Week 6 – 30 Aug Reflections

I’ve enjoyed Clay Shirky (15min video) saying that there is heaps of cognitive surplus and that media is changing from consuming to producing, sharing and consuming. I suspect that this may be the same for education and learning. As facilitators, how much consuming, producing and sharing should we be designing into learning experiences?

Carol Cooper-Taylor has helpful starting advice for developing online communities. Ask yourself “Why would someone engage?” and some tips – ask and answer questions. give value, synchronous events help build a sense of community, takes time, use other media Twitter/Blog/email list to bring people in, follow good examples – Nancy White, Robin Good. The question that arises for me is “What is a compelling invitation that can deliver and sustain value to participants?”

June Holley’s network weaver checklist is helpful for what behaviours to focus on as an online facilitator. Creating a positive, optimistic, engaging environment where people connect to each other and deepen their relationships stood out for me.

I like the way Greg Walker is trying to encourage critical thinking in online discussions. The first thing he does as an online facilitator is ask the group to brainstorm what would you do? He goes on to explain the value of:
1. Pre-established guidelines for critical thinking
2. Create activities that allow learners to take positions and state their perspectives
3. Guest facilitators
4. Playing roles in a scenario
5. Asking skillful questions eg Socratic Questions

Asynchronous communication is conducive to reflection, so the moral of the story for me is let’s engage people into deeper levels of critical thinking in online conversation.

What qualities of the invitation and the questions make you compelled to engage? I will build on your input here and host an online gathering on this topic to co-create a community resource in the coming weeks.

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2 Responses to Week 6 – 30 Aug Reflections

  1. Hi Mark

    thanks for the summary of Greg’s presentation – I still haven’t got around to listening, so really appreciate this perspecitve of what he talked about.

    As for engagement, here are the things that capture my attention.

    1. has to been interesting to me…
    2. relevant…meets my needs…
    3. needs to be interaction…won’t engage me if I feel people are not responding to me.

    What about you? What engages you?

    • markspain says:

      Thanks Sarah, for your reflections and your questions. I support your 3 points. In reading them I am also noticing that I am stimulated by discovering what meets other people’s needs on a topic that is interesting to me.
      In answering your excellent questions, I am engaged by great questions that open future possibilities, collaboration and new thinking with new and familiar people.
      I am also engaged when the invitation and the hosting includes the following elements:
      1) a warmth to connect and convene
      2) supports peer learning
      3) provides reference and resource from outside my view of the system
      4) uses a strength’s based approach (ie amplifies what is working)

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