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During a recent Virtually Connecting conversation at #OER19 with #femedtech Lorna @LornaMcCampbell introduced herself as “just me” and later referred to contributing to the conversation “without a hat” . This image stayed with me and I would like to reflect on it here. I recommend watching the #femedtech recording in full if you would like to know more about the #femedtech community. I have embedded it below.

Many of us struggle with the teasing apart of personal and private identities, trying to separate out these two spheres of our lives. The different facets of our activity involve donning different hats – parent, partner, friend, colleague, boss, sibling, carer, grandparent, employee, employer, volunteer, pensioner, student…the list goes on. Mostly we approach what we do wearing at least one of these hats at a time as we only get one head! Of course, just having one head is not a real limitation, the roles and responsibilities we carry seep into all aspects of our life, we rarely get the chance to be “just me” and Lorna reminded me that #femedtech is one of those opportunities. Coming together and sharing a space – or digital channels – on the basis of shared values, irrespective of private or professional roles, helps us to connect at a more personal level as it removes some of the judgments which are applied in society. Hats sometimes protect us from the sun or other environmental risks for example. They are also worn to make us look good or to reflect a certain style. Without them we may feel vulnerable. Without them we can feel the wind in our hair.

I write this to share my gratitude to #femedtech for emphasising what we have in common and reducing the differences between us. making it safe to dance!

Safety Dance: Men without Hats - I have linked to this version on YT to draw attention to the practice of geoblocking and the poster's intention to share "for your entertainment". As a Creative Commons accredited educator I support the fair and balanced use of copyright and the open web and campaign to #fixcopyright for a more equitable future.