hanfod.NL @nlconf #nlc2022

[googleapps domain="docs" dir="presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vQ8Oc8tVXFKHGZI05_oAuaqK1WR2p3ybphdlHpNd5NEqvndiCX3fNJ5FSlCtVlwZWIv-m9rF1-wK8go/embed" query="start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000" width="480" height="299" /]

Wonderfully, some of us are able to travel to an international conference to celebrate and enjoy this event, after an in-person hiatus of four years for regular NLC delegates. I am writing this as the coach takes me from Wales across England to Heathrow. Very sadly I am mindful that Professor Cathy Adams is unable to attend for unavoidable personal reasons. Her in-person presence will be sorely missed and we wish her well (hugs will be all the tighter next time, DV). This throws down the baton for Felicity and myself to make a success of the workshop on Tuesday afternoon, based heavily upon Cathy’s content and approach. For this 90-minute workshop, we are running in-person only (but offering another online only workshop 12 & 14 September 14.00-17.30 (UK time). The organisers sensibly opted for a hybrid of online and in-person attendance. Whatever the merits and compromises of trying to cater for both, the prospect of having to swing to online only again was very real and we would just have to make it work again. Life has become even more uncertain over the last months, and these very days, our conference host nation is deciding whether it will join NATO, something Russia may not take without disruptive retaliation… something every one of us travelling to Sweden has a heightened awareness of. Why travel when you could ‘videoconference’ is an obvious question that some will ask. Below are two slides from our zoom breakout room presentation to help explain. When I played spot-the-difference with these images with students yesterday, although there were smirks at those in the picture who were slumbering (a classic trope used by those who denounce lectures), their other responses chimed with Prof Lesley Gourley’s superb keynote at NLC2020, and the eventedness of this kind of gathering that was so much richer than what is sometimes mocked as an embarrassing attempt at anachronistic, domesticating knowledge transfer into passive recipient digital natives with hybrid learning styles and minimal attention spans.

In-person education (large class to group-working)
Online education (large class to group-working)

Image credits: https://flic.kr/p/8ZwrkD Polly makes pancakes, https://flic.kr/p/2ktWAsQ cat daydream/distraction https://flic.kr/p/nbPPKB large class, https://flic.kr/p/6PLZxi solitude laptop, https://flic.kr/p/6nwKUR groupwork

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.

#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.

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 NørgĂĽrd

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 Nørgürd, 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.


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!

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 🙂