Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Google Sites

17 August 2011
Coach Carole and I presented Google Sites to e-T@lking. I showcased my Diploma e-portfolio and used print screens to show how to create a Google site for an e-Portfolio. Carole showed two of her Google Sites. One for Her e-learning journey and one for her geneology. She demonstrated adding a new page and discussed the planning needed before creating a Google site.

There are always problems. Carole intended to create a Google site in 5 minutes but Google was not co-operating as we could not get into it. Not too much of a problem as we had just about used our time and we answered questions.

How did it go?
I felt that it went well. I tangled up my words a bit but Carole of course was very smooth. It was interesting to see Caroles sites as they were very different to mine. Also interesting to hear the experiences of others.
We are all on the same e-learning journey!

Google Docs

11 August 2011
Pam and I presented Google Docs to Community Connect as part of the ePcop MOOC.

A new person to work with
It was nice to work with Pam as I have not worked directly with her before. We didn't manage to get together before hand as we seemed to miss each other. But I think it worked well.

Session content
Pam covered Google Docs general stuff and I covered Google forms and showed my Google e-Portfolio.

I created a Google form and intended to share the application and ask participants to contribute by adding questions to the form. I thought this would be a good way to involve the participants and to get a range of different question types. But! When I tried the link to get into it I seemed to be the only one able to edit the form. It took me to a sign in page with my email address as the username. I wondered if this was because I had asked my computer to remember me. But! when I tried it on my husband's computer I got the same result. So, I scrapped that idea and created a form with the same question in various question types and just demonstrated it in application share. I felt very isolated when I used application share in Blackboard Collaborate, it was the first time I had used it in the new format and it takes up most of your screen so I had to rely on Pam to watch the text chat for questions. She, of course, did that very well for me. Next time I will see if I can resize the application share.

How did it go?
I felt that our presentation went well. Pam was very well prepared and great to work with.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thoughts on Blogs

I missed some of the MOOC session tonight but what I did see was inspiring. Manjit spoke about using blogs with refugee learners. She has overcome all kinds of obstacles to do this.
I had intended to use reflective blogs with my VCAL learners but was daunted when I observed some of the levels of literacy. Junita has had great success with blogs with VCAL learners. I just need to work out how to do it. I guess that I would just have to schedule time into the lesson plans - that would do it.

I will be teaching Cert IV TAE next year so I will definately be requiring those learners to create reflective blogs.
Two clear advantages to this:
1. learners have the opportunity to reflect on their learning
2. I will know how they are going, what their thinking is, etc. It will also give me feedback on my teaching.

My experience
I have just completed my Dip TAA and as part of the course I was required to keep a reflective blog. I found that it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my learning/problems I encountered/successes/time constraints, etc. Some of my blogs I submitted as evidence of competency. I did feel comfortable with the fact that I could keep my blog private - just between my assessor and myself especially at first. In fact I had to limit the number of blogs I was writing as I did not have the time to spare. But I do see the advantage in having a class blog where learners can share and learn from each other.

I was required to use Blogger. I found it very user friendly and love the fact that it is free and portable. I don't like the idea of not being able to access my blog after my course is completed.
Give it a go you may find you like it and blogging becomes a way of life!