Connecting

I have been reading so many of your blogs and they are all so good. You all seem to be experienced journalists. You can go on and on weaving a story about what you are learning and how it affects you. I have never journalled. I have trouble just spilling what is in my brain onto a screen or paper for that matter. I envy you. I just finished reading Sarah blog about community and I so agree with her. She talks about having difficulty connecting and creating community. I too have been experiencing the same thing. A disconnect. Just as the article How to Foster and Sustain Engagement in Virtual Communities it seems a lot of people are having trouble fostering a sense of community-belonging.  I love face-to-face. Collaborating one on one in person. I just finished working today with a teacher who is teaching a triple grade – God Bless her. We worked out her year plan and her next year plan as well as created units that will take her to the beginning of Jan. It was such a great experience and she agreed. I can’t imagine this having happen via social media or through a blog or other 2.0 tools (see I don’t even know most of them). I love learning about all this but I still think there is a definite need to continue the face to face. What do you think. A happy medium or are we heading to living in a faceless society?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Connecting

  1. Although I like f2f as well, there are times when contact of any kind is more important than medium, such as last week, when I needed to conduct an interview, for another course, with an educational innovator in Regina and I’m in Saskatoon. Skype worked beautifully for the 45 minutes. No issues. And I was able to download a free one week trial of a recorder for mac, so I have a recording from which I made a transcript.
    Skype is also allowing us to communicate with our friends in Botswana and Kenya and we can see how the kids are growing!
    So imagine the potential as an educator to leverage your time and effort through web 2.0 tools and provide opportunities for teachers and students that never existed before. I tend to have a very global view of health and education and I can’t constrain myself to think only locally.

    Cheers,
    Judy

    • I agree, I like Skype too, although I haven’t used it very much I don’t have people far away except my parents who are over 70 and wouldn’t get it. Email is the most. I see your point. Thanks

  2. I definitely think there is a time and place for both. While I am very excited about all the new Web 2.0 tools that I can use in my class, I still crave and benefit from the face-to-face. Today, I watched a TED talk about Khan academy, which I use quite often in math. There was much talk about the flipped classroom- where the lesson is done as homework online and the work is done in class where the students benefit from the one to one instruction and help of the teacher. This is where the face-to-face is beneficial. I think we just need to rethink how we do things.

    As far as journalling and getting our thoughts out, rest assured, it takes me a long while to plan out, write and revise my blog. I do appreciate the mention here though!

    • Great, at least now I don’t feel so alone. I love the idea of the flipped classroom. We use Discovery Education a lot in our division and this works so perfectly. Teachers can assign an activity, students go on their home computers to complete the task at the same time learn about what they are going to be doing in class the next day. Kids and parents both love this strategy.

  3. I think that you did well sharing your thoughts in your blog, Cathy. I could feel what you were feeling through your post! I do agree that face-to-face contact is still necessary in our society. We still need human contact, and kids need practise using social skills and reading social cues. However, Web 2.0 tools can be so efficient. Last week, I was trying to set up times for a guest artist to come to my classroom. He said that he “doesn’t do email.” How frustrating! It took me five phone calls to reach him to set up a time to meet, when two emails would have been sufficient. Web 2.0 tools are also definitely more economical. Whereas businesses would need to fly people to conferences, spending thousands of dollars, people can now simply tune in to watch a video conference. The fact that we have had such great guest speakers live from Saskatoon to Bangkok shows how much is possible with Web 2.0! I think that there is a place and time for both face-to-face and web-based contact.

    • Chelsi
      I agree that when you run into people who don’t do email it is really frustrating. I agree, it’s all this other stuff that comes at you so fast and changes sor rapidly that you don’t have time to get to know anything well before it changes again. I guess the trick might be to pick a few and do them well.

  4. I work in Mid Sweden University where our three campuses are really spread out. I work in Harnosand, 50 km away is Sundsvall and 300 km away is Ostersund. We have 8 people in our Learning Resources group spread across these three campuses. So distance communication is vital to us and we are all very familiar and at home with Adobe Connect and other tools. Having said that however, it is also vital for us to meet f2f now and again. We manage twice-a-year with the whole group and more often in smaller groups.
    Our group couldn’t exist without the distance stuff and I have worked with international groups who never meet f2f (this one for example!). But if it is at all possible the f2f makes bonding so much easier early in the group’s existence and the ongoing work so much more efficient once the group is up & running.
    The distance element makes new meetings possible, but we all need our fix of f2f, though not necessarily with the same people.
    PS Nice writing Cathy!

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