1. What did I learn that was totally new to me?
This is a tough question given my depth of technology background. I’m not really sure that I learned anything totally new to me. Online communication is critical to todays education systems. Both synchronous (i.e. chat, video conference) as well as asynchronous (i.e. e-mail, blogs, YouTube) are valuable for education. Educators should not lean on only one area, but be sure to utilize both types of communication.
2. How can you use this information to inform your instructional strategies with your own students?
I really enjoyed learning a bit more about the importance of communication tools for interacting with students. I think it will be important in the future to integrate multiple communication strategies into my instructional design. I personally tend to shy away from direct communication styles like phone conversations. I prefer email and chat communication. One of the big reasons is that this leaves a record of what was discussed that can be referenced at a later date. I often forget parts of verbal conversations, particularly when I’m on the phone. I think this may be because the phone provides no visual linkage to what’s being said. Without some type of visual linkage, I find it difficult to recall information. It is strange that someone who spends so much time on computers would have this type of issue, but typing words helps provide the visual link for me that is simply not there on the phone.