#SocMedHE18 was held at Nottingham Trent University on the 9th January 2019 and jointly hosted by the Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching and the School of Arts and Humanities.
There have been some amazing reflections and blogs about #SocMedHE18 (that you can find on the event wordpress site) and now I’ve tidied up the last bits of event admin, I find I have some time to reflect on the day myself!
There have been a lot of thanks and lovely things said about me which I feel a little embarrassed about (I was just having fun after all!) but I do really appreciate that people have taken the time to say. So thank you. But obviously I alone didn’t make this event a success and this post is most definitely not about me…
My reflection also isn’t so much on the content of the presentations – I know they were all fantastic from the abstracts, tweets, the feedback, the buzz on the day and from looking at PowerPoints post event (many of which you can see here) but I didn’t get to as many sessions as I would have liked as I was playing a supporting role.
No, what this post IS about is community. Specifically the #SocMedHE community, my experience of it and the Inclusive Revolution that I feel so privileged to be a part of.
#SocmedHE is a community which is welcoming and provides opportunities for people to contribute in a way they feel comfortable with and for people to shine in a safe and supported environment. Deb Baff’s inspired idea of submitting session ideas by tweet with no expectation of a corresponding paper meant more of the community could take their first step into presenting their work, whilst more established practitioners could use the event as a way of furthering their thoughts or formal work. The ‘make your own badge‘ idea was part of this – yes it was a really fun icebreaker but more than that- it allowed people to create their own identity within this community and ‘be’ who they wanted to be, especially when meeting online connections in real life for the first time :).
#SocmedHE is a community which enables and empowers – the support for each other through the very open medium of Twitter was overwhelming. From gathering feedback to inform presentations, to supporting each other (some from afar) and feedback after presentations and as a community there was a strong feeling that you could continue this after the event (source: post event evaluation response)
#SocmedHE is a community about acceptance but also critical discourse something clearly demonstrated with the workshop around the terms lurking or positive silent engagement. It is more than ok to have those discussions and the respect that this community show each other whilst doing that is a lesson to us all. This community is also about honesty – one of the first questions that our keynote Maren Deepwell asked ‘What do you share when things go wrong?’ and that was a theme throughout the day – honest accounts so we could all learn and move our ideas, knowledge and practice further.
#SocmedHE is a community which is empathetic and supportive. If mattering is a key part of belonging, then I am proud to be part of an event that made everyone feel like they mattered.
Yes #SocMedHE18 took work but that work and that event could not have been what it was what the wonderful organising committee, without the TILT and AAH LTSU team and AAH Dean at NTU, without Maren Deepwell being so generous with her time, without Bryan Mathers bringing our values to life and without all the participants (f2f and online) embracing the day and what we were trying to achieve, which was a fun, accessible and community event.
From the Nov 4th, when we announced the event until the day after the event on January 10th, there were over 4000 #SocMedHE18 tweets making over 95 thousand impressions. Wow – just wow. Even more impressive was the interactions between everyone on the day – those who were at the event and those who were engaging remotely.
In a post event evaluation, when we asked participants to use one word to describe #SocMedHE18 the most commonly used word was ‘community’. #SocmedHE is a community that IS just wonderful.
Thank you. Rach 🙂
Principal Lecturer (Learning, Teaching and Staff Development Manager)
Athena SWAN Champion
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