Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ed Talk: Teachers Teaching Teachers

I wanted to make sure everything was set up for my live and interactive session so I grabbed my head phones and logged on at 8:30 to make sure I was in the right place for my 9:00pm chat. Even though I was all set up I missed the first 10 minutes of the web chat, I could see what people were typing but I wasn’t receiving the video feed. I had to log off, close the chat and log back on in order to receive it, but eventually it worked. I think perhaps joining the chat before the video feed was even set up may have hindered my ability to receive it. Just goes to show how even though we can be prepared we may still hit a road block, but there are always things we can do and we must try again.

I was following more of what was being said in the chat room because it was difficult to read the chat and listen to the webcast speakers because we were often talking about two different topics. A lot of the time the chat would have moved on while the webcast people were still fixated on the subject. For the majority of the chat, the webcam speakers focused on creative commons and open educational resources (OEP). There was a large focus on the legality of taking images off the web without the permission of the photographer. We had a session similar to this in my technology class and I mentioned that it isn’t just students who aren’t siting their images, it is teachers as well. My classmates and I discovered that we don’t set an example for our students as we often take images off the web without citing them. It is a very important concept that needs to be looked into by teachers before they take these images off the web.

The most interesting part of the conversation for me was the talk about a Peer 2 Peer (P2P) class which one of the members had taken. It is a class that taken online through interactive chats and its focus is peer learning. It was a 7 session course, which has all of its materials available online to look at. The class had a variety of teaching techniques including seminars, discussions and teacher led discussions. The best part of this course is it allows teachers to take control of what they are learning. The ideas of the course come from the participants themselves. They build the course together, instead of having someone else come in a lead it. It sounds like a great idea and opportunity for people to learn in a safe environment.

I found the Ed Talk to be some-what useful. The topics discussed were interesting but I was hoping there would be more talk about technology in the classroom and what tools they were using. There were some websites which the mediator Paul Allison provided me with at the beginning of the chat when it was just the two of us. The NWPDigital Is website is a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world.  The other website provided was the Peer 2 Peer website which was discussed in detail in the above paragraph.  

The Ed Talk was intimidating for me. I’ve only participated in a few live sessions and all of them were with my classmates. This talk had a group of teachers who all knew each other and met for this session weekly. They enjoy the session because it gives them the freedom to express their thoughts openly, gather more resources, and share their stories with fellow teachers across the world.  It’s a great space to have open communication between members who are seeking to learn more. The drawback to this online learning session is that often topics being discussed don’t relate to where you are teaching. I found this when the teachers were talking about badges in America. This is not taking place in Canada, so I didn’t know what they were talking about and found I wasn’t contributing.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I can resonate with much of what you said, including the initial tech problems. I guess we do need to be patient when using tech sometimes...
    I also have had some difficulties following along with the fast paced chats.
    You took a positive stance on this kind of learning. I'm sure you have an opportunity to join many more.