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I was unable to attend the live online meetings held in the Elluminate meeting room this past week for the online facilitation course that has just started. Disappointing as that was, I have been delighted to be able to catch up with the conversation through the recorded session made available by Sarah Stewart, our amazing facilitator for the course.
Amazing to know that 59 people from all over the world and with very different occupations have signed up to be part of this course. There are quite a few midwives which is very exciting. Sarah wondered, because of the number of participants, if being in groups that reflect our interest would be a good idea. I like the groupings, because I can see where people are ‘at’ with their interest in course participation, however, I’m really happy to communicate across groups because I’m learning so much from those in various and disparate fields.
For example, one of the participants, ClaireThompson, a teacher in distributed learning from BC, Canada, posted a Google map (see below) for everyone to put their location on the map.
I was challenged in putting my name on the map. Claire kindly twittered helpful hints which enabled me to successfully add myself and my location to the map. I wondered how to find the various posts on Twitter from the course participants and was introduced to the hashtag idea.
Sarah set up a list hashtag #FO2010 for the people on the course. Creating a hashtag enables people using twitter to keep up with specific conversations. What a great idea! I am having such a good time learning all these different applications for social media. This information came in handy with the Normal Birth Conference in Vancouver over the past few days. There were several people twittering information about the presentations. I was able to click on the hashtag #birthconf and keep up with what was being said – at least, what the individuals reported was being said!
If anyone asks me if twittering, blogging, Facebook and online meetings are of any use, I can easily point to the success of a rapid response to the surprise closing of a birth centre recently. A flurry of social media networking efforts thwarted the closure and demonstrated the power of networking. Mary Sidebotham’s comment on her blog explains how social networking turned the tide for the birth centre.
My next big task is to think about that assessment number 2!
- What am I going to arrange for the mini event?
- What is the best time of day for participants?
- How long is the session to be?
I’ve been thinking about the online facilitation course and what I wanted to learn. There is so much I want to learn and experienced. As always, time is an issue. My first disappointment is that I am unable to make the first Elluminate discussion and meeting this coming Thursday. Sarah Stewart, our course facilitator, has reassured me that I can access the Elluminate room after the actual event as all the meetings etc will be recorded. Phew, that’s a relief.
As I reflected, I realised that I would benefit from creating a new blog, specifically for this course. Having looked at Therese La Porte’s blog, I thought I’d have fun working with WorkPress for a change.
This blog is now my official blog for the coursework.
Our course work includes the following:
Item 4 of what we have to do at the beginning of the course is:
Make a plan for what you want to learn and explore, and write it up (or present in another way eg mindmap, video recording) on your blog. Answer these questions.
- What do you want to learn to facilitate?
Answer: not sure – everything is the word that comes to mind 🙂
- What are you doing now in terms of online facilitation?
Answer: that’s easy to answer, I’m teaching midwifery
- What would you like to achieve, change or do more of?
Answer: lots of things, but what specifically and exactly???
- What do you need to do or make happen to achieve your goal?
Answer: hmmm, this question is tricky…
I’m still pondering these questions and seeking inspiration to answer them!