So, the next stage is to experiment with and reflect on different ways of communicating with fellow ocTEL participants. These include Twitter, a blog if you have one, the ocTEL JISCMail list, the ocTEL forums, the ocTEL groups, the chat window in the webinar.
I have actually been doing this since the start of the week. I am reasonably comfortable with the maillist, groups and forums and this is very similar to the online communication channels I have used on previous courses. However, the blog and Twitter are new to me.
Setting up the blog has been quite a simple process so far. I’m even quite enjoying writing in it. The next step is to “go live” and actually publish the blog and link it to the ocTEL site. That is one of my objectives for today.
Twitter is still beyond me. I managed to send and receive my first tweets yesterday, but I don’t really know how. I inadvertently sent a message to my entire address book asking them to follow me on Twitter – felt like a real “twit” when I realized what I’d done. I still haven’t sussed how to tweet to ocTEL or to be in the flow.
This is where I hit a wall with the technology. I’ve had a quick look online for tutorials to help explain how to use Twitter but I haven’t found anything that works for me. I now need someone (physically or virtually) to take me by the hand and show me how it works. This is how I learn best. Once someone has shown me the basics of the technology I can go away and play with it myself until I get the level of proficiency I need. Otherwise, I will just give up and it will be yet another unused account. This is exactly where I am at the moment with Prezi. I opened an account a couple of years ago, floundered around for hours trying to figure it out and then gave up as I wasn’t able to do anything worthwhile with it.
Becoming competent with Twitter and Prezi are two things I’d really like to be able to do before the end of this course.
At the moment I’m pushing hard to get out of my comfort zone (the mails and forums/groups) and to get into the learning zone (blog and Twitter). I think the blog will be OK, but if I don’t master the Twitter thing soon I fear I will give up. Relationship building and forming community are essential for me in the learning process and I can see and feel that starting to happen in the forums and groups. With Twitter I feel out on a limb by myself and it’s uncomfortable and frustrating. I did help a lot yesterday when I received my first tweet from someone I know and was able to tweet back. There was a sudden feeling of connectedness and surge of enthusiasm – but now the tweets have gone silent again ;-(