#LTHEchat 155: Extending Communities Through Networks and Frameworks with @femedtech #femedtech

This week’s #LTHEchat is going to be slightly different. Instead of being led by one or two people, it is going to be much more of an open, collective, networked affair brought to you by the FemEdTech community.  FemEdTech is

“a reflexive, emergent network of people learning, practising and researching in educational technology. We are an informal organisation with no funding: our resources are our passion, kindness, knowledge, enthusiasm and volunteer time.” 

You can find out more here; and by following @femedtech, #femedtech.

Our starting point was around developing and reflecting feminist perspectives primarily within the educational technology domain. Since its inception in 2016, the network has evolved and grown to embrace wider issues of openness, inclusion and diversity.  The main model of engagement is through shared curation of our  twitter account.  This model has enabled  sustainable and diverse engagement to flourish. As a community, we have developed a set of values, as well as creating an Open Space to share different voices and perspectives from across our network. Since http://femedtech.net was launched earlier this year, we have hosted several events, including the OER19 Open Space, WinOpen Webinar, and Values activity, which are now archived on the site. 

Feminism is a practical matter for the FemEdTech network, as we work to address inequality in our practice. For example, Deepwell (2019b) spoke of this in the work of the Association for Learning Technology, characterising its practice as:

“promoting equality on three levels: promoting equality as a challenge for Learning Technology professionals, promoting equality as key value in our organisational culture and promoting equality as a personal commitment.”

In this work, we draw on feminist theories and writings; for example acknowledging the diversity of women’s ways of knowing and the importance of intersectionality in drawing attention to what we might be missing. Charles (2019) explores the role of decolonizing the curriculum in making systemic change in organisations:

“The aim to self-decolonize is not limited to simply reading or support materials for teaching, learning and research, but includes ensuring that this critical ‘liberation lens’ examines all aspects of the pillars that makes the institution what it is: the student, staff, and the organizational cultural constructs and departments by, and in which, it operates.”

At FemEdTech, we extend our learning and reach, not only by following and being followed by diverse Twitter accounts, but also by curating and engaging with networks from which we can learn about the intersectional nature of inequality. From and with these networks, we can learn more about the issues of inclusion, diversity, openness, participation, and ethics that we encounter in our professional and private lives. An example of network curation can be found at Graves Wolf (2019). We would welcome more ideas on how to network with networks.

In this week’s chat we want to explore with the #LTHEchat community questions around inequality and the role that networked communities such as FemEdTech and LTHE play in sharing and using critical frameworks to develop and change practice.  We invite you to share your experiences, thoughts, hopes and ideas of how critically informed networked activity can help support and affect change across the sector.

Before the session we have selected some writings that may help frame interactions during the chat.

(some members of our community at the OER19 conference early this year)


About rachelleeobrien

I'm a tea drinking, Netflix enjoying, Disney lover who works as a Senior Digital Learning Designer at Durham University. Recent MSc Digital Education graduate from the University of Edinburgh.
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