I’ve got a bit FSLT lost this week. I don’t understand the virtual conference. I keep trying to get my head around it but it’s been a long week (excuse) and it’s nearly the magic Friday hour (best excuse of all!). As an exercise in reflection I’ve been exploring what I don’t know and it isn’t helping – I still don’t know it.
Is the Doodle Poll for presenting or viewing? Why the 8.00 am slot? Is this for early birds? I’m at my desk by 7.30 but will I be presenting to no one or viewing nothing? Why have some people signed up for multiple slots? If we’re uploading to a wiki what is Collaborate for? What are Creole and NWiki formats? What classes as html? A multimedia online exhibit could be mp4 or wmv. Does this mean saving powerpoint or Word as htm?
I’ve got in a mess. Missing something and I don’t know what – other than brain cells. This is the loneliness of long distance learning. You feel you’re the only one in the world who doesn’t understand what’s going on. FSLT14 has been quiet this week. I don’t know if anyone else is struggling. It’s easy to imagine they’re confidently competent while I feel digitally illiterate and dumb.
I tell myself this is a useful experience. Which it is. Muddles like these are the reason people turn away from virtual environments in favour of real ones. It’s a digital turn off. Not only a reminder of what students go through, it’s a timely memo of what students need. I don’t want anyone telling me it’s easy or simple because it isn’t. I don’t want to be told I should know this because I don’t. I’ve learned to be brave in online environments but I’m not feeling brave at the moment.
The problem is – as tutors we know the environment and the form. There’s a divide between our knowledge and the students. At the moment I’m on the wrong side of the divide and not sure how to cross it. The divide is the foundation of digital resistance and the part of the problem is its invisibility.
I did have one last try. Thought there might be examples from previous virtual conferences. Somewhere I’ve seen a link for FSLT13 but can’t find it again. On my travels I’ve just discovered a notifications page but now it’s got lost. When colleagues complain about Blackboard I try to have empathy and right now I have it in buckets because FSLT14 is on Moodle. Similar but different enough to fool me.
This is such a valuable learning curve I feel I should be enjoying it but I’m not. Instead I’m frustrated with myself for not understanding what is straight forward. For now I’ll put it down to tiredness, after all it has been a long week and is now well past the magic Friday hour. Have a good weekend and Cheers!