After yesterday’s online audio LearningTimes session with the Australian Flexible Learning folks, I am again impressed with the fluid exchanges possible with the Elluminate Virtual Classroom— I lost count, but there may have been at least 30 participants not only from Australia, but Denmark (it was 2:00 AM for her) and I believe Brazil. The whole thing is archived for playback at LearningTImes, and you can listen to it and count my “umms”
They think I am some sort of “expert” in “RSS, Blogging and What it Means for Teaching and Learning”– hey I just started this stuff a little over a year ago! A point hard to make is that there are not really levels of experts– there are informal networked communities of peers I learn from, get ideas from, steal from, on a regular basis.
Anyhow, it is a lot of ground to cover in a one hour session and an honor to share the stage with EdNA’s Garry Putland- The information resources and useful services for educators provided by EdNA are outstanding. This session was in conjunction with some wonderful related reosurces provided by Edition 5 of the Flexible Learning Leaders Knowledge Tree, especially Michael Chalk’s “RSS, blogging and what it means for flexible teaching and learning”.
There was a lot of shuffling before the session with 5 moderators! And I somehow flubbed loading my images (they ended up huge) but they were not necessary. It helps in elluminate to be be to push a URL to the participants (it opens a new browser window with a web site), and they made use of the application sharing to present some blog sites used by teachers.
And there was the usual back talk, side conversation in the chat room, as well as a slew of questions we may not have touched on. It is helpful as someone who has been immersed in the blog-verse for a year, to appreciate the questions of newbies and skeptics (it is too easy to dismiss them, and there is good reason to be sketpical)– e.g.
What is the difference between a blog and a bulletin board?
I’m interested in what you think is the best blogging software currently?
Is there a similarity between photo blogging and collaborative digital storytelling?
Many of the blogs I have seen do not allow for comments on the material. Is this the idea or should there be an opportunity for interaction
I’m also interested in a blog software with fabulous cataloging features – any t houghts?
How do we start to manage the huge glut of information?
How do you evaluate the quality or authenticity of a blog?
Blog is almost a new word for website, isn’t it?
Can someone offer an example of how they have integrated blog use into a learning situation at VET or higher Ed level?
So does the teacher influence what the student writes… and if so, then is the student strictly communicating with the instructor? What about the student who wants to comunicate with outher students?
What is of major importance, seen from my point of view, is to make educators, parents and decision makers understand how powerful this kind of instant and networking online communication can be.
Plus the issue of spam in open comments.
Should we be concerned about student’s free language in blogs?
I find it interesting that the first one pops up almost every time- “What is the difference between a blog and a bulletin board?” to me it is akin to asking “What is the difference between a washing machine and a box of strawberries?”- huge difference.
Hopefully we stirred up some interest…