Cultivating community and orientating ourselves


NB: If you haven't already, please visit the auditorium and read the Ingathering post.

First thing: Please read below, and begin your day with a journalling practice.

Later today: From there, we invite you to read and explore, respond to the prompts that arose in your journalling, and engage with the tasks below. We encourage you to play with the Graffiti Wall as we go.

Conversation: We will be meeting via Zoom at 5pm UTC. You can find more information, and the link, here.

This evening: Please look out for an end of day post, which will be released later today.

Intentions for today

By the end of today, we hope you will have had the opportunity to orientate yourself within the DPL online technology we'll be using, to familiarise yourself with your schedule (for both the course and the event) and -- most importantly of all -- to begin to get to know each other and to begin to cultivate our learning community together.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes / Unsplash

Good morning!

Before you begin your exploration of all things DPL, we would like to invite you to brew yourself a cup of tea or coffee (or beverage of your choice), gather a notebook and your favourite pen, and find a place to sit in which you feel at ease and comfortable and respond to the following questions.

  1. What do I need from this next week?
  2. What do I need right now?

This course has roots in critical contemplative pedagogy, and a key part of that is to engage in acts of focused attention and noticing. These questions are offered in the spirit of encouraging to notice any stories you might be telling yourself about what your experience over the next week should be like or what you should achieve, and to ground yourself in where you are now, with no imagined external judges leering down on you. Instead, you are invited to consider what you need in this strange and changeable time. It may be that what you had expected to need is different, sitting here now, to what you notice you require. We invite you to respond to where you are now, not where you imagined you might be, or believed you should be.

3. What permission do you need to respond to those needs?

4. What are your intentions for today?

Getting to know each other

Share something about where in the world you are here on Padlet. This is an opportunity to play with Padlet. You can share images, sounds, and respond to each others posts. Tell us your story!

Share something about yourself on Discourse. What brought you here? What are your hopes and intentions for this course? Please share them here, and respond to the posts of at least three other people. Elena and Naomi have shared a little of their intentions later on this page.

Tell us the stories behind the items and sensations you've gathered in the run up to us meeting here together. What learning environment have you created for yourself? Show us your items here on Padlet.

Find the Graffiti Wall and begin to throw up some of the questions that are arising for you, or that you've brought with you, there. You can respond to each other too.

An invitation and a challenge: a student asks us to reimagine.

Lily Rose Fitzmaurice has just graduated from the University of Warwick. She was a student in our department, the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) and took two of Naomi's courses, and a Co-creation Officer, working with Naomi and a team of students to pioneer co-creation across the University and beyond. We invited her to prepare a video for this course, giving consideration to what she, as a student and an expert in co-creation, would like to say to a group of educators and learners gathered together in community to consider education. Having watched it, it seems like a fitting place to begin. We will be revisiting it in the coming days.

By Lily Rose Fitzmaurice

What questions does this video raise for you? What ideas or possibilities does it present?  You can discuss your responses here.

Introducing ourselves: Naomi and Elena

Naomi and Elena's hopes for our course. 

Our intentions for the course

To cultivate a learning community and create a hospitable, human, playful space for exploring possibility in education, taking up the hard questions of our time, reimagining education and considering our roles as educators and learners.

To contribute to creating a space of collaboration, care and critical engagement.


At DPL 2020, we will be starting our days in many different time zones across the world. For that reason, Elena and Naomi have decided to separate each day into a beginning, in which we start out at a shared starting point together, thought at different times, and an end at which we have a shared task or reflection. The middle will be for exploring and wondering, with some suggestions and offerings of readings and tasks to take you away from the beaten track (screen). We invite you to have as your compass during this time of wandering the question 'What do I need'. In addition, we invite you to gather together for conversation each day so we can get to know each other better, support each other, in our learning and (more importantly, perhaps) our unlearning, and cultivate our learning community.

Photo by Paul Gilmore / Unsplash

Each day

Each day will look something like the below, with adaptations and changes according to the topics of the day and our needs as a community.

First thing:
Visit the auditorium
Morning pages (individual asynchronous)
Shared readings and activities (community asynchronous)
The messy middle: for exploring, getting lost, finding questions, discovering, trying things out, responding to needs and interests (dynamic and emergent asynchronous)
Coffee break / Fireside chat: bring a poem, a question, a half-formed thought, a story or a song to share (synchronous)
An evening activity (community asynchronous)

In addition your schedule will, of course, include DPL 2020 workshops and keynotes.

Please look out for the afternoon post later today.

We hope you enjoy exploring, finding your way around, and beginning to cultivate this space and this community together.


Naomi and Elena

Public Footpath sign
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

~ Read next post in Day 1: Orientate and Cultivate ~

Day One: Evening

Posted by Naomi de la Tour

1 min read