Week 0 Activities & Webinars

Please begin by reading and reviewing the topic   Week 0: Get prepared!

 Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Sessions

How to Teach Online Orientation

Orientation session with your course Facilitators Brent Hirata, Rachael Inake and Greg Walker.

by sharyn morrow

Introduction to blogging and what you really need to know to get started

In this session Sue Waters, the editor of Edublogs, will introduce blogging, and tell you what you really need to know about blogging to get the most out of How to Teach Online  (TOMOOC).

By Sue Waters

Sue Waters an Australian based in Perth, is married with two kids. While her work as an aquaculture lecturer earned her the coolest job title, her passion is the use of technology to enhance student learning. Sue’s technology use has changed considerably since she was first introduced to it’s potential in 2000; from a LMS (WebCT) to Virtual Classrooms (Elluminate), mobile technologies (spyglasses, PDAs, iPods) and Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis etc).

Her passion has led to a transition from aquaculture lecturer, to facilitating professional development workshops on elearning and web 2.0 technologies, to her current role writing on The Edublogger and as Edublogs‘ Support Manager. Sue’s personal blog is also well known and as a blogger she  stands for — practical application of technologies in education, and most importantly HELPING OTHERS learn how to use these technologies.

Set up your blog

During the workshop we suggest you post to a blog for your personal learning  There are a number of free blogging platforms available – this course recommends BloggerEdublogs.org orWordPress.com ) because they are easy to use if you have never blogged before. Here is information about how to set up a blog.

If you want detailed information about blogging, follow the Blog Challenge.

  • Blogging – Not ‘IF’ but When and Where. UPEI presentation | Dave’s Educational Blog – Blogging, like ‘academic writing’ is a vague label that really doesn’t do justice to the complexities of the subject it is meant to cover. Blogging is appropriate any time that people need to be kept ‘up to date’ with a topic, a person, images,
  • Introduction to Blogging – part of the excellent WordPress Codex
  • Into the Blogosphere – a series of papers and articles on blogging
  • Educational Blogging Stephen Downes 2004 paper on blogging

Practice creating a sensemaking artifact


How do we make sense of what’s happening in this workshop? How do we develop a clear view of the topics?

George Siemens writes that sensemaking occurs in many areas of our personal and organizational life, including crisis situations, routine information seeking, research, and learning. Everyday we are engaged in vague problem-solving without a clear path: a parent raising a child, an employee starting a new job, a doctor without a clear diagnosis for a patient, a student deciding what they want to do in life, and so on. Sensemaking is a daily activity we engage in to respond to uncertainty, complex topics, or changes in settings. Sensemaking is not about truth and getting it right. Sensemaking is about continuing to improve and redraft an emerging story until it becomes comprehensible.

Sensemaking Artifacts

Sensemaking artifacts can include a text post, a slideshow, a video, a podcast, a recorded live performance – basically anything that allows you to express how you came to understand something. According to Siemens, sensemaking artifacts serve two roles:

  1. They reflect the sensemaking activity you experienced – the artifact shows how you connected different concepts within this course or how you came to understand the relationship between different entities.
  2. They are a “sensegiving” tool that teaches others. Sensemaking artifacts are valuable for you to use to self-organize around important ideas, negotiate the scope of a topic, correct each other, and curate key ideas.

How do I create an artifact?

  1. Pick and Choose. We will give you access to a wide variety of things to read, watch or play with. There will be a LOT of content associated with this course. You are NOT expected to read and watch everything. Even we, the facilitators, cannot do that. Instead, what you should do is PICK AND CHOOSE content that looks interesting to you and is appropriate for you. If it looks too complicated, don’t read it. If it looks boring, move on to the next item.
  2. Remix and Re-purpose. We don’t want you simply to repeat what other people have said. We want you to create something of your own. This is probably the hardest step of the process. Remixing is the adoption, alteration, and recombination of what your read, saw, or heard to create something new. Remember that you are not starting from scratch. Nobody every creates something from nothing. That’s why we call this step ‘repurpose’ instead of ‘create’. We want to emphasize that you are working with what you choose in step 1, you are not starting from scratch.
  3. Share and provide feedback. We know, sharing in public is harder. People can see your mistakes. People can see you try things you’re not comfortable with. It’s hard, and it’s sometimes embarrassing. But it’s better. You’ll try harder. You’ll think more about what you’re doing. And you’ll get a greater reward – people will see what you’ve created and connect on it. Sometimes critically, but often (much more often) with support, help and praise. People really appreciate it when you share. After all, what you’re doing when you share is to create material that other people can learn from. Your sharing creates more content for this course. people appreciate that, you will probably appreciate the content other people in the course share with you.

Practice creating artifacts

This course will be about how to read or watch, understand, and work with various forms of content and other people to create your own new understanding and knowledge.Your job isn’t to memorize a whole bunch of stuff. Rather, your job is to practice and use different tools to create artifacts. We will show you by giving examples. Watch what we do, then practice yourself.

It’s a wonderful experience

George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dave Cormier, who facilitated change.mooc.ca, asks you to think of every bit of content you create not simply as content, but as practice creating artifacts.

This will seem awkward at first. But with practice you’ll become an accomplished creator and critic of ideas and knowledge. When the course is working really well, we see this great cycle of content and creativity begin to feed on itself, people in the course reading, collecting, creating and sharing. It’s a wonderful experience you won’t want to stop when the course is done. Along the way we will get to know each other better learners interact with each other and with information.

 Blackboard Collaborate

  1. Blackboard Collaborate meetings
    We will have regular ‘live’ meetings that will help us get to know each other better, build a learning network and/or community, and become more familiar with web conferencing tools. We will record all meetings so if you miss one, you will be able to catch up with content.
  • Our weekly meetings will using Collaborate , a web conferencing tool. This virtual classroom is open now so that you can go in, set up your computer and meet others to practice online communication. Access the Collaborate virtual classroom, here.
  • Here are directions to Get your computer ready for Collaborate web conferencing-it is preferable that you have a headset with microphone.

Introduce Yourself

  1. Introduce yourself  to the workshop on your blog or here.
    1. What is your intention for this workshop (why are you here)?
    2. What issues do you think are important?
    3. How  will contribute?
    4. How would you like to see community develop among participants?
    5. These types of workshops are new for most people. In fact  about 90% don’t even participate. How will you overcome the fear of learning in the open and the frustration of using new technology, courageously work through any setbacks, and not give up?
  2. Describe your best teacher and your worst teacher ever.
    1. What types of  behavior and interaction with students are most memorable?
    2. Based upon your observations of their behavior and interaction with students, make a list of four DOs and four DON’Ts
    3. How can you apply your list to help you facilitate online learning?
  3. Suggested Reflections
    1. In your blog share some of your reflections of what you have learned this week.
    2. Describe how you will participate in the workshop.

Wear a hat when you comment

There are six different thinking roles you will be playing when you comment on artifacts.  The thinking roles are identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” you can easily focus your thoughts and comments about the artifact.

  1. The White Hat calls for information known or needed. “The facts, just the facts.”
  2. The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. Under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
  3. The Black Hat is judgment – the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong. Probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused.
  4. The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. When using this hat you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
  5. The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.
  6. The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.

















Video of the week

“The real role of leadership in education … is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility. I believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.” Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Essential Question to answer:  Creativity comes through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things. How can you help your online students to be more creative?

2 thoughts on “Week 0 Activities & Webinars

  1. One way, I believe, we can encourage our students to be more creative is to reach out to their various learning styles. By reaching out to various learning styles we encourage students to draw on their own preferences and talents to create and learn.

  2. Ken Robinson is an inspiring speaker. I’ve read his book «Out of Our Minds» (2011) and his report from 1999 «All our Futures» and have seen practically all his conferences and public interventions available on Youtube. There’s a short biographic clip that is particularly touching and probably not so well known – http://youtu.be/lpiI0WIo6Io.
    One of my interests is «alternative education». I’ve been researching learner-centred models and pedagogies. Along the history of times we can find theories and methodologies that are very critical of traditional directive education. John Dewey’s democratic views on Education have inspired many other scholars. This short interview of Noam Chomski reminds him – http://youtu.be/uZFuOZ0yTNM.
    Two years ago I read a very interesting book on the Modern School Movement in USA, by the late US professor Paul Avrich. Modern School Movement was much influenced by Ferrer Guardia’s anarchist ideas (he was sentenced by the spanish state and church in 1909). I recommend this book because it gives the flavour of the times of late 19th century and beginning of 20th century, the industrial revolution and the working class struggles, the Soviet revolution and its impacts in USA and Europe. A deep immersion in the lives of the personalities of the time, like Emma Goldman and Kropotkin.
    Tolstoi, himself had a quite free approach to education and organized a school under anarchism ideals.
    But many other education movements with different influences have emerged andled to schools either inspired by A.S.Neill, Freinet, Montessori, Malaguzzi, etc.

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