Getting started and connected

When I was an intermediate student I used to have pen-pals. There was this organization who matched people from all over the world (actually now when I think about it, it was sort of a real life platform for connecting people). I had friends in Zimbabwe, Trinidad & Tobago and Italy to mention a few. It was a constant wait by the post box looking for a reply to one of the letters that I had written. If we both replied quickly it would only take two weeks sending and receiving a new letter.

Sometimes development and technology is fantastic. The possibility to talk to and at the same time watch someone who literally is on the opposite side of the globe is breathtaking. Think of all the opportunities this brings to us.

Knowledge and information are powerful tools and should be shared not hidden. Development always follows when people share ideas and thoughts with each other. It doesn´t matter if it´s between colleagues, friends and higher up at a political level. The willingness to listen, take in the spoken or written word and as a special feature also see the expressions it that persons face is important. For me life and learning is a state of mind. There is always a lesson learned in a meeting with others.

Stating that could imply that I love team-work …. but sadly not! But it has nothing to do with the people or the team-work for that matter. It is the getting to know each other phase that I dread.

This is the picture that I posted when we did our individual presentations in preparation for our first group task.


I´m a doer and I perform at my best when I´m in safe and recognizable environment. Probably not the only one who works like that. New groups and new environments are therefore a challenge for a control freak like me. I quickly want every one on board in a very selfish way to get the group started and running like an engine.  For me the first stage of group development – forming it- is something that is necessary evil. However the rational side of me knows that each step of the process is equally important. I also know that it is of importance for the group to know its members and to share information to help building stronger bonds. So hello PBL7 I´m sharing – now you know that I am both energetic and impatient but in the end also a team-player.

Soon the first week ONL171 have passed and I can tell you this – I´ve already had the privilege to meet several new friends, scattered around the globe. In just a few days I am now connected with two fantastic girls in South Africa, another one in Sri Lanka and of course not to forget a whole bunch of new friends in Sweden and Finland. We have a broad and various background and you could easily feel intimidated by all the experience. But we are all connected in a shared interest; the development of higher education using digital and flexible learning methods. It will be an interesting journey ahead.



4 thoughts on “Getting started and connected

  1. I really connect to your idea regarding feeling safe as a platform for realizing new challenges. It is by definition a conflict in such an idea at first glance, but as soon as various levels in the argument are illuminated it makes sense. Common projects in a group of people, being open-minded towards change, shapes a fairly secure cushion, a first frontier to fall back upon, when a personal mindset has to be reconsidered.


  2. You put it so well Viktoria – that moment of uncertainty entering a new group, and that inevitable characteristic of a group: lack of control! That is a challenge to deal with, an exciting process to be involved in and so much fun when it works out. At the EdtTech conference last autumn they discussed that the single most important factor for successful teams was team members caring for each other. I don’t know if this will stand in a meta study – but it is an interesting angle in the light of that first period of group interaction and the importance of sharing oneself in order to bond. I think this group went out for a very good start anyway – keep up the good work!


  3. Great to see you’re enjoying the experience, even if it can be a bit overwhelming at first. I also had pen friends when I was a teenager but I wish I had been able to do this sort of thing, especially at university!


  4. I joined Group 7 a little late and didn’t comment on others posts at the time. So I am enjoying reading some of the older posts while getting back up to date with the tracker. It has been a while since I have thought about pen pals. Mine was a boy named Adrian from Sri Lanka. Sadly I didn’t have the fortitude to keep up with the correspondence and we lost touch, but it left soft spot for all things Sri Lankan. I was very upset when civil war broke out and concerned about the safety of the boy named Adrian. Following the cessation of violence, I have visited the country several times.

    Interestingly my wife is from Trinidad, so this blog brought a smile to my face twice. Thank you!



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