Umbrella or Day 4 #BYOD4L

Capturing my reflections on Day 4 now after BYOD4L has come to an end. Unfortunately, and I mean unfortunately, I was running out of time to do this any earlier. Other tasks related to this project had to come first, I decided. This meant that the snippets of reflections on that day lived in my head for a few days, some of them on bits of paper but I can see how carrying reflections around might not be enough. They seem to fade too easily, some of them might already be dead… Does this mean that these were not important? I am not sure. I might have missed some great opportunities for my own development and to evaluate our offer(?). How do you reflect? I have heard people saying again and again, I reflect in my head and they are happy with this and feel that it is enough. Is it though?

Looking back, I think I should have made the time just to capture my raw reflections at the end of the day or the next morning, to have a record of that moment in time. Reflections are of course dynamic, they change over time and when we look back we can use them for our own development. I feel that I miss that bit now of capturing what was occupying my head then and I am, I have to admit here, not sure, if I am actually going to capture my thoughts on Day 4 or if I am just trying to say something here to fill this post… not good is it?

This morning, and it is Sunday, now, I said to myself, I can no longer postpone it but I did in a way as I found another little task to do before I started writing this post. Am I avoiding it now? Very possible. But I am going to keep writing and hope that something useful will come of out this.  Using some notes from last night should be useful?

One main item popped into my head when I closed my eyes and tried to relive Day 4. That was time, surprise, surprise. The time we have, the time we make, the time we don’t have and the time we think we should make. Does this make sense? During Day 1 I felt under pressure to be everywhere and be visible seen as to be there. Was this realistic? Was this needed? We all know that we are not all the time with our learners. We are not there with them 24-7 when we teach or facilitate learning (I like that better!) in face-to-face settings. It is not possible and it is not good for them anyway!!! We all need time and space! I am now wondering if it is easier to forget, or if we, as facilitators, have for some strange reason convinced ourselves, that we need to be there all the time when we support individuals and groups online. Is this easier to happen in open or public settings? Do we feel under pressure to be seen? I think learners might feel similar. Uninterrupted connectivity can or is, I should dare to say, disruptive for learning. When we constantly try and  be there with others, when are we with ourselves and our own thoughts? When do we digest what occupies our mind? When are we just happy learning on our own? Have we forgotten how this feels like? Social media are great but can they also become our worst nightmare? Social learning doesn’t mean non-stop togetherness.This creates dependency! I think learning with others, could or should even, be more about knowing that others are around, that we care for each other and that we will support each other when needed. That we do stuff together when we want to, not because we feel we have to! I like my freedom as a learner, to go my own paths, to use my curiosity to make discoveries, but I also enjoy meeting others along the way and share with them my ideas and thoughts and problems so that I can extend learning at a personal and collective level and take it into different directions which we as individuals didn’t even think of. This can only happen through opening up and sharing within a community. But do we need to be together all the time??? No we don’t. Couples for examples are happier with each other when they give each other time and space to breath, to be with themselves and others, to pursue their own interests. This doesn’t mean they go their own ways. Well in a way they do. But what is wrong with it? This doesn’t stop them doing stuff together also. There is a thread that holds specific people together. This thread can be very weak or strong, break or not break at all. It all depends on us, the people on the end of this thread. Not just speaking about couples in romantic relationships, but also professional partnerships and friends, learners and teachers.

Is knowing that others are around more important than actually being around all the time? BYOD4L as a construction reminds be of an umbrella, that protects. What I don’t like of the idea while capturing it here now, is that the umbrella seems to be on top of everything and everybody. This is definitely not how I see BYOD4L. It is more of a fabric then perhaps, a protective fabric that hugs the community and its people that lets them breath and explore, to be curios and experiment (definitely NOT bubblewrap!!!), believe in themselves and have trust in each other. But am I painting a realistic picture here? Can this really happen in an open learning ecology?

I will move on to Day 5 but my thoughts are all melting into one. Will be interesting to discover where my reflections  take me next…

Speak again soon dear friends,



5 thoughts on “Umbrella or Day 4 #BYOD4L

  1. Hi Chrissi another thoughtful post Thanks – I find it really useful to write down reflective little posts It really gets me to think about what I’m doing! (I guess Socrates wouldn’t have approved – maybe he used the ‘Dragon App’) but as you say its finding the time to just sit down and think and type for 10- 10 mins… I still haven’t done day 4 or 5 yet of BYOD4L .. Hopefully will do next week – you do a different reflection after the event – for better or worse!

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind words. Yes, 10 minutes to stop and reflect could make wonders. I think I need to find ways to make this happen. The problem is, when I start writing I can’t stop and often my thoughts meander… writing up Day 5 at the moment and I think a bit lost in my thoughts and sound somehow defensive too. Will need to cut down I think before making it visible to the world… but might just publish it as it is and be prepared for the storm. Looking forward to read your reflections.

    It was great working with you Chris and it is not over yet! The fun continues 😉

  3. Right Chrissi the learner..! Here are some thoughts from a co-learner and co-facilitator 🙂
    Presentism – I also wondered about that perceived need to be seen. Actually I think you got it right. From where I am sitting, especially now as I reflect back, I think it was important for all facilitators to be present. And that meant being busy. I think it our evident commitment turned it in an event. Without that commitment we have a room with interesting things to look at. Sorry, but as you decided at the time, our responsibility to host the event overrides our personal interest in just using the event to learn. So, well done and thanks! But it’s OK as a learning opportunity too…
    …Time – asynchronous is fine. Not all learning happens in the moment. Perhaps it is our later engagement that matters even more? What matters now? What do I remember?Now I am away from the noise what really mattered? What clarity is there?
    Stick with your umbrella – How about putting your umbrella upside down so it connects and supports people in it and as it fills with the rain of knowledge and experience people can swim together!?!

  4. Hi Andrew,
    Great to see you reading and commenting on my reflections here. I agree with you that it is important to be seen but there needs to be a balance. We were a large group and I wouldn’t want anybody to feel overwhelmed by facilitator participation and presence, that is another point, I perhaps didn’t make in the post. I agree facilitators need to be present and support learning but also model learning themselves, become part of learning. We did, I think, as you say, turn BYOD4L into an event. It didn’t happen automatically and the absence of facilitator presence, I think would have a significant effect on what would have happened otherwise.

    I like your idea about turning the umbrella upside down. Didn’t think about that at all. And I think the rain of knowledge or experiences or the river of shared experiences on a journey would make a nice title for a paper? 😉 Thanks again for making me think even further about these issues.


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