I arrived so early that I was late.  Although I’m not sure quite how late, as it didn’t appear too much had happened before I arrived.  I logged in before 6pm MST, and there were two others listed.  Then promptly at 6, the meeting was not available pending arrival of the organizer.  While I worked away on other readings, I regularly refreshed the screen (my first mistake) and kept getting the same message.  Talk about lost in space.  I tried Twitter and kept checking the course wiki for info but nothing came up to suggest there was a problem.  So I applied the “when in doubt reboot” rule – no, not my whole system but I started from scratch to reload the page.  Up came the meeting and everyone in it.  Oops.  So I learned to not just refresh when trying to get in to Adobe Connect (AC).

Mostly AC is a great tool.  As with most online synchronous meeting spaces, there does seem to be a need to set the rules of engagement – Adobe Connectiquette.  First some training – what happens when you do something on your screen (it affects everybody…).  How do you ask questions?  Is it polite to just interrupt?  I’ll raise some of these in our tech training session tomorrow.  The technology works (for the most part – in fact it’s quite amazingly simple and powerful when you think about it) and as is most often the case we need to address our own behaviours.

I’m concerned about getting to know others in the class, especially those that aren’t participating synchronously online.  It was suggested we will make connections as we observe each other’s writings, and that relationships will grow from there.  I’m certainly open to that possibility and see the reading of each other’s work, then, a responsibility – I haven’t used blogs before in classes but rather discussions which require interaction.  I suppose that is partly what this class is about – to experience first hand these spaces so that we can better understand how to work in them and to support them.  As motivated adults, we will all likely participate, but what of the younger student who hangs back in the real world?  Will this world be any different?  Hmmm.

I shared my excitement today with a colleague and my superintendent about all the new things I had done in the last week.  In a large district we pay significant attention to safety, and so we have been working mostly as closed communities when it comes to blogging and student work.  The community may, and often does, connect beyond our district borders but usually in a secure point-to-point way.  So, this exposure to all things open is somewhat of a freeing experience for me – I am “required” to participate in these risky spaces so that I can learn.  How fascinating that the very requirement of learning makes it “safe” for me to do so.  At least I have found it fascinating…  From dissonance comes change and with change comes learning.  I think I just moved from the passenger seat to behind the wheel.

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