The web conference with my learning partner, David, was a very positive experience. The purpose of the conference was to share and discuss the research we had found for the trends and roles assignment. We had both lost our original learning partners (they left the course), so David and I were re-assigned to each other. Because we were already well into the PIPD 3100 course at this point, we had gone ahead and already done our own individual research on trends and roles and drafted our blog posts. As it turned out it this was not a problem, in fact we turned it to our advantage. We agreed to review each other’s blog and provide feedback, as well as present and share insights in the web meeting. When it came to the actual Skype video meeting, we spent the first few minutes getting acquainted and decided on what order our discussion should take. I found it very easy to talk over Skype with David, perhaps because we are both familiar with using the technology. The discussion flowed well and we allowed each other time to talk about our articles and key insights, as well as stopping to ask questions or clarify points.
As we shared our research we discovered that we each had some great points to make about the roles of instructors and trends in our field. We had both looked at how technology impacts education, with my focus on social media and David’s on technology in culinary arts. David has been a pastry chef instructor for a couple of years. As I am not working as an instructor yet, I did not think I would be able show him many new insights, but he acknowledged that I had found some useful information. I was very interested to ask David about his day to day use of technology as an instructional tool and to find out about the extent to which technology in now applied in a professional kitchen. It was great to learn that David uses technology to his advantage and he benefits as an instructor and as a learner from the resources that can be accessed via his tablet or smartphone. David particularly liked the insight I provided in that one of the roles of the instructor in using social media can be that of a controller of information. David provided a great example of how this is relevant in his teaching experience, when he has had to say “no” to students who come into class wanting to try out recipes they have seen on the internet or network TV. David’s role as the instructor in this scenario was to protect the quality of learning, because in his experience, many recipes taken from these sources can be inaccurate and not of the required standard. Another key point that I learned from talking with David is the importance of professional development to keep current and innovative. In his field, keeping his skills up to date as a chef is just as important as improving his skills as an instructor.
I wanted to ask David so many questions about his work as an instructor, but we had to try and stay on topic and time was limited. In summary, the web conference was an excellent opportunity to make a social connection with another person on the course, to create some good dialogue and to provide support and suggestions with regard to the assignments and blog.