Reflections on Synchronicity and Week 3 DigPINS Sync Activities

We think of synchronicity as meeting or occurring at the same moment in time but what do we mean by “moment in time”? In its purest sense I think that many consider synchronous or simultaneous to mean something occurring in this one moment. But what about duration? And what about other things that can happen during that duration?   

I don’t want to wax philosophic about the nature of time too much here (Quick!!! Is there a physicist in the house!). I’m thinking about all of this because we have a couple of “synchronous” activities for this week in DigPINS that I am excited about and one of them is over a two day period which may not seem so synchronous to some.  I think it is the best kind of synchronous because there is lots of time in-between to think and connect and we don’t have to make arrangements to all be at the same moment. It is just so much more flexible and inclusive. Don’t get me wrong I love the other kind too – that in the moment real-time connection. They are different but I still think that they can be synchronous – I wonder if synchronous can be on a spectrum? 

This is also the point in DigPINS where things start to open up even more and so I wanted to write a post about these ‘events’ to invite others who may want to join.

Wed & Thurs, July 11th & 12th – Annotation of But You Can’t Do That in a STEM course

Our first synchronous activity for the week starts on Wednesday the 11th and it involves using Hypothesis to annotate this Hybrid Pedagogy article But You Can’t Do That in a STEM Course. Over these two days we will do a deep read of this article through annotation. We are annotating in the public so feel free to jump in with your thoughts and questions.

If you have never used Hypothesis before you will need an account and you can either use the link above or install a browser extension. I made a video last year that shows some basics of using Hypothesis but if you are struggling with what to say and how to use the tool creatively check out Hypothesis Educations’ Annotation Tips for Students. Though written for classroom students I think it does a nice job of giving some tips.

The other day it was super fun to see Remi Kalir, Assistant Professor of Information and Learning Technologies from Colorado University, Denver, pop into the #DigPINS tag on twitter to show us the CROWDLAAERS tool that they have built out of the Marginal Syllabus project. So check this out – just pop in the Hypothesis link to the article that we are annotating and see all the stats for that article.

Friday, July 13th at 1:30pm CDT and 2:30pm EDT – Live stream and recorded video call with Barron Koralesky

This is what most folks think of as a synchronous activity. There is an exact time that everyone meets during and the duration is generally pretty short – an hour or so. I love these kind of events especially when they are rich media like video where you can see everyone’s expressions and such – I do a lot of them through Virtually Connecting.

I’m super excited that this week we will be speaking with Barron Koralesky on a live video call that will be live streamed and recorded. Barron is the Chief Information Officer at Williams College in Massachusetts. Prior to that, Barron was the Director of Client Services and Academic Technology at Macalester College. Cross-institutional learning and collaboration has been key to Barron’s approach to his profession and he’ll join us to talk about forming and nurturing these networks.

I’m thrilled to help organize these events and to be able to take part in them. I do hope that if you are part of one of our DigPINS cohorts that you will be able to jump in but even if you are an educator from another institution who is interested in these topics that you will think about joining us.

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