A group of DC Open Master’s students dined together last week with the intention of practicing methods of sharing our educational progress. The red lentil stew was superb. The presenters of the evening were Axle Brown and Alex Simon.
Axle is following methods prescribed by the Transformative Action Institute and IDEO to explore what matters to him most and to come to understand how he can make a civic impact with his career. He shared a video blog with the group, which he recently made during a personal retreat. This was Axle’s first time working with video as a presentation medium.
Alex Simon has focused his Open Master’s plan on chairs, including the history of seating and how people interact with the seating around them. Alex is planning to record regular podcasts about his research, which can be found at chairsplease.com. Alex is also working with a presentation medium for the first time – podcasts – so he and Axle were able to share that stress with the group.
Axle and Alex’s stories were excellent fodder for group discussion. Presenting our ideas and progress will not necessarily be easy. Like Alex and Axle, we all may have to work with new technologies or in new roles which are unfamiliar to us. Coming together over a meal and conversation, we realized that the power of our group can help each of us overcome these difficulties. Often a fellow Open Master’s student can offer practical assistance, and if not, the group support and camaraderie is enough to motivate anyone. As one participant said, “Often the greatest gift you can give someone is to listen.”
We discussed many ways to share your educational progress with your friends, the Open Master’s community, or the wider public, including: Amazon/Good Reads book reviews, podcasts, videos, blogging, recorded interviews, pinterest boards, and teaching classes. Surely there are many others we can add!
Presenting your growing knowledge with others can be a scary step for students. However, it is important if we want to prove how the Open Master’s program works. To relieve the stress of sharing, Axle had some simple advice: “Just relax your shoulders a bit.”