Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Did You Discover @VConnecting (included the text this time)

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I accidentally published this post missing any body text. So I’m just editing it now and trying to recall all I had written. Thanks to Joe, Chuck and Rissa for alerting me.

My almost 7yo asked me the other day, “Did you discover Virtually Connecting?” and I figured she was going through that phase where you don’t know how to ask if someone made sthg vs discovered it. So I said “I started/invented it with Rebecca”. I hope she doesn’t think I invented web conferencing or Google hangouts… I think she generally gets the main value of connection behind vconnecting and as some ppl noticed today, she knows the difference between a live session on YouTube versus a friendly off air chat. She even knows where to look to find out if we are off air and she knows I am often the one controlling when we get off air.

Anyways. It was cool to feel that my kid sensed I had a leadership role in initiating something that’s important to me and my contribution to my community…. But it also got me thinking about the question itself.

Every now and then I wonder if vconnecting is going to fade away. I mean it is inevitable, right? But then almost always, someone who is relatively new to it says or does something that reminds me of its value. Or someone who knows it well reflects on its value anew. And even I sometimes discover something new about it to value.

For instance, I didn’t realize how nostalgic I was about #digped til I started organizing vconnecting for it…and a highlight for me was seeing my friend from AUC (but who’s been IN UK for several years now) sitting beside Sean Michael Morris. Even tho I saw Sean in 2016&2017 and Valentina earlier this year, seeing them both in one room was sooo special because Valentina was my only colleague at work fangirling Hybrid Pedagogy with me when I first discovered them… Before we became friends and I became part of the community.

Another one that really made a difference was my emergeafrica keynote. Both the response from fellow Africans and also the things people tweeted when I asked them what vconnecting was to them.. So many different angles!

And this by @sallyheroes

And this by @GardnerCampbell

And this recent conversation from #CLS2018 that somehow turned into a strategizing how to embed VC more fully into conferences (I only joined near the end. Must listen to it from beginning)

And u know just simply seeing onsite buddies (whom I always thought were generously doing us all a service – and they are) constantly saying how much they enjoyed it and how it added to their learning and conference experience and connections.

We still have a long way to go to make this a sustainable model that can grow without losing hospitality and humanity. But there are enough of us willing to try and it’s gonna be worth it inshallah

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