What I Learned @DigPedLab UMW #digped

Photo of onsite folks in a hangout
Photo tweeted by @Autumm with @miridigital @hypervisible & @annemarie onsite in the last VC session of the event

Originally published at virtually connecting – Reflecting Allowed (see it there)

Reading Time: 4 minutes This post is inspired by Annemarie Perez who asked me on Twitter how DigPedLab UMW was going for ME. No one, I think, explicitly asked me in that way, how an event was going for me, when I was virtual. I’m kinda sleepy now… so all the links to everything are in the Virtually Connecting blogpost about this event… and I had written most of this list earlier in the day (while making low-fat chocolate cake, btw)… am just publishing before going to bed This is my fun list of things I learned at DigPedLab UMW
  1. These very serious people have a really great sense of humor and are sooo approachable: Tressie McMillan-Cottom, Cathy Davidson, Audrey Watters and Martha Burtis. Really. Watch each of the hangouts on Monday and Tuesday.
  2. There are so many ways to take the ethos of Virtually Connecting to other contexts and we need to keep thinking of them – watch the Tuesday workshop to see some of what was said
  3. Not only can you Annotate text, images and video…but Remi Holden has this amazing way of using his body esp his hands to “listen” and annotate a conversation with his hands. It’s incredible. Watch the hangout of him with Jeremy Dean to see that in action. It’s fascinating. This convo took place Wednesday
  4. That someone really exhausted after several days of teaching a track can feel like they are unwinding at a Virtually Connecting session. Watch the awesome hour-long convo w Lee Skallerup Bessette (w Autumm and Susan) onsite – this was planned to be half an hour and no one wanted to leave. This took place Wednesday
  5. People will stay up until late hours like 11pm and even beyond, or wake up really early, just to connect with someone worth conversing with. We had folks from Austria, South Africa and Australia around!
  6. You can actually get work done across 3 hugely different timezones. Working with Paul Prinsloo (onsite at DigPed) who is 6 hours behind me AND Kate Bowles in Australia (8 hours ahead of me) is a full 14-hour spectrum of time. We managed to write an article and finalize some touches on our workshop in this way and somehow not completely miss one another. Planning this workshop was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life and I am very fortunate to have become so close to these two beautiful people. Running it was ambitious and I hope is just the beginning of a conversation that we have over a longer period of time in future. You can watch the conversation on the hangout on Thursday. Google doc w everything at http://bit.ly/inclusiveDigPed
  7. That you can feel pleasure and pain at the same time. The convo w Chris G, Annemarie Perez and Miriam Neptune with Sherri Spelic and others virtually – so much pain over so much inequality and injustice in the world… and yet so much pleasure in being able to share it and learn together and hopefully in our own little ways (or bigger ways) make a difference. I love Miriam’s story of how she used her role as a librarian to work with student activists. This was our last hangout at DigPedLab UMW. Definitely worth watching. It ran an hour long as well.
  8. No matter how hard you try to be inclusive… it will never be enough (not everyone is able to be in the room, not everyone is able to have voice even when they are in the room)…for some people it won’t ever seem like you’ve done enough or tried hard enough. You can’t please everyone. But we should still listen empathetically because maybe there’s something to learn from that. Even if we can’t accept all of it.
  9. Sean Michael Morris is this amazing person capable of thinking of the future even while fully immersed in a really intensive present. And able to do it with so much grace.
  10. Chris Friend did the sweetest thing and added my name in Arabic everywhere on Hybrid Ped. I wasn’t excited about the idea til I actually saw it. When I saw it, I was soooo touched. It’s so much more thoughtful than I had imagined
  11. I learned that Jesse Stommel really trusts Autumm Caines and me. He gave us time to use and freedom to use it as PART of the event and it made a huge difference. That’s what a Virtually Connecting partner event organizer is.
  12. Autumm Caines … so much heart in these DigPed events… and in the midst of it all, she makes time in between sessions to have small talk with my little one. Now THAT is caring for the marginalized!!! I was so touched the other day when she did that.
  13. The VC team is an incredible group of very generous people… but I already knew that! Thanks to all of you who helped make this event happen in some way. And for everything you do all the time.
  14. Having the same people in multiple hangouts in a row at one event helps build community and allows for some continuity. I realize this means that some other people are unable to make it, but we tried as much as possible to keep waiting lists and to bump “new” people up when there were others who had already attended multiple sessions.
  15. Sometimes you don’t realize whom your excluding until they show up. This event, VC had our first undergrad student attend virtually – Andrew Rikard – and he is now  a member of our team, who should hopefully help us invite more students in. We also had our first South American participant (I think?) Paulo Pacha from Brazil.
  16. Many people who signed up were still unable to make it because of mainly infrastructure issues. This will remain the biggest barrier to inclusion. But we also should keep trying to make it work. Hopefully our second workshop with many textual and asynchronous forms of interaction allowed for some voices to express themselves differently than a sychronous hangout.
If you were at any of these events or watched live or recorded, I would love to hear your feedback, publicly or in private. Drop me a line ? Thanks to everyone who made this happen.

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