Topic 1: Connecting (continued)
As I launch into this new world of digital literacies, I am beginning to understand that it is like my students who launch in the world of theatre in my theatre classes. There are many parallels.
Their thoughts are,
“What am I doing here? This is so scary. What can I expect? What is the structure of studying in this kind of way? I don’t understand what is expected of me. I don’t know how to do this. I have never done work like this before. I feel so public and exposed. What if I embarrass myself?”
My feelings have been the same in this new learning environment. But, today, as the first senario was published in Google Docs and I see two people have started writing, I get my first understanding of how that tool works and how that part of the course will function. The same happened when I watch the first Webinar. And I assume the same will happen when I finally can connect with my PBL group on Blackboard.
The problem comes when our egos get involved, and like with acting, we freeze up with fear about the new experience. Fear is paralysing. And fear is about ourselves and the ego. However, I need to get out of myself and think about the others out there in cyber-land. I need to leave the fear behind and become an explorer of these new worlds. Setting my feet on new soil is rewarding. I don’t really know how things work here, but I will. I always do.
Topic 1: Connecting
Well, I am not sure if we are to start blogging yet, but I thought I would. The first week for me was busy and confusing. While my schedule didn’t allow me to attend the webinar or Skype (or whatever our platform is called) with my PBL group, I was able to get into all the different tools, try them out, and watch the two videos. I have also been attending some open workshops from our Media Workshop where I could learn more about tools such as Skype, Google+, Google Hangout, Google Docs, Google Drive, Adobe Connect, etc… all with the purpose of learning how to tutor and meeting with individual students or groups online.
These are important tools for me to learn as our Writing Centre is going to over online service to students in another smaller university, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The goal is to be able to work with their WORD documents in real-time and for me to be able to “take over” their computer and make suggestions and changes to their text as we do IRL. I think Adobe Connect might be good for this, but Google hangout and Google docs seems even better. I have also arranged with one of our exchange students who is working on his BA thesis but has to return suddenly to his home country to help him online this way as I tutor him. So the first week felt productive even if I haven’t met my PBL group yet.
I also spent some time at the open workshops at our Media Workshop learning more about our university’s own tools, It’s Learning (which I know much about already but learned some new ways to use it), MahPlay, and Yammer.
So, I would say that it was a week that made me “full” on a lot of media services. It seems in some ways daunting. I think of what David White says in his video “Visitors and Residents”, how it is assumed that we who know the time B.I. (Before Internet) and the time now with WWW. Is it like we are learners of a new language? Is this a language we might become proficient in but never fluid as a native “speaker”? Will I always have an “accent” in the use of internet technology? It seemed so this week as those around me who are 20 thought I must be “that old” if I don’t know how to use Google Hangout, Google Docs, and Google Drive.
BUT… I am eager to learn. I don’t have to be perfect. Here is my motto:
“Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly”.