Thinking Visibly

Academic blogs are not my thing. I have no experience writing them, although I enjoy devouring them- tearing them apart piece by piece so that I can let the ideas marinade and ferment in my mind. My writing is a lot more messy. Like my thinking. It’s that cooking process: where experimenting, testing, working in the moment is not only expected but encouraged. Most academic blogs read like the final meal, polished and presented in a way that makes them ready to consume. The things I write need a bit more work.

And yet, there is something honest about sharing that cooking process. About thinking in a way that is visible. I am fascinated by it.

It’s so tempting to hide that mess away, to want to show only what is your best effort and best work. It takes a certain amount of courage to let someone into the kitchen with you, to let the mess just happen.

…I’m losing my metaphor here. In part, what I’ve striven to do lately is share my mess. To think visibly.

I use twitter to think visibly: layering questions upon questions, but I often don’t quite get around to filling them in with my own thoughts. Sometimes I do, but often I leave a lot unsaid.

In another attempt to think visibly, I’ve picked up thinking-aloud.
A few months ago I started thinking about the idea of live streaming instructional design work. Twitch (a platform primarily used to stream game play, had started advertising Twitch Creative–an off shoot to show case creative works) and I thought it would be great to bring instructional design to that. To think-aloud while I work, out in the open, where anyone and everyone can see.

So I started.
I’ve been working on an Open Adult Basic Education (OpenABE) service project, and am not only live streaming all of my work on this project, but archiving and sharing the recordings on Youtube. My mess, my thinking, is visible. As Jen Maddrell tweeted it’s “Raw. Unfitered. Courageous. Like blogging w/out delete key”.

“Like blogging w/out delete key”
It was that line that resonated with me and brought me back to academic blogging. If I can think aloud, share my mess streamed, why shouldn’t I share my messy way of blogging too?