Networked Educational Experts Share Ability, Awareness and Appreciation
EAPRIL Cloud Coordinators are the driving forces behind the specialised communities within the European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning (EAPRIL). These communities, known as Clouds, are vibrant hubs focused on specific areas of educational research and practice and led by one or more Coordinators. The Cloud Coordinators are responsible for organising activities, facilitating discussions and promoting engagement within the Cloud.
Between conferences, EAPRIL Cloud Coordinators meet in online workshops to define the overall vision, mission and goals of their Cloud. They carefully identify pertinent topics and themes that resonate with the interests and needs of the community, ensuring that the Cloud remains an inspiring and relevant space. The theme of this spring's online event was “Constructing Network”. The invited guest for the workshop was Doctor Femke Nijland from the Open University of the Netherlands. Femke told the Cloud Coordinators about her recent research on networks and then participated in a small group discussion to dialogue with the Cloud Coordinators on their current network construction.
Femke advised the Cloud Coordinators to note that network formation can be actively and purposefully stimulated. The network builder must have the ability, the network literacy, to build social connections. Awareness is also an important quality. The network leader needs to be aware and curious about who is in the network, what kind of competence and knowledge they bring to the network and what they want from the network. Shared appreciation is also an important element in network building. Network members need to feel valued and show appreciation to others. The network members with ability, awareness and appreciation also learn the most in networks. According to the feedback, the Cloud Coordinators found Femke's sparring timely and valuable for their own work as Cloud hubs and leaders of the EAPRIL networks.
The diverse and inclusive networking themes will continue at the EAPRIL conference in Belfast in November! For a start, the Cloud Coordinators will bring their networks together to brainstorm and inspire. There will also be a really exciting selection of themes in the Key Note speeches, which have now been confirmed and published on the EAPRIL website. Professor Joanne Hughes' lecture is entitled "Contact, connection and collaboration: the role of shared education in a society transitioning from conflict". Professor Beatrice Ligorio will present on "A blended collaborative constructive participation model". Doctor Reinhilde Pulinx will on her turn discuss "Conversations on difference, diversity, and discrimination". Read more on the EAPRIL website and join the conference to network!