“Squad”y Party! On Finding Connection with a Motley Bunch of Creative Geniuses from Kirstin Riddick

“Squad”y Party! On Finding Connection with a Motley Bunch of Creative Geniuses from Kirstin Riddick

A reflection by Kirstin Riddick on the power of personal learning networks.

ACCESS – Does regular access to other individuals from other institutions and institutional perspectives challenge your definition of access and what it means? If so, how?

I am not sure if “challenging my perspective and definition of access” is what happens through connection with other institutions.  I think it enhances, enriches, and provides a multi-faceted perspective on determining what access is….   The defintion becomes liquid and pliable as new people provide meaning from diverse perspectives and experiences…

It encourages me to think differently, critically, embrace and tap into a viewpoint, I might not have considered otherwise.

FACULTY SATISFACTION – How has your participation in the PLN benefitted faculty and colleagues at your home institution?

Without hesistation, if  when I  receive something worthwhile from this PLN/Squad – I share it immediately with excitement and enthusiasm.  My team colleagues on my campus are always excited to learn something new.

There is a core group of faculty who are open to exchange and new ideas.  These are the ones who get a taste of the awesomeness I have experienced as a newbie to this group.

LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS – When you reflect on your work, how has meeting and learning from individuals from other institutions and institutional perspectives helped you to clarify or re-define what it means for learning to be effective?

Meeting and learning from others outside of my work bubble does one of two things:  it affirms that I am going in the correct direction OR it tells me I am lightyears behind and am in need of a reboot, recharge, refresh or a resource.  If only my world would slow down enough so that I can partake in deeper reflection and learning from these valued, creative, and intellectually stimulating indviduals.

SCALE – Is the PLN scalable and/or replicable by others at other institutions/organizations? If so, how? What challenges do you encounter?

The PLN  concept is replicable, if you have colleagues who are on a similiar search or trajectory with common end goals.  We need spaces and places where PLNs are embraced as authentic and organic growth and development opportunites – not something bastardized by the oligarchs.

Meeting, exchanging, and learning from peers and mentors from other instututions certainly has a value in this space – especially when its for the most part horizontal and without consequence if its initiation is not plagued with unrealistic expectations.

STUDENT SATISFACTION – Do you feel that your involvement and/or collaboration with the PLN has helped you create better student experiences at at your institution?

Yes.  I do believe participation in the PLN has helped with improved student experiences at my institution.  Experiences learned in spaces like ID2ID, Innovation Lab, solutions design summit, and virtual experiences allowed for opportunities to look at problems, seek solutions, revisit and revamp, revisit and revamp again…  This practice is modeled and applied when I work with students – whether it is one-on-one, in small groups, personal or academic.

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