I spent two hours in back-to-back Zoom meetings this morning and feel refreshed and inspired. Yes, you read that correctly. Refreshed and inspired.
Online communities have been forming even before the Internet as we know it existed, with their roots in the early bulletin board systems. This fall, I have joined two groups with two very different purposes that represent my current professional and personal interests. They both met this morning so I moved from a task force discussing AI with colleagues at my university to a meeting of the Handmade Book Club.
The AI group is blended with attendees both face to face and online. I appreciate the online option being offered as I otherwise would not make the hour-long drive to the city to participate. The monthly group is loosely led by one of the faculty development staff, but three people signed up to talk about what they have been doing with and learning about AI. I am on for December and plan to talk about my experiments with my students as well as finding ways that it can support my assessment and evaluation course. For now, I am spending time with MagicSchool. We also have access to a ChatGPT clone with a small balance so I’ve been exploring that as well. Report to come.
The Handmade Book Club is fully virtual as there are attendees from all over the world including two women today from Ireland and the UK. They meet every Friday morning to discuss various topics. The last meeting of the month is where members share the books they made for that month’s challenge. This month was Pamphlet Palooza, and we made books with long “pamphlet” stitches that could then be used for weaving. The books they shared were reflections of their lives and interests with many including handmade paper and fabric. My own is fairly simple although I did include pages from a coloring book as a personal touch.
One question that was often asked was what they planned to do with the book. Some had an answer: one woman had started a common place journal while another planned to use it as a daily art journal to keep track of her work. But most really didn’t have an answer: the joy for them was in the making. I know how they feel as my own pile of handmade books continues to grow. I can’t wait to find out what the November book is going to be!