Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Digital Discomfort

“Innovative educator Kim Cofino discusses the topic of digital confrontation via Facebook Live where she shares ideas about how to engage meaningfully and respectfully when encountering uncomfortable online interactions. 

Cofino pushes educators to think about our own digital confrontations / discomforts and reflect upon on how we handled them them, dissecting what worked and what did not.”

I remember when I first started this blog ten years ago. I was very apprehensive about putting my ideas out there because I was sure that there were so many people who were more experienced than I was and many who knew more than I did. I was afraid that they might debate my ideas and opinions or call me a fraud! Then I realized that the discussion I could start was worth the anxiety. So what if people disagreed with me. Maybe they would change my mind and opinions or maybe it would help me clarify my thoughts and ideas. If I wasn’t getting my points across so that it confused people or they didn’t understand my point, then I needed to learn how to do a better job with my words.

I realized that as long as I didn’t have an accusatory tone or put people on the defensive, I could get a very civil discussion going about many different topics. One way I try to do this is by sharing things that I do and the reasons why I do them. I don’t try to impress my actions on to other people because we all are different and we act differently. Things that work for me might not work for others. I try to encourage people to give input and share if they do something differently or why things did or did not work for them.  So, when people usually join in the discussion, they don’t feel like I’m saying there is only one way to do something or that there is only one right answer.

Maybe my students feel the same way when they write a paper or blog about something they did. By putting things down in writing, we make ourselves vulnerable. It is like appearing at a party and not knowing anyone. Before long though, you will make new friends or join groups with people who have the same interests.

The hardest thing is taking the first step. Then I don’t see as people who disagree or confront me as a personal attack. I see this as an opportunity for personal growth. I may change my mind or I may feel even stronger about the way I see things.

How do you feel about digital discomfort? Please share.  

No comments: