(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali's blog has now moved to http://blog.mahabali.me


Intellectual Love & #rhizo14

Today has been a virtual emotional day for me, reading lots of the blog posts about the official “end” of rhizo14, giving virtual hugs on twitter and facebook. Sarah could not have put it better when she wrote in a comment on my last blog post: “I now can’t imagine my life without all of you in it’ – i feel exactly the same way about so many people I have engaged with here.

Learning is an emotional journey for me. I am also an emotional teacher, as one of my students recently blogged, titling her post: “do you really care?”

I recently came across the notion of intellectual love and it has helped me to hear the term… It put a term to this deep love I feel when learning… So rarely do we express this properly, this passion we have for learning… I have expressed falling in intellectual love with the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, for example. Not all people are like that, and this was the subject of my second-ever blog post “we are nerds” that produced a great conversation on my personal facebook.

But I think, though I have been in intellectual love with Dave since I came across his ideas and started interacting with him on twitter (i think the first time Dave and Bonnie talked to me on twitter was the highlight of my week or something!) – the way I feel about people on rhizo14 is even more than that. More than intellectual love, though that, too, is there, but I really do care about so many people I have only “known” for 6 weeks! What miracle has Dave brought about that created this feeling? And what is more, I have been feeling that way since week 2, man! Seriously.

Am trying to reflect on why, but I think it might mainly be when I posted my “body of knowledge or embodied knowledge” post and the kind of support people gave for that (and Dave thanking me for writing it, but i only just remembered that now -it was the community support that did it, really), and then Maddie’s post and the way people cared about how she felt and what she was saying (and again, Dave caring personally to find out what happened). Since then, there has been a core group of ppl who care to respond to fb and blogs and tweets, but that group grows and new people somehow, amazingly, get in and seem like they had always been there (you know who you are). It has not been perfect, some ppl have had a tougher time than others, I know, and I don’t want to be dismissive of that. But am just on the “high” of emotion right now…

I have learned so many things about creating community from the ways different people have treated each other and me, and I don’t want these relationships with these people who are now so dear to me… To end. But as I said on fb, rhizomes have no beginning or end, right?

Thankfully many of us (rhizomatically) wanting to remain involved , including a couple of groups interested in doing research about the MOOC. Please share your story with #rhizo14 in our collaborative autoethnography by clicking here and let us know if you’d like to continue to be involved in future writeups based on this.

Two final notes:
If we ever meet f2f e,g, at a conference, how would we know each other? Clarissa and i were discussing this on Twitter and Dani suggested tattoos haha. I thought maybe a sticker on our forehead (tattoos not permitted for me ;))

Finally: if you have been like me and too shy to ask people to be your friend on facebook even outside rhizo14… I am too shy to ask people, i don’t want to impose but when one person did it today, i realized how much i would like to have u guys on my personal fb as well

But may the #rhizo14 fb and twitter hashtag live on so that we may continue to live off of it ūüėČ ahem

Again, though: Please share your story with #rhizo14 in our collaborative autoethnography by clicking here and let us know if you’d like to continue to be involved in future writeups based on this.



Why @HybridPed is my Favorite Journal

On the upcoming two-year anniversary of the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, I thought I’d share why this has been my favorite journal for the past few months (and probably for many more years to come).

There are many reasons I love the journal, but foremost among them is its digital agnostic approach (is that a term they made up?) – unlike a lot of other writing about educational technology, that tends to be ¬†overly positive or overly negative (utopian/dystopian, as we discussed in #edcmooc), this journal provides a balanced and critical approach: in their words, they “avoid valorizing educational technology”. The journal is a reflective hybrid of “critical pedagogy” and “digital pedagogy” (though digital pedagogy is not their only focus). I think it is wonderful to find a journal that has an underlying social justice approach, that offers dissenting viewpoints, while also being critical in the most beautiful sense: where the end of the criticism is constructive (don’t take my word for it – check out the journal itself). They do all of this in accessible language – whereas much critical pedagogy work is not written in ways accessible to your average practitioner.¬†It is a journal with an alternative perspective, a radical approach, but through it all, it does all of this in an accessible manner.

It is also not just a journal. The two individuals whom I often connect with it (Jesse & Sean) also lead other creative online pedagogical experiments, some of which I have participated in, such as ReadMake (I made this video reflecting on the creative chaos of it). They also lead monthly discussions on topics of interest to a variety of people, via the Twitter hashtag #digped, and have done lots of other creative experiments that you can read about in the journal.

Insight into their supportive/collaborative peer-review process made me wonder why most peer-reviewed journals take on an antagonistic double-blind peer review process, when it is pedagogically much more constructive to do open and supportive peer review! Jesse recently tweeted “I’ve a staunch no mean reviewers policy¬†@HybridPed. Ironically, it’s the thing I’m ruthless about.”¬†[which reminded me that I was recently tempted to tell someone “by the way, I was one of your peer reviewers for that article you just published – the nice, supportive reviewer, not the mean one!”]

I also love this recent post¬†on promoting open access publications¬†that also reflects on their process, which concludes with “The work of scholarship should ultimately be about generosity” and that we should champion the work of others as well as our own (and, I just realized, I am currently doing just that in this blog post)

Hybrid Pedagogy recently published a list of lists, a great way to navigate the treasure of articles in the journal. However, my favorite article of all-time was not mentioned in that list.¬†That article, Beyond Rigor was the first journal article I read (and shared) after successfully defending my thesis. That might be why I have such a strong emotional affinity for/with it. But there is more to it than that. The article does a great job of articulating an idea I’d been trying to convince my colleagues of for a long time: that outcomes-based approaches to designing curricula are problematic. For some reason, when my colleagues read this article, all of them agreed with it. I am continually amazed by the power of well-articulated discourse and rhetoric. I will expand on this article later in a separate post.

I was recently introduced to the idea of “intellectual love“, and I recognized immediately that I am in deep intellectual love with this journal. It may be that this love stems from a compatibility in world views, but the journal still manages to challenge and stimulate me and push me beyond my comfort zone, which is, I believe, even more important.

A mentor once told me to try to publish in journals I liked to read, and @HybridPed is it right now! I look forward to one day soon being able to make a contribution to scholarship similar to the great quality reflective and provocative work this journal already does.

Join the fan club ūüėČ and enjoy