Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflecting on my mini-conference event

I want to reflect here on my mini-conference event - all in all a very positive experience for me that went very smoothly.

The first thing in getting ready for the mini-conference was to work through the FO2010 course to build my knowledge and confidence and get to the stage where I could facilitate by myself. My first experience of facilitating was with a shared responsibility - Coach Carole guided me through my first session way back in August and acted as a mentor for me as we co-facilitated a session. At that stage that is what I needed - the security of having someone there who was already experienced, not only at facilitating online, but also with the technical know-how.

In stark contrast to today, I wanted to have the responsibility and feel I had gained enough experience to be able to facilitate and manage the session on my own. That said, it would not have been possible without the support of my guest speaker for the session, Kate Timms-Dean, nor without the active participation of those who came along.

Of course I felt nervous just prior to the session, but my methodical planning meant I was prepared and ready. I had planned a run sheet for the event and it worked a treat!

The session itself went really well, Elluminate worked fine, with only one minor audio hitch - Kate's headset was causing a fuzzy noise, but she changed it without any problem and the sound quality improved instantly. My contingency plan of moving to Skype was not needed. The timing was all good and the recording worked well (available here).

My planning and promotion of the event could have started a bit earlier by a week or so, but due to other long standing work commitments, it was not possible. I used some of the tools we learned during the course to promote the event - my blog, the wiki and Twitter, the google group as well as promoting to my face to face networks.

Unfortunately I was restricted to when I could schedule the event due to other work commitments which meant the time zone was not ideal, particularly for those based in Northern Europe. The timing of the event could well have been a factor in why there was a small, but select turn out - was this something that affected your decision to attend or not? I had received replies from several students advising the time was not good for them and apologies for not being available to attend.

The content of the presentation was great, and although Kate talked about a specific Maori approach, the cultural framework she presented could be applied to many cultures. I chose this subject as hoping it was relevant to many - we are all from different cultures and backgrounds and it was great to have the variety of cultures in the classroom. Although perhaps the low turnout indicates it was not as popular a topic as I'd thought - keen to hear any comments.

The session was attended by only 4 other students, but each participated actively using audio and the chat box and provided instant feedback at the end of the session, although I will email each of them to ask for any further comments.

I have certainly learned from this event and when I do my next one, I will start planning earlier, promoting more and trying to accommodate time zones, although the fact the recording and slides are available after the event does help.

Feel free to make any comments below - I am always keen to learn and improve.


Cultural Competency Recording and Slides

The recording from today's Facilitating Online mini-conference on Cultural Competency on the Online Environment can be found here.

You can also save the slides from the presentation by going to File - Save - Whiteboard - Current Screen Group - File Name - Save as Whiteboard PDF

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cultural Competence in the online environment

I will be facilitating a mini-conference event as part of my Facilitating Online 2010 course.

Thursday 11th November 2010, 2pm-3pm NZ time (World Clock)

The issues of "Cultural Competence in the online environment" will be addressed through a presentation by Kate Timms-Dean (pictured right) in the Elluminate virtual classroom.

Everyone Welcome.

For more details on how to access Elluminate visit the FO2010 WikiEducator page

Kate was born and raised in Dunedin and has a mixture of Scottish, English and Māori ancestry. Her iwi links are to Ngāti Raukawa ki Manawatu.

Kate studied Māori at the University of Otago and graduated with two undergraduate degrees in Māori Studies in the late 1990’s. She started working at Otago Polytechnic in 2007 and is currently employed as a senior lecturer in the Treaty Education and Training Unit and a programme developer in the Educational Development Centre.

Kate completed the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (Level 7) by assessment of prior learning in 2007. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis in Māori Studies which focuses on the process of language revitalisation with reference to the Māori language in Aotearoa New Zealand and Scottish Gaelic in Alba Scotland.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Promoting my mini-conference event

My promotional plan for my mini-conference event is to start promoting it with my fellow learners on the FO2010 course as I feel it will interest many of them.

The issues around "Cultural Competence" have cropped up in several of our online class sessions and seemed to be a topic warranting further discussion.

As well as loading the event information on to the Wiki page I have emailed an invitation to the FO2010 Google Group (181 people!)

I will also have a blog post with the event information and details of the guest speaker.

In addition I will start to Tweet daily about the event from w/c 8 Nov.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mini Conference Planning

At last planning is underway for my mini-conference as part of the FO2010 course.

I've chosen the topic of cultural competency in the online environment as it is one that has come up several times during the course with our group of students being from many varied backgrounds, cultures and countries.

With Sarah's help I'm excited to have secured a guest presenter, Kate Timms-Dean, a senior lecturer from the Treaty Education & Training Unit within the Educational Development Centre at Otago Polytechnic.

The mini-conference has been set for Thursday 11th November 2010, from 2pm-3pm NZ time (World Clock) and will take place in the Elluminate Meeting Room.

Now I need to start planning the promotion of the event and providing details for how folks can join in.

More to follow in due course.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Twitter to date...

I signed up to Twitter in May this year and after watching how it works for a while, I eventually took the plunge and started to tweet. I'm now at the stage of tweeting fairly regularly (for me that is still only 2-3 times a week) which of course pales into insignificance compared to some Tweeters!

I tweet from my own account (@SharonSchindler) and also on occasion from my work account (@csp_otago). And I'm feeling part of an online community.

Just when I thought I was getting to grips with it, they launched a new version with more stuff for me to grasp - once again it is about lifelong learning and adapting to new ways.

I find it great as a quick and easy way to follow headlines and hot topics, but not so great if those you want to hear about are not using it.

I've more or less mastered using lists on there which I find great for following specific groups of people/businesses. The same applies to hashtags for easy real time results and up to date news for specific interest areas.

I did join in the FO2010 Twitter class session, but found it a challenge to follow who was talking to who and if anyone was actually answering the questions posed, it was a little hectic and hard to follow and probably not a platform I would consider using at this stage for online meetings.

I think I've now added the Twitter widget to my blog post!

Tools, tactics and tips for communicating in an online world

This Google Doc spreadsheet is available publicly on the web for anyone to view and edit. It was a resource developed by Robin Gurney from Altex Internet Marketing and a group of conference delegates at the European Ecotourism Conference in Estonia

Thanks to my social media course tutor Tom Walter for bringing it to my attention. Now you can add to it if you wish and download as a reference tool.