Saturday, October 9, 2010

What we've been up to over the last two weeks

I wasn't going to write a summary post for the last two weeks because to be honest, I was quite enjoying our little break. But a few people have been taking advantage of the break and catching up with things, such as Karen who has been fighting computer gremlins but looks like she's winning :)

A few of us had another play with the free version of DimDim. I was very impressed with how supportive the support team has been - I have had a couple of telephone chats with Noor in India. However, I am disappointed to see that DimDim's functions appear to have changed from the last time I used it - it appears that only the meeting organiser can use the audio function which means you can only have a one-way conversation. Nevertheless, Karen has a suggestion about how that problem can be overcome.

Second Life
A small group of us also had a little look around Second Life. Tracy really enjoyed her visit and found it to be much more fun than when she looked around SL by herself.

Footnote: It is free to have a SL avatar and go into SL, but you have to pay for land. Linden Lab, the company who owns SL has just announced they are putting up their prices for educators and non-profits. This may have the effect of driving communities to other virtual worlds such as OpenSim. So, if you are interested in using virtual worlds for online facilitation, it may be worth your while having a look at other options to Second Life.

Catching up
Karen Wilson has been reflecting on how much more difficult it is to be culturally competent online compared to face-to-face when you have visual cues to guide you. Sharon is getting her head around Twitter and found an excellent resource to guide your thinking about online communication tools. Willie has been thinking about Web 3.0. Jean has been exploring ideas about online learning. Sebastion has been catching up with recordings of sessions and reflecting on what it means to be an online facilitator. Katherine has been hanging out with Steve Wheeler, who is one of my 'heros' I am feeling pretty jealous of her. At the same time, I was intrigued by her reaction to the session that Steve ran at a conference she attended.

Mini conference
Mark has been thinking about the mini conference and has written some great reflective questions you might want to use to help you with your planning. Tania has a VoiceThread conversation on her blog - please go along and contribute for two reasons. Firstly, it will add to the learning of the young student who has put this VoiceThread together. Secondly, it will give you an idea about a communication tool you may wish to use for your event...especially if you are thinking about facilitating an asynchronous event.

Look forward to catching up with you all next week as we enter the final section of FO2010 and start preparing for the mini conference. Sarah :)

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