Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The choice for my mini conf event/activity was an asynchronous activity in Voicethread. I was excited to use this new tool and believed that others would be keen to try it out also. This was not the case, I did not generate as much interest in using Voicethread as I had expected. My inspiration for using Voicethread came from a previous mini-conf activity 'Managing multimembership in online networks'. This is a great example of how a Voicethread can facilitate sharing.
I trialed an initial Voicethread (Vt) with the topic of 'The highs and lows of online learning' (Vt 1) to encourage participants to share their spectrum of emotions that they experienced during FO2010 or in their online learning journey in general. This activity was posted on Voicethread 22nd October. I sent a group email to FO2010 google group list titled 'Want to have a bit of fun with Voicethreads?' and an offer to contact me on my blog if they had any problems. I received a comment from Carole to advise that I needed to make my Vt public to allow access by all which was easy to fix, I then sent an email to confirm all was accessible if anyone had encountered any issues. I also posted a blogpost on which I kept a running commentary on the discussion. I had participation from Sarah, Coach Carole, Jane and Karen H over the following month. In an attempt to encourage further participation on the final day of the mini-conference I sent another email to the FO2010 google group however there was no further participation.
I have written up a summary of the conversation that developed on The highs and lows of online learning Voicethread which served as a backup plan if there were any problems with Vt, I have saved this on Google docs....
If you would like to hear more click here and you may even decide to add your own comment.
The second Voicethread Vt 2 which I created was to encourage participants to think about how they could use Vt, appropriately titled 'How can you use Voicethread?'. This Vt was not promoted via email simply on the Mini-conf wiki page. Participation in this was limited to Sarah who was very enthusiastic about Voicethread and again posed the question of how Vt could carry on the conversation.
What went well?
Vt #1 - I was really happy with the responses from participants re:my simple pen drawings that made up the series of slides/visuals. I believe these simple sketches gave the Voicethread a personal touch.
Vt #2 - this Vt gave me an opportunity to create the individual slides (as per Carole's recommendation) and load them into the sequence of slides. I also created a Screenr on how to create a Vt, which was a great opportunity to learn how to use Screenr.
What did not go so well
Vt #1 - On considering the number of comments I was initially dissapointed however considering that there were 5 participants with honest comments and responses I feel happy with the outcome.
Vt #2 - There was no participation other than Sarah (who I have been able to count on through the course for her support and encouragement. ) Thanks again Sarah! which I can only assume was a result of lack of promotion.
How the event was organised and promoted
Email was the primary method of communication/promotion for the first Vt with the course Wiki having all the relevant details to access both Voicethreads. There may have been some confusion about accessing Vt however I received no questions via my blog re:access.
I was conscious that I did not want to overload my fellow students with too many emails but I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that I did not do enough promotion and I should have used my new found friend Twitter.
What I have learned about Voicethread?
Audio comments can be recorded while scrolling through the slides. Load slides individually to ensure your ability to change the sequence of the slides in future. Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for Vt, but I still think it is great.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Did you learn new and useful things?
This is a tricky question because I have developed so much that it is hard to remember how much I didn't know before this course.
I learned so much about tools (Twitter, Elluminate, WizIQ, Google docs, Google reader and many more)techniques (blogging, commenting on blogs, tweeting and adding links, communication online) and human beings. No matter whether you are learning online or face to face , learning is still sharing information between people.
I learned how to make mistakes successfully, this is how I learned so much about using tools, I might even say that I enjoy making mistakes now (confessions of a control freak) .
Was it challenging enough?
The course was most certainly challenging but not overwhelming. Each week I looked forward to the readings and references and certainly to the live sessions (usually in Elluminate).
What could have been better?
The course was very OPEN and allowed each participant to interact to their chosen level, allowing them to take value as was appropriate to them. I do not have any recomendations for making the course better as I achieved far more than I was expecting.
What could you have done better.
I could have been more consistent in following blogs from other participants (sorting out Google Reader earlier in the course) and engaging personally with them by commenting.
Did the course facilitator do a good job?
AMAZING, Sarah is a great facilitator who showed us her human side and learned along with us. Her questioning allowed us to consider our perspectives, choices and opinions (opened my mind). Always supportive and consistent in her approach to providing feedback Sarah is an amazing mentor. I'm sorry Sarah but the 1% rule doesn't apply to you for a reason, you are obviously doing something right.
How will you apply what you have learned?
I have so much more to learn and am developing an online 'style' that I can call my own.
Who would you recommend to do this course next time?
When I return to work and am in a training/learning environment I think I will find other like-minded individuals who would certainly benefit from this course.
Key moments for me ...
Nancy White explaining the difference between and communities and networks in mid-August.
Listening to Stephen Downes talking about connectivism in late July and being confident that the learning will come to you when you are ready for it, so you don't need to absorb everything that comes your way immediately. You can stick it in Delicious for a rainy day. See my blogpost on Kim's thinking.
Listening to Wayne Mackintosh talk passionately about WikiEducator and OER in the Elluminate chat 10th Sept.
Working with Nellie Deutsch on WizIQ 12th October - I learned so much about being a facilitator by 'doing it' and making mistakes and the value of evaluation and reflection.
Twitter conversation/meeting 16th Sep where I was given advice from a previous participant [twitter id=bacigalupe] in Facilitating Online course - "Engage personally, contribute meaningfully, pay attention, listen a lot and be consistent". These words just clicked with me and showed me how simple it is to be a good online learner/identity.