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Global SKILLs midweek Connect: July 22, 2020 - Breakout Rooms

Greetings and welcome to another midweek moment with Global SKILLs Connect!


One goal of these Connects is to maintain an on-going conversation in which we are all participating in some way. To facilitate that and as promised last week, I have posted previous ‘Connects’ on my website blog - check out the link below.


This week, I’ll be harking back to my “Tech - heaven or hell” thoughts (GS Connect,May 15th) by sharing a pandemic “silver lining” (GS Connect, July 1st) I’ve personally experienced since going virtual during lockdown. Then in closing, I’ll propose a suggestion for your reflection and a challenge for your take-away. So, let’s get started by exploring...

Break-out rooms - which are one of the types of virtual space with a whole lot of potential in the Zoom meeting platform (or the equivalent in other platforms). They have become part of the teaching and/or the work day for many of us in recent months. And, as IT and production workers around the world have helped the rest of us get on board with virtual meetings, we’ve found out that ‘breaking out” in small groups for discussion and sharing can be really effective or really frustrating.

On the less than ideal side, I’ve attended seminars which tried to ‘break out’ but instead lost the majority of people somewhere in cyberspace, ending in wasted time & very bad tech vibes!

Alas…try and try again. On the brighter side, happily for those of you who have had the pleasure of being in well managed breakout sessions, you’ve benefited from working through your agenda with team members almost face-to-face or (even more inspiring for me) discussing agenda items with fellow session participants who are total strangers spread across the globe. My personal ‘silver lining’ break-out room experience was participating in a webinar on making sustainable systemic changes with the tech component handled expertly by an Africa-based non-profit and attended by people around the world with heavy representation from emerging countries. The other two people in ‘my’ break-out session were in India and the US. We introduced ourselves and our work, discussed the questions we’d been given and then reported back to the whole group. It was equivalent to an in-person collaborative exchange, except better because - my goodness - we had become in minutes in fact a highly functioning, virtual global community!

Given that we simply cannot be meeting in person these days, and (equitable access speaking) seeing that virtual meetings are opening up long term opportunities for global community building, I see being forced into virtual meetings as a clear pandemic ‘silver lining’!

Now, for your reflection…

What about figurative “break-out rooms? I’ve been thinking about ways to escape my on-going lockdown situation here in central Florida, and I suspect the concept of ‘breaking out’ might serve me well! What do you think?

And for your take-away challenge: Participate in a break-out room session - either literally, in something you lead yourself or in a webinar or meeting you...or figuratively, as a personal get-away.

Document the experience and share here or with a friend how that goes…

And see you next week!

Betsy


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