Phipps Files

Live. Laugh. Love. Learn

Getting to know you November 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sjphipps @ 1:10 PM
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The further we get into this class, the more I feel like I am getting to know everyone. However, I am finding this connection weaker than if we were in a class together physically. I wonder whether we wouldn’t know each other better if we physically sat at the same tables in a class once a week. I realize that part of getting to really know one another is based on how much we all individually share and that perhaps for sharing purposes in education, it isn’t necessary to know one another on such a personal level. However, I do know that we are human, we all have “things” going on in our lives. In our class, we have pregnancies, new babies being born, people with health issues and perhaps even people going through divorce or other heartache that we don’t even know about. For some reason, on a personal and social basis, this bothers me. It is disturbing to me that these great and not-so-great things are happening and we are not “there” for one another. I don’t know the answer to this question either. I have gained a lot from this group of people and I guess it is just troublesome that we aren’t a community; there for one another. It’s weird for me to think that we are all living our lives and we have affected one another, yet we really don’t know each other or what’s happening d the computer. Thoughts?


8 Responses to “Getting to know you”

  1. Chelsi Says:

    After reading your post, I was thinking about my previous Masters classes and how the community in those classes compares to this one. I agree with you that I feel less personally connected to people in our class than if I were taking a face-to-face class with them. Reading some posts from last week that I had missed, I just came across Lindsay’s post about her husband’s surgery and felt bad that I did not even know that that had happened, or I would have passed on my well wishes earlier. Had we been in a face-to-face class, I would have known. However, thinking about my face-to-face classes, apart from a very intensive group therapy class that I took when I was still in the Ed Psych. course route where we got to know each other on a very personal level, I have not remained all that close with my classmates in my other classes. I think that on a professional level, I have connected MUCH more with my classmates in EC&I831 than any other class that I’ve taken. I think that the connections that we have made in this class will last longer, too, because we will be able to continue to follow each other on our blogs and Twitter. Perhaps that will form stronger connections in the long run than the face-to-face classes.

  2. As I read your post this evening, I couldn’t help but recognize that I share some of your feelings and was contemplating this very idea today. I have worked in a virtual/online environment prior to this class and in that context felt more connected to my colleagues than I do right now. My life is a lot busier personally and professionally now than it was back then and I think that is part of it. Also, I feel that as this course is one semester in length, we may not have time to get to know each other as well. Add to this that some of us are newly starting our journey into open and social media and we may not yet have the tools to connect with each other. I like kreuj’s comments above about being a “community of practice.” This comment puts some things into perspective for me, however, I still have lots of thinking to do. I appreciated your post, thanks!

  3. lorenaleibel Says:

    It is interesting to hear your view on the face to face vs. virtual class. I personally embrace the online course as I am a fairly reserved and shy…I am the girl who would sit at that back and listen rather than talk. In an online format I feel more comfortable sharing. I have made amazing and very meaningful professional connections as a result of this class. Perhaps my personality fits better with this format 🙂

  4. Honni L Says:

    I understand what you are saying. There are some people that I feel more of a connection with because I have either taken classes with them in the past or I have worked with them. I find it much easier to “connect” with these individuals because I feel as if I understand what they are saying just a little more because I know the person behind the posts and comments. There are other people that I feel a slight connection to because their blog postings and tweets seem to be related or somewhat related to my area of study.
    I must admit that I like the “in-person” connection that is developed when you see people weekly for class but I can’t help but think that some of the connections that have been formed in this class will last longer because many of these people have become part of my PLN and I know that if I have a question in the future, that many of them will have an answer or at least be able to point me in the correct direction.

  5. sjphipps Says:

    I do agree with both of you and thanks for helping me vocalize what I am thinking. I guess we are a community of practice and I agree that the relationships via blogs and twitter will probably continue. I just struggle with the fact that there may be people in this class having a hard time, struggles or obstacles in their life of which we do not even know and therefore we interact like everything is”normal.” Perhaps, at times, this is the best but at others, we could all use a little help from our “friends.”

  6. kreuj Says:

    As much as I think you are all interesting, engaging people, and I’d enjoy having a cup of coffee with you, I see us as a community of practice, “a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger, n.d.) I don’t think I could handle the expectation of supporting each other through life changes and crises, in addition to family, friends and educational “irons (already) in the fire”. Over time that may very well change, as some of us may decide to look one another up on holidays or business trips. But, I’m okay with a community of practice.

  7. mickpanko Says:

    Interesting take on, “that we aren’t a community,” I do recognize that we are not a traditional community and yet I know that I can depend on #eci831 for a number of answers around teaching and learning. I have learned a great deal from everyone involved in this class but have not built new “friendships” again in a traditional sense.

    I do know that I look forward to seeing people I know in this class moreso now to discuss what is going on in the class and to try and offer support if they need it.

    I am trying not to place a judgement on the getting together part of a class as this is my first online experience academically. I am certain that a traditional class offers more in the way of traditional supports but the connections we establish in this class cross boundaries in that we can continue to support each other on Twitter et al. far after the class ends while in a regular class that is often not the case.

    I do look forward to your responses on my blog though 🙂


    • allandlowrie Says:

      Community sometimes sneaks up on us as one works on projects together. Virtual community has been created because we all have been on a similar journey hearing similar things, albeit through our individual filters and biases. Nevertheless, we still create some form of community as we work on similar activities together. Some in this community will no doubt continue forming more in-depth connections immediately following the conclusion of this class. Some of us may make connections later on as we continue our journey in Social Media. Community is a fickle thing, but can be created around common experiences and we have had that in this course. We shall see what comes in the future. Right?

      All the best,


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