The last five weeks have been really hectic and full on so I am hoping things will settle down as we build our confidence and comptence with the online tools, and start to really think about how we will use them in our work. In the meantime, Menaka has just joined us, so please welcome her to the group.
I would like to thank Bronwyn Hegarty for holding the fort while I am in Pakistan, and Rayna and Jane for facilitating the session with Greg Walker, in which he talked about facilitating online courses. I understand there were a few dramas behind the scenes, but they were sorted by all involved.
Here is the Elluminate recording of Greg's session - I will turn it into an audio and video recording when I return to New Zealand.
It has been an interesting week for me. Having handed over the reins, so to speak, to Bronwyn, I have felt less immersed in the course. I feel like I have been able to take a step away from the course and take a more global view of what's happening. And it has been fascinating to see how conversations and thoughts are scattering off into all sorts of directions.
Karen is at the stage where she is still onsure what she wants to focus on. Sharon wrote a very reflective post about her experiences of facilitating Nancy White's session last week. She found it hard to 'let go' and make sense of the 'chaos' that was going on around her. Jane, Tara and Tania all reflected on what online facilitation is. Jillian and Carolyn have started a conversation about the difference between teaching and facilitation - at the moment they disagree - so do drop into Jillian's post and join the discussion because I would like to know what the rest of you think. Tracey describes facilitation as drawing ideas from a group and supporting the group to move on with the ideas.
Willie is keen to think more about the pedagogy behind online tools like Elluminate. Chris is frantically busy but found time to help Carolyn out with a technical problem. Carole is also busy setting up her online ePortfolio community of practice. Kim was inspired by Nancy White to think about how an online facilitator summarizes learning or activities.
Karen Humber has made an interesting observation about blogging - the more she engages with other blogs, the more comments she gets on her blog. This point will be emphasised when we talk about how to facilitate blogs for collaborative work. Mark has an interesting conversation starting on his blog about how you engage people in an online community once that initial flush of enthausiasm has fallen away. Claire wrote an extensive account of her experiences of attending an online conference which may be useful for those of you who are planning a live event at the end of this course.
Matt is continuing with his quest to do this course from his mobile phone. I am finding his account to be really interesting in light of the view that mobile learning is the way of the future. Malcolm kindly responded to a question I asked with a whole blog post about online facilitation and social capital. As for me, I am finding that the issues that face education are the same the world over. Sarah