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Posts Tagged projcomm13

Last post

CC Photographer: LA(Phot) Rhys O’Leary

It’s the last post! No not that last post associated with a picture like above. But like that last post, this is an emotional goodbye. (Just to be clear, I have great respect for all men and women in the services. I just don’t respect the masters of war http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvr72uTd7kc )

Project communities has been one hell of a ride and although sometimes stressful I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I want to thank all colleagues and students but especially Nancy and Laura for all their work and patience.

What I liked is that both groups asked feedback on their video with less than 24 hours before the deadline. This is always a difficult thing to do , because you have just worked very hard and you are tired and don’t really want to change anything anymore. But you did ask and I pointed out some things and you did go that extra mile to make it better. So kudos to all of you and keep that up as a good habit.

As a first project we can see the ways of working and culture of this year group develop, What I really enjoyed is that we are starting to develop a culture were students are helping each other in their learnng and do a lot of their work in area 51. 

For my groups: I’ll also give some direct feedback in the Facebook group pages.

I really learned a lot and I am immediately applying my learnings. For the minor smart life rhythms that I am teaching next module I am asking the project teams to report in a weekly blog. It makes sure there is weekly progress and it means that they don’t have to write a report in the end but can focus on building their solution.

I am also very happy that my dear old friend Sheila was very happy with the result.

I really hope to be able to join in the project again next year and am looking forward to another steep learning curve then!

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Proud of Iris van Herpen

Proud of Iris van Herpen:

Iris van Herpen is a great designer. She won both the fashion award and the overall award of last week’s Dutch Design Week. She happens to be my cousin and we are all really proud of her. I love her work and it’s easy to feel proud of her for producing it. But I am even more proud of her for her focus on her work and how she is always deciding for herself what she thinks is important and what not. She could be on television way more often if she wanted to (and which PR people will tell her is good for her). But she focuses on her work instead. I wish for great succes for all of my students, but most of all I wish for them be able to stay true to themselves.

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Be Generous!

It was great to have a week off. I have still worked very hard around the house as we’ve moved the boys from 1 room into 2 rooms. But I definitely needed a break from the university. Too much workand not enough time, it’s one of those things. The wake-up call for me was during our last hang-out. One student made a comment that he thought a question in the assignment sounded like  a question from 3 years ago. My own first thought was  “Come on, discrediting a question because you are too lazy to really look into it, those tactics might work in high school or when you catch me unawares maybe, but can you please start acting like a mature student and not like a ….” But Nancy handled it perfectly, at the same time explaining the question very well and putting the student in his place in a mild way. That made me realise that if I had answered that question I would just have shown my annoyance, and nobody would have really learned anything from it. One of the side effects of stress for me is a very low irritation treshhold. When it’s hard to get rid of the stress, I try to remind myself to be generous. Because after all it’s not just about the results but very much about the way in which we achieve them. And to my amazement ‘be generous’ was one of the 7 learnings of the composer of my favourite newsletter: Brainpickings: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/10/23/7-lessons-from-7-years/ . The next 3 weeks will be again very stressful and I will be reminding myself to try and be generous. Generous to my students, colleagues, family and also to myself!

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

They Will Steal Your Idea. They Cannot Steal What Really Matters.

They Will Steal Your Idea. They Cannot Steal What Really Matters.:

Too ill to write today, but fortunately somebody else has already written it better.

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

On Wednesday I will present project communities during a…



On Wednesday I will present project communities during a workshop on blended learning. Blended learning means integrating ICT-enabled learning with live learning. The most common way of doing that is letting students watch (lecture) videos before the class and doing practical work under guidance during the class.

But in project communities we’re have a very different type of “Will it blend?”. And I am reflecting on what part of our specific blend it would be good to point out as valuable to the participants in the workshop. So far:

1) The hang-out meetings, specifically the recording in combination with the meetingwords. Yes it took some time to make it smooth but I think the way we can get Nancy and Alan involved is really quite amazing.

2) The blogging. Maybe not every student is as active, but it really sparks more dynamics and openness than just the offline conversations. I am generally not a big fan of forced reflections, but this works guys!

3) Confusiasm. (Which has nothing to do with Confucius). So you got thrown in the deep end. Do you want to discuss about the fairness of that or do you want to start swimming?

But these are just my first thoughts. Please tell me what is it that is essential to project communities that I should share in the blended learning workshop?

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Pigeon vs cats

Yesterday I went into the garden to throw away some stuff in the compost bin. I saw a pigeon and tried to shoo it away but it just hopped away. Then I noticed that something was wrong with it’s wing, it couldn’t fly properly.

Dilemma time; what to do? If our two cats don’t catch it, one of the other neighbourhood toms surely will. Is a mercy killing in order? Do I have the stomach for that? I decide to leave it for the time being but thoughts of the pigeon keep playing on my mind for the rest of they day.

Arriving home late yesterday. evening I decide to check out the garden. No dead pigeon to clean up. Well I guess it’s been dragged off elsewhere.

But today to my surprise I find it again hopping around the garden. How has it managed to escape the cats? Strangely enough the cats look at it from a metre or so away and then walk around it. They have killed pigeons before, are they getting too old for the hunt? Or is there some unwritten cat sportsmanship rule that you don’t attack a pigeon that’s wounded?

Both the pigeon and the cats proved me wrong on my assumptions. I like that. Students can do that too. Sometimes great students suddenly don’t do as well as expected. Then it’s my task to be supportive but still honest in grading. Past performance doesn’t play a role there. And most of the time they’ll get back to being great soon enough. Fortunately also sometimes students do way better than you ever expected. That’s one of the joys of teaching. (after the plagiarism check of course ;-))

I am open to having my assumptions challenged. Even though sometimes it feels that it would be mercifull to kick you out, I am mostly ready to give a student the benefit of the doubt. Fortunately the decision is not up to my judgement. You just have to get those 50 credits in year one or you’ll be kicked out, broken wing or not.

For now, the pigeon has sort of flown off the fence into nextdoor’s garden. But I’ll keep an eye out for it.

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Social Technographics

Social Technographics:

When I was reading your blogs I started to think that I would like to know how you see yourselves in terms of these types. And of course if you expect anything to change during your first year of studying IDE.

Of course finding this Social Technograohics ladder again took some time, so please excuse me if your grades are late this week…..

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Technology, think about it

During the past week I have been thinking about what to blog. What part of my experience to share?  Too many possible answers. Should I tell you more about my experience in developing products in mobile phone networks, especially mobile payments? Or on how to use social media and other  technology for project management. Or should I find some references to support the groups in getting up to speed?                      

Well I’ll leave my experience and teaching topics for discussion during the project hours and here I’ll discuss what interests me, not what I think would be good for the project. I haven’t read all blogs but I really noticed different levels of reflection on students’ use of technology. And it seems that the people that don’t use technology have thought about it more that those who use it all the time. The ubiquity of technology leads to the situation where not using it requires a much more conscious decision that not using it. Today being tech savvy is often seen as a sign of being up-to-date, modern and young. And of course the marketeers of Apple, Huawei and Samsung do all they can to reinforce that idea.

I would like to encourage people to dig a little bit deeper when they are reflecting on their relation with technology. Many people stay on the level of the debate on gun ownership. On the one hand hand pro gun groups say:” Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” At the same time, statistics clearly show that where there are more guns, more people are killed. Leaving the political discussion aside, this points to the heart of the matter; human beings are not always simply the master of technology, the fact that certain technological options are open to us means that we have to take a position whether we like it or not. Along the same line, is it the social media or the peoples use of it that might drive people to suicide. (How I love technology, I just spend 15 minutes trying to find  a video that I saw yesterday on this subject and I can’t find it again…)

But this is nothing new, from the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century on, man’s relation with technology has been an important subject for philosophers and sociologists. Did you know that Karl Marx was a philosopher before he became active in the political and economial field?  In his communist manifesto Marx describes how becoming a part of the machinery alienates man from his human nature. Only those with money can afford to let technology work them, while those who can’t are trapped in a downward spiral. His predictions of revolution didn’t come true, and so-called communist governments were often more totalitarian in practice. Nevertheless Marx insights in the difficult relationship between man and technology are still valuable and a starting point for modern thinkers on the matter.

I would like to challenge those of you that think that the current times with the ubiquity of technology such as social media and smart phones is special and has no use for older views of technology. Here is a documentary picturing French Philosopher Jacques Ellul in 1990. I find it amazing how e.g. his analysis of the illusion of technology as a liberating force is so universal and also applies to where we are today. I was especially struck by his remark that technology invites reflexes more than reflection. This is exactly what often irritates me in digital communication; people react quickly, without thinking. Their answers aren’t helpful to me but they can feel satisfied with crossing a task of their list.

I hope to challenge all of you to be more aware of your relation with technology. And those interested in the philosophical side, let me know. I might organise another elective Critical Thinking for Designers or Philosophy of Technology in module 3 or 4.

 

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Reflection? Well if you get me started….

 Last week was the real start of project communities and it immediately made me reflect on how to shape my teacher role in an online community. My main task online is to comment on and grade student’s blogs. One of the big constraints is time. I don’t have much time and I would like to comment on all student’s blogs and give them grades that make sense and include helpful feedback. How can I develop my skills so I can quickly read a blog and give quick yet meaningful feedback? For now I’ve been doing quite a bit of that in my own time and I won’t be able to keep that up for long.

But the main point on my mind was not so much the time, but the best way of commenting.  On the one hand there’s the weekly assignment and I need to check if a student actually follows and answers the assignment. On the other hand, I feel like a coach that is encouraging the students to really get in there, get confusiastic and just get going on developing their role in the community. And that puts me in a dilemma when I have to respond to a blogpost that is open authentic and contributing, yet not following the rules of the assignment. How to comment, how to grade?

There were two helpful resources on that during the week. Firstly there was the video of Alan on online vs offline identity. That got me thinking on online versus offline dialogue with students. When you’re F2F the dialogue is synchronous and you can immediately check if you are being understood correctly. The asynchrous nature of posting online makes it more important to think about what I write because it has to be clear to the student. And on top of that there’s the thing that what is online, stays online.  If I say something that is simply stupid, or later contradicted by Laura or Nancy, that will make me look really bad. How much risk of bad exposure do I run here?  Combined with the short amount of time that is really putting the pressure on.

I am also a part of the research group Philosophy in Professional Practice. For next Tuesday’s meeting I got a draft for an article by Henrietta Joosten .  In the article she describes 3 models for a teacher  student relationship. This was a real starter for getting further reflection going. She does it very thouroughly but in my quick understanding they are:

The knowledge transferer. The teacher has a lot of knowledge on a subject and transfers that to his students. In a way it means that the teacher replaces or supplements the knowledge transfer via a book or the internet. He attunes the knowledge transfer to the speed and level of the student.

The master and apprentice. This has evolved from the set-up of the guilds in medieval times.  The students doesn’t just theoretically learns but starts acting, setting up creative sessions, designing products and services, building business models, conducting interviews for research etcetera. The teacher already masters these skills and helps the student to develop them by doing it together and providing feedback while gradually building up to higher levels of skills.

Friends in search for truth. Here the relationship is more equal and based on a shared desire to uncover new truth, gain new insight. It is difficult in the sense that the search for truth is more important than the relationship. So you can’t ‘agree to disagree’ you have to go a step further and really debate until you agree on something or decide to break it off.

In her article Henrietta beautifully researches the friends in search for truth roles and how they might  be developed or stimulated in professional higher education.  But for me the three models already provided lots of insight. My planning talk with Maarten is coming up and I was wondering if shouldn’t be carving out a clearer position in the team, claim a field. But I realised that my strengths are in bridging the different fields of innovation & project management, business and technology. I can fulfill the knowledge transfer role and master role in most of these field, but I’ll never be the big master of any of them. And that’s OK because that’s not really my thing and I don’t need that role to be respected. Being able to bridge fields and being very strong analytically helps me to be good in the role of searching for truth. That’s why I love to do project tutoring and especially graduation project tutoring. That’s where I can finally get to the point where students don’t ask for help or confirmation but we can have a real dialogue towards finding the actual best solution. This helped me realise that I don’t have to choose to be the master of a certain field, I can choose to be the master friend of truth finding.

But so much for my own personal development plan. The other thing that it helped me to see was that you need to be friends and have a relationship of trust if you want to be finding the truth together. And after meeting two or three times, I just don’t have that kind of a relationship with most first-year students yet.  It’s difficult for me to gauge what they want and need and how they see these roles of the teacher. Are students ready to go on a new truth finding expedition together. Or will they react with a “Well you are the teacher why aren’t you teaching me” attitude?

In my experience trust is like respect, you give it before you get it back and there is always a risk involved. But hey, all innovation involves risk taking so I am ready to go for it!

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog

Here is a little support for all those that feel they are…



Here is a little support for all those that feel they are getting lost in the confusiasm. And read how the song came into existence: http://www.zefrank.com/chillout/ 

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meggie's Project Communities Blog