The recent How do you use HASTAC discussion combined with a G+ post I wrote on this topic spurred me to write a little case study in how I use HASTAC and how you guys, the HASTAC community, have had small, regular, and important contributions to make to my teaching and thinking.
Basically, HASTAC is a sounding board and sketchpad for ideas. Pretty much all of the posts I've written have felt experemental, tests of ideas. The reponses I get are always energizing, as I hope my comments are to others' posts. Here is a case study in how posting some experemental ideas on HASTAC has blossomed into real-world expereinces, virtual connections, and tangible improvements to my ideas:
Note: the below is a rabbit warren of hypertext. This itself it an interesting indication of how many connections are involved here. It's essentially a case study of how the modern internet influences my daily life.
As I mentioned above, back in the Fall I posted something on HASTAC about how I was going to teach a course using the $35 Raspberry Pi computer. Barry Peddycord (who I'd met at THATcamp RTP in 2012) posted a comment about a Splatspace/TriLUG event in Raleigh in January (event page here).
A theme I've been noticing in my life lately is that the more focused and excited I've gotten about specific things (like the pi and coding education), the easier it's been to 1) be productive and good at them and 2) find other awesome people and resources related to them. HASTAC is a great conduit for this sort of thing.
For the record, here's a screenshot of my VNC'd Pi on my iMac pointed to, of course, the post that started it all. Full circle.
I don't think the complexity of the above connections is at all exceptional. But following these links is somewhat like recounting a circuitous train of thought to someone else: it seem impossibly complex, un-anticipatable, and idiosyncratic. HASTAC is a place where interperonal, cultural synapses happen, I think, and that's how and why I use it.
Read more about my ongoing Raspberry Pi adventures here. Or just wait for my next HASTAC post :)
Any comments on this? Similar/different to how y'all use the site?