Monday, July 6, 2015

Getting Started: Make a Connection

As with most online experiences, the first week of an experience like this is a good time to introduce yourself. It’s an great way to make initial connections with others in the community.

Now, to make these initial introductions easier, I thought I would start things off by sharing a bit about myself. The problem is that I already have a bunch of blogs and webpages where you can read the general “About Me” stuff. What I would rather share is something more specific (and personal), a snapshot of my learning journey at a specific point in time.

Drum roll, please… What about sharing a reflection of my day - through a photo of my desk….

To be clear, this is me at the end of a day. You can see my co-worker’s desk in the background, with one single iPad cluttering everything up. To be honest, I actually felt so disorganized when I looked at this picture, I had to clean things up and took another picture.


All that change in just 4 minutes!!!

Now, for a more permanent monument of my work life (at least in my office), here’s a picture of my favorite set of bookshelves.

The bottom shelf holds my folders from my last grad school experience. They feel so antiquated now, but I’m impressed by how super organized I was with my binders. Some of the other books are from courses I’ve taken, but most are from courses I have taught or are things that just interest me. I don’t touch these books all that often anymore. The current textbooks I use for my courses are openly licensed, and available online. But when I do look at this bookshelf it makes me smile - there are a lot of good memories in these objects. Oh, and bonus is that the bookshelf is blocking a door to nowhere. In case you’ve never had a door to nowhere, at our university spaces are often rearranged or repurposed so that they are now used for something completely different than they were 40 years ago, which results in doors to nowhere and blocked windows.

Okay, so now it’s your turn. What does your “desk” say about you today?

For your initial introduction to the community, we want you to take a picture of something that documents a moment, a day, or an epoch in your life…a bookshelfie, a computer screenshelfie, an actual selfiie. Show us your workspace, or the view out your favorite window.

You can do this on an existing blog if you have one, post it on Twitter, or create your response directly in our community discussion forum {INSERT LINK]. If you choose to create your introduction outside the discussion forum, it would be great if you would: 1) as always, remember to use the community hashtag, #NTPoC; 2) post a link to your creation in the community discussion forum [INSERT LINK].

When you’re ready, click here to go to the discussion forum [INSERT LINK].

You can do this on an existing blog if you have one, post it on Twitter, or create your response directly in the course community discussion forum (at If you choose to create your introduction outside the discussion forum, it would be great if you would: - as always, remember to use the community hashtag, #NTPoC - and post a link to your creation in this community discussion forum. 

If you don't yet have a blog and are interested in setting one up, just follow these great instructions that Laura Gibbs has created for students in her online courses: 


  1. Here is my blog post response to this Artifact Challenge --

  2. Love this idea as an alternative to the typical "introduce yourself to the group" post at the start of an online class! I'm definitely going to steal this idea! I wish I could add a photo to this response!

    1. Yes, it's true: the world of comments always seems a little sad without images... but that's a good incentive to go make a blog post of your own ... and then link back here! :-)

  3. Do we have a blog space within this course to do this? If so, please point me in the right direction :-)


  4. Hi Deborah! I've been using my Known and Blogger spaces, and just adding the #NTPoC label to my posts that are related. I don't know if Rob and Stacy have set up an Inoreader feed to harvest things and combine them (it's easy to gather up specifically labeled posts from a blog, for example), but if they haven't done that, I'll set something up like that for Unit 4, since I am hoping to lure people out more into the open exactly because with blogs, Twitter, etc. it's possible to collect, share, keep, etc.
    Do you have a Blogger blog already? Here are the tips I share with my students in getting started; it just takes a couple of minutes!
    Create Your Blog
    Of course, there are all kinds of options like WordPress, Known, etc. ... but I sure am a fan of Blogger myself. :-)