This weeks several topics threaded through blogs and emails. A lot of people continued to enjoy finding out about various online tools. And we had another couple of people join us, so please welcome Mireille, Karen and Folke.
Lack of body language
One of the themes that has developed this week is the question about how you read what people are thinking in the online environment if you have no body language or visual cues to follow. Jean isn't sure how to do it and acknowledges this is a skill she needs to develop. Karen feels the skills are the same in the online environment as they are in the face-to-face setting, only amplified. Karaitiana emphasised the point that Jillian made in Friday's live session, that we need to listen to the tone of people's voices to tell us how they are feeling. Tracey feels it is important, when possible, to use audio and visual communication tools because it is so easy to mis-read what people are saying in emails.
Be all and end all?
Not everyone is enamoured of online communication and facilitation. Peter was "curmudgeonly" and questioned what he called eLearning hype. He questioned if all this online stuff is just another trend that actually makes no difference to the way we learn. Jane and Therese are feeling overwhelmed by the vast amount of information that is available online.
Online relationships and identity
A number of people talked about online relationships, especially in social networking sites such as Facebook. Willie sees social networking sites as providing us with a circle of consequential strangers. Malcolm has been inspired to reflect on the people he has relationships with and how they translate into the online environment. In terms of online identity, Michael tells a fascinating story about a Muslim woman who donned the identity of a punk in Second Life because she did not have the freedom to do this in 'real' life. Gillian talked about a person who used multiple identities in a discussion forum as a means of causing conflict. She felt that moderation was the way to deal with this issue.
After all the talk about online communication and online identity, Rachel was pleased to meet up with fellow course participant Jillian for the first time, face-to-face. And Kim is not in the least bit worried what's happening in FO2010 because she's on holiday and has come over to live it up in New Zealand for a couple of weeks. Sarah
Image: 'Desert Dandelion'