On May 31 I posted an article on the Tutor/Mentor blog about a Digital Citizenship conversation that would be taking place throughout June, using the hashtag #digciz.  In the weeks since then my #clmooc friend, Terry Elliott has written a series of articles questioning the hospitality of the #digciz group, and others like it.

srsly This graphic is from an article Terry titled “The Inhospitable nature of the web”.

Sheri Edwards wrote some articles, too, such as this one. with title of “Digciz hospitality”

Kevin Hodgson, also has been contributing ideas, and graphics, such as on this article titled, “Who Knows Where Their Data Goes?”

These are just three of many who are using on-line space to contribute to this conversation.

If you’re interested, visit these blogs and skim through the articles since June 1 and follow the links to other writers and participants.  You can also join the conversation by following the #digciz hashtag on Twitter.

My own entry into this conversation was the result of an on-going effort to connect people and ideas to each other, to influence actions people take to help youth living in high poverty areas of Chicago have the non-school support systems they need to help them move safely through school and into adult roles, jobs and careers.

I’ve been using concept maps to visualize ideas and strategies. The one shown below shows different sections of the Tutor/Mentor library I’ve been building since 1975 when I began leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago, and long before I began putting this information on line in 1998.


Each node on this map points to a section of the tutor/mentor web library with multiple links to other web sites which have information related to that topic. Furthermore, most of the sites I point to have their own resource section, pointing to even more sites and sources of information.   For instance, this link, points to 154 blogs and web sites that focus on learning, education and on-line communities, such as cMOOCs.


This graphic illustrates the strategy I’ve been developing since the 1970s.  The “carrot” represents an idea, or a web site, that I point to”. The “rabbit” is someone using the idea effectively, and the “dogs” are people and organizations who look at how the “rabbit” is using the idea, and with the help of resource providers, find ways to apply the idea in their own work, and even find ways to improve it.

As the intermediary collecting information for the library, and shining the spotlight on “rabbits” doing good work, I need to constantly keep track of what people are doing so every year I can highlight those who seem to do a bit better than others, as a way to influence constant improvement in the entire sector. If people who have greater visibility and influence than I do point to some of these good ideas, then a greater number of people will take a look.  See more here


When I think of digital citizenship I see myself as the pink box in the middle of this network analysis map, and I’m trying to connect people from my web library with each other, and with others who I meet in online events hosted by others.    I also see myself as nodes in conversations that other people are hosting.  Read more about network analysis.

I hosted Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences in Chicago every 6 months from May 1994 through May 2015, with the goal of drawing people from my library together to share ideas and innovate ways to overcome common challenges, and as part of an effort to build greater visibility on a year-round basis, to draw volunteers, donors, students, and others, directly to tutor/mentor programs operating in different parts of the Chicago region.  You can see maps of conference participation on this page.

HereToThere1In 2016 during a #clmooc Twitter chat, we started talking about “Who’s participating, and who’s missing”.

For us to use on-line space, along with off-line interactions, to figure ways to turn problems we face today into solutions that we begin to see some time in the future, we need to be constantly talking about who’s in the conversation, who needs to be in the conversation and what we can to to get those people involved, and keep them involved.

When I say “we” I mean anyone who is drawing people together to discuss an issue important to that group of people. It could be democracy, climate crisis, health disparities, racism, poverty, or any other topic. Knowing who’s in the conversation and who still needs to be involved, is essential to putting together the mix of talent and resources needed to build and sustain a solution.

The articles Terry and others have been writing about digital hospitality are an important consideration in this process.

PS: I created this blog a year ago as I joined an on-line learning event hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. One of the lessons that was being taught was blogging and commenting on each other’s blogs. To support that the course web page aggregates blogs written by participants.

It’s a strategy I encourage #digciz and others to duplicate.