As a lead facilitator they force and encourage me to do so much more. The first thing they do is force me to make the time to do the job that is required to facilitate the conversation. This requires a certain amount of planning and prioritizing – the opportunity cost of participation.
These conversations force me to think about the topic of conversation more deeply than I have done before and encourage me to see connections and perspectives that I have not seen before. They require me to prepare, as a teacher would, by finding and developing resources to support the conversation. These resources include people as well as artefacts and they make me make connections with people that I did not know before (eg in this recent conversation I interacted with two scholars Tim Ingold and Joy Whitton).
The resources themselves constitute new artefacts in the form of articles, images and video clips. Their making requires me to think and write or do in other ways and develop a certain type of knowing in the process. In an article I have to make explicit what I think which usually involves connecting lots of things other people have thought to create an argument, proposition or, commonly, an interpretation of my own experiences.
The conversation causes me to direct and focus my research into the areas we are exploring in the topic ie the conversation mediates my strategies for inquiry and scholarship. In the process I discover all sorts of things I had not seen before. By participating in the conversation I am exposed to the resources and experiences shared by participants and sometimes these catalyse my own inquiries.
I am also intrigued by what others share. For example, one participant turned my static image into a moving gif image. I asked her how she had achieved this and she gave me the link. I experiments and learnt how to do it so I have now acquired new knowledge and skill which I immediately applied to other projects – like making a movie.
The role of leader also involves synthesising and curating. The Google+ platform is not very good at enabling conversations to be curated but this time I added MAKING & GALLERY to the tags that permitted the conversation and artefacts to be more easily collated. This will be consolidated by the production of an issue of Creative Academic Magazine that collates the posts and permits reflection and analysis and synthesis beyond the conversation ie it turns an event into a process. On this occasion I wanted to use my new found skills in movie making (developed during the #creativeHE conversation) to make a movie. You can see the results in the YouTube clip below. The film is a celebration of this coming together and the creativity of the individuals to make the things they made.
During the conversation Joy Whitton pointed out that one of our motives for creating is to make gifts to enrich the lives and experiences of others and I see this film as a sort of gift from the conversation to the world – our contribution to the annual global Open Education event.
We don’t have a conversation without people being willing to participate so I would like to thank all those who contributed to the conversation, especially my co-facilitator John Rae.
A celebration of the artefacts made during the #creativeHE 'Creativity in the Making' conversation March 6-20 2018 https://plus.google.com/communities/110898703741307769041?