I don't know about anyone else, but life has rather overtaken me this week. I don't think I am the only one. Having said that, we have had two great live Elluminate discussions this week - one about online identity, and then the session with Nancy White this morning.
We have had a couple more people join us - Susan, Tara and Tania. I am sure they'd love it if you pop along to their blog and say 'hi', and lend them your support as they catch up with things.
Nancy's session was invaluable and I highly recommend you take the time to watch the recording if you were not at the live session. Nancy is an amazing facilitator who models everything she talks about. We learned heaps about facilitating online and how to use Elluminate. We talked about 'letting go' as facilitators... playing ....and watching the learning that emerges from the chaos. I would also like to congratulation Sharon and Carole who facilitated the session and did a very professional job. Rayna and Jane are going to facilitate next week's session.
Here is the Elluminate recording to Nancy's session - I will organise the audio and video recording when I return from Pakistan - but having said that, this is a very visual, experiential session so I think you need to watch it as opposed to listen to it.
The one thing that has stuck me this week is how complex people's lives are, and the implications for trying to organise any kind of online event. Rachel, Jade and Jo have been busy being midwives and catching babies. Gillian has been occupied with her family. Floyd is travelling around the USA. Bettie is preparing for her husband to be deployed. And Maurice has been trying to work out how to engage the educators he works with, with his other blog Flexible Learning Initiative @ Lincoln.
There is so much competition for people's time so you have to think very carefully about the thing you are trying to facilitate...you have think how you are going to capture people's attention and make the event, activity or whatever , relevant and meaningful.
A couple of people were inspired to visit Second Life following Terry Neal's talk last week. Gloria has got as far as getting her avatar all dressed up and ready to go. When Tracy went in SL, she had a very nasty experience of being bullied and attacked. Jean believes that SL provides very authentic learning opportunities. On the other hand, Kim hasn't got around to going into SL yet and has decided she does not want an avatar representation of herself - she feels it would give a false impression of who she is.
NB: Those of you who are interested in SL will have the opportunity for a guided tour later in the course.
Learning in the online environment
Several people have been reflecting on they as facilitators can support learning in the online environment. Trish was wondering how she can support her students not to procrastinate and manage information overload. Mark asked how to 'create stimulating environments for learning'. And LaDonna thought about experiential learning - how we plan, act, reflect and learn...but not necessarily in that order.
Facilitation and blogging
Last week I mentioned a blog post by Michele Martin that was really useful called "How to Blog When Your Industry or Occupation Isn't Into It". I asked Michele how she thought we can use blogs for online facilitation. She replied with another blog post called "More on Blogging When Your Industry Isn't Into It" . This is another excellent read for us because in it Michele talks about various startegies for engaging our readers, and how to facilitate blogging events.
Last but not least, Mireille is really keen to hear from anyone who is interested in practising their live facilitation skills in Elluminate - please contact Mireille on her blog if you'd like to know more about this. There are a number of resources in the course wiki for those of you who would like some tips and tricks for how to use Elluminate.
Look forward to hearing how things go next week, and might even catch up with you while I am in Pakistan. Sarah