Building bridges today that society tomorrow will walk across
I remember seeing a tweet from Julie Lindsay about joining the Flatclassroom Conference virtually. How cool I thought - plus it gave SUNY credit and seemed to be a great connection with my COETAIL course. I set everything up, got familiar with the tools, invited a friend to join in beijing and waited in anticipation for it to begin.
My expectations were high and I was super pumped to make it work. It didn't go as I expected but I got something completely different yet equally as valuable from the experience.
Living in Beijing has its internet (and pollution!) challenges and many things are blocked and only accessible from VPNs etc.. It is a juggle to manage many tools open at once with the connectivity we experience. In addition to this we had a big sand storm today which made things even slower. I digress...
Just a few thoughts about my experience... - I was in a group that didn't exist which was kind of interesting as I thought that people were reading my thoughts!
I finally made it into a group later in the afternoon (that did exist!). After they had spent hours of time preparing their pitch it was difficult to include an outsider who was not face to face and unknown to them and difficult for me to contribute to a project that I knew almost nothing about. We sent each other a few messages and that was fine. I tried to follow on the live stream and saw some fabulous project ideas - definitely some world changers out there!
So I hung out in the backchannel for hours and got to know some very nice people. We formed our own little "community" - keeping up with what live stream was working, what people were doing at the conference, asking about how to connect to groups etc... There was a whole world of communication, interaction and virtual collaboration going on in different platforms while groups were meeting in Tokyo.
Was I a bit disappointed that things didn't go as planned for me? Well, a bit to be honest
But do I regret participating? Not for a minute.
It was fun and great to be involved in the small ways that I was. If nothing else I learned a few important things:
1. It's ok to fail - thats when the best learning happens
2. Communication is key!
3. Connections with others are so valuable and meaningful.
There, that's my take away!
Thanks @julielindsay for your hard work in setting us all up and for including us on the ground level as much as you could. Thanks to @jasongraham99 and @murcha for your virtual support!