#BIT15Reads: Building a Participatory Learning Community of Professional Readers

Today I submitted this paper as a part of Treasure Mountain Canada 2016.  If you don’t know this is an event that involves the best minds in Canadian School Libraries.  To see all the papers, go to: https://sites.google.com/site/treasuremountaincanada4/home

Be sure to follow the live events on the blog: http://tmcanada.blogspot.ca/

Be sure to follow the hashtag this week:  #tmcanada2016

Foreword

The minute I finished my M.Ed. in teacher-librarianship I went into mourning as I struggled to rebuild my own professional learning without the structure of tuition, professors and deadlines.  I made a promise to not rush into anything and to breathe but still the longing to share with a learning community was ever present.

I attended the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) annual conference in 2014 (#BIT14) and reconnected with my tribe of people who are highly engaged with technology’s role in education, and to my surprise and delight they were offering a session on danah boyd’s book “It’s Complicated” (2014).  The session ran as a discussion panel of teachers who responded to some prepared questions. Everyone in the audience was encouraged to ask their own questions and the ideas exchanged were free-flowing.

After the session and a spirited discussion, #BIT15Reads was born.  The aim of any book club was to build a community of readers but what if those readers, who were all involved in education and technology, could only meet once per year?  Thus began a social experiment to build an online book club of professionals involved in technology’s role in education.   The goal of this book club is to build and sustain a community of readers interested in technology’s role in education.

As with so many other opportunities in my life, #BIT15Reads was not planned but grew organically out of my meagre six years of teacher-librarianship; running book clubs for students; a lifelong love of reading; my social media habits; and informal research in participatory culture.  I have also witnessed firsthand the difficulty of creating online dynamics as I teach grade 12 English each year in an eLearning format.  This participatory culture is key to the learning commons model of Leading Learning (CLA Voices for School Libraries Network, & CLA School Libraries Advisory Committee 2014) and involves a significant shift in philosophy, design and facilitation to achieve.

The risk of starting this new venture with a large group of exceptionally talented educators was not to be taken lightly.  To have the opportunity to practice a professional participatory culture continues to be enticing despite the risks.  I want the experience to be not only valuable but compelling for all participants. Part of the design of participatory culture is to empower the participants. This is done through inclusion and choice, multiple feedback loops and the encouragement of a democratic philosophy of flexible response to this feedback.

Reaching out for support

My first step was to try to develop a comprehensive list of books that would appeal to a wide variety of interests in the field.  I thought I would try to model the CBC Canada Reads project, where we would whittle down a large list into a smaller one as books were reviewed.  I also wanted to make sure that these books were as relevant and well-researched as danah boyd’s example.  I scoured reviews and solicited recommendations from the ECOO community.  Then I began approaching publishers for review copies.  By August 2015, I had contacted 23 publishers successfully soliciting 39 copies of books for our review.  You’d be surprised what people will give you when you are willing to take the time to read and review their work.

 

Book choices screenshotOne of the reasons that publishers were so forthcoming, I’m sure, is because of the promise of our online professional community to openly review these books.

 

Online opportunities and challenges

The old adage “If you build it, they will come” is not necessarily true, as anyone who has ever built an online presence can attest to.  Yet even with my first tweet to announce the existence of #BIT15Reads, I had a positive response:

First tweet (1)In this tweet activity, you can see that 261 people saw this particular tweet.  I tweeted this same message to any person who had been involved in the 2014 ECOO conference the previous year, using the information found on the popular conference site Lanyrd.  By September 12, in just 2 weeks, we had 63 members from Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and beyond in Jordan and New Zealand.

The response was astounding and I became convinced that I was going to miss an important tweet or mention.  I reached again into my digital toolbox and found Flipboard, an aggregator that lets you read by your search term.  So I searched #BIT15Reads and turned the results into a Flipboard magazine with a unique URL: https://flipboard.com/@banana29/%23bit15reads-book-club-d7dcu7v0y

#BIT15Reads Flipboard

I ambitiously believed that participants would read a book per month and then review them in a visible way.  Soliciting these reviews was more difficult than I thought so I moved to micro-blogging as a way to engage participants.  Jenkins et al. (2013) remark that “Working with social networking tools altered the community dynamics–including leading to a shift in who spoke, and about what, and why” (p.37) when speaking about using social media tools to create a participatory culture in a classroom.  The same is true in moving our annual face-to-face conference to an online forum in that different personas developed online.  Being a reluctant leader myself, I wanted to create a completely democratic feeling where each participant has a stake in the books chosen, when discussions happen, etc. Yet I felt the traditional imperative from my drama teaching days telling me to keep the momentum going, create content by myself and to force dynamics.  The results of this imperative though are quite like when you accept a student’s assignment and know that the parents helped too much with its completion.  It feels forced, artificial and too polished.  Embracing the messiness of the participatory process continues to be my challenge.  Nina Simon (2010), too, talks about this moving from a traditional structure to a participatory culture using this diagram:

a-work-of-art-in-a-museum-is-a-work-of-art-in-a-museum-15-728.jpg

When teaching reading to my students, I encourage them to notice the connections they’re making to other texts. In one of these natural moments of emerging participatory culture, book club participants Stepan Pruchnicky and Martha Jez connected to each other through music:

Stepan Radiohead connection (1).jpg

This beautiful example of connection is exactly what I was hoping for and to highlight it I devoted an entire blog post to it.

Twitter is great for finding community through hashtags, and for real-time reactions, but I wanted additional resources to create a place with some longevity and depth. Twitter became the signpost to point book club members to our private spaces for discussion.

I chose Goodreads as it is the best tool I have found so far to connect with other book readers, and it keeps track of your reading while allowing you to see what your friends are reading.  As a club organizer, this platform allows for an unlimited number of group members, including authors, and an organized method to have multiple discussion streams, and links out to other media.  What it doesn’t do well is bring people into the space and overall, I’m not sure that I will make the choice to have a private group in a closed network again.  Perhaps the key is to connect members within another social networking platform that they’re already using like Facebook.

If members engaged with our Goodreads private club then they were notified of our weekly online video conferences using Google Hangouts on Air.  The software allows you to both livestream your Hangout (which I embedded into the WordPress blog) and also to record the Hangout which is then stored on YouTube.  Here is our very first and very informal hangout which had 8 people join in from Ontario and BC: https://youtu.be/a9PHONZzbPo. My analytics in YouTube tell me that 31 people have watched the playback.

I continued to try to adapt to these challenges without overwhelming the participants so I also involved tools like my own WordPress blog which I could easily push to other social media networks.  I experimented with ways to use multiple media types to begin discussion and engage the participants.  Book club participant Jennifer-Casa Todd captured her e-reader and used it to highlight a quote, saying in her tweet “I like this book already!”:

In the end, my WordPress blog seemed to be the best way to reach the participants. It uses metatags for curation that are then searchable and I can totally control the page structure and it’s organization.  I’ve set it up almost like a book so that the current activity is on the front page and the appendices of curated lists are on subsequent pages. It’s also very shareable on social media and these tools are built in everywhere.  You can see in the graph below that over the course of our launch to the conference that the WordPress blog received a significant boost in traffic.

BIT15Reads WordPress traffic.jpg

Participants had the opportunity to participate in 5 Google hangouts in the 10 weeks of the book club.  Based purely on Goodreads activity, I was able to get our booklist down to our top 12 by early October.

Author engagement

Having reached out to each author using social media and gauging their willingness to engage with our book club, I realized that their involvement would have a huge impact on the involvement of book club participants.  The participants and I were thrilled to have authors respond directly to us:

Eric Sheninger tweet.jpg

Clive Veroni Twitter.jpg

Just before the conference I scheduled Google Hangouts on Air with 4 authors and it was such a thrill.  I used Twitter to invite them, and email to arrange the schedule and to send my questions ahead of time.  Using Google Hangouts with participants taught me that it was too overwhelming to keep the discussion flowing at the same time as managing the technology with multiple speakers, so I chose to just have the author speak with me and to embed the livestream again in the WordPress blog.  I spent an average of 45 minutes on air with each author and my YouTube analytics tell me that author Will Richardson’s interview has been viewed the most at 43 times.

Our face-to-face meeting

Nothing brings people together like food so when ECOO organizer Leslie Boerkamp inquired how best to arrange the #BIT15Reads meet-up, I suggested that it should feel like a wine and cheese party….but without corporate sponsorship and with limited timeslots for social events at the conference, I ended up choosing a casual meeting in the main lobby of the convention centre at breakfast time.

We set up a table full of books right next to the coffee station.

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I gave away 23 books in an hour with a promise from each person that they would visibly show their reading process and tweet with our hashtag. I took pictures of each one of them and published immediately to Twitter with the conference hashtag.  People just couldn’t believe that I was giving away free, good books and these were the review copies that I had solicited ahead of time.  Afterwards I created a blog post about the experience.

#BIT15Reads branches out

In 2016, #BIT16Reads will ride again and appear in new formats under new names.  Ontario educator, Jennifer Casa-Todd, Literacy & Lead Learner for 21C initiative at York Catholic District School Board, has started an online book club about education leadership, using George Couros’ book The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity (2015) using the OSSEMOOC platform.  Additionally TVO has joined with the Ontario School Library Council to offer two book clubs inside its online platform called TeachOntario.  These book clubs will be run by teacher-librarian Melissa Jensen and myself.   At this moment we are celebrating an enthusiastic response from our participants’ first week yet we are beginning with the traditional model where a facilitator leads with discussion talking points and stimuli for interaction.

Coming from a museum background, Nina Simon (2010) describes the ultimate design of a participatory model as a way that invites participants to create, remix and redistribute their own content beyond the original intent of the project (p. 3). What keeps me going is to challenge myself to be the change that I want to see i the world of professional learning communities.  In other words, by continuing to model my own reading and connections with other texts in online and face-to-face places; and in creating spaces for participation with multiple media types, a participatory culture will eventually happen.  I’m taking the creation of these new online book clubs as a good sign that it’s starting to happen.

Going forward

Each year both organizations, ECOO and Ontario Library Association (OLA) hold well-attended conferences, yet both groups seem largely unaware of each other, which is a missed opportunity.  I ask myself why each not-for-profit group wants to keep reinventing the same format of professional development over and over again.  It’s not that these conferences aren’t valuable, but to really make a difference in professional development, these conference formats both lack the same things: longevity, continuity and community. We need to build a participatory culture into our professional development in order to see this trickle down into our schools.  If students, like conference attendees, were allowed to attend which sessions they wanted and to engage openly with social media and, how would school change? If conference attendees were encouraged to model their learning process all year long, as students do, wouldn’t we grow more from each other’s processes? Our entire system of professional thought needs a participatory culture overhaul.  There is so much possibility of online professional development that could enhance our rare face-to-face meetings.

During the entirety of #BIT15Reads, I had only one complaint which was couldn’t I please schedule a Google Hangout on BC time?  The truth is that I couldn’t find a way to fit that into my life’s schedule.  Time is always the greatest hurdle to online networks, it seems.  The asynchronous nature just makes it impossible to reach everyone at the same time.  Jenkins (2013) says:

The participation gap is perhaps the most significant barrier and enduring barrier to artistic expression and civic engagement; it is the perception, and often the reality, that even in an increasingly participatory culture not all community members must or even can contribute” (p. 14). 

That’s my biggest takeaway from the experience: even though there are more lurkers than speakers, the data shows that participants were at least actively listening and that makes the experience worth repeating.

 

References

boyd, D. (2014). It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

CLA Voices for School Libraries Network, & CLA School Libraries Advisory Committee. (2014). Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada 2014. Retrieved from http://clatoolbox.ca/casl/slic/llsop.pdf

Jenkins, H., & Kelley, W. (Eds.). (2013). Reading in a participatory culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Simon, N. (2010). The participatory museum. Santa Cruz, CA: Museum 2.0.

#BIT15Reads: The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

The Innovators: How a Group of  Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital RevolutionThe Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants or needs to understand the evolution of the digital revolution. At times the computer science went over my head but for the most part Walter Isaacson‘s style was very accessible. It is jam-packed with information about each collaboration and often sidesteps culture and historical continuity in order to show you how innovations were happening in multiple locations at the same time in history. I really appreciated the timeline at the beginning of the book which I referred to often. What can I say? I learned a lot.

View all my reviews

#BIT15Reads: Where do we go from here?

Welcome to all new members of #BIT15Reads! Hello to all of you who’ve been with us since the beginning.

We gained almost 30 new members since November 4th bringing our total membership to 92 members.  Fantastic.

I’d like to propose a few ideas for moving forward:
a) we keep the name #BIT15Reads until Dec. 31, 2015 and then change it #BIT16Reads
b) we review some of our favourite books (that involve technology and education somehow)…I’m calling this the “classics” bookshelf which I’ve said we’re “currently reading” in the Goodreads bookclub site  (I’ve already started a list based on suggestions and a few of my favourites but I know there are more out there…don’t be shy!)
c) We continue to expand our group’s platforms where we’re comfy…I’ve tried Goodreads, Flipboard, Google Hangouts and Twitter so far. Peter McAsh has offered to take the lead on Blab…a social conferencing tool that Steve Dotto highlighted at the conference. Any others?
d) Start thinking about #BIT16Reads books….these would be books with a copyright date of 2015 that you’d like to read/highlight as important reads about technology’s role in education.  Maybe we start reading these in May 2015 to get ready for #BIT16?

Your action items:

  • enjoy reading
  • nominate classics books
  • keep talking about the books you’re reading either from the BIT15Reads or Classics lists and tweet using the hashtag #BIT15Reads as you’re reading, when you review, when you connect to other texts etc.
  • start or join discussions in Goodreads
  • give me feedback
  • get involved

Want to be a moderator? Got an idea? Let me know. I’m so glad to have you aboard this experiment to create community all year long.

my reading 2015
What reading looks like to me in 2015

 

#BIT15Reads: Face-to-Face

What a ride!  Yes all the rumours were true that teacher job action had affected the attendance at the #BIT15 conference but when I last heard, 1000 people had still registered by Thursday morning.  Not knowing what to expect we leapt forward anyway!

What you might not know is that I’ve been working on developing the book club since the spring and contacted the publishers of all the books on our list to have review copies sent….so I brought 22 books with me to the #BIT15 conference on Thursday morning!  These were all free to give away.  The most asked question of the morning was simply….”Free?”  Yes!  That’s what librarians do!  Peter McAsh and Leslie Boerkamp really made the event possible through reserving the space, helping me set it up, bringing the coffee and breakfast right next to our location, reserving tables and of course, spreading the word.  Leslie even made #BIT15Reads clues inside the social scavenger hunt so all day people were finding me to get answers and hints for points.

Here is a Storify of our tweets over the conference time: https://storify.com/banana29/bit15reads-meets-face-to-face

Here are the glorious photos taken by Tim King during our breakfast and by lunchtime all the books were taken by devoted readers…with 1 catch: they had to make their reading process or responses visible to all of us.  It’s never too late to join #BIT15Reads!  Just login to Goodreads and invite yourself to our group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/170190-bit15reads  One of our many moderators can add you to our growing list (68 members across Canada and in 4 countries…and counting!)

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#BIT15Reads: Interview with author Jose Luis Vilson

Bright and early Sunday morning at 10 am EST (we changed the clocks back an hour in Ontario), author Jose Luis Vilson joins me to talk about his book This is not a test: A new narrative on race, class and education.

Taking a moment to reflect on Jose’s work and how he described it in person this morning here are some of my takeaways:

  • public education as it exists now is a band-aid approach.  We need to get better at predicting inequities and solving them before they happen
  • blogging is an amazing tool for personal and professional reflection….the act of formalizing my thoughts has lead me to experiment in greater ways….it was nice hearing that Jose’s approach to writing began as writing for himself and to connect to his community for support
  • the internet is amplifying inequities rather than solving them. This is a constant source of disappointment and frustration for me.
  • our students may struggle with digital literacies long term but the immediate need is to solve inequities through strong pedagogy first
  • the government, across North America, needs to invest in equity and renew efforts to see students as change agents by giving them voice and agency

If you’re following along, you’ll know that Jose and I just lost our connection.  I had to start a fresh hangout.  Here it is now:

I will make an effort soon to edit that together to make it less disjointed.

#BIT15Reads: Interview with author Clive Veroni

Today at 5:00 pm ET Clive Veroni joins me to discuss his book Spin

Veroni’s book Spin revolves around the idea that modern media marketing has completely changed politics and business practices from autocratic to democratic….much the same way that education is moving.

There are so many things that Clive said that both reaffirm and challenge by beliefs in what I try to do in school each day.  In the book and the interview I tried to get Clive to talk about his own creative process and he shockingly says he doesn’t have a process!  In fact approaching each challenge in his marketing work with a fresh perspective is a strength which he uses all the time.  As I suspected through Clive’s own writing, he has a deep relationship with literature, art and beauty which helps him in non-linear problem solving.  It is refreshing to hear how much his arts education background has helped him with the empathy-building and narrative-constructing that he requires on a daily basis.

Final words, dear reader:  You need to read this book.

#BIT15Reads: Interview with Will Richardson

Author of From Master Teacher to Master Learner joins me today to discuss his books and his journey as a teacher/learner. at 6:30 pm ET.

…and there you go!  A fascinating discussion….I took 4 more sticky-notes worth of notes, did you?  I’ll keep wondering about how we can

  • create opportunities for teachers to bust out of their silos and get time to collaborate together about cross-curricular concepts and skills
  • sustain intrinsic motivation in learners….make sure it lasts all the way through school and beyond
  • make and curate connections to experts who would be there just in time for students who are on a self-determined learning curve

Really exciting.  Please, if you’re finding resources or having reactions to Will’s work or your own thoughts as a learner/teacher, please comment or reach out to us in #BIT15Reads.

#BIT15Reads: Interview with author Rosemary Lehman

Author Rosemary Lehman joins me today to talk about her book Motivating and Retaining Online Students

As you can see in my video, there are a lot of stickies on my copy of her book!  It was a genuine thrill to speak with her today and being able to ask her questions deepened my understanding of her strategies and gave me lots of new ideas to go forward.  Here are some of them:

  • make your technology experiences sensory….what senses can we heighten with the technology experiences we provide our students in online and blended classrooms?
  • allow for as much interaction and varied types of interaction as possible
  • provide a reliable structure to experiment/play within
  • fill your course with discovery…this is key for school-aged children but for all students as well
  • use electronic office hours to build relationships; evaluate the participation in electronic office hours as an extrinsic motivator to connect with all students in a virtual face-to-face way
  • MORE visuals!  All sorts!

Here is a link to the livestream video.

She also shared some slides with us which you can find here:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1QD_umoDK2zMx1MIXiLFXJEt5I7dRHNpfTPiGCvhrqlI/edit?usp=sharing

#BIT15Reads: Spin by Clive Veroni

Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its HeadSpin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head by Clive Veroni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clive Veroni is a masterful writer and this is a timely book. Not until most of the way through this book does he reveal that his degree in English literature has served him well in the world of marketing…and it has also served him well as a writer. This 295 page book is tightly edited to emphasize the organization of Veroni’s argument and and the marvelous flow of his ideas. Although it is largely a retrospective on politics and marketing in order to show cause and effect relationships, Veroni’s introspective analysis rings true about current events as well. My favourite chapters are #4, The Age of the Open Brand, and #7 The Impropable Team. Veroni argues that real-time social media has “turned the old brand autocracy into a new brand democracy” and I think we’ve just seen that happen in the Canadian election with the sweeping majority won by now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In line with this concept, Veroni also argues that the best think tanks happening today are a heterogeneous group of people from different backgrounds and that their varied perspectives create a tension that they have to work through in order to harmonize. In education, we call that creating dissonance. There is a lot to learn from Spin and I hope to see more from Veroni.

View all my reviews

#BIT15Reads: Google Hangout with Heather and Deb

Tonight at 7:30 pm I will go live with Heather Durnin and Deb McCallum about their reading and experience in the BIT15Reads bookclub so far.  Deb is reading Motivating and Retaining Online Students by Rosemary Lehman, and Heather is reading This is Not a a Test by Jose Vilson.  Both authors have agreed to be interviewed in the near future so I’m hoping that Heather, Deb and I can agree on some questions.

If you want to join us live, you will receive an invite about 7:30pm.  Or you can watch the livestream below and tweet using the #BIT15Reads hashtag.

#BIT15Reads: The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr

The Glass Cage: Automation and UsThe Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like most people with an urban mindset, Nicholas Carr’s point of view focuses on being able to purchase goods and services at his fingertips. This is why, once again, his writing alienates people like me…people who live in a rural area and still do things like drive standard, grow food, filter water, use a map, and other non-automated tasks as part of my every day living. Carr believes that advances in the automaticity of machines we use is making us more and more helpless. Carr ramps up the paranoia by harping on pilots on autopilot, the number of screens he touches in a day, and how machines are starting to change our behaviour. Carr has a love/hate relationship with technology and seems to worry incessantly that he is a victim of the designer/manufacturer’s economics and politics. True, my morning muesli doesn’t contain enough dried papaya for my taste, but I am totally capable of adding more! I much prefer to hear about his arguments that technological design rarely suits the user and that as consumers we need to keep voicing our opinions. Save your energy for a worthier book that explores technology in a less-biased way.

View all my reviews

#BIT15Reads: Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)Dataclysm: Who We Are by Christian Rudder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can already think of 12 people in my school who should read this book. That hasn’t happened to me since Danah Boyd‘s It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.  I will pass this on to the math teachers, the social science teachers and the teachers in charge of character education in our building. If you read no other popular non-fiction this year, choose Dataclysm. It’s not just filled with brave and insightful explanations of data, both in a physical sense and in the sense of what’s absent, it is a visual feast of well-formed graphs that are very accessible to the reader.

I will also recommend it to the students in my building who have questions about love, sex, race, identity and data. This is a very important book right here and right now.

View all my reviews

#BIT15Reads: your Top 12 books and conference update

Tonight we announce:

  • your Top 12 books
  • our event at BIT15 and what it will look like

I’m joined by Jim Pedrech and Tim King as we discuss these things and more.

Watch us here:

#BIT15Reads: Passionate disagreement

“….ideas that inspire passionate disagreement can lead to success” (Clive Veroni, Spin, p. 27)

At last I’ve found a common thread between three #BIT15Reads books (two books is easy).  Veroni says that modern marketing has finally understood that being really disagreeable, can also make you memorable and he goes on to say that politicians have known this for years.  Spin is such a great book to be reading at the same time as a national election is happening as it spins the motivation behind every political sentence right now.

The data in Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm agrees. Rudder is the co-founder of OkCupid, a major matchmaking site in the U.S., and his fascinating book explains what our data can tell us when we’re not looking.  It also says that the most extreme answers often get the most attention either because they passionately disagree or maybe because they disagree passionately.  I can certainly attest that the fact that a certain significant male in my life first drew my attention by NOT reading the required books in our common Canadian Children’s Literature class and then argued vehemently for issues that he had no basis for.  (See? Still stirs me up.) According to Rudder, there are two polarizing questions to ask a potential mate:

  • Do you like scary movies?
  • Have you ever travelled alone to another country?

See what I mean?  The answers to these questions move me immediately to that deal breaker clause…..or do they?  Because what I most admire in other people is also what I am also looking to improve in myself.

So that’s the reason that I’m also currently reading (in audiobook) Nicholas Carr’s book The Glass Cage….because Carr makes me crazy.  His hyperbolic style of using ancient history to prove a very modern point makes me feel nauseated and foolish.  I say to myself: how could I not see this doomsday he speaks of coming?  Our reliance on the machine has been centuries in the making.  So despite my attraction for all things shiny and new, the archivist in me says: Yes, let’s slow down the automation and mindfully work to become more self-reliant.  I hate Carr and his smug smile because his skepticism is irritatingly well-grounded and his arguments push back all of my knee-jerk impulses to forge blindly ahead.

On that note: please if you’re reading any one of the fabulous #BIT15Reads choices, it is time for us to whittle down our list by rating your reading.  Please do so here in the long form version of “how many stars?” here:
http://goo.gl/forms/r3Y84tpveK

#BIT15Reads Google hangout: Making Connections

This Sunday September 20th at 7:30 ET please join our Google hangout as we talk about the connections you’re making in your reading.

To join the Google Hangout on Air you need the invitation link here:  https://plus.google.com/events/c04tvql6btg4nhj40peum6b0iak

and you need to be in your Google + account.  If you have more than one Google + account, then you might need to see which one you’re invited to!  There has been some confusion in the past, but don’t give up. DM me on Twitter if you want me to invite you personally through Google+ or search for me there.  There are a number of tutorials on YouTube about joining a Google Hangout on Air but the main points to make it easier for you are:

a) it’s easier if you have a Google + account

b) it’s easier if you and I are already connected on Google +

Below is the livestream of the event for you to watch.  If you’re watching and can’t join us in the hangout, try tweeting others who are doing the same using the hashtag: #BIT15Reads