The Academic BEtreat is underway. We have had our first conference call, to prepare for next week.
There are 16 participants from across the world – eight will be in California meeting face-to-face and eight will join the BEtreat online. I am in the latter group. There will be a ‘buddy system’ where face-to-face participants will be paired up with online participants. The idea is that f2f participants will represent the online participants. I wonder if it could/should also work the other way round.
Juggling time zones is going to be a challenge for the synchronous meetings – since participants are from the US, Europe and Japan. Evidently we will negotiate times for synchronous sessions, but realistically I think I will be working at least until midnight for most of the week. Although I know it could be worse than this I am naturally more of an early bird than a night owl – so it will be an interesting challenge.
The format is similar to the format for last year, although I think there is more asynchronous time built into the programme this year and more time for reflection – which is good.
As for last year the programme is divided up into different group activities and colour coded according to these activities.
- Pale yellow marks the start and end of the BEtreat.
- Pink is for leadership group activities. I will be in the Critical Friends group where we reflect on the process such as taking care of online and offline integration. We will be able to do some of this work asynchronously
- Purple is for theory discussion activities in which we will review Etienne’s book. There are 5 theory review sessions covering – Meaning, Learning in communities of practice,Boundaries and scale, Identity, Identification and power
- On Wednesday morning there is a theory preview session in which Etienne and Bev will present their most recent work.
- There are also three thematic discussion groups to deepen discussion on – Learning theory and research, Value creation and evaluation, Adult pedagogy, technology and professional development (I will be in this group)
- Gold and yellow sections are for social activities (for the f2f participants)
- Finally, we need to introduce ourselves – in the case of online people through creating a wiki page to provide a context for who we are and what we do. At the end of the week, we will create an action plan to take our work forward and post it on this page.
It will be very interesting to be online on this BEtreat this year having been there in person in California last year. I’m wondering whether it will make a difference to how I feel about the integration of online and face-to-face working. (I made this blog post after last year’s betreat). I also want to see whether it is easier to understand the cultural context than it was last year given this is an Academic BEtreat. (This was the blog post I made last year in relation to this). Finally, I am hoping to learn more about the relationship between meaning, learning and identity in terms of how an understanding of this would apply in the practice of teaching and learning, and more about the value creation framework and how to apply this in practice. I have started blogging about this and hope to continue if time allows – but it might be a bit hectic!