Yes, they were really there!

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Snow day took on a new meaning for me on Thursday. I got my first email about the impending storm about 8 am – it got me thinking and checking the weather channel. I emailed my doc students that I would make a decision about class by noon – we were scheduled to meet from 5:30-8:20, right during the worst part of the impending storm. The morning went on as usual, I went in and taught my first class and then went to lunch with a candidate for one of our 10 positions … yes, we’re hiring 10 new full-time tenure-line faculty for next year.

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I decided to cancel class, so I sent out an email and began trying to figure out WizIQ. At the same time, I tapped into my network to invite some friends to class with us as we discussed the current version of Coming of Age.

  • I saw that Sharon Peters, one of the Women of Web 2.0, was on Skype, so I invited her to join us
  • I knew that Jennifer Wagner, another WOW 2.0 gal, had written an article for Coming of Age 2.0, so I Twittered her and invited her to join us
  • I sent Terry Freedman, the editor of Coming of Age, an email to find out if Version 2 had been issued yet. Terry and I emailed back a forth a few times – during the exchange I asked him to join our informal gathering

I am happy to report that all three joined our session and it was all I hoped it would be and more – especially for a last minute get-together. The questions, comments, and interactions were exciting. It was special to experience the power of the network – three modes of communication: Skype, Twitter, and old fashioned email. Those instant communications enabled my students to talk with international experts in the field of education technology.

It is such a blessing to be part of a network of professionals that are free with their time and thoughts. All three seemed to thoroughly enjoy the exchange. I know that I did – my students and I will be debriefing in a couple of weeks. Thank you Terry, Jen, and Sharon!!

One more thing, Terry, Sharon, and I were back channeling (carrying on a text message conversation) in Skype with a few of the students who were struggling with getting into WizIQ. Some of the questions that took place in that conversation enriched the webcast. Amazing experience #2.

By the way, back channeling will be the focus of an upcoming study that Sharon and I are working on. So watch for that, you may be asked to participate.

So this snow day was another gem in the eyes of teachers – my doc students who are teachers here in Central Illinois, a teacher in California, a teacher in Montréal, and a teacher in Great Britain … oh, yes, and this teacher, a transplanted Californian who is really enjoying snow days.

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