This is my first post regarding the Facilitating Online course I am attending this term on Wikieducator. This course is free unless you want to attend as a facilitated student. I have been very lucky (again!!) as I have been given a Mark Williams Award by the NZAFT (New Zealand Association of French Teachers). This award has allowed me to take on this course as a facilitated student.
So far we are in our second week, and I have to admit I very much enjoy it. Last Thursday night, I participated to an Elluminate session facilitated by Sarah Stewart. I had heard about Elluminate but I had never participated to any session. I am more familiar with Flashmeeting.
In this week’s activity we were asked to watch the video of Clive Shepherd called "Welcome to the virtual classroom" . This is a very well done video, easy to understand with a clear message backed up with nice and bright pictures. Among other things, it explains effectively the differences between Synchronous and Asynchronous communication. I knew those two terms, but if I had not known them the explanation given was so clear that I would know by now.
In this week’s activity I have also been asked to answer the following questions :
What do I want to learn to facilitate?
As this year I am going to teach for the first time Year 11 French (3 years into French/ the year of the first national exam) via Video Conferencing, I need to learn how to facilitate effectively a course. I can teach but I have always taught in a classroom with the students in the same room as me. The biggest problem for me I reckon is going to cater well for those students. I need to rethink the whole program and my whole teaching pedagogy. I cannot just do the same thing I do in class but online. I cannot rely anymore on my sense of humour and my funny faces to make the message go through.
Watching Clive Shepherd’s video and also taking this course online and looking at how the course has been set up, made me realise that the little ideas that I had so far on how I am going to set up my own course were not very good. So I need to read a bit more about how others are setting up their course, especially for teenagers.
What am I doing now in terms of online facilitation?
Nothing at all. Last Thursday during our first Elluminate event, Sarah told us that we will have to facilitate an event during our course. This is actually a brilliant news for me as it will give me some experience before starting with teenagers. I hope that adults would be more forgiven that 16 year olds.
What would I like to achieve ?
I would want that by the end of this course I am not only capable of facilitating an event successfully but that I will also have a clearer idea and maybe a proper plan on how to set up my Own French course.
What do I need to do to achieve this goal?
I need to follow the course consciously and I will need to read online articles and look at what other teachers have done before in order to learn from their successes and mistakes.
Photo source : http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1302/1137999449_d5ab04b27d_o.jpg