Friday, 7 December 2007

Winter's coming....

I've spent the last few weeks frantically packing up our lives in preparation for our return to the UK. We're heading to the South Island for a whistle-stop tour before a few days in Tokyo and then back to Bristol in the south west of England. Whilst endeavouring to minimise my headless chicken impression I have also been trying to finish off the assessments for the Facilitating Online Communities paper. I think after my two previous posts I'm mostly done, although a quick scan of the wiki assignment asks for a summary of my " impressions of wikis and their use in building communities" which I don't remember doing. So here are my impressions.

  • Building communities requires willing participants and shared goals. I think Web 2.0 tools like blogs, social networking, email groups and wikis all have the potential to build communities if those involved wish it and participate to create it.
  • I think wikis offer learners many opportunities to build up skills in clarity, negotiation, discussion, analysis and working with others.
  • I think that wikis need a clear purpose to start with but the beauty of the wiki is that it can adapt and change. How it changes depends on how the collaborators work together.
  • The fact that others beyond the immediate group can view/edit/comment offers learners the chance to reflect on their efforts and justify their ideas or adapt. These skills are transferable across many areas of life.
  • In producing my wiki, I found that I enjoyed setting it up and then going back to add to or edit it. The few comments that have been made in the discussion page spurred me on. Discovering how to include more visual or audio based resources would have been helpful. Communities are made up of people with a range of learning styles.
  • This is a tool I intend to experiment with when I'm teaching again.

Ok. That's it. I'll check the email forum and my wiki page and then I'm off on hols. Next blog post probably not until February when I may attempt to blog my way through the Applied project!

This has been a different learning experience for me but I have learnt so much. Thank you to everyone who has read my blog posts and offered up comments. Thank you to Brownyn and Leigh for guiding through the experience.

May catch up with some of you on the next paper! Cheerio, winter here we come...brrrr....

1 comment:

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Yvonne

Leigh, Bron and I are putting a paper together about the online communities course we did last year.

One part of the paper will be about participants' experience of social networking. I wondered if you would agree to letting us use any material from your blog?

Also, if you are able, would you be able to answer any of these questions for us to incorporate into the paper.

* How did you find the experience?
* How has it helped you understand communities and social networking strategies (technologies and tools included)?
* How have you continued to network with people in communities?

Thank you very much Sarah