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 used 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.