I had a great idea of an online community experience, unfortunately I was not able to go forward with it.
It was to create an online community for ongoing development in our department. I was given a bit of structure, unfortunately, I do not have the big picture - the grand vision of what I was to create so I had to cut bait and retreat to something more comfortable, conformist and controlling.
Lesson learned. I am a new member of the greater community and do not have the wisdom of an old timer, I cannot force community and the technology is not yet second-nature to me.
When Bonnie first mentioned online PE I was baffled. She explained and of course I had an "ah ha" moment. I try to stay vigilent to possibilities, yet this on through me. I now see how through online PE options such as Yoga, people can be active and independent participants. Extending the term Learning Community to online yoga is a bit of a stretch, but given the right atmosphere, community could thrive. I think as society expands and evolves socially, it is critical to have community in new atmospheres where Face-to-Face communities held their place.
I really enjoy Second Life, seriously. It's a great medium to escape reality is so many ways. Hmmm, clean the house or "play" in Second Life. Second Life has been mentioned on tv a few times too. People are catching on. I am just worried that there will be a scandal and the site will be forced to shut down.
I learned how to sit. Thanks to Amy P. who entioed that she started off with Orientation. What a novel idea! I had just "jumped right in." No wonder I have had problems. Not all was well though, I got stuck dancing and had to have help from a Linden person. Public scorn and humiliation. My husband commented while seeing me in my predicament that people will think that I am drunk. ????? huh? Maybe there is a way to become innebriated online. If not ow, just give the site time and someone will be selling drunk units in Second Life just like clothing.
I should have used my work PC again this week! Last week I stayed at work while online for class and had no issues. This week was a different story. I used my new Apple PC. In order to ake precautions, I plugged my laptop into the Ethernet instead of lounging at home using a wireless connection. Well, I got connected, but had other issues.
I blame myself for being a bit zealous on my new Apple. A coupe of main issues were getting "locked up" when tying in IM and getting booted out. Maybe we can talk through a few of these issues next week in class?
As a learning technolgy, I still believe in the Discussion rooms, but feel that more structure is important when implementing "in the classroom."
The Exemplar discussion did not work well for me. I "sat" alone in the Discussion room then when someone did join me, they had looked at a different Exemplar community. Oh well.
Okay, my head is still spinning from Monday's class. It was a rush!
It was semi-chaotic experience being online. I was able to join in on the chat, but Amy had a bit of a difficult time. Amy was able to IM me, I contacted Joel, but I kept giving him incorrect information about how ot help her (e.g. wrong phone numbers, sorry.)
I am really excited about the potential of this medium, yet I can easily see how using this technology "for the masses" could be a disaster. I see a learning opportunity! IF I were to use a WebCT chat environment, I feel that there would need to be an Orientation about it OR I would have to take some muscle relaxers ahead of time and be patient as students dug in. That being said, I would try it. Afterall, we need to start at sometime and the more the technology is used, the more exposure students have to it!
The initial leg in Second Life for the assignment was to set up an Avatar. Welll, I did that and also spend 6 Hours in it. It was quite a trip.
Setting up my second life identity was a chance for me to transform myself - anthropomorphize it - to an Avatar that looks little like me. This felt false yet provides me with an opportunity to be what I want, it's quite liberating. My "look" changed quite a few times during my first venture. As I compared myself to the "others" around me, I feeel that I wanted to portray myself a lot differently. I ultimately wore a pink toile top, pink satin tafetta skirt and thigh high black boots. Most of the other Avatars around me were mutated, and most exclusively wore black and seemed to celebrate the online freedom. I kept to myself and chose to "walk around" only interacting with others a couple of times.
I also conformed to the rules as stated in the setup. Many I encountered did not, or maybe they were stretching the boundaries of social norms, e.g. smoking giant joints, talking inappropriately or just using this online experience instead of other devices to talk. Whatever, I'm still a novice. Maybe the time of day I was online influenced my virtal experience: 6PM-12AM. Gee, I sound like a total geek, hmmm maybe I am.
The biggest challenge for me was moving around. I still want to figure out how to sit. More than one time I found myself "stuck" such as when I was in a moat against the wall of a restricted area. That was frustrating. I did figure out how to transport home, that was a relief.
It will be interesting to see how we use this technology in our classroom.
I have a great opportunity to combine my Learning Community experience with a real life, work-related project! Now that is authentic!
In the College of Pharmacy, Office of Educational Development, we are looking for a virtual venue that aids us in discussing pharmacy education research. We have locations for our office scattered in 5 locations including Duluth. I will work with members of the team to set up the discssion spot and cultivate ideas for bi-monthly topics. Initially the topics include: Goal Setting, Structure of the Center, Strengths, Weaknesses and Journal Articles. This community will help us to bring together ideas and will help us to grow interpersonally.