Wearing the SOC(k)

Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash

These reflections are from the last iteration of Network Narratives. I feel that last years involvement was like being part of a SOC.


At any point in time, there was between 4-10 open participants active (or that I have interacted with) in the Network Narratives activities. Some people were consistent all the way through and other people came into the class through the porous class walls. During our Open Bus Tour  Alan Levine mentioned this aspect of having this 'open class' and that it was 'about the right size'. I'm not sure about the size factor but I do know that it was a comfortable space and allowed repeated connections and conversations over the 3 months. The typical MOOC timeframe is 4-6 weeks and even shorter if you only participate for some of the time. Travelling along on this journey for a full University Semester has been a different type of open study. I was always aware of the weekly class of the students at Kean University as weekly 'Intercepts' and newsletters were sent out prior to this time. However, the interactions in our open class were less rigid.

For the past 4 weeks or so we have been running a Twitter DM backchannel. This was primarily to arrange the Open Bus Tour but has been very useful in quick connections with others in the class for shortcuts and catchups. We have been participating in another 'World' for the month of April. This has not been a comfortable experience for me so I have participated very little and left that alone. One of the things about the Arganee World is the technical interface. As part of the learning strategy (I'm guessing) there were not many way finders or signs to direct you to the private Wordpress interface. I found many comments 'waiting moderation' or being marked as spam. I would post and then not be able to find my post, I could comment on other's posts but then never find that again to see if there was an ongoing conversation that I missed. I have also heard from one other open participant and one other student that this was similar to their experience. Our entries in the 'mirror world' led to a change in our strength and power but due to my self-confessed disinterest in such games (where I didn't understand the goal), I did not check how this was panning out for my other self.

I look forward to seeing how this year's iteration will pan out. Maybe the open class will be slightly larger. Maybe the interactions with Uni participants will be deeper or more distant? I'm sure I'll be surprised (an essential learning component) and that is one reason why I'm back in the narrative.


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