Professional Connections: Cultivating Virtual Connections Using Technology

ID: 45555 Type: Best Practices
  1. Erica Ellsworth, Walden University; Kaplan University, Online, United States

Tuesday, March 3 11:30-11:50 AM Location: Coco B View on map

Presider: Gilbert Kalonde, Montana State University, United States

Abstract: In distance and flexible learning, professional connections can be difficult to achieve. Often, both faculty and staff work at various locations and may never have the change to meet other than virtually or asynchronously. Despite the challenges, professional connections can be forged and can be used to help institutions form stronger alliances between for a global workforce. Siemens' (2006) theory of connectivism can be used as a starting point in understanding the nature of connections because “connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing” (p. 30). Technology enhances connectivism. Using technology like Google applications, distance and flexible workforces can forge professional connections. This presentation will show how to engage distance faculty and staff in not only professional development and team building but also social endeavors like community service that strengthen both workplace morale and professional connections.

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