Setup for the Live Presentation:
Elluminate now seems to have become the tool of choice for live web conferences for this MOOC. For one of the first times, there were no significant sound issues. Extensive use of the whiteboard feature of Elluminate was central to this conference.
The content of this web conference is extremely difficult to summarize. One word that seems to fit is interactive. Several pairs of questions were posed along with instructions for participants to draw their personal reaction. Questions such as “How you feel when things change around you?” and “What about when people make you change?” “What makes change, a pleasure; what makes it a pain?” “Who makes change, a pleasure; who makes it a pain?” While participants made their contributions on the whiteboard, by either drawing or typing, lively discussion took place in the chat window.
There was a strong emphasis on the idea of social artist. In this session the definition presented was a person who makes people feel listened to and heard. In the DTLT Today session another definition was presented: A social artist is someone who creates space for people to interact; helping them to be heard.
I knew I was in for something different when Dave Cormier introduced Nancy White as “not strictly an educator.” This was confirmed when one of the first slides contained a circle of chairs and participants were asked to claim one by placing their names next to one. This unconventional interaction continued to the final end game: to summarize the session in three words. The first thing that came to my mind was “What just happened?” It was an experience, but what were the lessons that I could take away? What went beyond social ice-breakers? The central idea seemed to be social artistry. White intentionally provided a space and very actively encouraged interaction sometimes by simply maintaining a period of silence. So she did model social artistry, especially by interacting with the numerous chat discussions. Later in the week, the final live session provided the answer to most of my concerns. White stated she viewed her primary role as encouraging others, a role that afterwards fades to invisibility, although it was vital in helping others to accomplish their goals.