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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I'm pleased to see you were able to join the Elluminate session and it sounds like it was a positive learning experience for all! I wanted to reach out to help address the issues that you had with Elluminate. I'd also like to learn more about the things that you are doing with Elluminate.

Before your next session we would be happy to work with you to ensure everything goes well technically, share some best practices and address any concerns you have. Please feel free to contact me and we can arrange a time to meet. My contact information is below.

Zemina Hasham
Senior Director, Client Services
Elluminate Inc.
Phone: 403-204-7896 x760