Sunday, January 11, 2009

EVO 2009: Day 1

I'm trying to be the kind of student I expect my students to be. Since I have a week of presentation/ moderating / whatever to prepare for, signing up for just one session might have been advisable. BaW (Becoming a Webhead) is an intensive experience - overwhelming. Best strategy I think: pick a few tools and immerse myself in them sufficiently to put them to use (and thus assimilate them in ways not possible in a workshop). As for the rest of the array: survey, file and try not to forget...

The tool list on the BaW wiki is daunting: Assignments and the locations for completing them border on overwhelming - more the surfeit of locations than assignements themselves. No doubt there were too many because moderators want us to experience e-mail group, forum, blog, wiki, 2nd Life, web conferencing, text chat, voice chat, and who knows what else. The readings seem a bit dated, less current that what I've come up with poking around on my own.

Skype-less due to a problem creating an account, I lurked, listening to most of EVO kick-off - mostly session hosts introducing themselves and briefly describing their sessions. Nothing new over descriptions already been posted. Sometimes less. No StudyCom presence so moderator said a few words, nothing about content just that Tips & Tricks was oldest EVO session (along with Webheads?).

Text chat was crowded and mostly hellos among people who already knew each and maybe could have taken visiting private - no replies to my greeting or few comment that I could ascertain. All the charm of a large cocktail party where you barely know the host (who is busy with other guests) and don't know anyone else. All that but no booze or food.

What then was the educational value for teaching or learning? I experienced the chaos students must feel in a new learning environment. Old lessons were reinforced: don't wait until the last minute to download course software.

I did put on a headset, used sound - if only as a consumer - and went asynchronous. That is progress of sorts for someone so text fixated in an audio/visual environment. Someone on the BaW forum complained about the reading emphasizing writing element in online course delivery because there are so many other media. What if you're teaching WRITING, d'uh?

I wonder too about teachers who bagged on teaching. Why did they?

Onward to BaW assignments for Week 1: posting on blog, on wiki, on forum (to discuss readings) and planning my own week 4 in Tips & Tricks. I am not sure what the game plan is for Colloborative Writing.

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