@byod4l Day 3 and letting go

When you have children it is normal that you look after them. Often you mollycottle them long after they have opened their wings and want to fly away or even have flown away already. My children are still little but the first indications are there already that this is going to happen to me too…

My 12 year old doesn’t let me hold his hand in public anymore, especially when in our little hometown… while at home he is really a softie and still comes to me for a hug. But for how long?

Letting go is hard… the same I think happened with teachers and their relationship with learners. Teachers naturally care and want to be there for them… but always? This creates dependency… while we want our learners to become autonomous thinkers and beings and be successful in life. And we want the same for our children.

Yesterday was a Day of letting go for Byod4L. Sitting back and enjoying what learners had already achieved. Confidence had grown rapidly in the first 2 days and it was so wonderful to actually see and enjoy that growth in then and the connections they had made and were making but also see how that fresh confidence enabled them to make further steps and take greater risks on own and together with other. They also opened up more and were honest too.

For me this really reminded me of the role teachers can play to bring individuals together and lay the foundations of a community to form. Some might challenge the idea that communities are formed or build but I think it is really possible.

BTW I am writing this on the train again. It is a very early start for me. I am on my way to Gloucester where I will be meeting colleagues to discuss MOOCs… my contribution actually sits outside MOOCland as this is the area of my particular interest and research.

Anyway, this trip will keep me away for a bit from BYOD4L but I will be connected and hopefully can participate at least a little bit. Today’s theme is collaborating and I hope that some individuals will reach out and start collaborating with each other. Can’t wait to find out how this will work.

Wishing us all a great day (6.33am).

This post will probably be added in the evening when I am back home. The draft was written in Notes on my tiny phone… I was at Gorton when my thoughts reached this line.

@byod4l Day 2 is in the past

… but memories are still fresh, so to speak. Another vibrant BYOD4L day with loads of ideas and exchanges in free flow. Connections are strengthened and communication is multi-directional. Good to see people coming back for more and staying with us for a bit longer. Another day? ;)

I will capture some of my reflections on Day 2 through images or visual reflections. Not sure they make sense to anybody else and it would be interesting to find out if my messages reach somebody out there and what they mean to them. Images and captions act as thinking and conversation triggers. This is at least my intention. Have you tried this approach? Feel free to comment and respond.

What are we locking in? What difference would it make to be free? image source https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5475/13992410180_afe610ec8d_z.jpg

We make things and make things happen, image source https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7353/14176670812_9cf0ce9f2c_z.jpg

Thanks again Sally, Cheryl and Andrew for a fantastic tweetchat last night. Loved it! Unfortunately, I will be missing the tweetchat this evening. W have been invited to Nassi’s school for an award ceremony. I hope you all understand and will have a fab time.

Also on the go on Thursday and will be interesting to see how (much) I can engage. But then BYOD4L is exactly about this, so let’s put it to the test again ;)

Wishing us all a great Day 3 and speak again soon


ps. Wrote this on my Laptop… no train for me today. How about you?

@byod4l Day 1 is now over

Warning! First draft

It is now Tuesday morning. I am waiting for my train to go to work and thought to make a start with capturing some thoughts about BYOD4L and what happened yesterday.

Really impressed with the level of engagement throughout the day and how we all started making connections. Many participants created blogs and started capturing their ideas and thoughts there. Important now to create opportunities for dialogue and conversations otherwise thoughts are falling into black holes…

The video scenarios were used also and that was a nice surprise. Good to know that these triggered interest and made people think and reflect on their practice too and how they could help. We seem to have more teachers than students at the moment or we can hear the teachers more? Very possible too.

Anybody interested in contributing their story for others to use? Would also be interesting to check out the students scenarios and try and see things from their perspective, if you are an educator?

It was interesting how we worked as a facilitators’ team. Activity in our private FB group reduced during the day as we were busy in the different social learning spaces. And it worked really well. If you look into the Google + community but also the FB community, no posts stayed unanswered and exchanges are happening. Individuals are opening up and share their ideas, reservations and thoughts. Pure magic. None of this would happen if we don’t feel welcome and part of a community. Listening carefully and showing interest in what others say is really important. If we just use it as a channel to amplify our own voice, we have missed the real value of social media, facilitators really did a great job in bringing others in and keeping the conversations going.

BTW, the train is moving and I am still writing. I only planned to write a short paragraph but now all that stuff pops into my head and my finger is typing like mad on this tiny screen… ruining my eyes, I think… anyway.

I was really looking forward to the Tweetchat and I think many others did too! Anne, Kay and Peter worked really well together. Would be lovely to find out how they communicated during the chat. There were colleagues among us for whom it was their first time on Twitter and their first Tweetchat. So pleased they gave it a go and were so honest about it too. I think some recognised the value of this space for personal and professional development but we can’t expect others to give without us giving too. It can only work if it is a two-way process and we give something back but also help others out there when we can.

There is excitement in the air and local activities are an added bonus to strengthen connections and help each other learn. Learning happens everywhere and all the time. We just need to grab the opportunities!

My working relationship with Sue has matured and we are definitely on the same wavelength. We understand each other really well but also trust each other. We don’t step on each other’s toes and maximise on our individual strengths to complement each other. We accept and respect each other’s decisions as we both know that we want this project to succeed. Helping each other is part of our partnership and this enables learning and development through everyday practice based on our individual and collective experience.

Byod4l already seems to be of value for all of us, facilitators and participants alike. Let’s find out what further discoveries we can make today!

Really looking forward to Day 2

… still on the train…

now in office posting this ;)


exciting and excited @byod4l Day 1 is here ;)

Let’s turn our creative lights on and see what happens! image source https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2938/14179790135_4d2629a3d9_z.jpg

BYOD4L Day 1 has finally arrived again. We have been working with Sue and many other colleagues behind the scenes for a while now to turn this week into a lively market place where there will be something for all of us. Most importantly we hope that it will create opportunities to connect with like minded people, stretch our minds and use our individual and collective imagination to make new discoveries that will be of value for us all.

We are grateful to all collaborators and the 5 institutions who joined us on this journey. BYOD4L has become an open CPD offer in these institutions which is a fantastic development and local events are planned too! Starting small and building on our existing networks enabled natural growth.

Thanks to David Hopkins who was instrumental in setting up open badges and Ellie Livermore, our artist who designed these, we are using badges to reward informal learning, bite-size learning linked to each of the 5c topics. Facilitators are also able to work towards badges and a special one linked to facilitation. This worked really well in January when we offered BYOD4L for the first time. In addition to badges, there are opportunities to work towards other types of recognition as well as academic credits within the 5 participating institutions,

First thoughts:

  • It does feel very different from last time
  • I am sure that it will be different from last time
  • Fine tuning and refining is a never ending process but we hope the changes will make a positive difference
  • We need to make sure that all facilitators are happy and feel supported. We know that a strong team makes a massive difference.
  • Supporting participants when needed and participate in the conversations and activities will be important. We are co-learners and everybody has something valuable to contribute and learn.
  • As facilitators, being proactive and respond quickly when there is a problem and problem-solve together will be really important. The facilitator buddy system used should help with this as well as our facilitator community in Facebook.
  • We need to trust each other!

I will be capturing my daily reflections. Not sure yet in what format but I will be using my phone or tablet. I am writing this now on my phone using Notes travelling to work ;) on the train, the Internet connection comes and goes but nothing stops me writing here unless my battery runs out… having a backup for this eventuality as well…

Public eco-friendly charger in Paris train station! We could do with some of these in the UK too! image source https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5198/13993590710_78f4ffd876_z.jpg

As I love expressing my thoughts through images, I must remember to add a few and then post. Done now ;) Have you used Notes? How?

Wishing us all an exciting Day 1! Let’s get to know each other a bit better, be creative and  turn monologues into dialogues!

All about choice #melsigljmu

… getting into songs again it seems. Wrote the above and the song “All about love” popped into my head… but this is not about love or is it? Looking back at yesterday’s MELSIG  Event at Liverpool John Moors University makes my mind focus on the idea of choice and the impact this might have on student engagement and learning.

Choice: Is this what we really mean?

Would this lead students staying within their comfort zone or would they see it as an opportunity to start were they feel comfortable and more confident and then lead them to progressively adopt more adventurous and perhaps less familiar learning strategies that would lead to new discoveries? Boosting students’ confidence is vital. Tutors and peers play an important role in this. Teachers showing real interest and care for students can make a big difference to students, increase their self-belief, self-worth and confidence.  Having a voice and the strength to move on as they will start believing in their abilities helps them see the potential what they can achieve. Providing choice might be seen as a demanding task for tutors, other might completely disagree that this is a good idea! I think it is a fantastic idea to give individuals choices. But how can we make it happen? It is not an easy job and a lot of planning will go into it. A lot of it will look, feel and be very messy. What is wrong with that? Learning is messy anyway! It doesn’t happen in a linear way. Or does it?

Our extra efforts to bring in choices are really worth the trouble as there are potentially huge learning gains. We all know it teaching is not really possible. What we can do is help people think for themselves, inspire them and facilitate their learning. Doing it our way or imposing even our way can be catastrophic… and lead to disengagement. Are we getting carried away sometimes or even often? Are our own learning preferences or habits driving what we set-up for our learners? How we organise learning for them? I am guilty of this myself… How can we avoid this? I think providing a learning menu, will shift the responsibilities and ownership of learning. Learning belongs to the learner. It is something the learner does. Nobody else can do it for them. It is not a passive act! Some will find choice challenging in the context of their own learning practice. Perhaps only initially, though as they expect perhaps to be told what to do, when and how and act perhaps more in a robotic fashion… because this is what they know, this is what they expects, this is what comes natural to them and is considered normal and accepted. It has worked for them in the past… but how has it worked?

Ok, becoming an autonomous learner is not an instant thing. Do don’t wake up one morning and say “I am an autonomous learner now”. It needs time and a scaffold. Yes, we do need scaffolds and we do need helping hands too. But we also need to learn when times comes to let go, as learners and as teachers. Getting to know our students and what makes them tick is really important and will help us create learning communities. Only then will we be able to draw them in and enable them to open up, connect, share and challenge their own beliefs and preconceptions. Trust is a vital ingredient in this process. Learning is change but we can’t force anybody to change in the same way, we can’t force anybody to learn…

if this is true, how can learning not be?

Choice might be the vehicle to lead learners progressively out of their comfort zone to voluntarily experience discomfort… not suggesting that throwing learners in at the deep end, borrowing Phil Race’s words, is something we should avoid. When we have recognised and normalised perhaps discomfort as an important ingredient for learning, when we feel safe as part of a learning community, we can be more relaxed, take a few more risks and be more playful and creative. All this means letting go of control and being out-of control often… Some might think what has all this to do with the recent MELSIG social media event… well, it was never about the social media… more about the people who use these to come together to learn about themselves, others, the world and grow.

Thank you Andrew, Sue, Peter, Mark, Tim, Carol an all for such a rich MELSIG exchange!

BTW I actually think it is all about love, the love of learning, the love of helping others to learn and the love to make this happen for ourselves and others. Feel free to comment if any of the above makes sense, you have questions or if you oppose to any of my musings. My writing captures raw reflections which need to be discussed with others.

It is all about love as love puts you on fire! Love what you do and/or do what you love! Learning doesn’t only happen in the mind.

messy thoughts or #ilta141 session 1

Just started reading Alison’s and Stephen’s new book Engaging Imagination (check out the website too, where you will find loads of additional resources!) when I landed on page 22 where the authors mention briefly reflection as a power relationship between tutor and student, when reflection is used for assessment purposes. A valuable reminder and very timely too. Are our students just capturing stuff to please their tutors, to be strategic as it is happening with other assessment methods or are there ways that enable genuine and authentic engagement in reflection as a learning and development tool, process and establish reflective habits that are important for self-regulation and ongoing development and growth? I guess it is perhaps about what we assess, content or process… and what our criteria are. But also other parameters such as the environment, spaces, communities and ecologies, play a vital role, and most of all the people, I think. The people who come together to learn. But I am also wondering how assessing reflection is  different from any other types of assessment and why reflection is so important in so many professions, actually for all of us?

The purpose of this post was just to share some reflections linked to our first ILTA session… Am I getting carried away? Maybe not… I think this is all very relevant and the above made me think deeper about what we ask our students to do and why. Ok, ILTA stands for Introduction to Learning, Teaching and Assessment and is one of our core PGCAP units (CELT, MMU). I met my group for the first time last Wednesday at 4pm. Before then, I tried to get them talking online but it didn’t happen, unfortunately. I suspect that some might felt disorientated in this new Moodle space, which would surprise me, others might have been unsure responding there as we didn’t know each other? Some perhaps didn’t think that this was needed or were too busy? Also a possibility.  But I am making massive assumptions here and it would actually be very useful to find out what the real reasons of non-visible engagement were…

The purpose of this post is to reflect on the first session and I just noticed something else. Writing has become our default way to reflect. Often we are expected to reflect by capturing our thoughts on paper or on a blog using a writing system. What would Socrates say if he could see us? Dear old Socrates was against the technology of writing and felt that it would pollute the brain and make us lazy… It is not uncommon reception for new ideas…

But do we become lazy in expressing ourselves more creatively and perhaps even more fluently? What works for one, might not work for another? Did we forget, or do we forget that there are other tools beyond writing that can help us learn reflect and learn more generally? 

Alison and Stephen, the authors of the book I mentioned at the start, reminded me that we really need to consider other ways for reflection. Ways that will rattle our imagination and enable us to express meaning, emotions, experiences, successes, challenges and aspirations in a richer and more meaningful way to us personally through which we can create bridges between the known and the unknown, ourselves and others. Not going to get into this further but perhaps we can all think about what would help us develop reflective habits, where can we start and were can it potentially take us to discover gems. Is the model I shared on Day 1, Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle, valuable when we are just making our first baby steps or does the structure actually get in the way and a more organic and fluid approach would work better? Again it would be lovely to find out what you think. Perhaps you can capture this in your portfolios and share so that we can discuss. BTW, I loved that you embraces the idea of an academic portfolio and am really looking forward to linking conversations up there.

I have used with others audio and images in the past but also drawings, digital stories, comic strips and LEGO and encouraged others to be a bit more curious, experimental and playful. Then there is video as well (I struggle with this!!! and audio!!!, perhaps because I am more conscious of the language I use and the mistakes I make as a non native speaker of English? I have to confess that it usually takes me a looooooooooooong time to create a mini audio or video file (you don’t really want to know how long it takes me!). But perhaps I should just relax into it and say so what? Isn’t the primary point to communicate and share? Anyway, the opportunities are endless, so have a go using different media for reflection and discover what works for you. 

Often we just start writing without thinking if we should write. We just do it! Often our fingertips go straight onto a keyboard and we keep even notes digitally. It seems to come more naturally, but does it? Has it just become a habit and we satisfy expectations of others? Is this the easy way? The best way? The way that enables us to communicate our thoughts faster? But what are the implications? Often we also use models to construct and reflect on experiences, perhaps too mechanistically? What about the random, messy, non-linear and chaotic connections we make and experience when reflecting? Can or should we really box everything neatly?

After the above messy thoughts, which were mainly triggered by reading Alison’s and Stephen’s book (the power of reading and the influence on thinking and actions!), I have now decided to share with you key reflective points or questions from our first session in a more visual way.

Fireworks of experiences and ideas = sharing in the open thinking classroom? image source: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1156/5155164244_0f4591720e_z.jpg

What is out there behind the walls we build? Let’s find out together! image source: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4142/4941725337_83f9447298_z.jpg

Thank you Haleh, my co-facilitator, and all my lovely ILTA students for having an open mind, sharing experiences and experimenting together. Can’t wait to see you all next Wednesday but also connecting via Moodle and your portfolios, to share stories, reflections and engage in learning conversations!

See you all next Wednesday at 4pm! image source https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2934/13889784819_ffb5b3335d_z.jpg

ps: Thank you also for all your value jar contributions. Teaching is only valuable if there is value for learning! Your responses so far can be accessed here.

Who says students don’t want to learn? #lsp

Haleh Moravej, a senior lecturer in nutrition at MMU and I did a little experiment the other day. We wanted to find out if we could engage a tutorial class of 1st year undergraduate students in a unit evaluation process linked to Nutrition 21 using a pan-participatory, qualitative and playful approach beyond paper or digital surveys or even interviews or focus groups.

Our focus was on identifying what helps Haleh’s students learn and less about how satisfied they are from a consumer point of you. And I guess this is where we divorce ourselves from some of the surveys that are around and used more widely… I am using the term ‘consumer’ here to create a contrast in my thoughts but also to highlight that the focus of our investigation was student learning, students’ conceptions of learning and their thoughts around what they felt helped or hindered their learning in a specific unit. We were also interested in their ideas to make learning happen more effectively and naturally for future cohorts of students on this unit. So students in this context were more taking the role of collaborator and co-designer for their own learning.

Dear Plato said:

“We learn more about a person in an hour of play, than in a year of conversation” – could this be true?

We played for 2 hours! Just imagine how much we learnt about each other!!!

We wanted to gain a deeper insight into the student experience of a whole group on the unit and find out how students  felt the unit could be enhanced for the next cohort. We wanted to do this in a relaxed atmosphere that would foster opening-up! reflection and self-and collective discovery through making and sharing.

We decided to use the LEGO Serious Play (LSP) method. I have used LSP before in different learning and teaching contexts with students and teachers also in conference workshops and have found it a useful method to make individuals and teams feel more relaxed, engage in something that is playful and unusual while also having a pedagogical value that helps individuals deepen their reflection but also seems to increase their critical and creative thinking capacity and connect themselves and their ideas and thoughts with others.

I was really pleased that Haleh embraced this playful approach with passion when I suggested this during a chat we had about her new unit and she shared with me that she was looking for a meaningful way to evaluate the unit with her students. As Haleh and her students were willing to give LSP a go, nothing could stop us!

LSP is thinking with our hands, a series of activity through which we create models, or visual metaphors of our internal world made out of LEGO bricks triggered by a specific question that makes us reflect, think and build meaning through actually building a real model. We could say that LSP is a process to open-up and externalise thoughts, ideas, beliefs and fears and other stuff and share with others creating opportunities for dialogue, further reflection and learning, individual and collective.

It was fascinating what we experienced and I think the students were also surprised with themselves and what they disclosed and shared with their peers about themselves. I could see it in their eyes. I could hear it in their voice. I could see it in their body language. Some might have been skeptic, at least at the start but this is fine. It is healthy to be critical and think about what we are asked to do and what the value of this would be for us. I think it did help explaining why we choose LSP, what we could achieve and how but also said a tiny bit about the underpinning theories behind it. In a way this takes part of the magic away, I suppose, but the real discovery comes when actually experiencing LSP in action. And there were definitely some lightbulb moments for all of us…

Ok, so what happened. Desks and chairs got in the way. We decided to sit on the floor and created a magical circle so to speak. After the LEGO warm-up activity, students were asked to reflect reflect on their learning on the unit and create a model that would capture how learning on the unit looked like for them and mark with a green brick what worked and with a red brick something that didn’t work so well for them. During the second part of the session students were asked to think about how learning would look like on the unit if everything would be ideal. They did this initially individually but then connected their ideas in sub-groups and shared with the whole class.  It was fascinating! All students highlighted very similar things as important factors to make learning happen. Haleh was taking notes throughout and responded at the end of the session which  brought everything together.

making a start (thank you Dr Alison James for the bag idea) , image source: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7007/13463088623_2bfb319f8d_z.jpg

Students were really focused during the making stages and Haleh was surprised as this group is usually very vocal. Students were concentrating and connecting their thoughts while making their models. I really loved we were all sitting on the floor, around our LEGO campfire and ideas and thoughts emerged, took shape and were shared. Students showed interested in each other’s stories and were asking questions and commented on each others thoughts. Students opened up really quickly. I think it did help that the group knew each other and they felt safe perhaps?

I was impressed with the maturity of students and their commitment to learn and become professionals in their chosen area but also that they acknowledged that they needed support and guidance by their peers and tutors to achieve their goals. Their stories provided rich evidence for all this.

So what came out of the LSP process?

  • Students love variety.
  • Students get bored when they just have to sit there and listen to stuff. They switch off.
  • Students want to understand the usefulness of what they are learning and how it relates to their context and interests.
  • Students want to interact with others.
  • Students want to learn with others.
  • Students understand the value of reading but they want want to do stuff. This seems to be very important to them, the doing part!
  • Students also love to learn through visuals, images, videos etc. we live in a very visual world!
  • Students want to start from the application, experience and practice to develop theory instead the other way around.
  • Students want to be involved in all sessions.
  • Students want also time for themselves. We need to remember this.
  • Students want to know how bits fit together, how they are connected. Just focusing on individual puzzle pieces is not helpful. The bigger picture is important and this needs to be made clear.
  • Students need help to see and make connections as it is not always obvious to them.
  • Students need help understanding why some bits are important, even if ‘boring’ – what is the value of learning these and how do these fit into the bigger picture?
  • Students want the engage in authentic learning.
  • Students want lecturers that have a passion for their subject and inspire them!
  • Students want to learn and they need help and support by their tutors and peers.
  • Students get distracted by their own technology! This was a very interesting confession they made!

Haleh reminded me afterwards that I said:

When we don’t understand something, we get frustrated, some get angry or defensive, others switch off.

I think it is important to remember this when interacting with others, in our everyday life but also in the context of learning and teaching where this is also very relevant. Haleh commented on this: “I think what we did was a revelation and a great experience. You possibly opened up one of my flaws as well for switching off when people don’t get what I mean or what I want. So I think while students were learning I was learning not just about them but about myself too!” (published here with Haleh’s permission)

After students shared their ideas about their ideal experience on this unit and while Haleh was quietly taking notes of the stories students shared – I think she filled loads of papers and was not participating in any of the activities, it was Haleh’s opportunity to share her first thoughts in response to what her own students had said in the last two hours and what her first thoughts and ideas were to tailor learning and teaching on this unit further to help future students. I loved the openness and the transparency of the whole process. Students and the tutor showed enormous respect for each other and were really interested to find solutions that would work for all.

powerful thinking with our hands image source: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7381/13463125553_51d503834e_z.jpg

All students engaged in the session and found it valuable. They noted that it helped them share inner thoughts and ideas but also found out about how their peers felt about learning on the unit and how they could move forward together. Some suggested that a similar LSP activity would have been useful at the start of the academic year and I can see the value of doing this to speed-up the process of opening up and create learning relationships and community. If anybody would like to try this, please get in touch and we can arrange this.

Learning about myself and others, image source https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/13465642385_bfb3e88e7a_z.jpg

The first year students I spent two hours together during the LSP workshop definitely wanted to learn. They were motivated and cared for each other, they felt that they were belonging to a learning community and wanted to succeed in life and become excellent professionals in their chosen field. They recognised the important role of the teacher as a facilitator and supporter of their learning but also as somebody who is inspirational and a role model. The stories they shared definitely confirmed to me that they want to be in a state of being switched on. How can we educators help them?

Could we have got the above from a survey, an interview, a focus group or using another way? I think we could, to some extend. Perhaps we wouldn’t get the richness of responses and we definitely wouldn’t be able to create the atmosphere for opening-up and sharing and creating opportunities for peer bonding and a sense of community which did happen naturally without being forced and created new opportunities for peer-to-peer connections and learning. One of the students said in an email afterwards:

We did some Lego play yesterday and we now know each other much better. I realise that currently the tutors change each year, but we don’t want to start from scratch with somebody else and a new group (as we know each other so well after our Lego therapy) when we already have such a strong bond with Haleh who is so creative and has been supporting us personally and academically. We have all built a really strong relationship both with Haleh and each other, and feel like it would be a shame to lose the dynamic and foundation we have built together.” (used here with student’s permission)


The true power of learning relationships. What are your thoughts on this?

What students said about the LSP approach image source: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5156/13463089295_08331d9bf1_z.jpg

Learning relationships are important for learning and can be powerful motivators. I think, no survey could have achieved what we achieved in 2 hours together. No interview, no ordinary focus group. The playfulness of LSP and the depth in thinking and reflection that surfaced made it so valuable for all involved and so meaningful and useful. Individuals felt safe, opening-up and made connections with themselves and each other. Students in this group developed a stronger sense of individual and collective identity.

Thank you all for joining in and making this work. I look forward to finding out how the outcomes from the LSP session will be shaping the next iteration of the Nutrition 21 unit.

Thank you for reading.


ps. first draft

The open bug: a story of collaboration and resurrection

Open Education week 2014 has come to an end but open educators are open and share their work openly all year round. The week was a festival of celebrations around the globe with opportunities to share, connect and learn with others and find out what open education is all about but also stop for a while and reflect on the value of being open and sharing experiences, resources, expertise but also ideas that truly grow and evolve when we come together. There was a buzz in the air, I could feel it in the digital jungle but also in the physical one when I visited places and interacted with others.

Is open education giving away stuff and letting others use our ideas freely without any restrictions or even trample on our ideas and forget their origin, their history? Some might see it that way. I don’t.

For me open education is a great opportunity to share our learning with others, to help others and be helped but also to give something back to society. It is a celebration of human discoveries, stories, achievements, creativity and innovations, of any scale, even the tiniest one that might be of value for others. Open education has the potential to lead to personal and collective growth; to new explorations, new adventures. Together we can achieve loads. Loads more than on our own. I read somewhere that ideas live longer when they are shared. It must be true. But, I think, they don’t just live longer, they also grow in different directions. A seed can grow into an exotic plant, that will then multiply following the cycle of life and evolve into something else. Birth, growth, death, renewal. I really think sharing is the fertiliser of ideas! Respectful sharing! Sharing keeps ideas alive. Sharing is also an ideas generator. Sharing is vital for humanity and has led us where we are today. Sharing makes us who we are, creates our paths for the future, our destinies.

Our minds are magic machines, like no other and our imaginations are limitless. In our minds we flirt with possibilities and impossibilities and often we let ourselves get lost in these. But we are not just dreamers, we create new realities too. We make things happen and we make things. We make the impossible, possible. We have done this many times and will do so again, many more times. And we love to share the things we make. We always did. Humans always found fulfilment and happiness in sharing. We still do! Perhaps in the olden days, I call them BC, as in before computers, and especially before social media, sharing was more localised and it was harder to discover fresh ideas that were just born in a little village on the other side of the planet by somebody nobody outside the little village knew. Today, we all have a voice, we are all global broadcasters, sharers and makers if we want to be but also learners and  teachers, and we can all share our thoughts, ideas, creations not just with the people who are near us geographically but more often we share with people we feel are near us a-geographically if there is such a word. Technologies at our fingertips are bringing out the social animal and the maker in us and empower us to share many aspects of our lives with a much wider audience, find alias at the edge of the world that remind us that we are not alone in our thoughts… Especially creative people, I think, who are driven by their curiosity to discover and connect, to play and explore, have become global adventurers and benefited the most from seeking and creating opportunities to reach out and connect, experiment and collaborate with like minded people wherever they are which creates a sense of belonging within vibrant networks and communities. We perhaps feel also less lonely knowing that there are other people out there who push the boundaries,  take risks, use their imagination and creativity to collaborate and innovate. It gives us strength to keep moving and move on. Could this sense of belonging be the true value of opening-up, connecting and sharing with others?

During Open Education Week, our open FDOL course developed by myself and Lars Uhlin was underway, week 5 out of 6, I was invited by Dr David Walker to share some of my open education projects at an HEA event  at Sussex University.

I engaged in other open events during the week and really enjoyed Cathrine Cronin‘s and Sheila MacNeill‘s webinar around the open educator.

I managed also to watch the recording of another interesting and highly useful webinar for my PhD research especially, by Terese Bird and Prof. Grainne Conole.

On top of all that activity, travelling up and down the country and my normal working life (and my personal and family life as well!!!), I came up with the idea to offer another 5-Day course with a twist during the week. Not that I had time for this on top of everything else I was doing already, but I couldn’t stop myself… and I made the time.

I have asked myself many times what happened to OERs and stand-alone courses available under a Creative Commons licence in repositories and other digital locations and was keen to explore how these could potentially be repurposed. My idea was to use a ready-made, off-the shelf course and bring together a team of volunteer facilitators to enable interaction and support learning plus add a few synchronous happenings to the offer. From my work as an academic developer I have seen far too often that educators focus on content. Their prep often means putting a PowerPoint together and lecture notes. What do we forget? The interaction? Our learners? Content is everywhere!!! And I am not a walking encyclopedia to know everything, not even in my own professional area. Things change too rapidly and mountains of new knowledge are created as we speak. Is it actually possible to know everything and is it actually even needed?

During the OER13 Conference I heard Darco Jansen say:

Content is not education, interaction is!

These words were extremely powerful and stayed with me since.

But also it isn’t really about us and what we do but more about what our learners do and how we can facilitate learning and support them but also learn with them. Often we also feel restricted when given somebody else’s materials to use in our classes. We want to make and use our own and I have been thinking about this before as a possible cause for the reduced re-use and re-purposing of OER? But I might make a massive assumption here and this is not good. So please interpret this more as a question that needs to be explored further. Well I wanted to put this to the test and almost proof, if you like, that we seem to focus on the wrong things! Is learning really about the content? We say it isn’t but what are we doing about it? I had already located a suitable course for this experiment which was waiting patiently in my Diigo collection for some time now to be used… when Paul Booth, made an announcement the week before that he would launch his newly created Northwest OER Network during Open Education Week and put a call out for suggestions of network activities to the steering group, I proposed my open course idea or the hijacking if you like of an existing stand-alone course and breath interaction, facilitation and support into it but also enable facilitators to develop and grow. So learning and development opportunities for all! Could this work? The course I proposed was developed by Dr David Wiley and available within p2pu Intro to Openness in Education. Accessing the course, didn’t even require registration which was an added bonus. The themes and resources in this course presented opportunities for flexible engagement also so that anybody who participated could pick ‘n’ mix and engage as much or as little as they would like or was possible at the time. I was pleased that my idea was well received by the steering group and led to the development and implementation during Open Education Week. This was speed course building in action and required concentrated commitment. What a thrill. Previously with Sue Beckingham, we worked for 3 months to develop BYOD4L now we had only a few days. Could we make it work? As Paul embraced it I decided that we could run it together under the Northwest OER Network. I wanted to help Paul raise awareness of his new and important network for the region and also secured support from CELT. In no time, we managed to get 13 volunteer facilitators in total from 3 different continents through our networks and together, we created a facilitated version of the existing course and offered it during Open Education Week. We didn’t have to worry about content and my take on it was that participants would anyway share their own resources, much nicer that providing everything ready on the plate, so to speak.  Anne Hole also shared her collaborative flipboard and invited others to contribute useful resources and links. We used a buddy system for facilitators who worked in pairs during the week, most of them. We had done this before with Sue and it worked really well. We also created a private community for facilitators to come together to support each other and shared a Google doc folder with related information to co-ordinate activities. We focused on creating daily opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous interactions in different social spaces and our main question was how we could bring learners together. There were discussions, open air hangouts, an external webinar led by Prof. Martin Weller (blog post, presentation and recording available here) and tweetchats.

I think, the tweetchats created most of the buzz. We used the tweetchat format developed by Sue Beckingham for our BYOD4L course and it worked really well. The tweetchats brought facilitators and some individuals from the wider community together on 3 days of the week. The exchange was rich and I could see that the chats generated more questions than answers, which I think, us a good thing. I really would love to investigate why tweetchats seem to work so well. What makes them work? The week was intense, a roller coaster, a fantastic and exciting experience. Peter Reed created daily visualisations of our tweet tags based on Martin Hawskey‘s tags explorer and many of us used Stori.fy to bring the tweetchats together. There is no way, any of this would have been possible without Paul Booth, my partner in crime, Carol Yeager, Anne Hole, Helen Webster, Betty Hurley-Dasgupta, Sue Beckingham, Kathrine Jensen, Peter Reed, Lenandlar Singh, Simon Thomson, Alex Spiers, Neil Currie and all who joined us during the week. We are grateful for the commitment and passion they showed to this last-minute project and their engagement and exchange. Thank you all!

My next open experiment leads me to an even more playful adventure and an open curriculum… I won’t be doing this on my own, so much richer when we share the journey with others ;)

If you are new to all this open stuff,  don’t be quick to dismiss it, give it a go! Identify a mini-opportunity to open-up and connect one of your classes with the outside world and help your students connect with people out there to enrich their learning experience further and make it authentic. It will also be fab for you as you will make new connections with educators around the world and feel part of a wider community.

Remember sharing is good for all of us. But do it properly!

Remember not just to take but also to give back and if you build your ideas on somebody else’s, add proper  attribution! Give a little something back today and consider sharing your open creation via JORUM with others and see your ideas growing.

Did you catch the open bug? Share your story with me.

Note: A newer version of this post has been published in the June 2014 edition of the Lifewide Magazine. See http://www.lifewidemagazine.co.uk/ I am adding the references below.

Thank you for stopping by and reading ;)


References (of Lifewide Magazine version of this post)

Conole, G. (2013) Designing for learning in an Open World, London: Springer.
European Commission (2013) High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education. Report to the European Commission on Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions, European Union, available at http://ec.europa.eu/education/higher-education/doc/modernisation_en.pdf [accessed 21 November 2013]
Jackson, N. J. (2013) Learning Ecology Narratives in N Jackson and G B Cooper (Eds) Lifewide Learning, Education and Personal Development E-Book. Chapter C4 available at: http://www.lifewideebook.co.uk/ [accessed 30 March 2014]
Jackson, N. J. (2014a) Lifewide Learning and Education in Universities & Colleges: Concepts and Conceptual Aids, in N.J.Jackson and J. Willis (Eds) Lifewide Learning and Education in Universities and Colleges. Chapter A1, available at:http://www.learninglives.co.uk/e-book.html [accessed 30 March 2014]

Jackson, N. J. (2014b) Towards a lifewide curriculum, in: Willis, J. (ed.) Lifewide Magazine, Issue 9, March 2014, available at http://www.lifewidemagazine.co.uk/ [accessed 30 March 2014]
Nerantzi, C. & Beckingham, S. (2014) BYOD4L – Our Magical Open Box to Enhance Individuals’ Learning Ecologies, in:  Jackson, N. & Willis, J. (eds.) Lifewide Learning and Education in Universities and Colleges E-Book, avaialable at http://www.learninglives.co.uk/e-book.html [accessed 30 March 2014]
Redecker, C. & Punie, Y. (2014) The Future of Learning 2025: Developing a vision for change, in: Future Learning, Volume 2, Number 1, Baltzer Science Publishers, pp. 3-17,available at http://essential.metapress.com/content/q446811434mp6x01/ [accessed 30 March 2014]
Weller, M. (1011) The Digital Scholar. How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice, London: Bloomsbury Academic
Wiley, D. & Hilton, J. (2009) Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education, in: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 10, Number 5, 2009, pp. 1-16., available at http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/768 [accessed 30 March 2014]

Blaming the tools, Chrissi?


So pleased I organised that mock interview and we experienced problems. Learning from mistakes and when things go wrong? Yes. But I was also lucky that the individual who volunteered to participate in this mock interview was patient, had put time aside for this (at least it felt like this) and also knew me. Things will  be very different with the real interviews and I need to make sure that the process is efficient and the experience positive. I don’t want to upset anybody or make them feel uncomfortable to fully participate and share their reflections.

The plan was to use Adobe Connect and a link to the room had been shared in advance. We both had used this tool before and were both familiar with it. However, we both experienced problems with the audio and after trying to resolve these for 30 minutes we decided to connect via Skype. Actually even before the 30 minutes past we connected via Skype and could hear each other clearly.

While we were experiencing the problems with Adobe, I was thinking of my future interviewees who might not be familiar with this tool, might be less patient and don’t know me… How would they react? I think there was a potential to turn these interviews into nightmares, upset people and not get the data needed. I definitely don’t want that! How can I avoid this?

The sound quality was so much better on Skype. Also most people will be familiar with this tool. An added bonus!!! It is easy to use as well even if not used before so I wanted to give it a go. A few years ago I had used Skype for Phenomenographical interviews when I was collecting data for my MSc dissertation. It did work well and I managed to record the audio then. Yesterday I couldn’t make the audio recorder work I had installed on my laptop and used then. This was so frustrating, extremely frustrating but I have to admit that I did not think that we had to switch tools for this and didn’t test it in advance. I had some problems with my Laptop not so long again and it had to go to the doctor… perhaps some bits from the installation were removed then? I have no idea. I am sure this is all my fault. I should have a plan  B!!! After loosing a few minutes on trying to make the recorder work, I gave up. Yes, I did.

I still wanted to capture as much as I could from the interview and thought of keeping notes in Google doc. I shared an empty doc with my test interviewee but I would be the one writing in there. The interviewee was happy with it so we went ahead with this approach. What had seen each other briefly in Adobe Connect before we abandoned it. In Skype we just used the audio connection, perhaps because we were didn’t want to reduce the sound quality? I don’t know, it just happened. Then I was going to write in Google doc. Thinking now, if it would be better to also have the video connection. After the mock interview I went to Twitter and ask for help to identify an audio recorder. Among the responses was a link to a very insightful blog post about the use of Skype for research interviews and I am including it here and need to read very carefully. It was really nice that I got responses from the wider community. Thank you so much everybody.

Ok, we finally were ready to make a start with the interview. I explained at the start that the data will NOT be shared with anybody and NOT be used for the PhD research project and that the purpose of this mock interview was purely to test the questions, the process and get some feedback so that I can fine tune in readiness for my first interview on Friday.

The atmosphere was warm, I could sense, even without seeing the interviewee, that the person wasn’t upset about the delay (but I was concerned!!!), in contrary they were very understanding and patient. Perhaps because they knew me? The interview part went very smoothly. I got really rich responses and didn’t have to do too much talking. This was very important for me as this is designed to be a semi-structured interview. I skipped a few questions as the answers were already included in responses to other questions and there was a natural flow, which I liked. I was pleased that I actually managed really well to type at the same time. I thought if I will be able to do this during the interview. If I decide to type during the interview it would help me when transcribing the interviews from the audio files. Would this reduce the time needed to transcribe? I think it will. Don’t think this will be distractive to the interviewee, especially if the keyboard is soft and it doesn’t create un-natural breaks. But I am not sure if I would focus more on what I was writing that was I was listening and the most important thing during the interview is active listening. So not sure and I need to decide soon. It is important to me that the interview is more like a dialogue or conversation. Wouldn’t be good to say, one moment, just need to complete this sentence..

At the end of the interview I asked the interviewee about the experience. I got the reply ‘perfect’. Well, it definitely wasn’t perfect as we experienced tech problems at the start but I think what was meant that the part of the interview went well. I was very pleased about this. Comments were made about some of the questions. It was felt that some of them were perhaps too open? I have to say that I was pleased about this as this was the main reason they were formulated like this. To enable the interviewee to open up and reflect deeper on specific aspects of the experience. In some cases, I did ask further questions where I felt, I need more specific information about something the interviewee mentioned and that worked really well. So overall, the questions and the process seem to have worked, at least in this case. I realised that I won’t need to ask all the questions but do need to listen carefully so that I don’t ask questions that have been answered already.

I now need to find a/the audio recorder for Skype. Decided not to go back to Adobe Connect, won’t use it as a tool to capture the interviews. It just seems to be too complex and so many things can go wrong. Let’s just use a tool people are familiar with and that seems to be more reliable, if I dare to say. I asked for help on Twitter to find an audio recorder and will start exploring some of the options. I must also check again if I can get the one that I have will work! Perhaps I was too stressed and was running out of time the other day when I trying to make it work, so I might not have pushed the right button??? Happened to me before… so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case this time also. Will add the audio recorder I am going to use, when I am sure that it works properly.

Any advice on the above thoughts would be very welcome. My first proper interview is this Friday!

ps. Am I blaming the tools? Or are some tools just better for certain things and a bit more bendy???

Can we fix it or Day 5 #byod4l @melsiguk

This was our last BYOD4L Day. Where did that week go? It disappeared under our feet, metaphorically and literally!  It was high speed, high fun and high challenge, for me personally at least. And I would also add, high commitment, after reading Prof. Norman Jackson’s post. He is so right. Norman’s thoughts around this reminded me of Ronald Barnett’s (2007, 67) phrase:

The will to learn may not be everything,  but without it nothing is possible.

The will and commitment are one in my mind. The will requires commitment or is the will commitment? I ask myself the following questions:

  • Can we learn anything without commitment?
  • Can we achieve anything without commitment?
  • Can we care if the commitment is not there?

BYOD4L was exciting and made me feel  excited and I don’t think I was the only one. When something good is over, we want to hang on to it for a little bit longer. This is perhaps how some of us feel at the moment. But how do we know that the ‘high’ would continue? Could engagement be stabilised at some level to enable prolonged engagement? How could we make this happen. We are at the moment exploring a number of opportunities and I will probably get back to some of the ideas later in this post… Again, I am writing my thoughts about Day 5 on Sunday, 2 whole days after BYOD4L came to an end, the facilitated part, anyway, and my writing doesn’t feel fresh…

I was surprised that conversations about MOOCs in relation to BYOD4L surfaced on Twitter just before the end. I had seen that some people were talking about a MOOC when referring to BYOD4L in their reflections. I guess, people compare the new with the known and perhaps MOOCs are the type of  ‘open’ courses the majority of people are more familiar with. Perhaps we use some of the features that are used in this types of courses, I don’t deny this, (but some have raised questions if these are courses… does it matter?) I am, wondering if MOOCs are the only way to offer open learning opportunities or has it become a more generic term? I am aware that language is dynamic and changes over time. In one of my previous lives I used to be translator and was playing with words on a day-to-day basis in between cultures. History has shown that ‘error words’ have a longer lifespan and perhaps the word MOOC is becoming one of them. Hoover pops into my head now, not that it is an ‘error word’ but it has become a collective term beyond the Hoover brand, in the UK at least. Are there similarities? I am wondering what the massive has to do with learning? Does learning actually happen on a massive scale? Or do we broadcast content on a massive scale and are creating a super league of (open educational) broadcasters? Writing about it now, reminds me of telly. I thought we have agreed that this passive way doesn’t work that well for learning?  On the other hand we talk so much more these days about personal connections, personal learning and even when we talk about teaching and learning, we start with the word learning which is followed by teaching. Does this mean anything? I am very much interested in exploring opportunities to make learning happen in open online ecologies. The people who can cope with MOOCs, if you like, will learn anyway, anyhow, anywhere. What about the masses (to use this term now how I understand it!) that can’t cope? Does this mean that there should not be opportunities for them? What happened to being inclusive? One size does not fit all. I guess, we would all agree. I understand that universities and private co-operations are looking for sustainable business models for open education. There are great opportunities now and I hope universities will discover new horizons… Some feel that they have to jump on the massive tanker or cargo packed with containers full of stuff – or otherwise they will not survive? I don’t know. Following the masses was never a thing I was keen in doing. I like to explore and experiment, to play with ideas. Often this means being lonely. Lost in ideas? But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are like-minded people around. It seems easier to find the ones that are not just around the corner. Why? I feel that I have found a whole family of like-minded people thanks to BYOD4L and thanks to the digital tools that enabled us to find each other. We didn’t expect everything to work but we were committed (to borrow Norman’s words again!), committed to the project and committed to each other and saw this adventure as an opportunity to surprice ourselves and others and make discoveries.

I am very much interested in exploring how we can help individuals and groups come together in open spaces and learn together if and when they want to. What has the massive to do with this?  Massive is attractive for some. Perhaps the numbers are misleading?  I can’t ignore the quote by dear Albert Einstein

Not everything that can be counted, counts and not everything that counts can be counted.

I don’t deny that there might be many more (or too many if this is possible?) opportunities (but for whom?). I thought learning is about the learner, all of them, but also each individual one. When there are loads and loads more people on the massive learning stage what is really happening? When we learn with others, do we really need or want the masses? Do we learn with the masses? Even confident, competent connected, networked or rhizomatic learners, or even just learners, pick the people they find interesting, the ideas that connect them or challenge their beliefs and this is fantastic and so so useful for learning. We all go through this selection process. Somehow we find each other. But are we all outspoken in open spaces and habitats. Think of a massive party. Can we all cope? Do we all reach out when we need help, or when we want to dance with somebody (at a party)? Who does? If open educational offers are going to engage the un-engaged in education, lifelong and lifewide learning, is there something we actually need to adjust? Are there other models and frameworks we can explore or experiment with to make our open offers more attractive to the people who need it most? I am wondering… Are we really all ready for MOOCs as we know them? A am not convinced about the ‘M’ in that word (please help me to understand why this is needed) and if all MOOCs are actually open (I have written a post about this a while ago linked to FDOL and at other times here on my blog). Perhaps it has to do with how we see open, in what context? I am sure this is the case. For us, here on BYOD4L and me personally, open means truly open. Also open-ended as Andrew Middleton noted and wide-open as I add here now. This is why we don’t have any registration, this is why nobody needs a password to access any spaces or seek permission to enter, this is why anybody can join when they want to and stay as long as they want to. Make their own connections and define their learning paths, on their own and with others. All we did is create the foundations of an ecosystem to emerge. The people who joined us for a bit or longer (we don’t even know how many they were, but does it matter?) brought it to live and became the heart of it. How can we extend the live of this community? We, and I mean organisers, facilitators and participants (and I don’t like this categorisation at all – learners would be better) can help to make that box a magical open box, without its people, there is NO magic. People are the heart of BYOD4L they make this box magical

My thoughts now are taking me to a specific Waterfall of Ideas (this is the term I gave to Twitter chats, and I would like to write a little something just about this with some of my colleagues on BYOD4L and I include our participants). On Day 5 it was my turn with Alex Spiers. I was really looking forward to this but didn’t want it to be the same thing as the previous nights. I was excited and nervous as the whole thing could be flat like a pancake!!! I had never led a Twitter chat before. Don’t think anybody knows that!!! Despite the fact that I had never done it before, I wanted to play with the idea of doing it differently! Our theme was creating, so we had the perfect opportunity to be creative and enable creative expression but also find ways to be curious about ideas and each other. There was no point to just replicate what had happened before. I suggested a more risky approach and am pleased that Alex embraced my crazy ideas. Often people don’t and this can be upsetting for creative people. But I do understand that people want to keep doing the same thing if they feel it works why change it? This is not a question I ask myself. My question usually is, yes, it works, how can we make it even better? Or what would happen if….? For me learning needs to be exciting. I want suspense and I want learners to feel their heart beating and their brains going with 1000 miles per second and steam coming out of their ears and nose. We were on a Tweet chat roller coaster and it paid off. We worked well with Alex (we had done stuff together before), we had a DM back channel and we coordinated activities and even had some fun there too. Good to do these things with somebody else and be there for each other when needed. People who participated were excited and engaged and expressed in creative ways. We had a few cases of people who warned us that they couldn’t unfortunately participate on the day but completed the tasks anyway. We asked everybody to contribute their learning during BYOD4L in a visual way using their smart devices (or tools as Norman would say) and were amazed with the artefacts that were created and the variety of approaches used. Wow! I couldn’t stop smiling! We are putting a presentation together to capture some of them and when you see it all together, I feel really proud of how all our participants have engaged, experimented, played and learnt. The previous Twitterchats gave people the opportunity to familiarise with what what a Twitterchat is and build their confidence in actively and visibly participating in a public space where anybody could be ‘watching’ and ‘listening’ and ‘jump in’. Now it was about time, to try something different, take a few more risks, and identify how far people are prepared to go. I have seen it in other educational settings, if there is a community and there is trust, wacky, more playful and unusual ideas are not ridiculed that quickly and people do take risks together. Was there a community on Day 5? I think there was. We all went for it! The Question shower, the main part of the Twitterchat also moved the focus away from answering pre-set questions by the facilitators. Now everybody had to come up with questions linked to the creating theme and share them with others. We were going fast and furious. Twitter was on fire for about an hour and we might have lost a few followers as a result of this but the people who were with us stayed with us and participated passionately in the Question Shower game: Stick to the theme of the day, creating, ask a question and respond with a question. It was impressive what followed and the chaotic but in so many ways creative conversations were captured in Sue’s Storify.

BYOD4L definitely finished on a high note. Just adding here one BYOD4L by Laurence but there are many others. I would like to thank everybody who participated and became part of this experiement. I have been working with Sue since November 2013 on developing BYOD4L and more recently with our dear volunteer facilitators. It has been such a rich experience. We have worked tirelessly to make BYOD4L happen and are so happy that it went so well. I definitely have learnt a lot that I will be taking forward. We definitely see this experiment as a start for other initiatives and will build on this to extend opportunities for personal and professional development in this area. The MELSIG book project is a great opportunity but also the MMU event on the 14th of April. Would be lovely to see you there.

Remember to claim a badge or two or more if you have done the work.

A MASSIVE thank you to Sue Beckingham who worked tirelessly with me for months now, evenings, weekends and  during holidays. We have learnt a lot about each other and discovered that we love working together. We are efficient and understand each other really well and so so quickly. No lengthy explanations were needed, there have been no tensions, decisions were made really quickly and smoothly. Each one of us used our strengths in this project and we supported each other when we needed help. It has been a pure pleasure working and developing with Sue.

Thank you to our dear Dr Cristina Costa who took the time to review our plan before it all began, our artist Ellie Livermore and her creative design for the BYOD4L logo and the badges but also for all the filming of the scenarios, our dear David Hopkins for making it possible to introduce badges and all our facilitators, Dr Panos Vlachopoulos who joined us from Australia and worked tirelessly in the FB group, Chris Rowell, Kathrine Jensen, Ola Aiyegbayo, Alex Spiers, Neil Withnell, Dee Vyas and our Andrew Middleton for embacing the idea to offer BYOD4L under the MELSIG umbrella. But also Colin Gray who is going is helping us with the Learning Analytics and Lars Uhlin, our Big Brother in a nice way, who has been watching us all and will provide feedback from his perspective.

Thank you all for your valuable contributions, each one of you and all together. NONE of this would have been possible without you.

Bye for now dear friends ;)

ps. All 5 post titles linked to BYOD4L are a song. Do you know the performers?

Day 1: Where is Linda

Day 2: Let’s dance

Day 3: Thinking of you

Day 4: Umbrella


All my BYOD4L facilitator reflections have been submitted for the facilitator badge and after external review by Dr David Walker, I got my badge and I feel a sense of achievement. Very happy ;)  Thank you for reviewing and for making a judgement that my work  meets the criteria for getting this badge. Here it is


Barnett, R. (2007) A Will To Learn. Being a Student in an Age of Uncertainty, Maidenhead: Open University Press.

AnswerGarden is a minimal feedback space using keywords

via AnswerGarden: BYOD4Learning: What is it for you?.