Seeing and hearing

A little space of sanctuary this week was our Blackboard Collaborate session on Thursday evening. For the first time, a number of us met and saw one another’s faces and heard one another’s voices. We saw one another animated and caught glimpses of the physical spaces within which we operate.

The discussion was wide-ranging, from talking about how we carve out spaces for study to thinking about what technologies we use to save us time and give us space (my slow-cooker is one such piece of kit!).

What was of interest to me when thinking about my own practice is how much more relaxed this mode of communication and collaboration was compared to others we have dawsonused so far on the course. Being able to see the smiles, the nods, the positive signs of engagement, created a sense of connection and an openness which has real value. I felt quite melancholy at the end of the session knowing that this would, in some cases, be the last time I talked with some of my fellow students. It’s a sign of how successful the IDEL course has been that we have established this sense of connection with the other students.


2 Replies to “Seeing and hearing”

  1. Hi Helen,

    I’m glad the collaborate session went well. I wonder what it is about seeing people in collaborate that can make things feel more relaxed? After all environments in which we meet others face to face are sometimes anything but relaxed!



  2. Hi Velda,

    That’s an interesting observation and you’re right of course: meetings in person can be strained experiences. With regard to this particular interaction, Philippa’s style of communication did, I think, impact on the tone of the session. She was relaxed, encouraging and focused yes, on the readings, but also on our personal experiences of busyness.

    The fact that we could see one another in our home environments also helped I think. When we meet colleagues in person, the tenor of the engagement is often impacted by the formal setting. In our collaborate tutorial, we could see fireplaces, hear children in the background, and discern hints of domesticity.

    We communicated in two modes as well: using both video and IM. I think this also helped to deformalise the discussion. Our IM stream was staccato and humorous, our video discussion more sustained and reflective; they complemented one another.



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