I started to email this to Sylvia via Facebook, but thought I should reply to my own posting here instead for the benefit of those here in the session and not for Facebook (since I am not fond of the Facebook privacy settings).
This is a wonderful (and from my perspective very useful and important) session at SCoPE, but it falls right in the middle of American Thanksgiving and the transition to a Christmas time of the year, which for many Americans (especially those in retail and business) is a very busy time. I wish I can participate more fully with this here at SCoPE, but find the time management a challenge.
This group seems somewhat active, but I have noticed a lot of good idea that I want to comment on and try and work with, but simply cannot due to the brief time we have together and the hectic time of the year (one of the live sessions was even scheduled on American Thanksgiving). I am wondering if my situation is unique or if others have a similar situation that precludes participating in something so rich, yet seemingly as rushed as we are with this time frame?
The organizers have done so much work preparing for this, and without the rich participation of those of us here to learn and share from one another, some may not realize all the benefits.
But oh, the challenges of holidays, timezones, etc. I guess it depends a little bit on the topic as well. For example the eLearning in Developing Countries seminar slid right through Canadian Thanksgiving without notice -- although we don't have the flurry of travel and shopping that Americans do! :-)
We've had some other feedback about the synchronous sessions -- here, in Facebook, and by email. One member emailed me about the event invitation sent out via Facebook. The word "tomorrow" was inserted automatically, which threw him off and he missed Jason's session. Here I sit thinking gosh, I would have never known about that because I don't send invitations to myself. Also Emma noted that there was no information about timezones in the invitation at all! Who knew? Somehow I assumed Facebook would take care of converting -- that it was a profile setting.
Also, we've had requests to vary the schedule of the synchronous sessions. Of course we ultimately need to accommodate the presenters' and moderators' schedules. But I do want to remind everyone that we're very open to scheduling additional Elluminate sessions at different times if you have a topic you'd like to share.
And finally, there's the total length. I'm never sure what to do with that question. We want to allow enough time to dig into a topic, but we also want to keep the schedule tight enough that we keep momentum (and don't burn out our volunteer facilitators!) There is always a possibility for a part 2. In fact, with the topic of social media it would be great to make it an annual event -- keep a running history of developments, issues educators are grappling with, etc. I promise, I won't schedule part 2 at American Thanksgiving though! :-)
The activity level in this seminar has been quite high -- 160+ posts and 3 Ellumiate sessions. I hope everyone finds a way in on their own schedule. Next week will be a blast (to steal Jason's words) with a new focus, a couple more Elluminate sessions, a book chapter to get underway. Hold on tight!
Jeffrey, look what you did! You made me ramble and miss breakfast. LOL Thanks again for the feedback.
I'm in the UK, and though we have a Northern Hemisphere calendar for the school year, it's not quite the same as the US one.
I see people in May talking about the "end" of the school year, where we have a few weeks to go. Equally, (I'm talking University year, rather than what I call "school"!), you're talking about going back at the end of August; we go back early October.
And, right now, the Antipodean Christmas is about to start...
I guess that it's going to be almost impossible to have a 3 week block in which it's not a busy time of year for one group.
Sylvia's already said that if there's a follow up to this, it won't be at the same time next year; which is, I think, the only thing that can really be done. Next time, the US group will have fewer other commitments, but some of the rest of us may. (Unless she locates this mythical 3 week block!)