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!)


Mike Bogle said...

Hi Deb,

Wow looks like I know where to go for insight into facilitation (the main FOC wiki too of course)! I'm expecting to be a bit out of my element once we get into that portion of the course (tech is my strong point), but based on the community that seems to be emerging on the google group there should be a lot of assistance and collaboration that emerges.

Hopefully soon we'll start to see cross-talk via blog links as well.

Now to answer your question about including a link roll. The easiest way I can think of would be to use a universal tag for the links you want on the list and then add the tag's rss feed to the Blogger menu via the Layout area.

Hope that's more or less what you're after!


Mike Bogle

Joao said...

Hi Deb,
To create a linkroll in your blog go to this page in and follow the instuctions.
Hope it helped.

deb thompson said...

thanks Joao,
worked a treat. I've got a link roll on our wiki, but for some reason I couldn't get it to work here.

Joao said...

What went wrong? Keep trying, Deb.

Mary Loftus said...

Hi Deb

I liked this comment from your post:

"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'."

I agree that this is one of the key challenges of facilitation - in almost any context. Some people would just prefer to 'get the stuff'. I hope we can shine a light on this over the coming weeks!

On a technical note, I would like to get started with wikis. Do you have any advice based on your recent experience?

See you 'in class'!

derek said...

Deb, I get the feeling I may have met you at some other time and place. I used to work at Christchurch CoE. My son takes Media Studies. I was extremely impressed last week: he texted me to say "Got a Merit in Chemistry" (a rare occurrence). So I called him back to see if he wanted to go for lunch to celebrate. His media studies teacher merely said "Take the call outside please".

(There is a lot here: why is he texting in class, why did I call not text, why wasn't his phone on silence . .) but he loves MS and I am grateful to at least one teacher who understands. Mostly school has been injurious to his education.

Your community: I will posts my paper on Teacher communities in NZ once I degut it from actual refs and context.

One fragment: Promote reputation. Get to know some people (as many as you can) and what they are good at/interested in. If you have a question, don't answer it. Say: this is something Jill can help with.

For this you probably need good profile pages.

Cheers!! - Derek

deb thompson said...

Hi Derek,
yes we did meet at the Etienne Wenger workshop (I THINK it was you I met in the Koru Lounge afterwards???)
Thanks for making the connection, and I'm really glad I went that day, chiefly because it gave me lots to think about and I found out about this course. An interesting thing about your son and the phone thing - good to see an open minded /futures thinking media teacher (aren't we all!) I've just been slagging off a school up here because they've banned cellphones at school. Pretty shortsighted I'd say given the educational potential of mobile technology. Thanks for the advice about the community - I'm going to post some thoughts about that when I have a moment.