These Co-Learning Encounters (CLEs) have arisen out of a longer-standing collaboration between Kate Joranson and Alison Langmead that focuses on the exploration and propagation of the critical importance of meta-cognitive expression in academia, as well as the fruitful intersection(s) of library work, art practices, and the digital humanities.
For this project, Alison was the initial instigator of the idea, having had a strong desire to help her workplace community remain connected and better able to negotiate the transition to digital communications in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis. She also wanted to think through for herself her own relationship to digital technologies as modes of education and communication, having so often being considered (inaccurately) as the source of “all things digital” in her role as Principal Contact for the digital humanities initiative on her campus. To know more about digital technologies is not always to love them better.
To this project, Kate brought her broad experience convening communities of people around topics of high emotional and meta-cognitive import. As an artist, librarian, and educator, she cultivates creative modes of discovery through collaborative projects and dialogues. She has an ongoing practice of collecting and centering questions in her work, and wanted to think through what it would mean to continue this practice amidst such uncertain times. As an art librarian, she is committed to providing opportunities for people to deepen and extend learning through sensory engagement with physical books and rare materials, and wanted to consider what sensory engagement could look like in a hybrid or completely online teaching and learning environment.
Both of us contributed equally to the asynchronous content found in these Co-Learning Encounters, and we collaborated directly, on an ongoing basis, on the nature and shape of the requested outcomes and persistent work of these CLEs. During the CLEs themselves, we met almost daily to discuss how we should personalize and transform each synchronous meeting to meet the needs of the communities as they were experiencing their ongoing process of formation, and also to talk about what was working from our point of view and what needed to be changed to meet our own expectations of ourselves and our carework.
Finally, but not least consequentially, these CLEs were shaped by the participating co-learners during Summer 2020.