Created by Ruth Elliott

Welcome! Join me as I reflect on my learning journey with Web 2.0 tools. I'm sure I will find bandwagons to jump on along the way. Let's enjoy the trip.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Digital Nomadic Student feeling Lonely

A month ago I read an article in the newspaper about Digital Nomadic Office workers (Rosenwald, 2009). These lucky people work wherever they like, as long as they have an internet connection. They rarely need to go to the real office but can stay home and work in their pyjamas, sit by a hotel pool somewhere, or hang out at the mall (in those comfy chairs that some malls have). The downside of all this lovely freedom is loneliness. Some of those digital nomads are gregarious individuals who like the water cooler visiting that takes place in a real office. Therefore, a few of these digital nomads invented something called a jelly (named this beca

An office water cooler with a reusable 5-<span class=gallo..." style="border: medium none ; display: block;" width="239" height="640">Image via Wikipedia

use of the bowl of jelly beans they were eating at the time) in which digital nomads get together to have company while they work on their individual projects. They will meet in private homes, in libraries, or in coffee shops. (See my blog post for more info:

At the time that I read this article, I did not realize that this year (from September 2009 to June 2010) I would be a digital nomadic student. I have an education leave this year so I am not teaching in an elementary classroom as I have for the previous ten years.

The university that I attend for my Masters of Curriculum of Studies in Education is the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. However, I am actually enrolled in two online classes from the University of Alberta for the fall semester. In January I will be working on my thesis so won't have any on-campus classes. I don't even need to go to the University. However, I like being at the University. I love working in the library there or in the computer lab. I enjoy the conversations with other people (although if I have no classmates, who will those other people be?). I have booked a study carrel space that I will share with many other graduate students. I'm just not sure what my days and studying will look like.

I know that I will need some structure in my days. I plan to go to the university three days each week. I will be working with a prof as a research assistant. Yet I do feel lonely already. I wish I could find a nomadic student jelly or create one with other online students who are physically attached to the University of Saskatchewan and yet are digitally in classes with other universities.

Perhaps, once the school year begins, I will put an ad in the student newspaper or put something on the bulletin board in the education building.

I'm feeling displaced--a student without a classroom (and a teacher with no students[but that's a whole different trauma]). I am grateful for this year to study and learn but the amorphous shape of my days and my year is making me feel discombobulated. (Note: "amorphous" -
  1. Lacking definite form; shapeless. See synonyms at shapeless.

    This is a picture i took for the Candy article.Image via Wikipedia

  2. Of no particular type; anomalous.
  3. Lacking organization; formless.
  4. Lacking distinct crystalline structure.)

I encourage myself with the thought that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Maybe I'll find me some jelly beans along the way.

Rosenwald, M. (2 August 2009). Digital nomads ditch their cubicles. In the Calgary Herald. p. D9.

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