I have been having some treatment in hospital that has meant I have been out of action for the best part of two weeks. It is the first time in my professional life that I have been away from the web for an extended period. I think ‘out of it’ describes my position very well.
Whilst I have been treated, I am mindful that my community of Braidwood has been fighting one of the largest fires in living memory, the North Black Range Fire, Palerang.
The fire started about the time I entered hospital and since then has become an enormous fire. What impressed me about the Braidwood response was its relationship with all the training that had occurred in preparation for a long fire season. The Braidwood group has a Messenger page to stay connected and makes extensive use of the BART responder software platform (link). I was interested to to see the way the community used Facebook to share stories and images (link).
I was definitely out of this. The fire put everything else into perspective. When I am connected to the web, two of my interests are ensuring I have updated my performance data archives to give me contexts about which and with which to contemplate performativity issues. All my data are on Google Sheets.
The other work I do is to scan the web for meta analytical issues (link). I think this is the ‘pedagogical intent’ that Michael Feldstein has described in a recent post (link). Michael observes “the challenge that we face as educators is that learning, which happens completely inside the heads of the learners, is invisible. We can not observe it directly”. He adds “If we are going to make progress toward educationally useful analytics, then we must ruthlessly expunge all traces of magical thinking about data”.
Michael concludes “we have to and can boil down chains of inference that combine pedagogical intent into simple human language that educators can understand and articulate for themselves”. This language fascinates me as we develop our language about data.
My hope is that as I move back into web access, I can start to synthesise these ‘in it’ opportunities.