Saturday, September 22, 2007

videos about tagging

here are a couple of videos you may find useful about tagging - Social bookmarking in plain english

and How to add a tag cloud to your blog

Also if you do a search in Youtube - there are lots of videos explaining how to set up and use delicious.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

now you can relax it is the holidays

Don't forget there is a two week break from the course - 24 September to 8 October. In this time some of you may be away conferencing or actually having some well deserved time relaxing. Others of you may be catching up with some of the course activities. There may also be some of you meeting and chatting online using Skype.

The course facilitators will be pretty quiet over the next two weeks as we will be on leave as well.

If you wish to catch up a little
, probably the most important things to do are to:
  • make sure you have listened to some of the 10 minute lectures and made some notes about them in your blog
  • look at the activities around online cultures and social presence on Blackboard
  • read this article about social presence in asynchronous environments
  • do some work on your discipline-specific wiki page in the projects area in Facilitating Online on WikiEducator - check out the tutorials first which can be found via the help area.
Activities for when we return
When we return on Monday 8 October, David McQuillan is going to facilitate an Elluminate session at 730 pm to brainstorm some strategies for dealing with technology when it breaks down.

On 15 October at 730 pm we will have another 10 minute lecture on Elluminate: - Derek Chirnside speaking about Adding a community flavour to our courses.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Online communities page in wiki

The barn building session in WikiEducator was very useful. people will continue to build their discipline-specific pages and people seem to be taking a variety of approaches. For example, deciding on the list of topics to be covered in an online class and designing online activities to engage participants with the content. For more on this, please look at the new project called: Using wikis to build communities

At the end of the session the small group of us who were left had a eureka moment and decided to start a new page called: online communities. On this page we have listed some examples of online communities and will investigate answers to the following questions:

  1. What are the strategies employed by different online learning communities?
  2. What motivates people to join these communities and participate in them?
Have a look at the list of online communities and see if you can think of any more to add. Please start adding some ideas to help answer the questions as well.

I apologise but I couldn't seem to be able to retrieve the recording - might be something to do with the fact I closed Elluminate and then went back in - it was still recording but has not come up in recordings area.

10 Minute Lecture - George Siemens - Curatorial Teaching

George Siemens gave a 15 minute talk on his concept of curatorial teaching. It is a very thought provoking idea and generated quite a lot of good discussion afterwards.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A community is forming

Last night when Elluminate failed, again! And I was grappling with downloading Java to get Elluminate to work on my home computer, trying to find our guest speaker, trying to contact the IT technician to get help, trying to let every one of the four groups who were invited to the session know what was happening , trying to answer the phone calls and texts, trying to download Skype so I could message people, reading and answering the group email, messaging the facilitator who was trying to keep it all together :O
I saw some really interesting stuff happening and a community forming. It is almost as if we have to have ripples and bumps to get traction in a community.
  • The email group changed from being asynchronous to synchronous.
  • People were downloading skype and setting themselves up on it.
  • Jokes were being passed around.
  • Discussions were starting.
When we did finally get on Elluminate there was some really good questions and discussion around issues such as confidentiality online, obstructions to getting online from colleagues, what should go on the wiki. We also heard about Merrolees' web 2 project and passed around ideas for online facilitating. I saw some very sturdy beams being raised in the barn. I saw some excellent facilitation going on within the group. I saw people pulling together to find solutions. I saw lots of creativity and critical thinking going on. I was amazed. I had to go at 850 pm cos I hadn't had tea and Dave was facilitating. Great stuff!

Now I am really pleased Elluminate failed. Now we actually have a community thing happening and people supporting each other. So that, people, is what you do when the technology fails, you find alternatives. And to be able to do this you need to make sure there is a sense of community happening in your class so that people will pull together when the walls fall down. Do you agree?
Now I can pack my bags and put them at the door...well almost...but I am getting ready because several of you have already climbed the cliff face and reached level 5 in Gilly Salmon's pyramid for online facilitation. If you don't know what that is you better go look.......:P And people are starting to form themselves into groups using Skype so they can support each other. This is fantastic! And Sean has kindly said he will come back in October and this time facilitate a session actually in Second Life - the 3D virtual world. We will have a practice run there's a challenge for you all and for me as I have lost my avatar.

There is more on this subject on my blog....stuff about skeptic, cynics, extrinsically motivated learners, technology failing in f2f classrooms etc. I look forward to your comments.
There will be more barn building on Monday night at 730 pm til whenever. This time I will notify IT in the morning about the meeting and be on there an hour before...just to make sure.

OP people you can login to with your network login and you will have staff member status. The rest of you I am afraid will still need to click on the link I send out. I hope you can join us and raise some more planks. There also is another speaker on Tuesday 18 sept at 12 midday George Siemens....more on this soon.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ten minute lecture postponed to Thursday 13 Sept

The ten minute lecture with Sean Fitzgerald on Virtual Worlds had to be postponed on Monday night after we battled with Elluminate and Skype for an hour to no avail. It was great to have some hardy souls waiting in the wings to see what would pan out.

Sean Fitzgerald will now speak on Thursday 13 September at 7pm (NZ time). There will be questions and discussion until 8pm then - barn raising on the wiki for the class until 9pm or as long as people can stay.

To access the Elluminate session - click on this link.

Link open from: 18:00 NZST
closes : 21:00 NZST

No password required.

If this is the first time you will be using Elluminate, you may be prompted to download some software which may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending upon your Internet connection speed (allow an hour or more for dial up - not slow once you are connected). You can pre-configure your system with the required software by going to the support page located at:

Please make sure your computer has a microphone and speakers to be able to talk and hear while you are in the Elluminate meeting.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Barn building wiki exercise

Following Nancy White's lecture last week, some of the class had a bit of a discussion about the barn building activity on the wiki for assessment two.

It was agreed that the class would start with some existing content on WikiEducator called Facilitating Online and work on changing it to suit the group's needs and preferences.

Also each of you will create your own wiki page which has information on it relevant to your discipline and the culture of your students. This will all count towards assessment two:

In this assessment you will collaborate as part of a wiki community in a "barn building" activity. You will set up information relevant for facilitation in your discipline and also help develop content for this course. This assessment is due in Week 17, and is worth 25% of your total course marks. The emphasis in this assessment is on how actively you contribute to the wiki and participate in the wiki community..

Information about all the assessments is on Blackboard. Please remind yourself about what you need to do for each.

How to start?
  • Look at this short video clip on Wikis in plain english
  • Set up an account on WikiEducator
  • Do the basic wikiEducator tutorials
  • Make a start - contribute to the Facilitating Online information and add your own discipline specific pages.
Remember we agreed to have some synchronous sessions on Elluminate every Monday night at 730 pm. You can choose to check in or not but there will be a facilitator there anyway. I would like to make a start on working on the wiki synchronously from Monday 10 September if people are keen following the 10 min lecture and discussion session.

Ten Minute lecture this week
Remember the 10 minute lecture on Monday night 10 September at 7 pm is:
Sean FitzGerald - Learning Communities in Virtual Worlds.

Go to Elluminate meeting.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Blogging roundup

It must be nearly time for us to start looking at online communities as they exist in Wikis like Wikipedia, or Virtual Worlds like Second Life... but while we are all still getting experienced with blogging communities, I think this post by Dave Cormier is a very nice start to a round up. Dave joined us in our 10 min lecture with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, and is another well known facilitator of online learning communities. I'd really like to invite him to give us 10 minutes also... but maybe we should slow down on the lectures while we start our move into other dimensions of online community.. hmm? But then I'm sure Dave can speak with us on many other aspects of online learning communities... Do any of the participants in this course have people they would especially like to hear from and speak to?

Exert from Dave's handy post:

Blogging - Not ‘IF’ but When and Where. UPEI presentation

...Blogging, like ‘academic writing’ is a vague label that really doesn’t do justice to the complexities of the subject it is meant to cover. Blogging is appropriate any time that people need to be kept ‘up to date’ with a topic, a person, images, videos… It should not be seen as a yes/no decision, but as a tool which, like everything else, works better when used appropriately.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

10min lectures - Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach - The Art of Building Virtual Communities

Early on in this course, many of us were enthusiastic for Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach' s article The Art of Building Virtual Communities. The tips in that article have received wide acclaim in the comments and other people's blogging.

We were lucky to have Sheryl join us with a 10 minute lecture and then discussion on Tuesday 4 September 12:00 Noon Auckland time, or for Sheryl, that's Monday, 3 September 2007 at 8:00 p.m New York time.

Here are the recordings:
Original files and other formats from
MP3 recording of Sheryl's talk - 5.2meg / 29 minutes
MP3 recording of discussion - 5.5meg / 30 minutes
Elluminate recording - 1 hour / no password needed
Slides on Slideshare Sheryl?