I feel I have to make a comment about how this blog is evolving. I am finding that this blog has three themes: professional (midwifery), online learning (tied up with my activities in a course about the facilitation of online learning) and of course, personal. I almost feel that I have three blogs but I could not be bothered to do that. So for the time being, I'll continue with one blog even if I feel it is a bit messy - any comments?
Anyway, my title of 'technological chaos' refers to my experiences this week. As a part of the course I am doing, I was to attend an online conference on Elluminate. We have had a number of very successful conferences in the past, but twice this week the technology let us down. This resulted in chaos-we were all running around like headless chickens until a few of us got together using Skype. A number of issues resulted from this experience for me:
1. If you are going to use technology for a project, make sure you have a back-up plan for when things go wrong.
2. Make sure your back up plan is feasible. I wanted to get people talking using Skype, but a number of people had not even heard of Skype let alone have access to it.
The outcome of all this confusion is that quite a few of us have logged onto Skype and I am looking forward to having spontaneous , informal chats about our course-like you would if you bumped into someone in the corridor or tea room.
The other point to online learning is the importance of communication and facilitation. While we were waiting for things to be sorted, Merrolee Penman told us about her work. Merrolee is an occupational therapist with a great interest in online learning. She did a fantastic job of bringing us together as a group, telling us about her work (more about this in future posts). She also kept us abreast of what was going on, which was essential to stop us from going off in a huff. A very valuable learning experience for me to remember when I am attempting to use technology in my teaching.