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’
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 🙂