Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Catch up

Sorry guys, I missed out on Monday's meeting. I had booked a day's annual leave, and was at home working outside. My preference is for the evening sessions for elluminate meetings, but I will try very hard to get to the day times- have to find a quiet space at work, as I share an office with 15 others, so having an Elluminate meeting just won't work- too noisy.

I haven't yet completed all the readings (or "listenings") for this section, and I now feel like I have already strayed from the group, simply because I didn't attend the session on Monday- but I have listened to half the recording so far, and am really sorry I missed out "live", but having the recording is almost as valuable. Hence, I feel the need to post something on my Blog sooner rather than later, so I get "heard"... Maybe this is what Leigh wants to happen, to get our connections working asynchronously via the blogs initially- so we can dip in and out of the 'conversations' through the RSS feeds (BTW- I set up most of the feeds through Google Reader, and I thought that once I have added all the particpants to the feed, this should work for me). The Pageflakes is a bit like Netvibes??? hadn;t heard of that before but I did set up a Netvibes page a couple of years ago for a PD task at work.
This feeling I have at the moment of 'straying' helps me to define what I think an online community might be, and how it is different to a f-2-f community. I think it's important to have more than one CHANNEL- to capture all of us, since its going to be impossible for everyone to be in one place at any time. And even if we aren't contributing to the topic of the 'moment', (online in realtime), we can still be thinking about things in the background, asynchronously, and can 'catch up on the blogs'- the connections will still be made, through the feeds, knowing that someone will read it eventually :-). yes, lurking is OK- as long as participation occurs, and that particpation can be in different forms for some of us. It's the contribution that is important I guess.

I was already forming an impression that at this stage of the course, we are probably more of a network or group, rather than a community (yet). To me, a community will take a bit more time to evolve, as we get to know each other and I left the Elluminate Recording just when this topic was about to be aired. There is so much to think about, and the YouTube presentation blew me away as well, I will certainly have another go at working through that one, and post my thoughts soon. I always thought of Youtube as more of a soapbox than a 'community voice'- however, it seems to be that with all Web 2.0 technologies, they seem to morph depending on who is using them (or how they are being used).

Effective communication depends on choosing the most appropriate channel and of course, the context that the message is 'delivered'- it's the difference between 'intended' message and 'interpreted' message that I get worried about during online communication, as without the non-verbal communication, the message can get 'mixed' sometimes? So where does that sit with our 'online community' concept??? Keeping the channels varied so that participation is enabled as much as possible, and allowing time for relationships to build...
Till next time
PS- I am keen to follow some of your comments, Rachel, so I best start getting connected and replying on the blogs ay?


Sarah Stewart said...

The whole 'mixed message' thing is a constant worry, I think, about online communication for newbies . Making sure you give the right message is one of the skills you need to develop as an online facilitator.

There is an assumption that F2F communication is better but is it? What do you think are the barriers to F2F communication & how can they be overcome in the online environment?

Hervé said...

Good afternoon,

I have added the link to last Monday's meeting in I have missed the meeting as well and found the link on the last posting on Sarah's blog.

Have fun


Hervé said...

To follow up from Sarah's comment, I think that f2f is often a more effective way to teach. It all depends on your public. Most of the kids coming out of school do not seem to have the skills or the motivation that would be required to complete a non f2f course.



Stoneleigh31 said...

Hi there guys
It's interesting about that assumption Sarah- and I agree with you as well Hervé-there are other skills that the 'kids coming out of school' might not have to be effective in a non-f2f environment. If it is an asynchronous course, there are a lot of issues relating to time management that need to be dealt with, plus their self-motivation. They might be better of in a blended environment though, being able to delve into the course content at their own pace, as well as the f2f teaching. But then, what about the social aspects? teenagers seem to be more connected these days.So perhaps the key is to use these Web 2.0 technologies to enhance the contact with them...even if they are in a f2f course.

Barriers to f2f communication?? Participants still need to understand the context for the communication, having some prior knowledge of the topics will help, if they have a good level of self confidence- this will help group communication; being able to consider use of non-verbal cues; assertive behaviour is more effective than passive behaviour (with group work); the 'reticent' class members might miss out if they are too shy to talk up. Whereas, in an online environment (communication wise), the opportunity to particiapte differs depending on how the course is set up e.g synchronous vs. asynchronous. Barriers can be overcome by having the content always available, having email forums for discussing things, and asking questions, using blogs for cross communication- the shy people can participate at their own pace (and texts can be written and checked before posting)-. Different people have different preferences for learning though, and some topics lean to f2f more than others. So it might boil down to personal choice. Lots to think about...


Rose said...

Hi Debra,

I am interested in your comments about us being more of a network or a group at the moment than a community and I definitely agree. "Build it and they will come" does not work either online or in a F2F situation. I struggle to see how linking 40 blogs can be considered an online community.
I see joining an online community as similar to joining a sports team. At first you don't know each other. It takes time spent together training, playing and socialising to become an effective team.
I see an online community as something similar, it needs time and commitment to make it work. It will be very interesting to see how this one evolves......

Rachel said...

Some interesting comments from you blog post Debra, as well as from Herve and Sarah. My teaching is predominately f2f, but have started to be more flexible with my delivery. I find that even though 'school leavers' may be familiar with technology, they are still quite hesitant in using this technology in their learning. They seem to prefer to keep that to their 'social time' and prefer to have that f2f interaction. I wonder how they would interact as on 'online community. It is good to have this opportunity to think about is and have other peoples feedback.