Leigh Blackall and I am thinking about submitting a paper for the Dunedin International Computer Mediated Social Networking Conference in June. Leigh and I have been thrashing some ideas around and we think we'll base our paper on the course Leigh ran last year in conjunction with Bronwyn Hegarty.
I have to be honest and admit that I was a little confused as to exactly what the conference wanted from submissions. It is probably because I am being a little thick, but to me there are a mish mash of ideas so I think the best thing to do will be to submit a paper and see how it goes. Suffice to say, there were a few words and concepts from the conference web site that have stood out: collaboration/cooperation, rules, collective knowledge, sharing, construction of knowledge, integration of web 2.0 tools.
The italics are Leigh's words with some extra thoughts from me.
I’m a little put off by the tone of the conference though, and a bit at a loss as to how we might go about packaging what we know about that experience up into a presentation of some sort of “research” for this conference.
I don't think we should worry too much about that. Whilst this course wasn't a research project as such, there is data that has been generated in the form of blogs, wiki entries and student feedback. However, I do think we should get some sort of permission from the students before we use their data, even the blogs.
I do know that there are quite a few things about our experiences that the conference attendees would find interesting, starting with the things Sarah points out such as personalised learning through blogs and wikis, and open access to the course and how that resulted in a better learning environment and fee paying enrollments.
I certainly agree that the open access approach to education using social networking is a concept that should be explored and fits with the conference question of 'rules'. Our experiences have been that it is a positive thing, resulting not just in development of networks that otherwise would not have happened, but also enrollments.
I would like to extend the proposal to talk about open content, the difficulty of negotiating the participatory expectations of such a course with the traditional educational models of ’stand and deliver’
I think we'll have to be careful we don't get too carried away with the teacher/facilitator discussion but again it fits in nicely with the whole concept of 'rules'.
- The set up and maintenance of the Facilitating Online Learning Communities course
- Experiences of the participants and examples of how their new learning is being used in their work
- Outstanding issues and considerations arising from the course
- Further work we will do in developing education generally at Otago Polytechnic using socially networked media and communications.
- Frank and honest discussion on the probable and existing issues with this vision and Otago Polytechnic
I think it would be good to beam the likes of Sue Waters and some of the 10 minute lecturers in on the day as well, to get their impressions and reasons for participating on the air… as I think they played a very significant part in the course that we have not really captured yet.
I totally agree about the value of the 'outsiders' but wonder if the 'beaming' would be too ambitious. However, as far as the paper goes, we can certainly include their feedback.
Now some practical considerations.
1. How to continue from here - I agree a wiki is probably the best way to go.
2. Who else do we want/need to collaborate on this with?
3. Permissions from students? Can we use their evaluation forms? Do we need permission to use material from their blogs?
4. Thoughts from the 10 minute speakers and others.
The submission process looks off-putting to say the least so we need to decide whether this is to be a 6 page or 12 page paper.
Image: 'Frosted web' Bill Tyne