It has been great to read all the welcome and introductory posts that have been appearing this week. I love this part of any course, when a room, virtual or real, gradually fills up with interesting new people that you hope will become friends.
I have already posted a kind of semi-professional profile here that I had to produce for work but on a more personal level and in a totally random order…..
- I should be starting to think about retirement but somehow things are just too interesting !
- I love being online!
- I love cats – especially intellectual ones! But I am currently catless
- I love living in Nelson – despite earthquakes and volcanoes - the South Island of New Zealand is beautiful
- I am an expat Pom (that’s English!) who emigrated to New Zealand to escape from Thatcher’s vision for Britain and I haven’t regretted it yet!
- My partner is an American (soon to be a Kiwi!) and we met online
- I am lucky that my family is mostly in NZ too – my son who is just finishing the final year of his degree in teaching, my sister who lectures at Massey University and best of all……
- My 7 year old grandson, who relishes the fact that his Gran’s house is full of techie, geeky stuff and that when he comes to visit no one minds too much if he disappears into the office to explore his own online spaces for a while.
I was interested in a comment in the first chapter of the textbook “…meeting online is sometimes the ideal way to get to know a student or colleague.” (p20) I can certainly vouch for that – over the years I have made a number of good online friends some of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life too! In a sense when we meet online not only does “nobody know you’re a dog” but somehow yet to know each other from the inside out rather than the outside in. I mean that none of the usual external considerations are important or obvious and that makes it easier to focus on the essence of the person within.
Even though I teach face to face I still find I get to know my students on a different level by interacting with them online. One question for you all – do you friend your students on facebook? I usually do if they ask as I find it is a great way of keeping in touch with them once they graduate and move on and as I am admin for a closed Fb group for all our IT students it is natural for them to ask – but what do you think? Could I find I regret it? I would love to hear your ideas!