Tweets from this session used #T2S1

Philip Green, Co-founder and Director of Onlignment, opened his session with the Kenneth H. Blanchard quote “none of us is as smart as all of us”, encouraging the audience that we might learn from each other.


Phil encouraged some interaction in the room at our tables discussing differences between what goes on in classrooms and virtual classrooms and what teachers/trainers/facilitators do that might be the same or different. There was lots of humorous discussion that we hoped people learned in the classroom and that the teacher was there to inspire, encourage, facilitate and, well, bore, disengage, belittle and so on. Perhaps it depended on the classroom and the teacher.

For all the discussion that was had, I genuinely think that the lines between advantages and disadvantages of face to face versus the virtual classroom are blurring. There are always different perspectives, contexts, geography and experience to take into account, but both serve a purpose. What you lose in one place (face to face interaction online) you can make up for in another (everyone accessing the model/toy/data or perhaps being involved in well-designed interaction).

Phil made the point about what online facilitators need to do, summarised nicely by the tweet of James Hobson:

Also good, solid advice from Phil was not letting the technology get away from you – it’s always easy to focus on the new toy rather than on what learners need in order to make changes:

Another sound point was that we can’t control the technology used for our virtual classrooms. Just like in a face to face classroom, I can’t always control if the windows will open or the air conditioning functions…

After this Phil shared some ideas for interactions and tools he had obviously put much work into and has delivered in the past. If I’m honest, I wanted a bit more from this section of the session. I wanted to get a greater feeling of whether I’m approaching interaction in the right way when I’m delivering online and gain some insight and different thinking from someone so experienced. I didn’t get this and it was disappointing, but I know Phil is delivering a session in the Virtual Learning Show on Thursday 20th June, so I can look forward to some more information there. During the day I spoke to other people who attended Phil’s session and they commented that they learnt a lot.

A key message I’m taking away with me is what I tweeted, below, which was seconded by Colin Steed:

It doesn’t mean there’s no hope though; for me it’s all about learning the technology, transferring the skills and, as Harold Jarche commented to me over drinks in the evening, “lots and lots and lots of practice”.


  1. Hi Jo – I think that is a fair summary of the session. It was engaging but like you I was left feeling that I hadn’t really seen enough true interaction. While the discussion about face to face vs online classrooms was useful and entertaining I think we could have moved more swiftly to the interactions.It would have been good to see something actually in a virtual classroom (especially as there was a question asking what one was).

  2. Your summary makes me wonder if perhaps virtual screens are too orientated toward architecture and print designs, where as true interaction requires presence and more tactile experiences. We design power points, websites and software based on grids, but judge a person based upon the subtle visual cues & shifts in their face.

Comments are closed.