The Fun of Coordinating a Cloud of EAPRIL

written by Jörg Holle, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany (soon to be ex-cloud coordinator of Cloud 5 ‘HRD & Workplace Learning’)

When in 2012 former EAPRIL Chair Filip Dochy came up with the idea of the clouds, he felt that EAPRIL was reaching a number of members where it was necessary to install something like the special interest groups (SIG) of our sister association EARLI. The EAPRIL board at that time voted on using the word cloud to underline the open character and the broad range of topics a cloud could cover. Further, the board decided to put at least one board member on each cloud as a (interim) coordinator. When the clouds where presented at that year’s conference, participants were asked to assign themselves to the cloud they felt the closest. Some adopted quickly to the concepts, some were reluctant and wondered what benefits a cloud would bring for them. 

Fast forward 10 years of practitioner research and conferences of EAPRIL and the clouds are an established institution where like-minded practitioners and researchers (and of course practitioner researchers) meet, share and discuss their research and ideas. The clouds act like a facilitator to get to know each other and work on common topics. To see the clouds develop like this has been an amazing experience and every year it is a great pleasure to host the cloud spotlight sessions, because it has both: a core of familiar members where you can pick up where you left and new members who are curious about the topics as well as bring fresh new spirit and ideas. Nevertheless, ten years are a long time and I feel it is time to step down and get some of the fresh new spirit and ideas into the coordinator’s seat. So I am looking forward to passing the staff onto someone willing to shape the future of cloud 5 and help fellow coordinator Arnoud Evers in leading the cloud, presenting the spotlight sessions at the conference, organizing cloud events and forming and maintaining the cloud 5 community. I would also like to suggest to be in the background and give advice or be an external memory. If you are interested in becoming the cloud coordinator for cloud 5, please contact Arnoud (arnoud.evers@ou.nl), me (Joerg.holle@uni-muenster.de) or the EAPRIL office (info@eapril.org). 

And I would kindly ask everyone interested and/or involved in cloud 5 activities to take a short survey that Arnoud and I set up for a fresh start in a (re)new(ed) direction.

With the last words of this blog entry I would like to thank everyone I’ve worked with in the last decade: It has been an honor and a pleasure!