Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
- I had my script ready for multiple situations on my desk .
- I was using my trusted headset, used for numerous events during the last year.
- I had an experienced speaker
Monday, November 23, 2009
You are invited to my on-line event: Using the Webex on-line conference tool
Use this link to convert to your local time zone.
The presenter will be Eric Kwok, Technical Manager, AsiaPac, Cisco System. Eric is based in Hong Kong and has been working for Cisco System for 8 years. He is Technical Manager for the Cisco Networking Academy Program. Eric is using Webex daily.
If you encounter any technical issues,
for the FC09 group
-I will be logged in the Google group/Google mail/Skype (text only)
for participant non members the FC09 group
-I will be at the same time keeping an eye on the comments for this post.
I have used Webex for more than 5 years and have had no experience of it crashing/not being available. If however we encounter a major setback (technical or otherwise), I will aim to reschedule the session fast.
It does not make sense to talk about a tool without using it.
Looking forward to your company on the day !
Friday, November 6, 2009
This is one of the reasons why I would be uncomfortable to use these potentially good tools in my day-to-day teaching of young adults who are so sure that it only happens to other people.
You must also consider your legal position if students who are victim of these attacks blame you for having to use those tools for their courses.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
This is the summary of the information gathered from some of the members.
The discussions about any subject related to adoption and fostering are 'roaming fairly freely'. There is no point having someone trying to summarising a thread, as in any case, it would not close it. Too many people have to have the last word.
There is moderation taking place on the forum, as there are moderators who read every post after it is published, approve new members, deal with complaints and complete some 'admin stuff'. One of the moderators compared their role to light facilitation.
Sometimes moderators discuss off-line the behaviour of a member of the group giving concerns, and one of them steps in when things turn nasty.
It has happened in the past that members are put onto pre-moderation. In that situation, 'their posts must be read and approved before they are published but this is a rare event and has only happened a handful of times'.
There has been members banned for trying to sell children (!) or for breaking confidentiality agreement.
However the boundaries are very wide and the discussions can wanders right off the purpose of the group.
One of the members mentions that the discussions on the forum create a learning environment challenging the members ideas and preconceptions. The participants have respect for each other, challenge each other respectfully , as they are a group of individuals with a common interest and passion in fostering. There have been occasions where the group came together supported a peer needing help with a positive outcome .
Another good point was made by an someone else, who noted that 'with any group the dynamic of power and control more often is held by those who are charismatic, vocal and confident. It is dangerous to believe that freedom of opinion, low key monitoring and a lack of dissonance equates to agreement by the majority'.
(thanks to Tia, Mike, Rhys, Kathy, Jon)
This group feels like a real community. By in large the discussions are respectful and the participants cares for each other . All the participants seem to have a common interest. However there is no need for facilitation service as there are no plans for any synchronous events.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It is far from a virtual world!
I am summarizing the findings about the forum I have been looking at: UKFoster-Adopt group, and will shortly post them.
I am at the same time listening to the recording of the session I have missed. Who said that men could not multitask?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Looking at discussion forums for these two weeks. The tasks to complete are:-Locate an example of an online forum and post to your blog a link to the forum with an assessment of the forum.
-Identify what aspects of community can be found.
-Interview a member of the forum you are looking at and obtain comments and ideas on how the forum might benefit from facilitation services - such as a coordinated event to help focus people around a particular issue, or the writing of a summary to close a thread in the forum.
-Write the findings into a blog post and send the link to the course email group.
I did find difficult to find a discussion forum where there was a sense of community. I have found that all the open forum I looked at in Yahoo! groups or Google groups were plagued with spam getting in the way of communication. I have applied to join a few of the closed forums, but out of 6 or 7 applications completed last week, I only received once answer to date. The group I have managed to join is "Educating Tomorrow" in Google groups.
Educating Tomorrow's mission is to design and help implement best management practices for greening NYC's public schools. Our schools must take the lead in reducing our City's ecological footprint through environmental education and responsible practices, such as school-wide recycling."
However I do not get a feeling of community there. It does not seem to be any discussion taking place. It feels more like an information board with not replies posted to any messages.
I'll be late, but will get there...
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I am already loosing track...
In the posting dated 17th August, Sarah mentioned the confusion between the role of facilitator, moderator and teacher.
What is the difference between the 3 roles? I have been using several resources in an attempt to define this roles.
The role of the facilitator is in a discussion is
- to help to bring about an outcome by using or providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision.
- assists in the management of an exchange of ideas, information, and opinions.
- A neutral person who makes progress easier
- Expected to offer guidance along the way to making decisions rather than provide expertise on a particular subject relevant to the decisions.
Skills required by a facilitator:
-to be able to gain the trust of the participants
-identify and able to summarise the participant's ideas
-keeping a neutral position
The moderator will let a discussion take place and will only intervene
- to iron the excesses out
- To enforce the rules of the discussion
There is more an idea of mediating and arbitrating. There is a confusion with the role of facilitator in some of the definition found.
Skills required by a moderator:
-perfect knowledge of the rule of the discussion.
The idea is there to instruct, to impart and inculcate knowledge as you would fill a bucket. A teacher must be an expert in his field. The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing.
Skills required by a teacher:
An online community will need a moderator, and a meeting would benefit from a facilitator.
So should we teach, facilitate or moderate?
The role of an educator varies in between these 3 poles. I have been fortunate enough to teach a range of subject across intermediate, secondary and tertiary education. The techniques used to educate vary and are influenced by the context, subject, topic and public. The personality of the educator will make him/her prefer a technique instead of another.
Modern teaching methods would make an appropriate use of moderation and facilitation.
- The role of a teacher undermining the role of a facilitator when the teacher is trying to impose his/her views on a group.
I cannot think of a situation when the role of a facilitator undermine the role of a teacher or moderator .
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Just another thought about when a group becomes a community. Isn't it that a group becomes a community once participants are starting to know each other better, leading to changes in the group dynamic?
I am a bit confused now. I thought that I was already late on the schedule, but I came to give feed back to other participants, I have noticed that I seem to be ahead… Strange. I am not used to that.
Friday, August 14, 2009
What is a community? The first words that spring to my mind are similarities, common interests and values.
As could be seen in the fascinating video from Michael Welsh An anthropological introduction to YouTube , the on line communities also allow to break social conventions and rules of acceptable behaviour which can be redefined through the online media. This allows for communities to be created between people who are not likely to have ever met, disregarding borders and even languages.
Tools that allows people to access material of common interest are all very new and are constantly evolving.
The anonymity of performing in front of a web cam allows people to be themselves and relax without the fear of "the others" and of social boundaries.
Why is this happening? There seem to be to a sense of loss of communities. It is in the human nature to need to feel as part of a genuine group not created artificially by the society such as work, school, university…As Mark Pesce mentioned in This, That and the Other "We are human to the degree we are in relationship with our peers."
However as for everything else, people are learning to manipulate the system for various reasons.
According to Stephen Downes , in Groups and Networks groups are different than network. Networks are without walls/boundaries and their membership is very fluid. According to Stephen, the flow of information in a network is multidirectional instead of unidirectional as it tends to happen in groups. It might be better to use networks in eLearning instead of groups, as it seemed to have been happening at the time when the video was made in 2006. However the technology which allows networks to function is a lot more common in 2009. However Stephen's view of sharing knowledge freely to anyone is idealistic and I cannot imagine a time when my employer would allow me to teach a course for free via eLearning. It is not as he mentions "the rich getting richer and the poor poorer" but the reality of an educational establishment trying to generate enough income to be able to pay its employees.
Mark Pesce explains that the maximum size for a community is 150, after which the group can be described as a mob. This is due to the present limits of the human mind not being able to handle more information. The internet is changing very fast the way we learn and Mark thinks that the institutions not able to adapt to the changes will disappear.
Building Online Communities feels like an instruction manual on how to run an online community such as a Blog. It is full of good ideas and suggestions. I have bookmarked it and will get back to it when I can find some time.
Friday, July 31, 2009
First post for the Facilitating Online Course at Wikiversity
Looking forwards to this course and to work with all of you. I just hope that I can stay on top of the work!
I am a lecturer in computer networking at the Manukau Institute of Technology and have been using eLearning tools since 2004. I might as well learn how to make the most of them...
This is my second course preparing towards the Graduate Certificate in Applied eLearning.