Viral Professional Development: June 2 - 22, 2008

Introductions

Introductions

by Heather Ross -
Number of replies: 44
Welcome to the seminar on Viral Professional Development (VPD). Before we delve into VPD itself, we would like to know a bit about each of you.

Where do you work and what is your position there?

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?

What methods are working and which ones aren't?

We hope that you enjoy this seminar and come away with some new ideas about your own professional development, that of your coworkers and those you may deliver training to.

Welcome.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Sharon Porterfield -

Hi Heather and Others!

Is it really "Viral" PD?

I work at WestJet Airlines and I'm an instructional designer. My business cards say "E-learning Designer", and my title on the company website is "Learning Specialist".

My participation in professional development has been sparse since leaving the world of academia. I do my best to stay current by reading various blogs and articles. In the last few months, our department hired a manager who is working on his M.Ed. in Instructional Design, so we will have chats about what he is learning. I also meet on a semi-regular basis with an alumni of the program at the U of S, who is now working at the U of C, and is very embedded within the field.

Everything works to a degree. The biggest factor is time. When I finally have time to sit down and read something, I can usually find many other items on the same "to do when I have time" list. I enjoy the coffee clutches with my U of C contact and the conversations I have with the new manager. It'd be safe to say my PD is more of a "hit and miss", rather than planned, endeavour.

I'm definitely looking forward to this discussion!

Sharon Porterfield

In reply to Sharon Porterfield

Re: Introductions

by Sharon Porterfield -

Yes, it really is "viral"! So much for staying current! <G>

This will be a most interesting couple of weeks for me...now back to my reading and the new topic on my "List of Things to Learn"... :)

In reply to Sharon Porterfield

Re: Introductions

by Lorraine Mockford -

Hello everyone;

I am an alternate delivery coordinator with the Nova Scotia Community College, working primarily with the School of Health and Human Services.

More and more I engage in PD through social networking, and as someone said earlier I find the major learning at conferences is in the 'in-between times'.  I recently completed a course in Second Life, and found the emmersive experience really suited my learning style, but more importantly my social network has increased tremendously and thus the potential for learning.  I found out about this SCoPE seminar through a Twitter posting.

My colleagues call me viral... How could I resist this?

Lorraine

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Nalin Abeysekera -

It is great to have  VPD. I am Nalin Abeysekera, Lecturer attached to Open University of Sri Lanka. I am involving in marketing and online learning there.

I received my professional development through sharing knowledge with others. Team work should be there and I believe networking will help you out…

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Derek Wenmoth -
Hi Heather and others

what a great topic for discussion!

I currently work for a small not-for-profit organisation that I established a few years ago with some friends. We specialise in working in the education sector in the field of eLearning, with a heavy emphasis on professional learning - providing both face-to-face and online experiences for educators at all levels of the system (ECE-tertiary).

Like Sharon, my background is in academia where I was used to lots of personal professional development - but now find that time is of the essence as I work in the 'private' world and time=income opportunity. The theme of this discussion resonates with me however, as I have found that I am increasingly finding my professional development coming from all those 'informal' (and often unintended) opportunities that come through following threads in online discussions or links that come up on my Twitter list etc.

I look forward to the discussion!
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Shannon Ritter -
Hi everyone!

I'm brand new to SCoPE and am looking forward to connecting with people, networking and learning!

I'm the Social Networks Adviser for Penn State World Campus. I'm working with exploring new technologies/social networking tools and using those tools to bring our students together. We're the online/distance education campus of Penn State so bringing our students "together" certainly has its challenges but the use of online social networking provides us with opportunities to do those things.

In addition to being the Social Networks Adviser, I'm also an academic adviser to about 100 military veteran students.

Professional Development for me typically involves subscribing to RSS feeds, following tech leaders on twitter and taking advantage of conferences that are appropriate. Those things generally work well because I can learn a lot of things from other blogs and twitter users that then lead me to other resources.

Thanks much! Looking forward to being a part of this.
-Shannon
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Hi Heather and Everyone,

I don't have much of a sense of what is expected in this Scope seminar, or how long it lasts, perhpas someone could clue me in on these aspects. I recognize some people from the SCOPE conference recently.

I am a graduate student with Athabasca Univerity -- in the GDDET.
I'm also a Registered Psychologist, a Registered Canadian Art Therapist, and an Academy of Registered Dance Therapist with the American Dance Therapy Association. I'm a mom of a teenager too. My husband and I have a Psychological Treatment firm in Edmonton, Alberta. I am a teacher on contract with U of Lethbridge, St. Stephen's College in Edmonton, and Westley Institute (Calgary branch of Australian-based school).

I am learning when and where I can -- mostly online these days. I'm curious about that these Scope sessions will open up in the way of new information. I'm not at all sure I have much to offer to this topic, but I'll see.
Jo Ann




In reply to Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers

Re: Introductions

by Heather Ross -
Welcome Jo Ann.

The seminar runs until June 22 officially. You can continue to read the discussion boards for as long as you would like after that.

I think that you may end up adding more to this session that you think. Your comment about "I am learning when and where I can" rings true for a lot of people these days.

Jump into the conversation whenever you feel comfortable.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Hi Heather and Everyone,
Thanks for the welcome and I have been reading all the great intros -thanks.

Here is what I do for PD.
1) I'm continuing in my third area of a post-grad program -- this time in Distance Education and Technology.
2) I go to online and f-to-f conferences (less now than I used to do because of cost).
3) I'm on a list serve which feeds me all kinds of professional information about dance/movement therapy.
4) I read online and books/journals.
5) I write, although i don't actually publish much. I am working on a chapter -- which tends to take me forever to complete.

I mainly like online social contacts and learning -- but I do get overwhelmed sometimes and I have to schedule my time.

Jo Ann

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -

I am the clinical teaching development coordinator for the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

I read Blogs/wikis, attend Scope, attend f2f conferences, read books and articles to improve my knowledge. Occasionally, UTube or TeacherTube resources are useful.

The best professional development technique for me is being motivated by my need to teach or write about X, so I like the instant gratification and cutting edge resources of the web. F2f conferences are useless for my knowledge development because the presentations are frequently too basic but they can be great for connecting to others.

In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Introductions

by Heather Ross -
Hi Deirdre. So glad that you could join us.

Your comment about face-to-face conferences is something that I have felt for some time. The most important learning that I experience at those conferences occurs between sessions when I have the chance to speak with colleagues who I don't often get the chance to see.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Sharon Porterfield -

I agree with you and Deirdre, Heather. I've spent the last year attending workshops by the Canadian Training and Standards Development. Much of what they have to offer is extremely basic, but it's been a fantastic way to meet people involved with corporate training and start networking.

I find most of the people given the title "instructional designer", in the corporate world, are those who have worked up through the ranks. They start as a front line agent, then a team lead, then a supervisor, and finally an instructor. It seems to be a small step from instructor to ID. Once an instructor, they are sent to a 2 or 4 day workshop to learn how to be an ID. There are only two of us in the department who have actual education backgrounds and degrees to support our profession.

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Curt Schroeder -
Hi folks, Curt Schroeder here.  I teach at SIAST as a Faculty Trainer for the Virtual Campus department in Regina.  My job, in part, is to facilitate professional development among faculty.  I obtain my own professional development by attending conferences, reading journals, attending workshops, reading on the Internet and talking to colleagues.  These methods all work, but all have their limitations.  One channel I am not using is an online community and I hope this one will lead me in that direction.
In reply to Curt Schroeder

Re: Introductions

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
Hi Curt, I think you will find SCoPE sessions useful although they can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes I book time off as if I'm going to a f2f conference, otherwise I don't get the full benefit because my reading is cursory.
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Introductions

by Curt Schroeder -

Thanks Dierdre.  I agree, one needs to schedule time off, otherwise PD does not happen.

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Geoff Cain -
Hi Heather and everyone else,

My name is Geoff Cain and I am the instructional designer at Tacoma Community College. I sometimes teach English here, and this summer and fall I am teaching a web 2.0 based course for teaching students how to manage information for student success. I hold formal workshops here at TCC, but the more successful teaching moments for faculty have been the facilitated infections. I am blessed with a small cell of enthusiastic, early-adopting, digital immigrant, faculty members. I am looking forward to talking to you all about this because there are things that work well in professional development and things that don't. It is sometimes difficult for me to see why things succeed (or not) when I am in the mix.
In reply to Geoff Cain

Re: Introductions

by Jennifer Jones -
Hi, Geoff! I can't wait to hear more about the things you are doing. You are always so far ahead of us!
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Peter Loney -

Greetings,

I'm a training and development professional working for a Canadian provincial government. We encourage informal learning but don't do much fomally with it. Most of our efforts go towards delivering lots of classroom training and some e-learning. I use the internet and books for a lot of my personal professional development.

Peter

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Christine Horgan -

Hello:

Christine (Chris) Horgan. Curriculum Co-ordinator in a large, service department at SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta.

Most of my professional Development is in-house (designed, developed, delivered by SAIT) in a F2F environment. Presently, I'm completing a credential (through a competing institution!) F2F. I don't often have time to take in conferences, but when I do (other than the SCoPE conferences), they are always F2F.

All work well if I have/can make the time to take care of my own professional development needs. Dedicated time out of the office (F2F) works...but, as we all know, the work is waiting for us when we return. On-line, for me, requires a commitment. When I'm busy at work, I often have to put aside the on-line participation in conferencing to the point, sometimes, when I'm so far out behind that there's little point entering the conversation. I'm preaching to the converted, I expect.

Cheers, Chris

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Peter Loney -

Greetings,

I'm a training and development professional working for a Canadian provincial government. We encourage informal learning but don't do much fomally with it. Most of our efforts go towards delivering lots of classroom training and some e-learning. I use the internet and books for a lot of my personal professional development.

Peter

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Jim Julius -
Hello, I'm Jim Julius, associate director of Instructional Technology Services at San Diego State University. Our department runs and collaborates on a variety of faculty development efforts for effective teaching and learning. The university's Center for Learning and Teaching is not part of our office but is a very small operation so our instructional designers work in close collaboration with them.

We also have been responsible for f2f technology training workshops in the past and are trying to move away from that model toward a more distributed faculty development approach encompassing:
  • online resources,
  • formal faculty learning communities, and less-formal user groups; both of which include f2f and online communication and resources,
  • Center for Teaching and Learning lunch events,
  • scheduled but informal hands-on sessions led by instructional designers, peer faculty, librarians, and media production specialists, and
  • 1-1 and small group consultations.
My own PD includes occasional f2f conferences; trying to follow online resources and communication channels including Twitter (me: jjulius), various listservs, Educause and ELI webinars, TLT Friday Live!, SCoPE, etc.; and reading professional journals (which I have a hard time keeping up with).

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Alice Macpherson -
Hello all!

From Introductions by hmross on Sunday, June 01, 2008 7:14:00 PM:

>Where do you work and what is your position there?
Kwantlen (soon to be) Polytechnic University and the Coordinator for Prior Learning Assessment and the Centre for Academic Growth.

>Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
workshops, consultations, brown bag sessions, reading circles, peer mentoring alliances, current CASTL project, our eJournal - Transformative Dialogues, conferences, online and F2F and in Second Life, and, of course, viral learning, wherever it occurs.

>What methods are working and which ones aren't?
All work to some degree ...
Hardest is to "lure" people into the online space and I am forever looking for better ways to do this that will highlight the benefit for them.

Curious and listening


In reply to Alice Macpherson

Re: Introductions

by Jennifer Jones -
It's not easy to lure them to online space. I've seen the same technology tool work like a charm in some organizations and totally bomb in others. I think much success comes from actual culture change.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Laura Proctor -
Good afternoon everyone!

I work at the University of Victoria helping support both technologies and instructors' use of those technologies from within the computing centre.

I like reading manuals(!) and appreciate being able to find them online these days. Following blogs and newsletters online has been a main stay in my own professional development and have been particularly useful in identifying the directions to develop. I have also discovered "webcasts" and online conferences to be very useful - both in learning about the content of the presentation and also learning how to interact online (I am not a digital native but trying to keep up!)

In supporting pro-d for others, my experience has been that f2f and/or email mentoring has been an effective way to supplement formally scheduled workshops which seem useful to get people started, but are not so useful for more "advanced" topics. And always, having online resources which can be used as ongoing resources is effective in empowering those willing to invest the time and effort.

Looking forward to exploring this topic.

Laura

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Andy McKiel -
Hi there,
I'm Andy McKiel and I am a Technology Coordinator for a school division in Winnipeg. Prior to this year, I worked as a Grade 4 classroom teacher for six years in the same division.
As a teacher, I participated in many professional learning sessions on an ongoing basis, and occasionally questioned the relevance of some of the training that I received. I see myself as a life-long learner and I'm always open to new ideas and information, but there has to be a purpose in order for it to 'stick'.
In my present role, I work with teachers, administrators and students. Creating professional learning opportunities is at the foundation of what I'm called upon to do. I plan and promote a wide variety of professional learning opportunities and I try to take advantage of whatever means possible to do so. Given the constraints of time and money, I've tried to be creative in terms of the ways that I make professional learning opportunities available.
I'm a firm believer in 'just-in-time' inservicing, and I'm always looking for ways to encourage collaboration and sharing of resources between the professionals with whom I work. Rather than providing inservicing for large groups of individuals with varying skill sets, I strive to provide opportunities for teachers to work together where and when it suits them best, and I've also been trying to create and distribute resources that can be accessed by teachers so that their own professional learning can take place anytime, anywhere...
Anyway, I'm brand new to SCoPE and I really look forward to hearing all of your thoughts and ideas about 'viral' PD over the next couple of weeks --> and beyond ;-)

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Jennifer Jones -
From Introductions by hmross on Sunday, June 01, 2008 7:14:00 PM:
Greetings, everyone! This is so exciting to see. I'm glad we've got participants with a wide range of experience.

Where do you work and what is your position there?
I work at Bellingham Technical College as the eLearning Director.

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
I receive most of my PD through social networking, although I do attend the occasional conference and meeting. I rarely attend workshops and training sessions.

What methods are working and which ones aren't?
Personally, I enjoy learning online and through social connections. I don't do well sitting still for long periods of time and I like being able to filter my learning myself!

I can't wait to jump into this session and learn from all of you.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Frank Fucile -
hello to all...what a wonderful bunch of potential co-conspirators....

My name is Frank Fucile...at the present time I am and Educational Technologist/Instructional Designer for Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College) located in Nanaimo, British Columbia - http://viu.ca/

PD..hmm!!...I think for me it is about continuous improvement and updating of my own skills and knowledge and I have used a variety of techniques and methods to do that...most importantly I have tried to tap myself into networks of liked minded individuals through various web technologies...blogs, wikis, etc...and I read /contribute on a daily basis and when time/$$$ permit I do attempt to attend the occasional F2F conference...just back from one in Vancouver....here is a link to the wiki - http://etug.pbwiki.com/

Also, from a practitioners perspective I find the "elearning guild" forums to be useful and practical for my day to day work - http://www.elearningguild.com/

...and also, as the memory starts to wane I have found it useful for me to keep track of the chaos by having a "protopage" setup here - http://www.protopage.com/ffstartpage
- this allows me to add/edit my bookmarks and stuff on the fly - no special software required and it is free to boot!

cheers,
frank






In reply to Frank Fucile

Re: Introductions

by Jenni Harding -

Hi all

Like Frank, the discussions, and more importantly the wide range of people and their experiences, fascinate me.  I usually participate silently :-)

I'm currently relieving Learning and Development Manager for TAFE NSW, South Western Sydney Institute. Our professional development covers a diverse range of staff and locations, and methodologies.

For more information, see our Wiki at http://learninganddevelopment.swsi.wikispaces.net

In reply to Frank Fucile

Re: Introductions

by David Millar -

Dear Frank: Loved your protopage. Goodlooking combo of desktop and bookmarks. I have been using  Delicious http://del.icio.us/fdmillar for some of the same purposes because I have so many categories (tags), they keep changing, and I need to share them with others on my research team. By the way, Delicious tags can be shown in a tagcloud as on my blog Towards a Moral Economy lower right. Used a Delicious widget to insert the code. Google Pages could be used to create a desktop if one had less info to show than you do. On the other hand, one could just pirate your sourcecode and change the text. If one were a whiz at HTML, that is. ;-)

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Jeffry Curtis -

Hi Heather,

Where do you work and what is your position there?
My name is Jeff Curtis and I am an instructor at Bellingham Technical College. To plagiarize Geoff Cain, I am the “…enthusiastic, early-adopting, digital immigrant, faculty member.” (~!|

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
I have been an active participant in a collection of threaded forums related to my discipline for the past 11 years. This affords me exposure to current technologies and industry leaders.

What methods are working and which ones aren't?

I enjoy well done fTf professional development, but loath PowerPoint data dumps of information that are read to the participants. Threaded discussions are great learning tools for me along with wiki’s and blogs.

Thanks to you and Jen for hosting this SCoPE seminar.

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Asako Yoshida -
Hi Heather & Others,

I'm an academic librarian and work at the University of Manitoba.

Many of the traditional professional development things were not really working for me for many years, but with the arrival of Web 2.0, I'm learning quite a lot through blogs.

I like to jump into the things I would like to learn, so many of the skills oriented workshops don't really stick with me well in the past. Having said, I am currently taking a part in 6 session course on course construction and assessment/evaluation workshop. This is the best workshop I have ever taken and all the questions and doubts that I had with respect to how to facilitate students' learning in a traditional academic course for university students worked very well for me. This workshop game me the most important skills to do problem solving given my intention to facilitate students' learning processes. Well, I can't say I have the skills but at least the workshop gave me some useful tools and concepts to think about along the skills and assess how I will be doing.

Looking forward to this session!

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Nancy Riffer -
My name is Nancy Riffer and I have my own business in professional and organizational development. Higher education and mental health have been the focus of my work over the years. I am currently adding work with neighborhoods and how they learn.

My professional development includes reading from books, on-line seminars, following a few blogs regularly, experimenting/trying things out, contact with several colleagues who work in diverse content areas, and hiring tutors to help me master the parts of Web 2.0 that I struggle with.

I am a life long learner. I can't help myself. I procrastinate by learning "just one more thing." I make an effort to understand and work with people who do not want to be in charge of their own learning and do not find learning exciting. I assume they have had difficult learning situations in the past; the hard part for me is finding ways to get past their previous experience and assumptions to introduce them to their own passion for learning. I think viral learning may sneak up on them. I'm interested in learning more.




In reply to Nancy Riffer

Re: Introductions

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Dear Nancy,
I am inspired by you post. I'm imagining that others are too. I remember reading that some people just focus on those that really went to learn. I think your post includes those that may have been turned off learning for various reasons. However I find that most people just need to see that it works for them.

I also like the idea of getting a tutor for Web 2.0. Now that's determination and focus.

Cheers,
Jo Ann
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Heather Ross -
I suppose that I should answer the questions that I posed.

Where do you work and what is your position there?

I'm a Course Designer (instructional designer) for the Virtual Campus at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?

While I usually attend at least one conference per year, most of my PD is informal. I read blogs, follow people on Twitter and learn a great deal from the colleagues that I work with. I should be reading more journals that include research, but I never seem to get around to it.

What methods are working and which ones aren't?
As I said in response to an earlier post, the most useful part of attending conferences is the time between sessions when I can chat with people face-to-face (while I see a lot of value in online communities, face-to-face is still my favorite). Learning from colleagues in my workplace has always been the most valuable form of PD for me because I can usually immediately apply what I learn.

This conversation is already shaping up to be a good one. Thanks for joining in.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Jeffrey Keefer -

Heather, this looks like it may be an interesting few weeks.

1. Where do you work and what is your position there?

I work at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, where I am a senior instructional designer. Most of my work is not with traditional eLearning, but rather I use adult education principles and evidence-based practice to influence clinical and patient education through management educational projects.

2. Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?

For me, I participate in online communities (such as CPSquare), read a lot of RSS feeds for blogs, use Twitter almost religiously, read a lot, participate in conferences, and almost continually research something or another for some conference or project or another. Finally, in my free time, I teach as an adjunct faculty member in two schools at New York University, and I find that teaching forces me to learn / remain current, and as such is a wonderful method of increasing person PD.

3. What methods are working and which ones aren't?

Right now, most of them are working for me. I find I like the global community of colleagues I am beginning to have, and find a blended F2F approach is a very useful reinforcement of all of the above.

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Hi Everyone,
My name is Nellie Deutsch. I am a doctoral student in educational leadership specializing in curriculum and technology at the University of Phoenix online. I am researching blended learning and instructor use of e-learning technology in higher education (HE). I am currently trying to complete chapters 1-3 of my dissertation. I have not really worked out how/where I will be collecting the data. I think I could put PD next to my name: Nellie Deutsch, PD. My life is revolved around helping teachers integrate web 2.0 into their curriculum. I am currently mentoring an MA student in creating a WebQuest for her lesson (grade 8) on American slavery. I have also created a Moodle environment with PD on how to use 2.0 tools for instruction and learning and offer teachers an opportunity to create their own online Moodle asynchronous courses for free. In addition, I encourage teachers to use WiZiQ live online classroom to teach synchronously.

I am looking forward to pooling our resources and collaborating in order to encourage teachers to leave their comfort zones for a more convenient and exciting way to teach and learn.

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by David Millar -

char_long_cv.gif

After reading others' intros I feel less like a fake. I'm no longer teaching, retired therefore no P to D. Didn't really get the "viral" topic title, yes i know it's not a disease but it redoles of unethical marketeering. Now that I (mis)understand it as how can we develop the human side of online social networking I'm happy to join in. Some personal notes:

- with others, I'm trying to develop an multifaith environmental discussion / exchange / action worldwide, using (among other things) a blog Towards a Moral Economy

- ditto with youths, using Facebook and TakingITGlobal groups, may use other social sites too

- just created a wiki Building a Culture of Peace for Canadian Quakers

- creating online groups in French with Forum Ouvert, Vents Croisés, Edupax, often translating in both directions E-F and F-E 

- more details in my homepage if you want them

The irony is that I firmly believe that the human being (in person, F2F) is the most effective medium of all. And that everything else is an add-on, extension, emanation, simulacrum, crutch, or whatever. Yet in teaching when more than half the students are tossing burgers to pay their debts, and when most of my environmental contacts are 2 to 17 time zones away, I am forced to the conclusion that asynch communication is better than none.

 I see some old friends here, as well as some new ones -- or are you avatars?cartoons_avatar-tophOnSokka.gif

In reply to David Millar

Re: Introductions

by Heather Ross -
David, so glad that you could join us for this.

I completely agree with you about F@F being the most effective medium of all. The technology that we use makes easier for students who want / need flexibility in when and where they learn, but asynchronous or even synchronous at a distance is not as good as F2F (in my opinion). When you're not in the same location you miss our on the "break-time" conversations and the details of a conversation that emerge from body language and proximity.

This is an odd thing for me to say considering that I spend my days designing purely distance courses.
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Nik Peachey -
Sorry for getting in here a bit late. Anyway, here's my answers to the questions:


Where do you work and what is your position there?
I'm based in Morocco, though I do work in various places. I'm a consultant, whatever that means, but generally end up doing a whole range of things from F2F training, to Second Life training, developing websites for teachers (working with the British Council + BBC), designing content and instructional design, writing about E-Learning, web analytics, designing screen cast tutorials and just about whatever else I can turn my hand to.

I try to split my time between doing things that help me pay the bills (often not so interesting) and doing voluntary training and development work (often much more interesting).

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
My main method of development is writing my blog:
http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com/

Which is aimed at English Language teachers and helping them to incorporate technology into their teaching. I find that the work I put in to that helps me to keep my own ideas fresh and moving forward. I think if I had a motto it would be something like 'in developing others we develop ourselves'. I've certainly learnt a lot over the years from being involved in education.


What methods are working and which ones aren't?
At the moment I'm doing some work using a social networking tool (Ning) and some Wiki sites ( using Wetpaint) for a course that I'm developing for local teacher trainers here in Morocco. The intention is that course will then be cascaded by the trainers around the country. I think what works is giving people real tools that can achieve real (as opposed to classroom) objectives.

Anyway, more later.

best

Nik Peachey

In reply to Nik Peachey

Re: Introductions

by Sylvia Currie -
Hey Nik, latecomers to SCoPE seminars are expected! I don't see anything wrong with introducing yourself 4 days into the discussion (or later) so here goes! :-)

Where do you work and what is your position there?
I work for BCcampus as manager of online community services.

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
Like Laura I like to read manuals! When it comes to learning new technologies for my work I like to figure things out as I go, so I seek out resources and PEOPLE who can help me.

I read a lot of blogs, listen to podcasts (mostly while walking or driving), occasionally participate in live sessions like CIDER sessions and Innovate-Live or watch recordings. I especially like live session discussions that are anchored on specific papers or resources.

I also participate in a lot of online community activities at places like SCoPE, BCcampus online communities, CPSquare, Knowplace, Best Practices Models for Elearning, etc.

I also like to take online discussion-based workshops. A few that stand out:
I really like opportunities to meet up f2f. I work from my home office and don't have the watercooler conversations that others have working on location (Which is why I enjoy twitter -- water cooler like smile). When I attend f2f events I talk my head off! Making up for all the missed opportunities, I guess!

I would say the IDEAL is a combination of f2f and online. If I go to a f2f conference that doesn't have an online component or follow on I'm left wondering what happened to those great resources and conversations. Poof! They're gone.

I find myself off on tangents more and more these days, lured by the flurry of activity in my twitter network and other online discussions. When somebody says "I'm ustreaming my meeting with my instructors" (sound familiar, Jennifer?) I can't resist checking it out. This is what I think of when I hear VPD -- that catchy, informal, incidental stuff.

Oh, and I can't forget mentors -- relationships with individuals who provide ongoing advice and feedback. These people are very important to me!

What methods are working and which ones aren't?
  • I lean toward social and not overly structured.
  • I snooze when I have to sit and listen for too long.
  • Things don't stick unless I get to roll my sleeves up.
  • Opportunities to have a window onto the practices of others. (This is key, I think. More and more we making our work and learning more visible)

In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by June Kaminski -
Hello Everyone!

Here is my response to the initial introductory questions:


Where do you work and what is your position there?

I am nursing faculty and Curriculum Coordinator in the BSN program at Kwantlen University College (well actually we have just become Kwantlen Polytechnic University). I am also President of the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association - http://cnia.ca

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?

As far as personal PD goes, I prefer online as well as ftof conferences and workshops. I offer Board approved (California) PD courses for registered nurses online through my Nursing Informatics site, http://nursing-informatics.com/courses and recognize how usable online PD can be for busy professionals. I also engage in creating and accessing others' blogs, wikis, web sites, web casts, etc. online. Creating websites on a topic is my favorite way to offer PD opportunities and events to others.

What methods are working and which ones aren't?

I find the online sessions work best - for instance I offered a presentation on Nursing Informatics to local nurses using an in-person approach at a local hospital. It was a Friday before the long weekend, but still only 5 showed up. If this was presented online, I suspect the attendance would be much higher, especially if recorded and available over time. People need convenience, access, and multiple entry points to PD activities, imho. smile



In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Barbara Berry -
Hi Heather and everyone,
I am jumping in a bit later here but decided to go for it. I am intrigued by the topic of "VPD".

As an educational developer, I work directly with faculty and instructors in a new faculty of health sciences at SFU where there is a growing suite of new programs focused on population and public health sciences. It's exciting times. My role is o provide consultation on curricula, instructional design, delivery, integrating technologies etc. We are doing PD as we do this work....on the job.

Activities I prefer for PD are: reading (wikis, blogs, literature), undertaking a new task (this forces me to learn something new), writing a paper or doing a conference presentation or teaching someone else is one way that i get down to the business of PD.

I find conferences ineffective for PD although they are great for networking.

all for now,
Barb
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Introductions

by Antony Coombs -

Hello everyone -

Firstly, I hope I'm not being gauche in just inviting myself into this seminar - I picked up a reference to it from an “Educational Communities of Practice” event on Staffordshire University’s Best Practice Models for E-Learning site (UK) (http://crusldi1.staffs.ac.uk/moodle/course/view.php?id=9&topic=29 - needs registration)...

In answer to Heather's questions:

Where do you work and what is your position there?
I work at the University of London, supporting technology-enhanced learning in distance learning programmes

Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
My own professional development largely comes through taking part in online seminars and conferences such as this, along with participation in mailing lists and discussion groups (mostly) within the UK education community. My role here includes some responsibility for professional development, although we don't deliver formal staff training as such. The University is formed of a federation of independent Colleges and Institutes (such as University College London and the London School of Economics), so individual programme teams are expected to tap into their College’s professional development provision. In practice, I work in more of a technical mentoring and advisory role with individuals within the academic teams, although part of my role is to foster practice sharing amongst the distance learning programmes. I also try to disseminate what I pick up from my connection to the wider eLearning community.

What methods are working and which ones aren't?
It's actually quite hard for me to tell what methods are working, since, being at something of an arm’s length from the Colleges, I don’t get to see how effectively programme teams tap into staff development opportunities there. I work pretty much in a team of one, so I rely heavily on viral processes for the practice and skills I can share to pass amongst the programme staff - my next main focus will be how to make this a more defined(?), possibly structured, process - certainly one that I can present in a more concrete way to new staff.