Tuesday, January 11, 2005

2005 - Collaboration Year

2005 starts under the sign of collaboration :-) After two quiet and rainy weeks in the countryside, here I am back to blogging with a revenge!

Planning and preparing the design and content of the 6-week weblogging session for Evonline 2005 has been a shot of pure collaborative adrenaline.

Since September, when I invited teachers from different continents to co-moderate it with me and whom I had only met virtually and never worked with, until now, when I 115 participants have already enrolled and are waiting for it to start, this has been an intensive learning and creative process.

The first planning and brainstorming took place in Webcollaborator , which acts like a blog and wiki. As we got to know each other better and the collaboration pages started to get heavier and more difficult to follow due to constant annotations, we used e-mailing, Tappedin, Yahoo Messenger to communicate quicker and dot the i. E-mailing was also used to invite the different guest speakers and contacting the people responsible for Alado, Learning Times and Tappedin to host the synchronous events.
In December we also mailed the announcement to the Tesol SIGs and all the lists and people we know so as to advertise the event.

Once we decided on the main structure and tools to be used, we tried to make the architecture of the course easier to visualize and understand by using Inspiration, a concept map software I happen to have(it can also be done on Powerpoint... this is where it was originally drafted). We have also decided to work on the webquest format so that each week would consist on a series of individual technical tasks (like setting up a blog, inserting RSS) coupled with collective gathering resources or reflective tasks.
It's not going to be easy to manage group dynamics with such a large group but we hope people will at least once in the course of the 6 weeks volunteer for one of the collective tasks and not only lurk and consume the content.

To this date 50 people have placed their icon on the Blogsphere Map. 6 in South America (investigate), 14 in North America, 14 in Europe,1 in the Middle East, 1 in Australia and 14 in Asia. I think Bravenet only lets people enter 50 icons on the map...it starts deleting the earliest posts when we go over. So will probably have to open a second map. What a varied group!

This is going to be a rollercoaster ride to blogosphere! Do not miss it and tune in for more news about this experience!


At 8:57 PM, January 22, 2005, Blogger Susan said...

After just one week of this course, the preparation you (and the other moderators) put into developing it and the effort you have made in maintaining it is clearly amazing! Just responding to all the posts on the Yahoo! Groups list seems like a full-time job. It's obvious that you and Aaron and Graham have spent innumerable and (what may seem to be endless!) hours putting it all together. There is so much content, it must have been really difficult to figure out how to sequence everything. Although there's definitely a learning curve to figuring out how to navigate through all the sites/pages/wikis/lists, etc., it does eventually become clearer. Perusing the blogs created for this course is already giving me ideas on the kind of content that can be included in a personal blog, and I look forward to learning how to use blogs with my students. I definitely appreciate all the hard work that has gone into developing this course--THANKS!

At 3:23 PM, January 23, 2005, Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

It was really interesting to read about the preparation for the course. All the work and planning obviously paid off because it has been a great experience so far. Thanks to you and the others involved so very, very much!


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