Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just a little bit more about me and why I'm doing the on-line facilitation course. I'm an ex Secondary Media Studies teacher (well for the moment anyway - I really miss it so...) I work for Team Solutions which is the school support service for the Auckland/Northland region. As well as being the face to face facilitator for approx 150 teachers in our region, I also look after the Media Studies on-line community.
To cut a long story shortish, Media Studies is a small but fiesty subject in NZ and growing rapidly (about 350 teachers). In order to provide at least some support for teachers, the Ministry of Education have contracted TS to provide a person (moi) to support the media teachers nationwide. In the absence of any other advisors I do my job via e-mail, phone and a small but growing on-line support network. The Media Studies kete on the Ministry portal TKI is comprised of an open access area and a private community - a password protected area for media teachers. This area houses discussion forums, a place to subscribe to a mailing list, resources for teaching and teacher PD, updates for the community etc.
As it's primarily on a publishing platform (ezypublish), I've found I need to utilise the ubiquitous web 2.0 tools to try and get a community going rather than just me posting stuff for the teachers to look at. I've just set up a wiki so that I can link to student video examples, show my links, use voicethread etc etc etc. I'm taking baby steps, and very much learning as I go - but I'm determined that it can't all come from me. It's a daily struggle to be honest - most teachers have very little extra time and would, I'm sure, prefer it if I just 'gave them the stuff'. There is a strong core of great people, who generously contribute in lots of ways, and I know it won't happen over night (a kiwi joke - if you are reading this anywhere else in the world!)
So - that's my first thoughts. Am about to put my blog on the list for the course participants and go and have a look at some others. If anybody can tell me how to add a link roll to this blog - I'd appreciate it! I'm finding this blogger thing a bit trickier than wikispaces (hope google don't shut down my blog for that!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

a reason to blog!

Ha! I finally have a good reason to use this blog and improve my on-line skills. I've (informally) joined a course run through Otago Polytech called facilitating online communities. Since this is what I'm meant to do - I figure it can only be helpful. And interesting! It seems that there are a variety of interesting people from all round the world also keen to do this course - starting tomorrow I'll be posting my course contributions/thoughts etc here (and hoping someone will read them!)
So here goes!