Preparation for course commencement
I had looked at FOC09, however as I was pregnant and preparing for a birth in mid June, not to mention a new baby in the second half of 2009, I thought better of starting a course that I was going to struggle to complete. Therefore when the FO2010 course commenced in July I was very ready to get stuck into it. I had not read many of the readings, which I had initially intended whilst on mat leave but I must admit I was satisfied that I could manage the weekly activities by reading texts and investigating the links provided.
Blogging and connecting with others' blogs
One of the initial activities was to create a blog and indicate on in a post my intentions in joining the course. In looking back at this I have written that my goal was "networking with an international group of people who are also interested in oline facilitation". Have I achieved this? I believe this has been one of the areas that I have not succeeded as well as I could have. By coordinating new blog posts to feed into Google Reader I would have been made aware of new postings and then able to comment on posts.
Commenting on blogposts is a key way to initiate communication and recognise the work of another FO2010 participant. Instead of organising my RSS feeds to blogs I used the participant page to navigate who had added a post that I had not yet read (as once read the title goes blue). I think the reason I did this was that I saw the huge number of participants who initially enrolled in the course and I expected that keeping up with all blogs would be an impossible task, little did I know then that probably 60% of original participants would drop out of the course.
Blogging for me has been an excellent opportunity to reflect and coordinate where I was going and what I was thinking. It is a way for me to direct my thoughts ie. when I hear an idea or point of view and I am considering my opinion/position, I think 'how would I blog about that?'. This has been a key skill that I have developed during the course, and still have a long way to go. Listening to and participating in Karen's mini conf session has inspired me to become a better blogger because this is a major way to present yourself online, which in turn brings interaction and recognition from others which in turn leads to more learning and growing.
Using Elluminate to attend weekly group sessions has allowed me to become very familiar with this tool, from a participant's perspective. I still need a bit of practise from a facilitator perspective however I am not sure if Elluminate will be available to me in the future so I will focus on it then. As a participant I find Elluminate very easy to use.WizIQ was a great tool for online meetings although I had challenges it made it that much more rewarding, as I discussed in my blog post.
During the process of this course I have developed and learned how to use my Personal Learning Network within a couple of Personal Learning Environments. Twitter has been a key tool allowing me to connect with a network that I have built over the last few months. I have been able to play with soooo many new learning tools (web 2.0) which I now realise was one of my key objectives. I also have a network to continue to find out more tools.
I am a real fan of WizIQ and on occasion will log in to find out what tutorials/lessons are available.
So in summary ....
- I should have coordinated all blogposts into Google reader and kept up to date then commented to initiate communication and build strong network relationships.
- I am a twitter addict
- I am committed to becoming a better blogger
My next steps...
Create my eportfolio - I am really keen to coordinate an eportfolio for myself. I am very committed to maintaining an open source method of sharing learning and so believe that I would be best to use freely available tools (that I have learned to use in FO2010) to create my folio however have to decide whether to do this with a blog as my core.
Tweet more - I must admit to having become a twitter addict, it is like an online course via links. I can find out so much about educational technology and online learning by just signing into twitter regularly. I also need to learn how to add value by tweeting more myself.
Blog more - I need to actually do the blogging, I think the thoughts, consider my position on a topic and then don't seem to get a chance to write it down or it ends up in edit mode for too long and becomes redundant. Perhaps I need to restrict my word count (as is done with twitter) to ensure I am concise and then maybe have subsequent posts that follow a point or argument. I need to put more links to illustrate what I am thinking...this is what I find more interesting when reading others' blog posts.
I have also decided to take up with my previous blog 'Kim's thinking' as this blog (that you are reading now) was designed specifically for FO2010.
I have many more thought running through my mind but in the interests of actually putting these thoughts out there I am going to publish this post. Looking forward to Fridays session - 'Pulling it all together'.