Saturday, May 7, 2011

Facilitating online- New Week

The Easter holidays are well over and it is time for me now to go back thinking about communities for the Facilitating Online Course. This week I have some questions to answer

How do you collaborate online currently? What works well, and what does not work so well?

I think here it is not the point for me to repeat myself as earlier this week I have written a post about collaboration. Follow this link.

How will you facilitate online collaboration with people and organisations who are not used to this form of working?

I think if you want people to see a new way of working/thinking you need to take a soft approach. If you come on people a bit too strong they do not seem to respond well. I say this by thinking about teachers in the back of my head. I have noticed that although some teachers are willing to try new ways of teaching/learning some unfortunately are way too comfortable in their old ways and do not want to try new things. For those people I think a very very soft approach is necessary. You want to show them collaborating with others can be very easy and beneficial. They need to be shown that it is not extra work and that they will gain from this. It can be hard for people to change especially if they cannot see it could actually help them.
In a more practical way I think I would show people tools that are easy to use, free and flexible. Tutorials/videos are a good way to start as you can watch them when it suits you. I would start by little steps, taking them from email to Twitter for example, and wait that they are comfy until adding a new tool.

What are the issues you may face with online collaboration, especially in an open environment such as a blog and wiki?

As I have never faced any issues with blogs and wikis, I do not know what to answer to tis question !!!!

I will need help here to think about any issues :-(

Photo source:


  1. Hi Florence
    I guess some things to think about around the use of blogs & wikis are how you open them up for people to not only use but to contribute to. Who is your online community you wish to engage with through these tools, is it just your students, or any person who accesses your page? Should you first determine the purpose of your blog/wiki and then set security, access & permissions based on this. What is suitable for only your group of students may not be something you want to have potentially anybody join in on - it may become hard to manage and move the focus from your original purposes. With blogs for example, who can contribute through the commenting function here, how will you moderate, or will it be completely open and monitored? So I think for these tools in particular it is about determining purpose and therefore control of who is engaging here and how they contribute. These are things we have to think about with the VPLD ning site, there is a lot of great stuff to open up and share more widely (including conversations around them) but also it needs to be a private area for VPLD teachers to feel comfortable in sharing their reflections with one another.
    Rachel :-)

  2. Thanks !!!! This is why I love blogging and Twitting (does this word exist?).
    When yesterday I asked on twitter ideas about issues Wkis and blogs, heaps of people shared their view, and now your comment makes me think even further :-)

    You are right. You need to plan your work to see what is the purpose of teh platform you are using. Should you leave it open ? All those questions can only be answered if you have thought about why you were doing what you are doing :-)

    As for the VPLD Ning, or any other Ning the fact that you need to be invited filters a lot, I mean it helps for the comments moderations.

    Thank you again so much

  3. Great post Florence, and great answer from Rachel. I would suggest that one of the issues you face as a teacher is online profile. How much do you want to share with your students, colleagues and parents? How do you mix the social aspect of you with the professional side? How do you manage the blurring of your professional and personal self, or do you see that there is no blurring?

    The other issue that may come up is security of student information and safety of students online. How do you manage that in open blogs and wiki, Florence?