My overall sense is that the time I invested was worthwhile. I think I probably invested about 20 hours through the week on exploring and trying to use some of the tools, reflecting on my own practices, attitudes and behaviours and the circumstances in which I use these digital/media tools, writing up my thoughts under each theme and listening to the daily twitter conversation.
Perhaps the missing C that kept being talked about was commitment. There is an opportunity cost in engaging with technology initially to be competent and confident in using it and then to apply it. It doesn't always work and I had many instances during the week when what I tried didn't work and I was both frustrated and demotivated. I also lost my power lead to my tablet and managed to pick up something through my downloads.
I was grateful to the person who tweeted that they had had trouble with an app. I often have trouble trying to make things work and this aspect of learning often gets glossed over in the enthusiasm for the technology. In fact my criticisms of the experience were in the overwhelming positivity and enthusiasm expressed by participants - not surprising given that many were in the business of promoting these technologies and were so familiar with them that they didn't give it a second thought. Perhaps there is a need for BYOD4L 'for beginners'.
Accepting that I probably wasn't typical of the participants in that I didn't have a teaching role within an organisation. The things I valued most which worked best for me were:
1 The resources. Sue's collections of tools and the introductory videos are a great resource that I have embedded in my own website for future use. I didn't find the scenarios useful.
2 Examples and illustrations of the use of the technologies.. these were great in showing what could be done. In particular some of the curatorial tools like scoop.it and paper.li.
The twitter conversation was I felt conducted between like minded people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the use of devices and tools. The sheer volume of tweets was overwhelming more like a brainstorming exercise. I found reading some of the more considered reflections more valuable.
What was great was seeing the enthusiasm, commitment, teamwork, care and attention and personal support the facilitators gave to the process and the people in it. A real lesson in the energy, passion, care, dedication and expertise necessary to make these sorts of learning experiences work. I gained useful insights into what had to be done to make this form of learning work.
Offline I had some good conversations with my son who managed to spend a bit of time looking at the resources and tuned into the twitter conversation most evenings. So it achieved that objective.
The tension for me throughout the BYOD4L experience was the push towards using mobile devices (not surprising given that this is what it was about) when my preferred device - because I am mainly based at home, is my laptop. But restricting myself to my laptop means I cannot access apps which are only designed for mobile devices. But by the end of the week I could see that my own work to support LWE could be enhanced with the selective use of mobile devices and some of the tools. More importantly I decided that my need to embrace these new media tools is not so much driven by own interests but by the interests of others who want to express themselves using the technologies that they prefer to represent their own learning, development and achievement and this changed my perspective.
Throughout the week I tried to reflect on my own attitudes and practices in the contexts of my own circumstances and I will continue to do so over the next few weeks and try out some more of the tools. The idea of structuring the experience around five key concepts really helped focus attention on key aspects of living, working and playing in the digital world and for me these were powerful reflective prompts which also triggered my creative juices. The magical box that was the course did indeed promote and enable all these things which are all fundamental to learning, development and achievement - communicate, connect, collaborate, create and curate. In addition it encouraged participants to commit and enabled them to contribute and learn in the process of co-creating some of the content.
Thanks to all who designed and facilitated the process and experience. It was an interesting and enlightening experience.