Make Friends

Trust me: you will find many great educators by connecting via Twitter, blogs, or other social spaces. Time invested in building a support network is time well spent. [next]

Additional comments:

If you had asked me ten years ago whether some of my best friends would be people I have never met in person but only online, I would have found the idea surreal, yet that is indeed the case. Since moving to North Carolina eight years ago while continuing to teach for the University of Oklahoma, I've come to conduct my whole professional life online. As a result of spending all that time online, I've met many wonderful colleagues online, especially at Google+ and in the blogosphere. I've also made some friends at Twitter, much to my own surprise (the 140 characters can actually do a lot day by day).

So, if someone is planning to teach a fully online course, I would urge them to make sure first that they have had this kind of experience online, truly getting to know a person without having met them in person, face to face. Once you realize this possibility of mutual recognition online, then you are ready to experience that in your classes too!

At the DML 2015 Conference in LA, I got a chance to meet some people in person whom I have known only online before, and that was a great experience! I was surprised that there were no surprises: we were able to just carry on with our conversations at the conference as we have always done online, and we moved back into online mode again after the conference was over. I'm glad we got to meet in person, but it was also reassuring to see that it was not essential that we meet in person: fun, but not required. What is important is the way we are able to share our work with one another, online or offline: either way works!

Meanwhile, I can highly recommend DML as a really remarkable conference experience; I've written up some notes about that here: DML 2015. Here's a video presentation by one of my online friends, Gardner Campbell, whom I first got to know through Connected Courses:

The image above is another one of the GrammarCatz: I can't believe it! Henri the Cat friended me on Facebook.

If you don't already know Henri le Chat Noir, then check out his video Paw de Deux:

And I am the proud owner of an Henri coffee mug and also a mousepad:

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