Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our meeting and our blogs

17 of us made it to the meeting yesterday. Here's the recording. The course wiki been updated with that link also. It was a pretty good discussion I felt.. there were some quiet moments that I tried to pick up with my rather poorly web conferencing facilitation skills. Thankfully there were some people there who were prepared to jump in and make comment and question things. One that sticks in my mind is Bron's tip on facilitation - "knowing what not to do".

I can certainly relate to this. Often, I will feel so uncomfortable with silence that I will fill the void with my own comments or opinions which may or may not be already more developed than the group that is asking for facilitation. This can have a negative impact on people developing confidence to join in discussions as they might start relying on you as the expert, rather than the facilitator looking to draw expertise and awareness out of people. So, knowing what not to do is critical. As a rule of thumb I have set myself, I will try to respond with more questions than answers, and focus my problem solving skills on making sure the technology us working and that everyone has a chance to be heard.

To that end, I have done my best to create a list of all the people doing the course who have a blog. This should assists us in being able to browse participant blogs and subscribe to ones of interest. I wasn't suitably prepared for the amount of interest in the course and so fumbled the maintenance of the list of people and their blogs, so apologies if you are not on there. Please email me directly if you are not on there but should be.

Initially I was keeping a Google Spreadsheet going (and still am) and keeping it up to date as people introduced themselves through the wiki discussion page. But as people kept joining well into week 1, and others were updating their intro with their blog links, it all kinda got out of hand for me here. I shouldn't have used the Google Spreadsheet until now... Anyway, I've learnt for next time - I will use the wiki for creating the list, and ask everyone to update that list by a certain date, and then generate a spreadsheet from there for my own records.

So, I hope you will access the meeting recording and check the blog list for other blogs of interest to add to your RSS news reader. Remember - don't add them all! just some that are of interest to you - that way it will remain managable for you and chaos for me ;)

1 comment:

Gabriela Sellart said...

Many years ago, a coordinator had come to observe my class and one of the comments he made afterwards was that I tended to fill the moments of silence saying something and that in doing so I prevented my students from taking the responsibility of completing that silence. I teach a foreign language, so making students speak is my ultimate goal. I've been exercising this coping_with_silence for years, and even though I'm not very talkative, I find it so hard.