshop facilitation support, Dr Joni Turville, Dr Begoña Errasti, Dr Iris Yin, and doctoral students, Janine Chesworth and Gillian Lemermeyer.

A big thank you to the Networked Learning Conference Consortium, its co-chairs, Professor Thomas Ryberg and Professor Maarten de Laat, who sponsored and supported our event. The very valuable inputs of NLC’s Stine Randrup Nielsen and Morten Kattenhøj must also be recognised.

We were so grateful to have such a wonderful delegate community drawn from many countries, and look forward to continuing to nourish the new relationships forged. 

A quote from one of the participants:

It was a pleasure and a privilege to attend the workshop. I enjoyed the clear explanations making such a complex field as phenomenology and the equally complex theoretical constructs it sets forth “easy” to follow. Awesome phenomenological dive. So thought-provoking and evoking! 

Thank you, Diolch.

Felicity and Mike


Great day! #hNL21 is full!

Looking at it pre-event, we can say that the hanfod.NL initiative has been a success, even though there are many alluring aims still in view, as Nina shared the other day. But today we celebrate a new challenge – being on the brink of oversubscribed for hNL21! The event is a workshop and this means we have to limit numbers to assure quality and feasibility of good facilitation.

Participants’ interests are wonderfully diverse. Some are new to phenomenology, others have taken the course with Cathy in Alberta. Some are young postgrads, others are academics of many years’ good standing. Some can trace a direct link with networked learning research, others are coming more for the methodology refresh with far flung research questions – this can only increase the chances of expanding everyone’s horizons!

A number of participants have so encouraged us with words expressing their delight at finding us, perhaps because they have felt isolated. Mutual encouragement is a big reason of we are here! Someone was moved enough to become our first GoFundMe donor (apart from Felicity and myself!)!

AND our dear friend Stig (University profile page) has provided us with a superb example of ‘insight cultivation’ in a VLOG that touches on Hd’s concept of ‘dwelling’ with reference to networked learning. This is exclusively available to event registrants. The VLOG is entitled, ‘Heidegger, Illich and networks: A short tale of how deictic discourse turned up on my social media.’ You can find out more through Stig’s new book, Philosophers of Technology.

Stig Børsen Hansen. Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark

Sadly, we are unable to accept further registrations. We had considered over-offering or operating a waiting list but neither of these appeal at our scale. Nevertheless, our mission is ongoing and if you are interested in collaborating with us at the conference (where we hope to run a symposium and a workshop) and beyond, please do get in touch.

The phenomenology trail – hNL21 to NLC22 Sweden

In less than a week we look forward to #hNL21. Here, Professor Nina Bonderup Dohn, University of Southern Denmark, takes us through the research links between hanfod.NL and our event sponsor, the Networked Learning Conference Consortium. Timelines, short & longer term plans, and research & book ambitions.

Exciting times.

Looking forward to seeing all our registered participants next week – those registered already can make use of our communication channels and files access.

In the words of Nina ‘Phenomenology is here to stay in Networked Learning’.

Looking forward – the trail from #hNL21 online to NLC22 in Sweden

Thanks to the generous support of the Networked Learning Conference Consortium and the online nature of the event, the event is free, but pre-registration is mandatory.  See  our Event Registration page for details.

#hNL21 Merleau-Pontian lens vlog

Just 3 weeks until #hNL21 and we share a new vlog contribution, this time from Professor Nina Bonderup Dohn, University of Southern Denmark. Nina’s shares a brief introduction to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology and discusses focus points in a Merleau-Pontian investigation of networked learning.

It is through our bodies that we are “at grips with the world” (Merleau-Ponty [1945] 1962, 353)

All our vlog contributors are ‘Voices from the River’ – ‘Lleisiau o’r Afon’.

We continue to wish to hear and learn from those who have already taken to phenomenology’s ‘waters’, who can draw us in and along with as we learn with them.


Thanks to the generous support of the Networked Learning Conference Consortium and the online nature of the event, the event is free, but pre-registration is mandatory.  See  our Event Registration page for details.

#hNL vlog suite spoilers

Another week passes, just a month until #hNL21, so we tantalisingly dangle some of the VLOGs housed inside our #hNL21 MS Teams Event Vlog Suite – an opportunity to explore, showcase and celebrate what a phenomenological lens can bring to Networked Learning.

We tease with two vlogs:
Associate Professor Jesper Aagaard of Aarhus University, Denmark shares how phenomenology can help us ‘open up’ established research fields and
Dr. Joni Turville, University of Alberta, Canada, provides an overview of a phenomenological/post-phenomenological doctoral research project.

We are super excited by the growing VLOG Suite inspired by Heidegger’s analogy – We shall never learn what “is called” swimming … or what it “calls for,” by reading a treatise on swimming. Only the leap into the river tells us what is called swimming’ (Heidegger, 1968:21).

All our vlog contributors are ‘Voices from the River’ – ‘Lleisiau o’r Afon’.

We continue to wish to hear and learn from those who have already taken to phenomenology’s ‘waters’, who can draw us in and along with as we learn with them.


Thanks to the generous support of the Networked Learning Conference Consortium and the online nature of the event, the event is free, but pre-registration is mandatory.  See  our Event Registration page for details.

Co-chair of the Network Learning Conference Consortium embraces summer of ’21 node events

Only 5 weeks to hNL21 online (10-11 June) and this week Mike and I met with Professor Thomas Ryberg, of Aalborg University, Denmark.

Thomas shares his journey in ‘Networked Learning’, and the origins and special energy of the Networked Learning Conference community, of which he is co-Chair. With him, we discuss aspirations for the interim node events and the joy of embracing the opportunity to ‘geek out’ with the #hNL21 on phenomenology this summer. As Thomas wisely summarises, in the context of the NLC encouraging new research endeavours, “let your children run wild and free, because as the old saying goes, let your children run wild and free.”


Thanks to the generous support of the Networked Learning Conference Consortium and the online nature of the event, the event is free, but pre-registration is mandatory.  See  our Event Registration page for details.

hNL21 Vlog: In conversation with Assoc. Professor Rikke Toft Nørgård

Week 3 of our countdown to hNL21 online (10-11 June) and this week, Mike and I have the joy of sharing our mesmerising conversation with Rikke Toft Nørgård, Associate Professor in Educational Design & Technology, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Rikke enthusiastically shares her personal and researcher journey with phenomenology, which began with her doctoral study on gameplay corporeality, discovering bodies in games. Influenced by the work of Merleau-Ponty, and our very own Professor Nina Bonderup Dohn, a beautiful edition, we think, to our ‘Voices from the River/Lleisiau o’r Afon’ hNL21 conference VLOG suite.


Thanks to the generous support of the Networked Learning Conference Consortium and the online nature of the event, the event is free, but pre-registration is mandatory.  See  our Event Registration page for details.

Letter from NLC co-Chairs

We were so happy today to receive a letter from the co-chairs of the Network Learning Conference Consortium. You can read the letter here. What was especially pleasing for us is that both our node events, ourselves and Malta, were very formative ideas this time last year and no doubt there was some nervousness about NLC investing in node events like this. This may be just my perception but I think that both events and the NLC have gained strength and momentum through our initiatives and it appears that the co-chairs are encouraged enough to issue a wider call for others to take up the opportunity, whether that’s through a one-off event or something more enduring.

Preview of hNL21 Phenomenology of Practice workshop

Week 2 of our countdown to hNL21 online (10-11 June), and we are thrilled to share a preview of our Phenomenology of Practice workshop led by Professor Cathy Adams of the University of Alberta. Cathy employs Max van Manen’s ‘Phenomenology of Practice’, post-phenomenology, media ecology and related socio-material approaches in her qualitative inquiries of technologies in teaching and learning.

Cathy has made a remarkable contribution to the field, and to hanfod.NL in particular and we are proud, as our Ffenomenolegydd Preswyl/Phenomenologist in Residence’, Cathy kicks stars our very first conference gathering, and sharing an example of one practice example of swimming in phenomenology’s ‘waters’.

Thanks to the generous support of the Networked Learning Conference Consortium and the online nature of the event, the event is free, but pre-registration is mandatory.  See  our Event Registration page for details.


Countdown to hNL21 begins

We shall never learn what “is called” swimming … or what it “calls for,” by reading a treatise on swimming. Only the leap into the river tells us what is called swimming’ (Heidegger, 1968:21).

It is with much excitement Mike and I kickstart the countdown to the Networked Learning Consortium sponsored node event – hNL21. We have just 8 weeks to go before we join Professor Catherine Adams and Professor Nina Bonderup Dohn for a two-session ‘Max van Manen Phenomenology of Practice’ online workshop.

Over the oncoming weeks we will be sharing some of our video logs (VLOGs) covering our broad theme drawn from Heidegger’s analogy, ‘Voices from the River’ – ‘Lleisiau o’r Afon’ – short captures from people who have already taken to phenomenology’s ‘waters’, who can draw us in and along, as we learn with them. The VLOG suite amounts to our invitation to explore, showcase, and celebrate, what a phenomenological lens can bring to Networked Learning.

Our first VLOG share comes directly from Mike and me, an introduction and discussion on some of the influences and events that led to the birth of hanfod.NL.

Felicity.

Titles and posts

Chair Change

hanfod.NL was generously supported by our Chair, Morten Kure Kattenhøj, as we came into being last year. Sadly for us all, he had to step back due to a departmental reorganisation. We want to thank Morten for his vital initial support in the early days, including in the run-up to the last conference.

We are delighted to announce his successor: Professor Nina Bonderup-Dohn. With Nina as Chair, hanfod.NL has a vital umbilical connection with the Networked Learning Conference Consortium. Nina has already gifted her wealth of advice but the day-to-day running of hanfod.NL is still being handled by Mike and Felicity.

hanfod.NL Ffenomenolegydd Preswyl’ – Phenomenologist in Residence

Along with appointing a new Chair, we acknowledge the contribution of Professor Cathy Adams. It’s thus both fitting and exciting that Cathy has agreed to take up the position of ‘hanfod.NL Ffenomenolegydd Preswyl*’- Phenomenologist in Residence’, a nominal post for two years initially. This is probably the first-ever time that this phrase has been coined. We recognise the remarkable contribution that Cathy has made to the field, and to hanfod.NL in particular. When we started hanfod.NL we could not have imagined that someone as prominent and prestigious as Cathy would give so generously and patiently of her time to run several many hours-long meetings with us, helping us develop our phenomenological practice. We thank Cathy for her work, support and openness to work with scholars of different hues.


*Ffenomenolegydd Preswyl – for our non-Welsh speakers

/fɛnɒmɛnoˈlɛgɨð ˈprɛswɪl/ (IPA version – international phonetic alphabet)

fen-om-en-ol-egi-the prez-wil (COG version – common or garden – note that the underlines indicate an emphasis on the penultimate syllable and that the ‘the’ is trying to get you to pronounce the Welsh letter ‘dd’, so, a bit like ‘th’ as in ‘the’ (i.e. try saying ‘them’ without the ’em’).

GoFund hanfod.NL :)

After months of persistent phoning and thinking of ways forward, Mike and Felicity met at Barclays Llanelli so that we could arrange to ‘wet sign’ a mandate to share a bank account and secure full access and transparency viz hanfod.NL funds. This paved the way for reclaiming expenses from last year and setting up a GoFundMe page so that we can receive donations. We have set up hanfod.NL as a non-profit and, from the initial vision, the events we organise are free… but that does not mean they are cost-free to us! If you would like to share the burden, or even just encourage us in this work – totally done in our ‘spare time’ (ridiculous phrase when Felicity is home-schooling!) – please do donate something, however small. Thank you!

Gadamer on experience

Many seek to investigate experience(s). Experience is one of the keywords that demarcates qualitative from quantitative research. However, if we will attempt to investigate it and represent it for others, we must ask, ‘what is experience’? I fear that many never pause to consider this but ways ought to be found to trouble the surface of our assumptions before we default to techniques and methods, such as slicing and dicing interview transcripts.

Gadamer notes that in the continuity of experience, just as music is more than the notes, but also the motifs which they support, experience as a whole, “…is not an act (a becoming conscious) and a content (that of which one is conscious). It is, rather, indivisible consciousness. Even to say that experience is of something is to make too great a division.” (p226 2013ed)

In the very act of observation, experience is already fractured.

Shattered

Photo credit: CC Michael J

UPDATE! hNL21 going online

That’s right – we have succumbed to covid! However, like the rest of a hopeful humanity in 2021, we intend to rise – phoenix-like – reaping lessons from the pandemic to maximise the benefits of online events. We earned our stripes with NLC2020 last May, which successfully flipped online, and were inspired by the classy BSP conference in September. So, do watch this space for how we plan to do #hNL21 🙂

Hanfod: Networked Learning & Phenomenology

10-11 June CARDIFF 2021

Supported by the ‘NETWORKED LEARNING CONFERENCE CONSORTIUM‘, we are proud to announce that the 1st Networked Learning & Phenomenology Event (HanfodNL&P2021) will take place in Cardiff in Wales.

Hosted by Dr Mike Johnson & Felicity Healey-Benson, we look forward to welcoming you in 2021.

Join us to help define and shape phenomenology’s place and contribution to networked learning. At Hanfod, (the welsh word for ‘essence’) we hope to seed a vibrant community of phenomenological enquiry within this context.

“Neither phenomenology nor swimming can be learnt in a purely vicarious way. ‘We
shall never learn what “is called” swimming … or what it “calls for,” by reading a
treatise on swimming. Only the leap into the river tells us what is called swimming’

(Heidegger, 1968, p. 21″. (Quay, 2016, p486).

Event Preview:

Day 1: Thursday 10th June 2021

8.30am (GMT+1): Registration/Welcome

9.15am-4.15pm (GMT+1): Max Van Manen’s ‘Phenomenology of Practice’ Workshop led by Professor Catherine Adams

As one example of phenomenological research, Professor Adams interactive phenomenological research and writing workshop.


7pm (GMT+1) Delegates are invited to join us for a Welsh Banquet at Cardiff Castle. £54 (3-course meal, half a bottle of wine per person (or soft drinks) and traditional and contemporary songs in both English and Welsh).


Day 2: Friday 11th June 2021

9am-10.45am (GMT+1) ‘Voices from the River’ Pecha Kutcha (open to all phenomenological approaches)

Details on how to ‘submit a Petcha Kutcha’

11am-4pm (GMT+1): Writing workshop

In writing groups, delegates will prepare potential contribution to a ‘phenomenology symposium’ at the Thirteenth International Conference on Networked Learning (NLC2022), Sundsvall, Sweden

There are no fees for event attendance but pre-registration to this limited capacity event is required. Day 1 attendance is a prerequisite of day 2.

FURTHER DETAILS & EVENT REGISTRATION TO FOLLOW