This is a joint blog with Dr. Dorian Roberts and Justin Schleider
Introduction by Dr. Dorian Roberts.
Remember when you were a toddler and after you took a bath you would run around the house naked until your parents stopped you? You ran laughing, somewhat knowing that you could do something that no one could do except for you. You took some type of pleasure in it… some type of joy… remember how you would giggle and laugh really hard. HeeHeeHee… good times, fun times, lost times, and I never thought I would get those chuckles again until July 2015 when I was introduced to Voxer and then a group called #Edumatch.
So, recently reflecting on Edumatch, Justin and I noticed something with the new “youngins” that have joined the group. These latest members seem to be following in our footsteps through some rather organic stages of Voxer/#Edumatch. In this collaborative blog, we are going to discuss what we ourselves have experienced and now dubbed as the “Stages of #Edumatch”.
Dr. Dorian: Stage #1 The BIG OLE SHINY BALL COMPLEX
In #Edumatch, there are all kinds of balls—big balls, small balls, tiny balls, blue balls, red balls, every kinda of ball you can think of… balls—meaning DIVERSITY! (So get your minds out of the gutter.) LOL! Look back at Stage 1… Did it catch your eye and cause you to scroll down to get to the good stuff? If it did, don’t feel bad because it happens in #Edumatch all the time. People are listening to the “hot new topic” being discussed among educators. You hit this green button and BAM! You are instantly heard. The POWER, the CONTROL—you have it all with that green button. You have a captive audience. And then… wait for it… wait for it… chirp, chirp… you have a notification. Someone else has heard what you said and agrees with you. Someone hears your cause, your joke, your story, your journey and all of a sudden, you feel validated. You feel at home. You have, at last, found your people.
Justin: Stage 1: Existence; This is so exciting!
This stage is where you keep voxer alerts on. You are waiting for someone to say something so you can jump in. You are so excited to be a part of a group with so many teachers from all over the world. You are making comments and super excited about every conversation. You go to other rooms to listen to the conversation. Housework is only done with Voxer. You stop listening to music or podcasts. Voxer has overtaken your life. You are hooked.
Dr. Dorian: Stage #2 I’m too SEXY FOR MY VOX!!!! or “I’ve Said what I’ve said,” by NeNe Leakes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta
This stage is the confidence stage. This stage is hilarious. Why? Because we have all done it with maybe one exception, the founder and creator @Sarahdatteecher. In this stage, you let your “expertise” show. You make your stance known to others in the group. Your opinions become statements. Here’s where it gets fun… disagreements are made, Voxer battles are created, sides are taken and voxes increase. That’s right, you named it… “The Debate”. Now, what is funny to me is that people actually leave chats and Voxer groups over differences of opinions or sore feelings. Really! I’ve seen it happen. You may ask me how I handle disagreements? “I’ve said what I’ve said!” I fight daily, but I never turn my back on family.
Justin: Stage 2; Fight or Flight
This is the stage where you stand up for yourself or you tuck your tail between your legs and run away. People start to really let their opinions and feelings be known. They are willing to step up and debate their point. This is where Voxer can be at its best. Debates can get heated but most understand it is all about the subject and not the person. The most the debates last is two days before the next subject is tackled. You can really grow from these interactions and be challenged by some of the best and brightest educators in the game.
The flip of the coin is those who run away. They don’t like the pushback. They feel personally attacked. They leave the group. This is fine as well. The best part of social media is if it’s not working for you, bounce! Leave. Why stay in a place of your own choosing that makes you upset or uncomfortable? The only problem with leaving is that you may be leaving the only place you will get honest feedback. We all know that group think runs abound. The longer you use social media the more this is apparent. Remember pushback allows you to grow!
Dr. Dorian: Stage #3 The CLASSICS
When you put on your grown man or woman pants, this is the best stage. This is when you create a Voxer group of your own that has nothing to do with education. It is where you go to let your hair down, smoke a cigar, drink you favorite wine and watch a movie together with your crew… yes, I mean literally watch a movie together. In this group you do things like have Reader’s Theatre, Mock Trials, play Voxer tag, sing karaoke, and I could go on and on. This is a place where the “seasoned” #Edumatcher goes for a good old-fashioned resort vacation. I love it there!
Justin: Stage 3; Make Voxer Your Own
This is the stage where you find your tribe. It is almost like the direct message groups I wrote in an earlier blog about Twitter. This is the stage you start a spinoff of the group. This group is a couple of other people who share your views. You start to talk about people or subjects that you don’t want public. You code switch to a much more informal tone. The subjects you discuss are not just education related. Personal relationships are cultivated. You learn much more about the individuals in these small groups. The conversations flow much more freely. You sing on your way home and let them know when something in school really ground your gears. This is the sweet spot of Voxer. Finding likeminded people who you can be your authentic self around without the censorship and decorum that large chats with people you don’t know demand.
These stages aren’t written in stone. They are what Dr. Dorian and I have noticed over the months and years on Voxer. We both believe it is a game changing application that will elevate your professional and possibly personal life in ways that were inconceivable before. If you haven’t tried it we would both highly recommend it to you. Two great groups to check out is Edumatch for general teachers and the General Physical Education chat for physed and health teachers. My voxer name is SchleiderJustin. Dr. Dorian Roberts voxer name is Dr. Dorian Roberts. Hit us up if you need any help with Voxer.
Q1. What is the first thing you do when you join a new group on social media? #slowchatpe
Q2. What made you confident enough to chime in during group discussions? #slowchatpe
Q3. Have you ever left a group on social media because you felt attacked? How did it make you feel? #slowchatpe
Q4 What made you start a direct message group on twitter or side vox group? #slowchatpe
Q5. What is a voxer group that people would find enjoyable? #slowchatpe