explorations of a wanna-be difference-maker in nursing education and life in general

Can anybody hear me?

I consider myself to be fairly articulate, and I journal  with pen and paper sometimes daily, at least weekly. But I am really struggling with this idea of logging my learning journey publicly.  As I read other eci831 students’ blogs, I’m impressed with the flow of ideas and the references to authors and presentations and ideas.  I don’t know why I’m stuck.  I love teaching my nursing students and I still love learning.  We teach our students  to critically reflect through journalling.  I get the concept.   I’m also excited about technology.  We couldn’t have imagined the  facility of information access it allows the practitioner at point of care, or the power of teaching with lifelike interactive images.   Still, I feel awkward and stuck.  I’m currently in another online class, an asynchronous leadership course.  We are required to discuss various themes weekly.  The ideas are flowing quite freely there.  But here, with all this potential of connectedness, I feel like I’m lost in the wilderness… Can anybody hear me?  Will I be found?


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23 thoughts on “Can anybody hear me?

  1. Yes, we hear you! Yes, it is weird to write in a vacuum knowing that there are 100s or 1000s of other participants who “could” be reading this. Having participated in several MOOCs over the years and at vastly different levels of time commitment and participation, this is “normal.” For each course, I find a level that works for me and my learning objectives. I tend to read a lot more than I write, but that’s ok. I write as a record for me and I am pleasantly surprised when someone comments. So long as I am learning something new everyday, I think it is worthwhile. Enjoy!

  2. Judy,

    The answer, (to your last two questions), is: yes!

    I liked your description of feeling, “lost in the wilderness”, I think that is very normal. As you continue to expand your network through the different tools Alec introduces you to, more people will find you and hear what you have to say. The asynchronous class might be a bit easier because your discussions are limited to just your classmates, right? In some ways you have a captive audience. Ah, but with a blog like this, you have no idea if anyone is going to read it, or interact with you. A bit daunting, isn’t it?

    Now, full disclaimer, I don’t have a blog myself, so I don’t exactly speak from personal experience; however, I do participate in the blog my library maintains. (http://www.clark.edu/Library/blog/) There are times I have felt, “does anyone read this?”, especially when the only comments are left by spammers. I would recommend keep at it, be persistent and don’t get too discouraged if you still feel a bit lost from time to time.



  3. Thank you for “normalizing” my experience. That is truly helpful. I will persist, at least for the duration of this course, which will fulfill my elective requirement!

  4. Appreciate your feedback, for sure. I think I need to clarify MY personal learning objectives in this course. I want to explore the possibilities of social media for promoting health and solving clinical problems in the context of nursing and nursing education. There, I feel better already.

  5. I hear you, sister! I felt much the same as you in the first class I took looking at Web 2.0 tools and the use of Blogs – the readings, the clips will come as you become more immersed in the course content – many of us have come across these resources in other classes or as part of our professional practice. Hang in there!

  6. Where are you posting your discussion for the other class? Is it in a closed forum, or is it in a blog (like this)? Is it because you are unsure of audience? Or because anyone could read this? Or, are you just lacking something to say?

    If you are looking for prompts, some of these would be relate to the class: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UkKI2VZnGVfBiiZ70NJryJM9CRFcwpDaLeWFrNWI4BM/edit?hl=en#

    I hope you find your voice – I know it’s a new experience, but once you find your way here, it will be well worth the journey.

  7. I think it’s easy especially when you start writing to feel that way. But one of the real powerful things about blogs is how they help you connect, over time, to others who might be sharing the same experience or who might learn from you or vice versa. I think when we educate, in a way, we are “passing it on” by sharing what we do. But to be honest, sometimes I am writing for myself as much as for others–it helps me clarify my thinking. And sometimes the side benefit is that maybe it helps someone else.

    Keep at it. Give it a chance to grow on you 😉

  8. One of the nice aspects of a blog is that it lets others hear your thoughts and give them an opportunity to enter into the conversation. Perhaps if you share some of what would normally be journal entries and go from there, you’ll find that blogging isn’t so different from what you’re already comfortable with … ??

  9. Look at it as reflective writing with the potential for feedback from all over the world. For me, that has been the real advantage of blogging. If I share only with those in the same room, I risk reflecting in a “vacuum.” when your comments start coming in from places outside your own geographical area, you can often see perspectives that weren’t possible outside this medium.

    People are hearing you. 🙂

  10. Yes, we hear you! I have often felt the way you describe, and then someone reaches out and comments and I understand the need to reach out, share, and connect with others.
    I hope that in time you see the incredible value of reflecting on the journey you are on. I do blog, though not as regularly as I would in an ideal world ( haha), and I can honestly say that each post I write liberates me and helps me use my creative energy in another way.
    Good luck to you!

  11. I get excited about technology too, so sometimes I just blog about that technology and what I’m gonna try with it. Or I try something, and blog about whether it worked or didn’t. Our colleagues are blogging about what they view and read. I mostly get lost when I’m expected to “journal” or blog “feelings” about things — that feels like stuff that should stay private!

  12. Speaking before comments is like vacuum. without body language makes it like being
    An old stat, though out of context, said “for every call into a radio talkshow, there are 200 other listeners”.
    Good luck

  13. Keeping a Journal is always a very private activity, as adults we are far less likely to share our thoughts with others. It takes time and courage. Start following others and ask them to read your stuff. If they like it they will follow you back and your voice won’t be so lost. I’m a teacher and I blog through tumblr as an Illustrator. I find it terrifying. Its taking a step from being passive to proactive but it all becomes worthwhile if you don’t give up!

  14. Mary karpel on said:

    I hear you 😉 feel the same and learning to live with the contradictory feelings of exposure v invisibility.

  15. I hear you too, Judy. I’m sure you’ll manage and this odd feeling will evolve into a great learning experience.

  16. thanks for the encouragement. And I know it’s good to be stretched in new and different directions… never too old to learn!

  17. we are in blackboard so it is closed and everyone else is there for the same reason.
    there is some comfort in that unity of purpose and clarity of course objectives.
    I think the awkwardness comes from uncertainty about who is reading and wondering who if anyone will care. I realize that when I do connect with others of similar interests and passions, they will likely “care”.
    I will look again at the prompts to see if something sparks with me.
    Thanks, Alec,


  18. Hi Judy,
    Another classmate (also nurse and nurse educator) checking in. Rather than feeling isolated, I’m so excited to use this tool to meet and collaborate with colleagues from not just across the street, but from across the world….. Imagine what that will look like 🙂

  19. can you give me an example of something you’ve learned through this type of collaboration to strengthen your teaching or nursing practice? are you an educator of nursing students or licensed nurses?
    Good to hear from you!

  20. okay, it can be done….good to hear from you.

  21. you sound like my dad, right now. And he is a very wise man, and educator/administrator of 40 plus years. blessings!

  22. Your input is helpful, Lisa. I guess I maybe had the wrong idea about what a blog is or does, having not read enough of others’. I am starting to read those and am beginning to understand what you’re talking about.

  23. I think the number of listeners/caller would be higher than that. Your point is well made.

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