Clouds, Docs, and Posts from #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN


“Clouds, Docs, Posts” by aforgrave, on Flickr

Yesterday, I followed #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN from afar, and wrote about the experience.  Here are some of the key pieces for easy access:

The Interactive TAG clouds & Twitter archive

The shared gDoc Notes

Forms to Gather Follow-Up Blog posts

Addendum: What I Learned TODAY!

I will confess I spent about an hour last night trying to get the #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN Blog Post Google Spreadsheets (above) to display something other than the raw responses from the Forms. I did manage to find posts on the web referencing the HYPERLINK and CONCATENATE functions with the intention of combining the Title and the URL cells from the Form Data into a single cell which would display the Title but link to the URL. I didn’t have any success, as the formula continually reverted to just the Title without the link. I similarly tried to create an active link to each authors’ Twitter profile and achieved the same, non-clickable result.  I also wanted to remove the Timestamp column — automatically inserted by the Form, but not really needed in the display. It would have been a simple five minute task to simple hand-code the information into the post — but I wanted it to dynamically update as new posts appear via the submission forms.


This morning, as I received notification that it was my turn in my Words with Friends game with my #ds106 colleague and friend Alan Levine (@cogdog), I sent him a chat message asking if he had any experience in fiddling with Google forms to display properly.  His reply referenced “Google being picky about wanting double quotes on strings” and “Try doing the formulas on a second sheet. It doesnt like messing with form response.”  I shared the spreadsheet with him, and in short order, he had a clickable @Twittername link. I had to fiddle with the third column formula to get it to display the blog Title rather than the URL, but it was easy to get it to work following the Twitter example.

Note that the now-published columns come from a new sheet “Blog Posts” and so the cell references below are back to the original sheet “Form Responses.”  To leave out the Timestamp column (or any other unwanted column), simply don’t include it on the now-published sheet.

For reference, the following formula displays the Title from cell C2 but links to the URL in cell D2, provided that there is data in that row (determined by an entry in cell B2, which contains the author’s name):

=if(‘Form Responses’!B2=””;””;(HYPERLINK(‘Form Responses’!D2, ‘Form Responses’!C2)))

The formula to concatenate the users’ Twitter handle onto the base Twitter URL and display it as a link is:

=if(‘Form Responses’!B2=””;””;HYPERLINK(CONCAT(“”,’Form Responses’!E2), ‘Form Responses’!E2))

Thanks, Alan! The learning continues! What will YOU learn today?

What CAN I Learn Today? #edCampSWO #edCampLDN 7

While I had originally thought I might take in #edCampSWO (SouthWest Ontario) in Tillbury, ON at the last minute, it turned out not to be the case. Add to the mix a similar interest in also attending a second Ontario #edCamp being held on the same day in the same end of the province, #edCampLDN (London), and the dilemma truly magnified. What to do?

The OSEEMOOC spearheaded by Donna Fry (@fryed) and Mark Carbone (@markwcarbone) has been underway for a little over a month now, and Donna’s current challenge to Ontario educators is to share a “What Did I Learn Today” post with the community.   With this in mind, I decided to undertake to explore a “What CAN I Learn Today?” question, with the focus of following two Ontario #edCamps from afar.


Face to Face Learning Rocks!

“#edCampQuinte 3 — Participants Around the Table” by @aforgrave, on Flickr

I will admit to a strong bias in favour of face-to-face learning with Twitter colleagues at an actual event. Twitter conversations last night with Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep), Brenda Sherry (@brendasherry), and Peter McAsh (@pmcash) reinforced for me that a significant effect of #edCamps and other such gatherings is the opportunity to converse with educator colleagues and friends between the sessions. It’s difficult to replace that in-person presence. Having been involved in the organization of #edCampQuinte (3 camps back in 2011), and having attended #edCampToronto (twice), #edCampWR (twice), #edCampOttawa, (as well as following the original #edCampPhilly remotely via Twitter), I’m firmly convinced that in-person attendance is the ideal way to go.

However, knowing that I would be attempting to follow the conversations and the sessions from a distance, my efforts switched to looking for a variety of ways to capture experience and the discussions occurring within and via the ether of the Internet.

Following from Afar

  1. The first step in my adventure was to create a couple of columns in my TweetDeck Twitter client to follow the #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN hashtags in real-time.
  2. In support of archiving the conversations for later review, I also made use of Martin Hawksey’s (@mhawksey) ever-evolving TAGS google-spreadsheet-scripted-visualization tool.  Not only does the tool create a spreadsheet of archived tweets from a given #tag, but it also allows for the creation of an interactive and continuously updated visualization of the participants and their conversations.

Screen captures of the Twitter clouds from #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN

The static screen capture above doesn’t do the clouds justice. Click below to view the actual dynamic interactive archives – they’re amazing!

Understanding the Scheduling

#edCampSWO Session board via

#edCampSWO Session board via

Because the schedules at most #edCamps are participant-generated in real time from grass roots interests during the events themselves, a pre-posted schedule is usually avoided. Normally, the session board is compiled following a crowd-sourcing exercise involving either sticky-post-it-notes or whiteboards.

  1. A quick check of the #edCampSWO twitter stream led to an already tweeted picture of the initial board from Tilbury.
  2. I didn’t see a similar photograph out of London, so I posted a quick inquiry to the #tag, and within moments received two replies (from Craig Yen (@craigyen) and David Hann (@TeacherHann)) alerting me to the fact that the #edCampLDN board was being maintained in a Google Doc.  Wonderful! Check out the topics (image from start of the afternoon)
#edCampLDN Session Board posted in Google Docs

#edCampLDN Session Board posted in Google Docs

But it got better.

Collaborative Note-Taking

Not only was the #edCampLDN schedule posted online, but each entry included a link to a blank gDoc for collaborative note-taking! Great thinking!   I quickly paged through and pasted in a request to each document to capture the name and twitter handle of the session facilitators for later followup.

But what about #edCampSWO? Surely such a system might provide useful for collaborative note-taking there as well? What was required to support a similar opportunity there?

  1. Transfer the #edCampSWO session board to a gDoc.
  2. Create linked gDocs (with requests for session facilitators and their @twitter coordinates) for #edCampSWO sessions.
  3. Tweet out invitations for the #edCampSWO participants to post their notes in the appropriate documents.

By 12:30 pm I had followed through with steps 1-3 above, and by 1:00 pm had incorporated the recently-added afternoon entries to the schedule and and linked gDocs for the remaining sessions.  Shortly thereafter there were responses from Michelle Korda (@KordaKovar), Emily Fitzpatrick (@ugdsb_missfitz), Michel Grimard (@miche4195), Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall), Mary Alice Hanson (@Ms_Hanson) expressing interest in the shared note-taking endeavour.

#edCampSWO Session Board in Google Docs

#edCampSWO Session Board in Google Docs

The invitations stands for any and all attendees at #edCampSWO to transfer your notes, links, thoughts and ideas into the shared note files.

Attending a Cross-#edCamp Session Keynote via Google Hangout

Doug Peterson (@dougpete) keynotes at #edCampSWO on April 12th

Doug Peterson (@dougpete) keynotes at #edCampSWO on April 12th, animated GIF by @aforgrave

#edCampSWO had a post-lunch keynote by Ontario’s “Grandfather of EdTech” Doug Peterson (@dougpete). As it turned out, the keynote was shared from #edCampSWO to #edCampLDN via Google Hangout, and so the opportunity for shared note taking between both venues was enhanced — as well as providing an opportunity for me to join in and see Doug’s presentation. As it would turn out, the notes in the gDoc are mostly mine.   It was nice to connect briefly with #unplug’d12 friend James Cowper (@cowpernicus) who set up the Hangout, and to bring in #ECOO and #edCampQuinte colleague Peter McAsh (@pmcash).  These are all some folks I would have been catching up with F2F, had I actually been in either Tilbury or London today in First Life. 


After Doug’s keynote, I again re-issued the invite for folks at #edCampSWO to collaborated in the shared notes, and then went back to monitoring the Twitter stream. At around 2:30, a few spammers started to join in the #tags, which prompted a question in the stream as to whether the #edCamp conversations might be trending. Trending conversations attract these silly spambots. 

Screen capture of trending tags (both!) as shown by

Trending tags (both #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN are there) as shown by at around 2:30 pm April 12

Conversations in Other Online Spaces?

Earlier in the day (at 10:48 am my text document indicates) I noted to myself that I tend to monitor things from the Twittersphere for the most part — and I wondered at the time if there were #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN conversations going on via other networksGoogle+ and Facebook specifically. At around 4:00 pm, as the #edCamp goodbye and thank-you tweets were flowing, I looked in on both the other two networks and did searches for both of the Ontario #tags.

A solitary #edCampSWO #edCampLDN post on Facebook

A solitary #edCampSWO #edCampLDN post on Facebook

  • 1 mention (for both #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN) on Google+ (from Mark Carbone, announcing Doug’s dual-edCamp Hangout)
  • 2 co-mentions for both #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN on Facebook
  • 3 unique mentions for #edCampSWO on Facebook
  • 0 unique mentions for #edCampLDN on Facebook

So, No. Real-time conversations tagged with #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN were essentially only happening within the Twitter online space.  Not a real surprise, as Twitter has been extremely effective among those Ontario Educators who have embraced social media over the last half-decade. Google+ was kind of late to the party, and Facebook tends to reflect a more personal, rather than professional focus.

Pinterest? Nope. Nothing there.

So. What DID I Learn Today?

First some general acknowledgements.

  1. Tracking #tags is a great way to gather information from afar (people, links) for subsequent followup.
  2. Most of the conversation during and about the sessions occurred in the Twittersphere, not Facebook or Google+.
  3. Sharing sessions via Google Hangouts work well. (Hangouts can now also be recorded to YouTube for asynchronous sharing.)
  4. Shared, collaborative Google docs present a wonderful, as-yet mostly-untapped potential for collaborative learning.
  5. Gathering/Curating/Sharing a list of subsequent reflective blogposts from #edCamps to continue the conversations is often only a serendipitous effort at best.

Some Suggestions:

  1. Future #edCamps might wish to promote a shared, online schedule and note taking function like #edCampLDN modelled today. Getting folks involved in advance and having some folks working behind the scenes to support and facilitate the note-taking.
  2. Have one audience member sit up front and share each session via a Hangout or livestream as an option for those who can’t attend. It is easy enough to do today with the wonderfully accessible technology existing today.
  3. Select dates for #edCamps in conjunction with other organizers to allow for some potential cross-#edCamp sessions — but also consider scheduling events within the same area on different dates to maximize the opportunities for F2F participants to attend both. (The next two upcoming Ontario #edCamps also scheduled for the same day — May 10th: #edCampSault in Sault Ste. Marie and #edCampIsland on Manitoulin Island.) Note that there were 9 #edCamps held today around the world — a new record for one day, I believe.
  4. Photos! Pictures say a lot, and help others from afar to see the goings on.  I enjoy sharing photos from the #edCamps I attend — and missed not being able to capture some of the action today. Consider arranging for one or two attendees to act as #edCamp photographers and share their images via a Flickr set.
  5. Encourage attendees to blog and share their reflections and learnings. Find a way to curate the posts to help attendees and others learn from the #edCamp after it is over, and to promote ongoing conversations.

Do We All Need a Designated Person-On-The-Ground? Or Can We Be That for Each Other?

I recall with fondness asking tweeps Danika (@DanikaBarker) and Zoe (@zbpipe) and Doug (@dougpete) to act as my personal Advance-ManPerson-On-The-Ground in their respective parts of Ontario to keep an ear to the ground for the as-then-yet-unannounced dates of opening for new Apple Stores. That’s another story, but the idea of having someone working with you in another location is a powerful one.

It would be a difficult task to line up individuals for all the various sessions happening at a distant event (especially when #edCamp attendance and session topics are determined rather more spontaneously than other conferences) — but the idea of a collective, collaborative shared Team-On-The-Ground acting collaboratively for others is a powerful one.

It would be wonderful to see this become yet another characteristic of the evolving, grass-roots #edCamp experience.

So, What Did YOU Learn Today?

I look forward to reading the still-accruing notes and yet-to-come blog posts from both #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN. And looking back through the Twitter stream to search out photos to help visualize the events. I know that there is a lot of learning that will follow on from today — seeking it out and making use of it is both the challenge and the adventure.  🙂

In the interests of helping to aggregate posts that come from today, these Google forms may come in handy. Please consider sharing your thoughts and your learning!

What did you learn today?

Let’s Look Behind the Cloud of the #ontsm Tag 16

“#ontsm Visualized” by aforgrave, on Flickr

There is a wonderful opportunity for Learners and Learning lingering behind this visual representation of participants who used the #ontsm Twitter tag over the past 60 hours or so. Dig into the conversations and tweets, and join into the conversation yourself.  While this cloud capture image was made last night, there’s a whole related, yet untagged story developing on Twitter today and the emerging collection of blogs posts that have arisen since yesterday’s Pearson social media “summit” event. More will follow.

While I hope to find the focus and the time to extend my thoughts again on this blog in the coming days, at this point I’d like to float out some initial points that (I think) folks need to let resonate a bit:

 What’s Going On?

  1. the traditional publishing industry is undergoing a need-to-survive process of redefinition in the age of the Internet, web 2.0+, and mobile devices; education publishers are part of this larger group
  2. social media is a rapidly growing force in our society, of which we are only beginning to understand the effects;
  3. educational institutions, governing agencies, and schools are at varying stages of an initial response to the recent advances in technology that are already exerting a massive influence on informal learning;
  4. connected educators are actively seeking and wanting to help education evolve in response to the same forces;
  5. the institutions of learning will be required to undertake the same need-to-survive process of redefinition that newspapers, the music industry, television, and other “published” media have had to address since the high-speed Internet connected world has arisen — post-secondary institutions are already at it — ask them about MOOCs.

I fear that too few educators and educational institutions are as yet actively engaged in real conversations about where formalized learning is headed in the medium-to-long term. (Envisioning where we’re headed takes research and focus, we don’t yet get support for Google 20% time for innovation in our line of work.)  Our parent partners and our society in general are not yet asking this question loudly enough — but one day, they will.  Our learners, from their own perspective, ask this question on a daily basis.

Economics and Learning

There is a not insignificant tension between the decisions made in an effort to influence / respond to economic pressures on one hand, and the laudable goal of educating ourselves and our children on the other hand;  one need only look at recent decisions within the province of Ontario related to the provincial deficit and contracts to see this at a superficial level. However dig below that and ask questions about how closely what schools do relates to the larger economic picture (standardized training for jobs, the factory model of learning, corporations the provide education content) and one can see that there is a close intertwining of the two. Stepping back and educating for the love of learning and creativity and art is hard to do from a standpoint of a business case. It’s much easier to design teaching for concrete results, than it is to create an educational environment that support learning for creativity.   Please note that I use the words teach, teacher, student, schooling distinctly from educator, learner, etc.)

Get Involved

The Pearson get-together yesterday was only one instance of a gathering of educators in one space where the beginnings of conversations about the future of learning, social media, technology, communities, pedagogies, business took place. Conversations at grass-roots edCamps are continual (to date, there have been eight instances in Ontario, edCampHamilton takes place this coming weekend), conversations at events like the annual ECOO conference (#ecoo13 October 23-25 in Niagara Falls) are in preparation, and the conversation is ongoing during the in-between times at events like the annual August retreat in Algonquin Park. And of course these discussions occur all the time online, and at other events outside the boundaries of our province.  Anyone should feel that it’s okay to share their thoughts on these issues.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to marginalize / ignore / dismiss / avoid that which we do not understand, or that which we fear, or not to focus attention on that great big elephant over there in the corner of the room in the hopes that it is just a figment and will go away if we wait long enough. It can be too easy to say, “that’s not my job,” or “that’s above my pay grade,” , or to feel ignored, or to delegate our collective responsibilities to someone appointed to “deal with it,” or, after countless attempts, to give up in frustration and stop trying to make a difference.  That we develop and exercise our voice as part of a collaborative effort remains one of the most important — and social — potentials that social media provides for us. For this reason, it is important — dare I say, critical — that educators understand and act to see that it clearly understood by our learners (and, by extension, society) as we move forward. Why should we let our learners be subject only to the dominant Voices of the traditional institutions and publishing agents? Should we not seek to empower everyone with an educated Voice?

Perhaps it’s time to see and ensure that our role as educators extends beyond the boundaries of our classroom walls — in the same way that we seek to integrate the external world within them.

Where is Learning going?

I invite you to join in this conversation, here, and with the authors of other posts written in conjunction with this event.

How About a Little Social Media for Your Learning? 1

This weekend, a number of Ontario educators active in the sphere of social media will be gathering in Toronto to converse about the role of social media in learning and in schools, courtesy of Pearson Canada.

Many of the participants are already known to one another through online interactions via social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and have had opportunities become familiar with the works of one another via blogs, online webinars, and other mediated means. But a significant number have also had the oh-so-familiar experience of meeting for the first time face-to-face, and in many cases have been gathering periodically in recent years at events like the OTF Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century conferences, the annual ECOO Conference (#ecoo13 or Minds on Media events, or get-togethers like the Google Apps for Education Ontario Summit, held this past Saturday and Sunday in Kitchener, Ontario.

“#ontsm OnYourMarkGetSetGo ItsNotARace” by aforgrave, on Flickr                                        (visualization of the #ontsm tag before the start of the event)


If you are interested in following the conversations via Twitter, you may wish to access one of the following:

Courtesy of the Martin Hawksey (@mhawksey) TAGS5 google script code, the tweets are being captured now and will be available as an archive after the event. There’s always lots of goodness in the raw feed. But I’m also hoping to tap into an online webinar that Martin is offering tomorrow, where he will be sharing some of his experience in unpacking the interactions stored within such collections of data — perhaps I’ll be able to share some insights coming out of this collection — in addition to insights that will no doubt come from the experience itself.

You know, the stuff that goes on in the interaction space between the tweets … 


Broten: Oxymorons, Verbs, and Grammar 3

“@Dalton_McGuinty must feel ashamed right now. #rally4edu” by aforgrave, on Flickr

January 3rd, 2013 was a sad day for Ontario Educators, for Education, and for the democratic rights of Ontarians.

Kudos to Dave Lanovaz (@DaveLanovaz on Twitter) for posting his open letter to the Premier of Ontario on his blog Thursday morning. Check out the conversations in the 65 comments posted there in the last 36 hours.

If you’re not from Ontario or haven’t been following the education drama here over the last few months, you can read details of Thursday’s news in Doug Peterson’s post, The Hardest Job, as shared on his blog Friday morning.

All in all, neither a Merry Christmas nor Happy New Year for those of us dealing with an unwillingness to budge on the part of the Minister of Education, her negotiating team, and the Liberal Government. 

However, on the upside, there was an opportunity for some language learning lessons for the Minister of Education, Laurel Broten (@LaurelBroten on Twitter), as reflected in a number of conversations Thursday morning on Twitter.  (Note that even though the Minister of Education’s Twitter account immediately followed a lot of Ontario edTech leaders when it was first created (who gave her that sage advice?), she has never once replied to any of my DMs or mentions. (Like the time on August 28th when I personally invited her and @Dalton McGuinty to come out of Queen’s Park and meet with us on the lawn during the #rally4edu.) Nothing. Not interested in listening or talking, I guess. 😥

So. On with the language learning opportunities for Minister Broten and the government:


In reflecting on the words Ontario’s Education minister yesterday morning, it seemed as if the actions of her government were at odds with the language in use.

Broten announced Thursday that the minority Liberal government will impose the contracts [collective agreements] on approximately 130,000 elementary and high school teachers under the controversial Bill 115 before students are set to return to the classroom on Monday. from

In seeking to provide a bit of commentary and perhaps some tension-breaking levity (thanks, Alana!), I posted the following update on Twitter.

Broten Oxymoron1

I was increasingly amazed throughout the day as my phone continued to beep and chirp every time someone retweeted or favourited the tweet. Imagine my surprise Friday evening when a Twitter summary email (“the following users have tweets for you”) listed that @msjweir, @mkgoindi, @tk1ng, and 37 others had RT’d the update. Seeing that, I clicked on the View Details button and grabbed this — four hours since the summary email had added another 20 odd additional retweets. Go figure. Another one popped up as I was writing this!

“Regarding that Level 5 Exemplar…” by aforgrave, on Flickr

I do my best folks. Every once in a while something like this resonates with people. I think we all see and understand the deep unintended irony inherent the Minister’s words and actions.

But that wasn’t all.


Broten also announced that the Ontario government will now move to repeal the bill – known as the Putting Students First Act – as it “has achieved what it was put in place to do.” from

Continuing in the soul-saving spirit of humour, @acampbell99 shared a definition yesterday morning of a new verb, “broten,”


This morning I received my latest copy of The New Ontario Education Dictionary of Words (it is updated daily), and, just to check, I turned to the appropriate page. And there it was.  (Coincidentally, this is quite an interesting collection of consecutive, yet somehow relevant words!!)

Pg 216


One final note. I thought I was having a conversation yesterday with the Liberal Press Office on Twitter.


In receiving the mention from the Media Office account (@LibPressSec) in response, I checked out their Twitter updates and found that there were perhaps 6-10 updates that were being posted, over and over again, directed at various folks who where clearly commenting on the day’s events. Rather than engaging in conversation with the folks posting on Twitter, the account was simply re-using the same statements, ad nauseam. The one that I received had a problem with the participle. (It wasn’t the only one with that error, but I saw it reposted over and over unchanged.) I don’t know if they ever #brotened it or not, as per my suggestion. They were probably not listening either.

However, now that these little language lessons have been carefully documented, I’m most certain that their learning will commence.

With over 130,000 educators in the province on the job, the government will be sure to get the message.

Finding a Voice … On the Radio 7

About fourteen months ago, while following an online Elluminate conversation about MOOCs between Alec Couros, Dave Cormier, George Siemens, and Stephen Downes, someone made the comment, “Jim Groom should run his ds106 Digital Storytelling course as a MOOC.” I chased down Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington) on the Twitter and the Internet, and learned that the next session of his course was scheduled to start up in January, 2011. With the best of intentions and a new year’s resolution, I formalized my de•tri•tus blog as a repository for elements of the creative that might emerge from any participation. Little did I know ….

While it quickly became clear that my time was limited for daily participation in the ds106 course (at the time I was already deeply involved in The Daily Shoot, which could easily engage me for an hour a day, or more!), I followed the course tag #ds106 on Twitter, and very quickly noted the appearance of something called #ds106radio, the brainchild of Grant Potter from UBC. To say that it quickly became all that Jim Groom seemed to be tweeting about might be an understatement (not an overstatement), but ds106radio quickly took on a life of its own.

Fast forward to August 2011 and the Unplug’d: Canadian Education Summit. Two longstanding ds106radio participants, Giulia Forsythe and Bryan Jackson, were at the summit, and before we knew it, a broadcast to ds106radio was going out to the world via the Papaya Broadcaster app on an iPhone — (this was after the unplug’d part, as we were busing our way back south from Algonquin Park on the 400 highway). Zoe Brannigan-Pipe, Kim Gill, Heather Durnin, Stephen Hurley, and I were all amazed at the ease with which this could be done.

Shortly thereafter, I started to get into the ds106radio streaming gig (@zpbipe’s husband Brad and I debuted with a couple live guitar tunes at midnight on August 12th), and it was a short week or two later that Stephen Hurley and I had an extended conversation about ds106radio in Hamilton, following a dinner meet-up with the cross-North America travelling Alan Levine. Standing in the car park before heading off in our respective directions home, Stephen and I contemplated the unique venue that radio “broadcasting” creates — similar to, but different from podcasting, given that there are no re-dos and “live” is a significant part of the experience. We talked with excitement about the prospect of bringing the ds106radio experience to the public school level.

"#ecoo Guitar Jam" on Flickr, by aforgave

Okay, so “live” is a big part of radio. But there must be more than that. How about community? How about voice?

Just as the blogging medium seeks to engage readers with conversations, listening to familiar voices on a radio stream evokes imagination and stories and listener participation. When listeners can “speak back” in real time via Twitter (as is oft the case with #ds106radio), the folks on the radio easily tie the disparate listeners together in living conversations. Add in the ability to broadcast call-in Skype conversations (say from Tokyo, @scottlo), or host Name that Tune competitions (@shareski and @GiuliaForsythe), or live guitar — or other sounds (@BryanJack and @noiseprofessor), or spontaneous day-to-day life (@DrGarcia), or cross-country treks and conversations (@CogDog), or living-your-dream radio shows (@StephenHurley) — and you truly have a living community. As members migrate around the globe and explore new experiences (@onepercentyellow, currently in Peru, or ds106radio founder @grantpotter, recently in Halifax for his birthday Kitchen Party broadcast), the community shares with one another. Some of my favourite new music in the past year has brought to my attention via #ds106radio by @easegill from the South Pacific. The voices of the folks involved, as is oft the case with traditional radio, become capital-letter Voices that are influential in our day-to-day lives.

And so. An evolving, collaborative, sharing community. That’s what we’re looking for in our learning spaces, yes? Another way to give voice to our learners?

As we continued to explore the #ds106radio medium through the fall of 2011, Heather Durnin and I had a number of conversations about the possibility of creating an extension to The Idea Hive, the learning space that she shares with Clarence Fisher. Contemplating timelines, we talked of getting things going in the new year, and following a good number of Sunday afternoon Skype and Twitter conversations over the past few weeks, was recently born. We joked about how it was as if #ds106radio had had a child.

Heather talks about her first experience going on the radio in her post, “105theHive Student Radio: A New Learning Space,” and her story is not unlike my own. Going live on the radio is one of those experiences that, having done it, gives you another level of comfort in sharing and collaborating. Trepidation, perhaps, the first time, but the community is supportive. And that’s what we’re looking to create for our students. A supportive space for them to develop new skills and voices. Whether it be playing an instrument, offering some personal thoughts on some favourite music, sharing views through a live conversation, or posing questions for the listening community, “going live on the radio” is valuable venue within which to explore, create, and find a voice.

So. Heather’s students will be taking the lead this coming week, with their first live broadcast set for 12:00 noon (EST) on Tuesday, February 28th. I’m hoping that my own students won’t be too long in joining them. Broadcasts can be recorded, and will, over time, form the basis of a collection of rotating content. In the interim, should you tune in to (like right now, you know you want to!), you’ll be treated to a continuous stream of music, much of it shared under Creative Commons licensing.

Listening is as simple as loading in your web browser and clicking the “Listen to the Stream” link. If you want to go fancy and use a streaming client app like FStream or Tunein Radio on an iDevice (or Tunein Radio for Android), simply use the URL to listen in.  Or, if you’re here, you can simply click on the play button below to hear the current stream:

So, please, do tune in — come and join us !! We’re excited to see where 105thehive will take us!

Logo for

on Twitter:  105theHive