After just 9 weeks together.
Just before the last webinar session on Twitter:
And when the "recording is stopped" signaled the end of the last webinar session for participants in the Powerful Learning Practice Connected Coaching eCourse folks hung around, not wanting to leave the room.
And then on Twitter--
Co-creation of content, trustbuilding and developing relationships became the foundation for a community of learners to dig deep, to collaborate meaningfully across vast geographical distances. Educators from China, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Ontario, Alberta, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida with a common passion came to know and to appreciate the expertise of each other. It's happened before--
In late November, 2011, I delighted in posting about the potential for learning in online spaces when trust and meaningful relationships develop. I quoted then from chapter 4 of our book, The Connected Educator, and it's worth sharing again:
"Connected learners have to work harder to establish trust. In our face to face interactions, we get to know people over time through causal interactions. We see them come in, take off their coats, complain about traffic. We get to know their families through pictures in frames on their desks and through conversations about the baby having a fever and children’s sports events. The steps are all there but shared in covert business as usual ways. We do not have to create intentional acts to share this information. It just happens naturally. In online spaces, we have the same casual interaction if we think through how to make them happen. And these intentional acts have the same trust building effect as those that occur naturally. We upload pictures, type stories about our children, create and share videos of sports events and tweet about traffic jams."Intentional acts of casual sharing in online spaces can lead to incredible trust building, the development of meaningful relationships and learning not even imagined! We do spend a significant amount of time in the eCourse building trust-- modeling for and immersing participants in the process as that is the first major pathmarker for Connected Coaches in our appreciative inquiry model.
One of the major trustbuilding activities is co creating a collaborative Google presentation around the topic of building trust in online spaces. For we believe that co-creation of content influences the development of collegial relationships that are prerequisites to meaningful collaboration around improving practice. This presentation was one of many opportunities to build trust during the 9 weeks we spent together.
For any naysayers, who would push back on the power of relationship building in online spaces and it's potential to deepen learning, just check in with Jim, Patti, Harry, Sarah, Anne, Ann, Tod, Camilla, David, Shelley, or Shelley (yes, 2 Shelleys) from this section or any of the accomplished educators from previous sections. You don't have to take my word for it--
I am grateful and humbled to have come to know and learned with such smart, dedicated educators -- thank you all.