PressEdConf 2020: About this blog

A meta-post as we look back at the role of The Edvisor blog for a presentation at the 2020 PressEdConf Conference, all conducted on Twitter.

PressED is a Twitter conference that looks at how WordPress is used in teaching, pedagogy and research. This year the sessions brought in WordPress projects as diverse as open textbooks from the University of Hawaii, plugins and archiving to support students’ domain of one’s own, and of course one involving the C-word (a team from Heriot Watt University have been sharing their Covid19 online learning toolkit).

As convenors of The Edvisor, we were glad to be part of this program, and took the chance to look back on how this blog has developed from the TELedvisor community, and what it has offered back to the community so far. It was a challenge to present in the PressEd format: as Wendy said, having to produce “fifteen tweets of 280 characters each really makes you focus on the writing!”

The conference started in the evening, eastern Australia time, and continued while we slept. It was wrapped up by the legendary Alan Levine (@cogdog) who gave us an update on the openly shared learning tools that are SPLOTs, and called for more SPLOT ideas.

See our session as it happened on Wakelet: TELedvisors PressEdConf 2020 Collaborative blogs as a tool for advocacy and (not) research: The Edvisor blog and TELedvisor community of practice

This was the sequence of tweets for our session.

2 WordPress was chosen so that members can subscribe and sign up as an author. It was a familiar platform that is hosted by a community member. @pennyjw @lindsayrattray manage the blog, design, publish posts and resolve technical issues.

3 This centrally shared blog allows people to ‘dip their toes’ into different forms of writing including #SoTL in an informal and welcoming way. It frees people up to write without the burden of keeping their own blog or posting regularly

5 ‘Literature on the use of course blogs suggests that blogging supports learning and promotes the attainment of skills in researching, academic writing, critical reflection and professional identity formation.’

Hanney, R., & Skirkeviciutey, G. (2019). Reflection, identity, community: Affordances of blogging for social interaction and reflective dialogue. Education and Information Technologies.

6 The blog encourages #collaboration – including between less and more experienced authors, and between those in academic and professional positions.

7 is an informal way to encourage research and keep growing the community and to keep discussion alive. It also allows us to highlight the role #TELedvisors play in #SoTL.

8 The open blog encourages experienced writers to work alongside less experienced. Many blog posts have multiple authors and are based on academic collaborations within and across universities.

9 Our posts range from #edtech, disseminating conceptual ideas, early #research or thinking about a topic, communicating and presenting recent research/conferences. Advocacy and raising awareness of #TELedvisors roles is key.

10 Having a chance to publish this way has given a voice to members, visibility in the #SoTL community, and a demonstration of skills in communication and strategic thinking which can be added to portfolios.

11 Example: Tom @relearnings posts on a transition to Canvas demonstrating process thinking and highlighting challenges involved in the work we do: technically, pedagogically and politically.

12 Example: @katevideo ‘I synthesise & reflect on research & themes relevant to #TELedvisors – to practice #SoTL, think through ideas & share with colleagues.’

13 Example: @TELedvisors face-to-face meet-ups result in reflective collaborative blog posts that discuss main themes.

14 Example: #TELedvisors is a term that usually needs to be explained. @gamerlearner used that to tell the larger story of the community and how our work and experience adds to research in this field


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