Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 2 - social networking and reflections thus far.

So what's in store for this week.  This is the week 2 summary of activities for CCK09.  I would like to explore some of the practicalities and connecting strategies that can be used across and within large organisations and their merits in terms of promoting enhanced organisational and student learning. 

My reflections on the past week based on my key questions
How have I connected and collaborated so far?
I read through some of the brief introductions and also tagged a couple of participants PLE's for a summary collation of all things CCK09.  It is good to see the variety of PLE platforms being used and their functionality which gives me some ideas and strategies for how they can be used by me in the future. One of my current students is using a ZOHO wiki as a way to connect and develop a grauation wiki where students who are graduating in December can share the highs and lows of their study program in the Diploma of e-learning they have been completing over the last 18 months.
I haven't actually responded to anyone's introductions and not sure why?.  I figure that my time is perhaps better spent on blogging and tagging which appears to be a bit of a passion of mine!  Plus not sure what I can add at this time from a collaboration perspective. 

What am I learning about my learning styles and preferences?
I know that I have varied interests and that my learning preference is to take quick "taste tests" of links and ideas and then move on.  Not incredibly interested in theoretical aspects of learning unless they can be aligned with practical application and get a bit lost in terminology and words.  Pictures and diagrams work better for me.  So in my exploration I have saved images and diagrams for use at a later time.   

What am I exploring independently that I have read or heard about via this program?
I came across (not sure where!) another TED Talks video that talked about motivation and management.  As this has resonance for me in a unit that I am currently delivering BSBLED501A I tagged the video and also sent it off to my HR management team as a possible option for professional development application for our organisation in 2010.  Not sure that it will it be taken up but that is okay, part of my philosophy in my teaching role is to link people to information and people to spark interest and thought!  Love this Atlassian management philosophy and FedEx days activity process.

What feedback am I providing to other participants?
At this time I have only responded to one other participant via their PLE.  Not feeling any more need at this time to connect further.

What reflections do I have about all aspects of this CCK09 program?

It is interesting to read the "overwhelmed" discussion forum and hear and feel some of what I expereinced last year and then did not persist.  Hopefully I will be able to discern what I want to rwead more of and have more of a handle and less pressure to connect with everything and everyone, feeling much more relaxed at the learning journey this time round.  Also decided that at this time don't have a great interest in second life have had the taste tests and would prefer at this time to explore more relevant practical strategies, but have bookmarked and will view discussions in this area on an adhoc basis, where time permits.  Perhaps a direct message to the passionate ones here might elicit more connections with this platform and its application.

What application could this learning have in my personal, work life?  How can I use it?

I am enjoying reading and linking to and from a number of blogs and PLE's and also like the fact that I can connect to other people's blogrolls and their links of interest through the direct linking processes in blogs and webpages.  Still need to add a blogroll from my own site but am thinking that what I might do is blogroll from the participants in this program rather than to other practitioners, as these are already available through my delicious account under the tags blogs and practitioners.

What am I actively doing to extend my learning in this program and beyond?
Week 2 for me will be about considering the theory around networks and considering its application to my networks and past project work in developing communities of practice.  Will also consider how the new program I am planning to deliver in 2010 " VGC Blended Learning"  can be enhanced with more activie development of the community with a networking focus. 

I am also thinking how I can share this learning with my wider TAFE Queensland TAFE Institute here in the Tropical North of Australia and through my NING industry liaision group for the Vocational graduate certificate in Blended learning Community.  How will I share the possibilities and learnings from this program and is it necessary?

That's it I promised my grandson Ben some quality time with a bike read on the beach and some "ginrummy time" teaching him to play this card game might have been my biggest mistake!!!! All good learning

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week 1 wordle for a final summary of terms, words and "Stuff" that grabbed my focus this week

I just thought that I would capture some of the terms words and sites that I have visited or learned from or about as part of my " chaotic" learning journey"  I like the concept of using wordle as a visual record and perhaps a useful prompting tool to give my "tired" brain something to work from  when I come back to reflect tomorrow on week 1.

Here is the link for perhaps a better view.
Plus a link to the CCK09 Week 1 readings and activities for those who want to explore these in their own time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reflection 1 - 17/9/09 CCK09 -

Thursday - reflection 1- Thursday morning Mission beach sunrise.
To maintain the discipline of reflection in my proposed blog structure My blog will be aligned with these key questions and headings as per my strategy this year for CCK09
How have I collaborated/connected so far?
I opened up my email inbox this morning and had a sense of deja vu from last year.  Last year I subscribed to the introductions forum of the CCK08 course.  This of course meant that all posts were automatically sent to my email inbox.   It reminded me of an issue that was raised last year about the concept of forced forum subscriptions by facilitators and the value of this strategy.  Quite a lot of discussion was generated around this issue and a lot of "hoo ha!" from what seemed like some very "precious" participants! Stephen I am sure you remember!
Last year I decided to connect to people via their introduction posts by responding to the Australian participants first and then in quite an adhoc manner.  This year I have decided to ( no rhyme or reason about this strategy but a little bit of fun for me,..... to respond to introductions by posting to various nationalities and extending my world connections). 
Note to reader: I don't find blogging enjoyable but feel that I need to demonstrate this skill and model different approaches for my students.  I have tried to demnonstrate how blogs can be used as a repository and reflective tool and what is possible in this blogging process.  So my e-learning blog that I have had for the last two years is a complete hotchpotch of strategies, , bit like the way my head leaps off laterally as I think about issues and ideas. See my e-learning blog entry (Friday 13th March 2009), for one example.

What am I learning about my learning styles and preferences?
  • I take a long time to write blog posts and like the concept of visuals and links that allow my reader to explore further some of the ideas that I am thinking about asI write.
  • I would prefer to have more time to explore and connect with people but know that if I do not maintain discipline around this process that I will again become overwhelmed, so today I have posted to the following people's blogs or introductions. I like the design and strategy that Laura is using in her blog .  I learn from others by viewing examples and samples and ideas and then considering their strategies for inclusion in my approaches.
  • That the way people write and reflect or select their reflective processes does give some insight into their own learning styles and preferences.  Is Laura a very organised thinker?

What am I exploring independently that I have heard/read about in this program?
  • Setting up a new blog has been a little problematic and perhaps I might have been better to explore a wiki or use my current blog, but to save time this new blog format has been worth exploring.  I also considered using a PLE platform but decided against this as it would have meant doing a lot my research and playing that would have taken me away from some of the focus of this program.
  • Refined my skills re RSS feeds and reinforced my thoughts on the value of the Common craft series of plain english videos re technological tools .
  • Have also checked out my google reader, Picasa web albums and moddle again plus blogger gadgets!
  • As yet still have not done the readings for this week, but this has been slotted in to a weekend activity!

What feedback am I providing to other participants?

  • Commented on Lauras blog
  • Updated my profile on the moodle site for CCK09

What reflections do I have about all aspects of this CCK09 program?
  • I find the CCK09 daily a good way for me to keep connected and in touch with this program and it is one of the strategies that I use with my students ala a weekly announcement, I also number these and date them in case people want to check to enure that they have not missed them.  With my weekly announcement I have key headings, these are general;  good news from the week, technical issues, assessment updates, to do lists and a quote for the week.   These are considered very useful for my online students and a way to connect them with their peers in this online program.
  • The elluminate session for this week presented by George and Stephen explaining the course structure could have been enhanced I think by having  some visuals and or interaction from participants.  Perhaps a visual of the "chaotic structure" supporting the verbal description of this program.  A presentation aligned with this introduction and summary slides of what this course is about might have been useful. Particularly for those who might access the recording at a later time. Maybe even a wordle or cloud tag re some of the key terms discussed as a summary slide.  Is this the teacher/facilitator in me coming out?

What application could this learning have in my personal or work life? How can I use it?
I have allocated two hours this morning 6.30 - 8.30 am (even put my phone timer on!!!) to check out the introductions and the daily CCK09 online emails. This focus and discipline is one of the things that is vital for me in this type of learning and one of the things that I have learned from last years CCK08. I have had many issues with my students around time and the "link lust" that can occur when exploring resources and people's blogs online . This can provide great learning but also becomes very time consuming. Being discerning and focused on what to explore and what to store for later is the value of delicious for me.

What am I actively doing to extend my learning in this program and beyond?
  • Right now I am trying to self discipline and will close this blog so I can go and post some comments on introductions and blogs, as I only have 30 minutes left in my self imposed time schedule this morning.
  • Still going to explore design of this blog and refine this as i progress through this program. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 1 CCK09 structured reflection from chaos?

Hi My name is Colleen Hodgins and I live in Mission Beach Far North Queensland Australia. I have decided to set up a new blog for my reflections and learning in CCK09. My current blog sits on the xanga platform but is more of a repository where I connect with students in my Diploma of e-learning program and there may be some privacy issues that could be impacted if I used this site to share with the CCK09 community. Having said that feel free to check out how I connect with this community and what I reflect and share with others.

My learning context:

I "sort of" participated in last years online CCK08 program but probably got lost and reprioritised my involvment in the program after about week 3. I have therefore set myself a challenge of exploring more consistent involvement with this program over the coming months and trying to use the graphic above as the way that I record my learning. I figure that whilst George describes the chaos and connections of this course as part of its design and development, my reflective comments need to have some structure so that I can then apply this learning into my own personal work and life context.

So I will format my posts into some key headings and see how that works for my reflections in this CCK09 Program.
  • How have I collaborated/connected so far?
  • What am I learning about my learning syles and preferences?
  • What am I exploring independently that I have heard/read about in this program?
  • What feedback am I providing to other participants?
  • What reflections do I have about all aspects of this CCK09 program?
  • What application could this learning have in my personal or work life? How can I use it?
  • What am I actively doing to extend my learning in this program and beyond?

My details for other social software that I use are, feel free to contact me:

I look forward to connecting and learning with and from you. regards Colleen