I LEARN A LOT by stumbling and I have to say that's what I took away from an afternoon session I had with 40 other educators during the 2016 e-learning summer school in Dublin. I tried to do too much and that's my fault.
I thought I might be able to compress something into an hour--a task that normally takes 110 minutes with my third level students in a lab setting. We had a BYOD environment at #ELSS16 and it just didn't work out. The lecturers in the audience needed a better introduction to Sway. They also needed keyboards to edit the Sway I had created. Things did not go smoothly. As a result, I now have a simple Sway for my blog that I'm embedding below as a work in progress.
My original idea involved getting participants to write simple responses to what four different terms meant to them. By running a search on Google or on Twiangulate, lecturers might learn what the internet thought of them in four separate thought spaces. I wanted participants at my short session to jump into an editable Sway and type appropriate words between the quotation marks in each section of the outline I prepared on Sway. Those thought spaces are represented by these four terms:
It's often possible to spot a trend when digging into a set of attributes in a specific group. Educators who spend a few days together at conferences or who take time out for professional development find that they're in the same tribes. They often read the same magazines or watch similar television shows.
In my personal experience, I can gain significant improvement to my teaching materials by watching the professional practice of others. I wanted to see if terms associated with my work related to the phrases or thought space of lecturers at the e-learning summer school in Bolton Street.
Unfortunately, I didn't explain clearly what I had hoped the audience would do so as a consequence, I finished my hour with an incomplete Sway. I'm embedding that Sway on my blog as a stark reminder to myself. Next time, I'll prepare more efficiently for my audience.
I believe it is important to share our mutual areas of interests when we participate in high quality conferences. We can nurture common areas of collaboration arising from presentations and casual conversations during networking sessions.