Every now and then you have one of those aha moment. Lately I’ve had the pleasure to do some joint presentations with Lauren O’Grady. When you do your own thing you tend to get into a patter and the session proceeds. Of course dependent on the audience’s responses you may divert from the usual flow every now and then but generally it is only when you do a hands-on session that you really interact with the participants.
When you do get the chance to co-present or really interact with participants it is amazing what you learn. Even the process of starting up a browser window can be illuminating. Who uses a desktop shortcut, who goes to the taskbar, who uses the Start Menu, who goes to the program list, who uses a mix dependent on where they are in the process, (fyi I tend to use a mix dependent on where I am). “Sitting on your hands” can often be beneficial for both parties.
Just lately I have been helping my partner Vicki set up Bellarine Beaches, a blog about the locale in which we live. Of course this process has entailed quite a lot of “letting things fall into place” instead of taking control of the mouse. It’s interesting how others take so much longer to locate buttons, links and initiate procedures that you have gotten so used to that they become second nature. It’s also interesting to see the caution applied when others first start working with portals and applications. Having said that I must also add that when I am working with applications that my wife is more familiar with, I am similarly reticent and slow to find and recall how to access functionality and the like.
It was interesting then to be talking with another much more credentialed blogger last night about using the “gmail hack” for when participants at PD activities cannot access their personal email in order to activate their blog. When I said that this hack also worked for other “Join Now” processes said other blogger expressed incredulity, that they hadn’t realised this worked for more than edublogs. The question was put “would it also work with Twitter?” Lo in five minutes it worked and I had an alternate Twitter alter ego.
If you’re not familiar with the “gmail hack” here’s all you need do:
First you need a Gmail account eg mine is firstname.lastname@example.org. When you need to join multiple identities, (eg a class group of students who don’t have their own email account, who are too young to sign up for spaces or for whom you wish to control all user details etc), then you simply add a “+” sign followed by a number after your username and before the ampersand, @, in the email address as follows:
Student 1 email email@example.com
Student 2 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Student 3 email email@example.com etc
All of the verification emails and password details etc will be sent to the original firstname.lastname@example.org Inbox even though the student email addresses are otherwise unique.
Just goes to show that individually we know what we have questioned and experienced but connected we learn so much more.