#BYOD4L reflections, adding another "c" to the mix – custodian v (re) designer

A large part of my last week was taken up with the Bring Your Own Device for Learning (#BYOD4L). Along with my co-organisers Alex Spiers and Neil Withnell, and our lovely team of mentors (couldn’t have done it without you guys).  I was connecting, communicating, curating, collaborating and creating all over “t’interweb”. Well, to be more accurate I was actually active on twitter with a wee splash of periscope. I glanced a bit a google+ but it’s only really today that I have been able to make some time to reflect on the week.

One area we wanted to try and engage our community with this year was reflection,  the notion of developing their own (digital) stories of their experiences. You can see some stories here, and this blog post which explains our thinking in a bit more detail.

We really hoped that this approach might help share some of the conversations and practice sharing that take particularly in the tweet chats.  Also from a more pragmatic point of view, due to my departmental restructuring, I have had to articulate the value of my participation in the event and the value of running f2f drop in sessions during the week. Being able to describe how this informal learning experience can be valuable for formal CPD has been slightly higher on my agenda than on previous years.

It’s probably too early to say if/how this approach has worked, but both online and in our f2f session colleagues were talking about how they were going to try new  their own contexts. I’m certainly going to try mentimeter for feedback.

Looking at the google+ community I was taken by this post from Józefa Fawcett. Apart from really liking the format of the post.  It really got me thinking about my role in the event and some of the opportunities and challenges of taking over the running of an established open course.

BYOD4L was created by Chrissi Nerantzi and Sue Buckingham. They have published widely and openly about the underpinning pedagogical model they developed and used to design the course.

BYOD4L has always embraced a number of online spaces – the main site (which is a wordpress blog), twitter, google +, Facebook (though that community has kind of naturally come to an end).  This can be overwhelming and confusing for many, but for people like me ( a bit of a digital flibbertigibbet ) it’s not a problem, from the beginning I embraced the chaos challenges of communicating across multiple platforms.

This is the second year that Neil, Alex and I have been in charge of the event. And it strikes me now that we haven’t really ever had a big discussion about changing the design.  It’s not that we’ve not talked about it, we just haven’t haven’t had a big chat around the design and any potential re-design. We all, I think,  take comfort from the “if it ain’t broke . . .” adage. We are all also limited by amount of time we can spare to actually make any substantial changes.

Today I’m  wondering have we been subconsciously acting more like custodians of the event, the original learning design and web design.  Not wanting to change the original design in case we offended Chrissi or Sue by changing their design. Which is odd really as it is an open resource, we all claim to be open practitioners, and both Chrissi and Sue I’m sure would be delighted if we did.  Any changes, like adding daily periscope broadcasts, the idea of personal stories have maybe been more like tinkering round the edges.

One of the perennial challenges of getting people to use OERs is that of context.  Early studies such as the Good Intentions report highlighted that.  People can feel it’s almost easier to create their own resource than to edit an existing one.  For me, with BYBO4L it has almost been the opposite. The overall design works (despite some of the confusion that some people feel) so why change it?

Perhaps we should have made the time to really edit and update, in particular, the blog. But part of me feels like that is the history of the event which should be shared and I don’t actually have the right to significantly change it or archive it.  Or is that just an excuse for bad resource and archiving management on my part (aka laziness)?  I thought writing this post my help me with this conundrum, but I think I need a bit more time. If you have any suggestions or thoughts then I’d love to hear them.

Ring for Custodian

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