I took part in a professional learning session with CORE this morning via Elluminate. Great fun and very interesting (lots of clever heads in the virtual room) – but it highlighted a few thoughts for me that might be worth sharing, if you are to make the most of online meet-ups:
1. Get there early: you can scope the room, check out who’s doing what, and have a play with all the toys before the real business starts. Often the random chat that happens to those who get in early sets up friendships for the session and gives you enough confidence to participate later on.
2. Don’t be afraid to have a play: what’s the worst that can happen if you press something you aren’t sure about? There’s no ejector seat, and it’s all open if it’s meant to be open. Most buttons have a roll-over to explain what’s what anyway.
3. Get stuck in: use the chat box, wave your hand, throw in emoticons/smileys like confetti and get chatting. Lurking can be interesting – but joining in is fun:-)
4. Get ready to monitor several streams: have a coffee first;-) In this morning’s PD session with CORE, I had the chat box going with everyone’s comments, live video streaming from Derek Wenmoth, the hands-up/smiling/waving list of participants – and my web browser for chasing links and references. Phew!
5. Get ready for challenges: it can be a bumpy flight at times, so brace yourself and embrace the glitches as part of the learning. Groups can go quiet, headsets can falter, video can stall – but that’s life at the edge of the wave. It’s a healthy bunch of people who are cool with risk-taking. Be one of them.
Image source: http://www.nem.com.au/