Welcome to our discussion about an online professional development (PD) collaboratory.
My name is Nancy Randall and I have the opportunity of directing the Vancouver Island University Teaching and Learning Centre. You can find information about our centre at http://viu.ca/teaching/ and the TLC team at http://viu.ca/teaching/AboutOurStaff.asp
With support from BCcampus and colleagues throughout British Columbia, our VIU TLC team will be creating an online professional development collaboratory to enhance post-secondary professional development networking and opportunities within British Columbia and beyond.
We hope to learn from your experiences with both face-to-face and online PD opportunities. How do you find out about PD opportunities? What encourages you to visit online PD websites? What are the components of exemplary online professional development sites? What is missing and needed? What aspects of online PD websites encourage you to return to the PD website and share your contributions?
We plan to move through the discussion focusing on these questions in sequence, however we are not constrained by a format or schedule and questions are always encouraged.
Your contributions are greatly appreciated; we are listening. Your experiences and advice will help us build the Professional Development Collaboratory.
To begin, please provide a short introduction and then share how you learn about professional development opportunities.
I am Nalin Abeysekera,Sri Lankan and lecturer at open university of Sri Lanka. We are still in the introductory stage in online learning. But professional development-online is new to us .I think there is a potential in our country as our literacy rate is more than 90%.But face to face, we are having some professional development programs at private institutes as well as government institutes. For online we need some country to benchmark because I think that it is much needed for a developing country.
Great to see you here. Maybe we can conduct our current discussions here. :)
Yes this is the best place to discuss about publications,journals which is always helpful to share the knowledge.
Professional development e-avenues in my areas of interest -- dance/movement therapy, art therapy and health psychology are beginning to grow. I am interested in everything that people have contributed in their posts so far.
I will be taking my last course with the Graduate Diploma in Distance Education and Technology this fall. However -- I've been a psychologist, dance/movement therapist and art therapist for some time. I now teach in those areas and hope to develop my a course in dance/movement therapy for online access, but it will take me some time. I have developed an initial one in art therapy -- but must revise and modify it for a different access system. This is my fourth Scope conference. I'm likely lurking for the first 9 days due to a project I'm finishing, but hope to contribute when I can.
Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers
I'm very interested in how you will develop a course in dance/movement therapy for online access. Will you be using live online conference rooms, Skype, or other means?
Thanks for asking. Initially I hope to choose to put together various introductory to high interest topics about the wide range of dance/movement therapy approaches. Then I hope to develop scripts and pictures with experiential discussion for people to read and look at -- and in some cases to move and to sense through their own movements within their body. I know that this work will take a long time to develop. Eventually I hope to create various videos -- some role play and some with consented work. Cheers Jo Ann
I wish you all the best in developing the programs. Thank you for sharing.
nice to hear that you are a psychologist, dance/movement therapist and art therapist.Because i think it will shape the professsionalism.we look forward to your comments in the future.
Thanks. As a Canadian living in Western Canada, I have been a pioneer in the Expressive Arts area as a specialization of psychology since my training in the early 80's. I have seen the expressive arts therapies grow -- especially in art therapy and the more general category of expressive arts therapy -- but dance/movement therapy -- although strong internationally -- has been slow to get the numbers in Canada -- although there are about 20 of us practicing and spread across Canada.
By teaching online -- I hope to increase the numbers as well as take a proactive leadership in making the educational information available to more people. I also like the idea of offering more professional development and continuing education. I have been keeping an informal going -- which struggles -- between the dance/movement therapists. Often we meet at the American Dance/Movement Therapy Conference in the US once a year -- attended by people who make it to the rather expensive conferences. I hope to offer more online -- partly for these reasons. Jo Ann
Professional development and design and facilitation of online communities is my bag. For the last 5 years I have been working in an educational 3D virtual world program Quest Atlantis (QA) and now that we have a critical mass of teachers engaged globally working to support community amongst them.
I also coach online in the CPsquare Communities of Practice workshops which offer professional and immersive learning for CoP developers.
I personally graze the world (online) to find PD activities to suit my needs and am currently learning machinima and SL building with the University of Illinois, in an online workshop of Facilitating Online Communities, and running online and inworld PD for QA for teachers about the globe. Like Jeffrey I find it matters not where the learning originates from geographically but how well reputed institutions, leaders and courses are. My own learning is a mix of no and low cost activity. I'm happy to pay fees if it looks like the gains are there. I usually follow leads when I get a message from my networks, or a colleague recommends. To that end I have found networks (including Facebook), tags and Twitter invaluable in getting things onto my radar.
While I engage in a lot of PD and from many angles I think there is still SO MUCH TO LEARN about all this topic in the 21st century and I am truly looking forward to joining you all in this event.
"SO MUCH TO LEARN". "SO MUCH TO LEARN"?
I'm laughing out loud...we haven't even started. (~!|
Thanks for your post!
Wonderful to see you here. I'm looking forward to some great discussions.
I am Alice Macpherson, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada., where I am the Coordinator of The Centre for Academic Growth (http://kwantlen.ca/academicgrowth). We work with all Kwantlen employees to provide professional development opportunities for career and personal growth.
My particular interest is in Learning Communities and I use the term Collaboratory frequently to describe the synergistic nature of work done together on a particular area of interest or problem. I am currently working to write up my dissertation on the experience of individual instructors in the Faculty Learning Communities that are created through Instructional Skills Workshops.
The main ways that I seek out PD for myself, is through conferences (both face to face and online), regional, provincial, and national meetings/connections in Canada, and online forums such as this one. I am also exploring the possible uses of Second Life as a platform for Professional Development. I don't always post on SCoPE but I am usually lurking. :-)
Cheers on a rainy BC day.
Your "dissertation on the experience of individual instructors" sounds almost like mine but not quite. I would be interested in learning more about your study. Is it qualitative?
Looking forward to a great class.
My name is Nellie Deutsch. I have been teaching English in secondary school to speakers of other languages via computers and the Internet (blended learning) since the mid 90s. I am very excited about the online professional development project you will be directing and am looking forward to sharing our experiences.The topic is related to my qualitative phenomenological study. I will be gathering data in a month or two on university instructors' experiences with technology in blended learning courses in Israel. I am looking forward to our discussions and best practices on how to develop online PD programs for university instructors.
As someone who was a part of the original BCcampus group that recommended the 'collaboratory', I am delighted to see this discussion thread in SCoPE! I coordinate distance learning activities for College of the Rockies, a small rural college in the southeast corner of BC. I also assist the college with curriculum development for both online & 'traditional' programs.
I feel somewhat isolated -- both geographically and professionally -- in the work I do so I try to be proactive about my own professional development. I rely heavily on the internet to help me learn about new professional development activities. My most-used sources for PD information are a) listings in trusted online communities (e.g. BCcampus's ETUG/ETOC site), b) direct recommendations from colleagues, & c) google searches for specific topics, activities and documents.
As an ex-Canadian resident, I am amazed by the interest in online learning and PD in the province of Vancouver for K-12 and other parts of Canada.
Great to be in another class with you on SCoPE. I am also busy with my doctoral dissertation, but always interested in learning about online facilitation and PD.
I am UNBC's eLearning Coordinator and always on the lookout for both F2F and online PD opportunities. I try to leverage the multiple channels through which PD recommendations and referrals travel by maintaining a tab in Netvibes populated with RSS feeds, calendars entries, social networking channels, bookmark tags, et al. This provides me with a one-stop shopping overview of PD developments in a given area/focus.
I am looking forward to sharing ideas and insights during this Collaboratory.
I've been a regular SCoPE contributor for some years now (back to the day when it was Global Educator's Network).
Most recently I have been working in the area of teacher professional development K12. I currently teach online facilitation for PBS TeacherLine I helped design the Online Facilitator Training course for PBS TL several years ago, taught it for several years, and now work with facilitators in a 3 week refresher course called "OFT II-Dusting and Adjusting Your Facilitator Hat." I subscribe to the Concord eLearning Model and Facilitating Online Learning is my "bible" for online facilitation methods.
Looking forward to an interesting conversation here!
Thank you for introducing me to PBS Teacher Line. I joined and am looking forward to taking the introductory course: (Free Orientation Course) Practice Learning Online with TeacherLine.
My name is Jeffrey Keefer, and I am an instructional designer at Visiting Nurse Service of New York and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. I am very interested in adult education and issues of power and positionality within organizations (particularly related to how learners learn).
For my own professional development, I am increasingly particpating in online sessions, as I have recently realized that time and location are not very important when it comes to online community and my own personal development. Everything I learn and experience ultimately make their ways into my classroom, and I am looking forward to a wonderful learning experience here.
We seem to be taking the same courses and as we explore online facilitation. I'm looking forward to our discussions here.
Nellie, I think you hit on something here. From a Professional Development perspective, I have not only found specific events, such as these SCoPE sessions useful, but also seeing some of the same faces in a number of these opportunities that, in turn, helps to bring the theory into practice and the practice back into the events themselves.
In this way, It almost adds a meta-professional development capacity.
It is a pleasure to share a few keystrokes with such a host of inspiring educators from around the web, especially after almost two years in retreat from this vibrant international community. Regrettably, I cannot even claim, like Alice (Monday, 18 August 2008, 08:55 AM), to have been lurking around SCoPE lately, though I certainly recall interesting encounters with Deirdre and Marsha here in the past. I'm looking forward to more of the same with all of you.
Although I used to concentrate on local, face-to-face and blended language teacher development activities here in southeastern Japan, I now spend most of my spare moments "grazing," as Bron suggests (18 August 2008, 07:29 PM), further afield, dreaming of one day arriving at a personalized "one-stop shopping" tab for professional development activities (Grant, Monday, 18 August 2008, 11:18 AM), while blending learning opportunities for a gradually increasing number of the English as an additional language courses that I teach. Since first semester ended recently, and I'm still in the midst of reporting outcomes, I plan to maintain a low profile in this seminar for the next few days, at least.
Hi Nancy and all!
I feel right at home with some old friends here ;-) I find that I can always find worthwhile professional development experiences by lurking close behind those who are really passionate about learning and teaching (Hi Bron & Nellie)!
At the moment I am working on a PD project to design an online (and on-disk) ICT intervention for subject advisors of K12 schools nationally in South Africa (3000 of them). Most of them have beginner computer skills and have never interacted online before, so e-learning will be quite new to them!
I am hoping that this group will inspire me to be more creative in my design while staying realistic within the boundaries and restrictions of existing learning realisties on the ground.
I am a teacher on call in Victoria BC and my area of interest is technology in the classroom. My focus this year is Elementary School teachers and assisting them in using technology in a transformative manner in their teaching. Like your situation many will have very little experience with technology. I am no expert and would appreciate any sugggestions.
Although, I am a Canadian, I have been living out of the country for many years. I am not familiar with the term teacher on call, is it like a substitute teacher? My daughter lives in beautiful Victoria, so I come for a visit every summer.
I like your choice of words when referring to helping teachers use "technology in a transformative manner". I would love to learn some techniques on how to persuade teachers in my school setting, or country for that manner, to buy in to using technology. What I generally hear is that there is no time. Unless the school principal, district, and/or the Ministry of Education enforce changes and provide incentives, most teachers just don't want to bother with technology.
Great to "see" you here. Your project sounds exciting. Will you be collaborating with many stakeholders? I am looking forward to many great discussions.
I did post an introduction earlier today (at least I thought I had), but I see it's not popped up yet.
I'm a Curriculum Co-ordinator in a large service department in a 2-year technical colleage (SAIT Polytechnic) in Calgary (Alberta, Canada). My work involves a lot of project management and a lot of coaching around curriculum "stuff." In terms of making curriculum projects manageable for new SMEs, I'm always looking for resources--including job aids and quick learning pieces. Our SMEs tend to be folks who are carrying a fairly full teaching load in addition to taking on curriculum projects. There's some curriculum-specific PD available--not much yet, and much of it new for the first time this year....but not everyone has the time to attend F2F training and so I'm always on the look-out for on-line training that'll help SMEs rethink curriculum development (from F2F classroom delivery to online delivery/development).
Nancy, your opening remarks included a number of questions--which I answer briefly in this response.
But.....what I really would like to know is a lot more about the vision your institution has for a PD collaboratory. I assume we're talking more than the posting of print articles....and so I wondered how the collaboratory/respository would be organized, what sort of content you expect to host, how you are planning to market this resource internally, and how you are going to address the "WIIFM" (what's in it for me?) issue.
How do you find out about PD opportunities? SAIT has excellent in-house PD. I take as much as I can. It's advertized on our online Public Notices board.I also receive information from organizations such as the Hewlett Foundation and EduCause and the Conference Board of Canada. If I identify a gap in my learning, I often go looking for courses to fill it...and that sometimes means taking courses at a competitor's instititon...which offers a great opportunity to see how others organize courses.
What encourages you to visit online PD websites? Mostly, I'm interested in seeing what others are doing. I have two guiding principles: work smarter not harder (borrowed, but I don't recall the source) and Don't reinvent the wheel, just paint it another colour. With those to guiding principles in mind, what encourages me to look at websites is that I can get ideas from others and reflect on them later. Also, chatting to colleagues in other institutions helps me benchmark where my department is in terms of curriculum design and development.
What are the components of exemplary online professional development sites? Quick information that is easily accessible. There are so many demands on my day (like everyone else, of course), and so I don't want to be wandering around busy websites on the off chance I'll find something useful. I want the information to be obvious, and I want it to be a quick read. I'm now at the point where, rather than reading online, I'd like to see video. If something interests me, I'll go back and do the reading later. In many ways, I'd like to see on-line PD material follow a similar model to credit courses.I find that most websites (home pages) are way too busy, and I find that I am now backing out of them becasue I don't have the patience to try to find what I want.
What is missing and needed? I'm not sure that there is anything missing. I've only recently started supporting my own PD needs through online resources. it's a new venture for me. My learning style supports F2F learning (and so conferences and in-class courses work really well for me) and reading (but I'm of the generation that prefers a book and a highlighter pen when I read).
What aspects of online PD websites encourage you to return to the PD website and share your contributions? For me, at present, the encouragement is the commitment I've made to myself to participate in online PD. I can't recommend online PD to my collegues if I haven't tried it myself.
I look forward to an interesting discussion. Cheers, Chris
Nancy, I'm looking forward to hearing more about the collaboratory and the other things that are happening at your centre, particularly as you are moving into university status.
As a Program Director in the Learning and Instructional Development Centre at SFU, I've always been a fan of your work and the initiatives you've undertaken on Vancouver Island. I look forward to learning from you...again :-)
I have a keen interest in professional learning as it relates to teaching and learning.
In my work at BCcampus I've been implementing and supporting the development of online community for informal peer-to-peer learning and starting in 2007 began providing funding support through our Online Program Development Fund for developing professional learning resources.
Over the past year, with the wonderful help of people like Nancy, three different groups in the province, EdTech Users Group (ETUG), University College & Institute Professional Developers, and the Northern Educator Developers Network (NEDNet) have started working together toward a Learn Together Collaboratory supporting professional learning across the entire public post secondary system. So exciting to see!
My own professional development has been a blend of workshops, seminars, conferences, and tracking blogs & reports combined with formal education including a recently completed 100% online MEd in Adult Learning and Global Change.
Great to see many familiar names and faces participating in this discussion. Look forward to contributing to and learning from all of you in this seminar.
I am Curriculum Coordinator and Faculty for the BSN Nursing program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University..and am also completing my PhD Dissertation at the moment in the Curriculum and Pedagogy Studies dept in the Faculty of Ed at UBC.
I generally create websites to encourage PD participation by nursing and other faculty. Supportive software that I enjoy using include Moodle, Drupal, Dotproject, Nucleus or Wordpress (blogs) and any wiki program.
Some examples include http://nursing-pedagogy.com and http://nursing-informatics.com and http://cnia.ca as well as a site that Sylvia and I are working on for BC Campus http://firstnationspedagogy.ca
I look forward to hearing more about your described repository.
My own personal PD is often done online, or via conferences/workshops.
Though my interest is not the main focus of this SCOPE seminar on PD collaboration, it raises similar questions.
I would be grateful for any suggestions about possible Web 2.0 platforms for such purposes, or a comparison of platforms. Almost all of you will have experience with different forums. Do tell me what works best for you, what does not work.
Great to "see" you here. I hope you got my email. I am very interested in your projects. PD is not only for teachers who teach in traditional face-to-face and online classes. I view PD as relevant not only to teachers but everyone interested in sharing information effectively and in facilitating the learning process.
I'm looking forward to many exciting discussions.
I read your post on CO09 and I must confess that reading people's reflections on blogs and responses in discussion forums, participating in online conferences, chatting via SKYPE and instant messaging, and exchanging emails provide me with a great deal of learning both on a personal and professional level.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on you experiences, David.
I also see a well-designed pro-d collaboratory as eliminating much of data entry we seem to be doing all over the place. I wonder how many times a popular conference event is entered into a calendar, for example!
My gathering strategies aren't nearly as sophisticated as Grant's. Mostly I pick up announcements from mailing lists (often the same announcement is posted to multiple lists), blogs I subscribe to, twitter, and there are some websites I check regularly or subscribe to, like Innovate Online, CIDER, etc. Some websites provide a bit of an event service -- CIDER for example publishes an educational technology conference list that is created by Clayton Wright. However, there is no means to contribute to this list directly. Also, there are various calendar sites like http://www.theconferencecalendar.com/. Also, Yahoo Upcoming has some good features for organizing events by group, and seeing which events your friends are going to. Facebook has also been useful for finding out about events and who is attending.
For disseminating event information I use many of the same avenues.
I don't think I've ever come across a comprehensive website that achieves what we are planning with the collaboratory project. It will be great to have a well-used venue for both disseminating and finding out about pro-d information. We have a cool design project ahead of us! :-)
Thank you for reminding me to answer the question. I get most of my ideas for PD from reading articles and studies via online libraries and sharing information with other educators via Facebook, nings, google and yahoo groups, SCoPE, Knowplace, CIDER, Wikieducator, online conferences, and universities that share PD course via podcasts and webcasts.
Unless I'm dreaming, you mentioned gathering our responses into a Wiki and it now being ready for editing. Assuming I'm not dreaming, I can't find that information. Could you please resend it.
I am very much a novice when it comes to on-line learning and online PD...which is why I am so interested in learning what others are doing. SCoPE, at present, is my main source...and I'm just venturing out into other areas as SCoPE members post information about useful sites.
I can, however, see the potential in self-directed, informal, online learning within my institution. As our curriculum development model and processes are undergoing rapid changes, an opportunity to offer specific curriculum training for new (and even seasoned) SMEs exists. Busy teachers, not enough folks in Faculty Development...online might be the best way of offering just-in-time training...or partication in online seminars/conferences might just plant seeds for thought and further reflection.
So, unfortunately, Paul, I have no clear answer to your questions. I think those more experienced members of this seminar may have answers that can help us all.
While I understand that you see yourself as new to venues for online professional development, many discovered through SCoPE, your remarks about curriculum development models and subject matter expertise indicate a pro-dev focus on content or subject matter, and concerns about technical, mainly curriculum development, know-how. That is, you seem to have interests in finding available information readily, making it (more) readily available to new subject matter experts with whom you work, possibly (co-)developing online teaching materials when none exist or seem suitable (or initiating such developments), and providing end-users with just-in-time training to deliver or use informative materials hand-picked or tailor-made for particular curricula.
Although you'd prefer to offer adequate face-to-face opportunities for coaching and cooperation on all that, such opportunities may be difficult to convene routinely for folks with full teaching loads. If your current experience is any indication, you imagine that creating online opportunities for interactions among subject matter experts may supplement, if not replace, face-to-face curricular coordination within the polytechnic. Moreover, you continue to seek repositories of information and models of practices beyond institutional boundaries to guide you in those endeavours.
I hope that's not reading too much into your introductory and follow-up posts. I'm still wondering whether Nellie, whom I wouldn't consider a novice in this domain, has radically different interests than retrieving content and organizing curricular development know-how in mind when she gets involved in various pro-dev venues. I'd like to know whether she and other old hands conceive of various venues, and affordable types of interaction in them, as more suitable to one sort of professional development or another.
Great to ' see" you in class. I usually come across articles, university websites, podcasts, webcasts, and live online conferences that relate to old ideas on effective instruction. The technological tools may be changing but the techniques are pretty much the same. Clayton Christensen, describes a model of disruptive innovation and its application to the field of education in a webcast called Disruptive Innovation and the Way We Learn.
What do you think?
If you mean to ask what I think of the WGBH Educational Foundation recording of Christensen's lecture (2008.01.11), it comes as no surprise that a biz ad. prof. would view education as an industry, or use battle and killing metaphors to describe arguably valuable developments. There is at least one gem in his two-hour audio-visual delivery.
It's about seven minutes fifteen seconds in, when he notes, "Computer-based learning is a disruptive innovation relative to the traditional methods of delivering education." Since he already had categorized disruptive innovations as inferior to sustained ones, and he seemed dead-set on continuing his traditional point and pitch delivery, I think I'll wait to see if the book comes out online, or the lecture gets transcribed, so I can get his points more quickly.
Come to think of it, that's could be a point worth considering with regard to collaboratories. Data stored and represented in audio and video formats is woefully inaccessible to time-challenged professionals, isn't it?
I think that there are a couple of tugs on me here.
I really appreciate when there is access to whatever articles, audio, or video formats and as I get more involved with some of my areas of interest and being -- a "too busy" person, I feel like there is a lot of scattered information in journals, from my e-mails (audio visuals people kindly send me) -- but I feel like I almost stumble upon really great things as I do my searches in my limited time. I'm not a librarian -- by any means. Though I discover interesting information on my zig zag journeys, I would really like to see complete search engine links to topical articles, audios, and videos. This has me thinking that there could be employment for students -- "links for specific topics" -- get the latest for your papers. Surely I'm not the only one who spend hours on the net. The only improvement is that I don't spend as many hours in the library.
Nellie makes an interesting point about the pace of technology change and the inclusion of technology in education:
"I wonder whether I am capable of thinking objectively about the technological changes taking place around me. However, most of my colleagues refuse to use technology for instruction and learning for various reasons. Are they thinking about the use of technology in education objectively? "
So....I'll take a risk and make some broad, sweeping statements...but I think you'll recognize where I'm going.
It may be difficult to think of technology objectively when one is responding to it emotionally. Teachers/instructors/professors are often subject-matter experts first and then...sometimes a very distant second...technology users. The rate of change and the growing expectations of accepting and incorporating new technology in the classroom (electronic or F2F) is worrying a lot of folks.
Some, I think, feel that they might have more value in their institutions if they came equipped with a cord and plug!
Depending on the outlook of the institution, instructors may/maynot be given adequate training, personal learning/experimentation time, technical support.
The reasons why instructors don't adopt educational technology is as varied as the people involved. Often, those who are reluctant as unfairly named luddites when they might actually have reasonable concerns .......and the more techie-savvy folks might learn from those concerns.
Instructors are learners, too.....why to they, their supervisors, and their institutions often overlook faculty learning needs?
In my institution, most of our courses are supported by WebCT, most of our instructors teach in a blended/hybrid environment, many students have laptops.....but the teething troubles as we've moved from traditional F2F to blended are still being felt some 10 years later.
Perhaps looking forward in the journey also includes the need to look back and learn from mistakes.
Just some thoughts....
Your statement that the reasons are as varied as the educators is interesting since I will be researching instructor experiences with technology in blended learning courses. If your prediction is true, I may have a very interesting study. However, I was just reading an interesting article by Bryan Moseley and Daniel Dustin (2008) called Teaching as Chaos. Chaos theory suggests that chaos exists if we cannot predict behavior or outcomes. According to the article (Moseley & Dustin, 2008), learning in a classroom follows the chaos theory. Would using technology via blended learning fit in with the chaos theory?
Moseley, B., & Dustin, D. (2008, Summer). Teaching as chaos. College Teaching, 56(3), 140-142. Retrieved August 28, 2008, from EBSCOhost database.
I don't know enough about Chaos Theory to offer a confident answer but your question has me thinking about it. Despite the best-laid plans of a teacher, there is an element of chaos in any classroom (triggered by any number of events happening in and around the classroom). Blended learning evolves with time and evolution is change (and I think this is the basis of chaos theory, isn't it?)
How does this link to PD?
Perhaps faculty will move away from learning how to manage the software and hardware and they will more toward asking how best to use technology (and whether or not it's required) for themselves and for their learners.
Perhaps electronic PD is part of that new conversation.
Bevan (2006) came up with the chaos theory as he considered the following questions at a secondary school:
- What research-based knowledge do you use?
- How do you use it? (p. 55)
- Effective approaches to assessment
- Improved strategies for revision classes
- Informed responses to school transfer (from Primary to Secondary)
- Computers as tools for learning
- Effective implementation of staff development
- turbulence caused by the 'stone in the stream';
- resolved, in turn, through channel depth;
- the fluidity of the stream: 'water not tarmac'; and
- the purposeful direction: 'it goes nowhere'. (p. 60)
Bevan, R. M. (2006, July). Turbulent flow into smooth stream: Transferring research knowledge between academic environments and practitioner contexts. Reflecting Education, 2(1), 55-72. Retrieved August 29, 2008, from http://tinyurl.com/56ndfx
Good points. Thanks.
When working with people -- who are not only teachers, but other professionals -- I think it is about professional pacing -- not everyone gets the same support from a principle, from a budget, from their colleagues, or from themselves -- if they are stressed. I don't want people to feel more pressure. I think support is key and change will take time. My approach in schools would be to go with where the interest and support is from the people in the systems. In seeking out my own education in rather "unsupported" areas -- I learned that I had to be active and to find people who were in my case -- outside my working environment. Once I got the training, I was able to bring it back to those environments and teach many receptive colleagues -- some of whom went on to get their own training. It seems to me that the some of these same issues will apply to technology and its use for learning.
I liked the emphasis that you gave -- teachers are learners too.
I think this Scope Session is ending (Aug 31). Many teachers will be very busy at this time. Hope to see you again in another Scope session.
I'm glad you touched base with the value of poetry.
I want to speak to your reflections on the pace of change for technology and for people. I believe that people can change faster than technology and they can change more slowly -- but what I find is that if lots of people (perhaps not all) are given half a chance they will want to connect to change when they see it is for the greater good and through their heart. When people use technology for the greater good then I think they will find a way to embrace what it has to offer. I hope so. These moments sometimes can spontaneously happen -- like particle theory -- or they can happen in waves like in wave theory. When we look at the individual teacher's effect on many -- that is the particle effect. When we look at our combined efforts and the individual -- wow. Jo Ann
I also believe that people "will want to connect to change" if given the chance. I decided to put my thoughts to work by organizing a ning and online conference to offer people a chance to share their experiences about the Internet and "the use of technology for the greater good".
Your poem certainly caught the spirit of things.
I just want to thank everyone for contributing so many great links and ideas to this Scope forum. I think your idea of organizing the ning and online conference is great, Nellie. I'm very involved with my present course, writing a chapter, and work and family and community commitments. I will contribute when I can, thanks. I agree that actions are important -- especially social actions.
It is encouraging at there are online actions that people are taking for the greater good (Nellie). I'm challenged to use my time and self -- well, and finding groups that align with my intentions will likely be helpful -- but I am cautious to not spread my efforts over too broad a surface and not finish what I have already started. I am grateful to all the inspiring posts as well as the support I'm aware of from friends.
I think there are many exciting happenings occurring online and off for PD -- and I hope that more people will have access to them. There are super communications online for learning networks. At this time in my life, I really appreciate the PD online.
I have had a brief chance to look at some of the links that have been shared -- and will revisit them soon. I'm also focusing on the writing project I mentioned at the beginning of this conference - and fortunately -- a deadline is there to help me focus. Cheers Jo Ann
I'm obviously Jo Ann -- not Nellie, but I thought I would look into "Ning".
Ning is one of many “platforms” that I understand as social software programs that you can change – codes provided to make changes as opposed to those that are set like Myspace.
“Ning offers the latest social networking features, all infinitely customizable to meet your unique needs. The Ning Platform makes this possible. As a platform, you don’t have to appeal to Ning for the features you want. If you have the time and the inclination, you can build them yourself. It’s the software equivalent of Home Depot. Unlike other services that offer a “one-size-fits-all” offering, your social network on Ning runs on a programmable platform.”
Retrieved Aug 31, 2008 from
I have done some Second Life in a course and I get the idea of it being very interactive and it is an example of a ning. However, I too would like more insights into the advantages of having other specific "nings" set up. Perhaps Nellie or others will expand on their ideas. Jo Ann
I have created a few ning sites. Two popular ones international collaboration for my English learners to collaborate with other EFL students worldwide and Blended Learning and Instruction for educators interested in blended learning. My most recent one is called Connecting Online. All of my nings are private where people need to contact the organizers to join.
Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2008). Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210-230. Retrieved August 31, 2008, from http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/117979376/PDFSTART
Thanks for sharing the reference and clarifying more about ning for us. I think that they are a good idea for groups with a focus as your nings.
I'm wondering how many people have started nings and if they are significantly different than blogs -- where people can comment? Is it that they can be private learning places online and emphasize a focus and a discussion? Any comments? I'm new to ning.
Thanks Jo Ann
My name is Prince Obiri-Mainoo. I am currently in Ghana since April 30 to promote computer literacy and e-learning, among others through my United States-based NGO, National Africa Foundation. I am due to return at the end of the month.
Though, I haven't been out visibly as now, I have been following your postings and comments from the distance. I must say that I am very impressed with what SCOPE is doing, and congratulate you all for that.
I have just a comment to make on my experience using ning. Unlike my experience with blogs at Google's blogspot and quite lately, also with Wordpress as a partner and co-author at eafrica , I find it quite cumbersome logging in to my account such as at Ghana Onondaga-Disney Interns, with questions about your pin even after providing your user-name and password. Otherwise, I applaud their several innovative features. I hope this explains a little bit about nings. Thank you all once again for your good work at SCOPE!
Take for instance a post that I breezed over in an RSS reader somewhere suggesting that as long as an un-university offers courses, it is little unlike ordinary universities, which may have been stuck in text (book) and course (lecture) mode for over a millenium. Perhaps a more comperhensive question would be to what extents are we able to distinguish technologies from cultures in which they are so deeply embedded that many people are likely to overlook them?
When you say your "colleagues refuse to use technology for instruction and learning" (Saturday, 30 August 2008, 12:11 PM), I guess you mean online, computer-mediated communication, cooperation, and collaboration tools. I have little doubt that they avail themselves of printed materials and related display technologies, which in their minds may suffice to transmit whatever information it is that they wish to pass on to their pupils or students. If not, the next question may be which technologies might they utilize (effectively) to assess their effectiveness in transmission, teaching, and learning--whether online, computer-mediated, or not.
I like your concept that change occurs in a split second. I just hope the person is fully aware of the split second that it happens.
I am referring to dictation type of instruction where students are expected to write down what the teacher says word for word. The only way some can keep up is to copy someone else's work. Teachers claim the method saves time and unnecessary classroom interruptions.
For instance, how much the dictation-based instructional scenario that you mention does remind me of the streaming lecture that you'd pointed out earlier. Lecturing certainly saves time when compared with, say, the kinds of active learning that I gather Deirdre was documenting over on the cross-institutional pro-d discussion thread not long ago, with photos from first-year university classes involving students numbering up to a hundred (maybe more). But dictation or lecturing saves time for whom, and for what?
There were few unnecessary interruptions in that lecture, either, little more than polite laughter on cue and modest bursts of applause from an audience we see in the video much less than we see the projections on screen. The difference in perspectives between Deirdre's photos and the video may be telling, perhaps even gob-smackingly so. That Google, Impress, Keynote, or PowerPoint presentations might fill technological niches previously dedicated to dictation or lecture notes, blackboards, whiteboards, slides and other transparencies doesn't change the teacher-centred-ness of it all, does it?
In the situation you describe, you suggest, "The only way some [pupils or students] can keep up is to copy someone else's work" (Sunday, 31 August 2008, 08:47 PM). Don't college students want prof's to post their presentation files online for the same reason?
I'm the Queen of falling asleep in lectures, so I became a voracious notetaker to stay focused. I really believe that students must be engaged physically (writing, roleplaying, experimenting) and/or mentally (creating, problem solving, memorizing) in their learning. Actively involving them even if you are just asking closed questions allows the teacher to make sure they are engaged. You teach less, but they remember/understand more.
I think it takes time for people to recognize the value of courses and programs where they do not get credits or grades. Learning through technology that is for either instruction or learning has its own rewards -- but that concept has to be learned in some way. For example courses that can be taken free for non-credit or you can pay and get the opportunity to earn a grade -- are now being experimented with and I wonder how they will be received.
I'm still catching on (steep learning curve) to using more of the technological options available through the internet. As a bottom line, I usually have to see that the learning will be of some value for me, or that I can apply it without too much difficulty -- or perhaps I need to quickly decide whether an opportunity is worth making it a priority with my limited time to practice it. I suspect that there are many who want at least some sort of recognition from their hypothetical boss or "credit" for their coursework in the form of a grade. This experience is fairly commonplace -- and yet it is relevant to the next part of your post -- what people consider "using technology". Perhaps if that same technology is part of their practical, everyday-experience -- they hardly notice that it is "technology" (e.g. you gave -- pencil and paper).
At what point does someone think that they would be rated as frequent users (not dabblers) of the latest technology -- say Second Life? Nowadays I've been taking courses that get me to ask "how do I judge" that the technology is worth knowing about or using it -- not just for the sake of learning it in a course -- but in applying it in my work?" "What makes universities stick to WebCT or Moodle?" What makes a university sure enough to spend money to change their systems or decide to keep what they have? Life seem demanding when all of these questions cost a lot of money -- and students or employee and employer time and success ride on the answers.
I am a bit late to join in, as I have just returned from three weeks in Newfoundland. I too was a part of the original BCcampus group that recommended the 'collaboratory.' I live in Smithers, BC and represent Northwest Community College and NEDNET in the BCcampus project. I coordinate distance learning activities for NWCC, as well I work with BCcampus coordinating collaborative programs, and deliver workshops in online curriculum development and delivery. I also deliver workshops at NWCC in curriculum development for both online & 'face-to-face' programs.
NWCC covers one-third of BC and the collaborative programs the entire province. In professional development I need to meet the needs of this wide area on limited budgets, therefore, we use technology to meet the needs. I am on my list serves, news feeds and other sources - I circulate these to faculty. It is very difficult to meet everyone's needs and I look forward to the discussions of how we can enhance the PD resources for faculty.
Hello all... I've been lurking and reading posts to date. Now on a hot and sunny Friday afternoon before class registration starts, I think I am the only one in the building! Oh well... such is my fate!
Saying that, I am the current (and only) Instructional Designer for STFX University's Contining and Distance Education department. I also serve as the MED and MAdEd graduate student thesis editor. In my "spare time" I am mired in my doctorate (University of South Australia - distance) in which I will be doing participatory action research with current MEd professors as they venture into an online environment to teach at a distance. When there is a rift in the time-space continuum, I do contract work with the Coady International Institute as we design their first distance course for students in India.
Nancy, you asked questions of us to which I have responded below.
a) How do you find out about PD opportunities? Mostly through listservs and forums such as this, follow-ups from conference attendance and web links, professional associations.
b) What encourages you to visit online PD websites? Insatiable desire to learn more and more about everything. I like to be current. Online PD works with my schedule.
c) What are the components of exemplary online professional development sites? Stable, easily navigatable, current, relevant, free or very inexpensive, reputable and respected facilitators
d) What is missing and needed? MORE, especially from a Canadian context. SCOPE and CIDER have been great to fill the gaping hole... thanks!
e) What aspects of online PD websites encourage you to return to the PD website and share your contributions? The ease of sharing, the sense of community, the desire for feedback and critique
I looking forward to the coming days and everyone's posts!
I am delighted to see a fellow STFX person here! I graduated with my MAdEd from STFX in 2003: John Reigle (sp.?) was the editor then. The Master's of Adult Education at STFX is still one of the iconic distance programs in Canada IMO. That program, more than anything else I think, demonstrated for me the power of self-directed learning: the 'self-directed, online informal PD' that Christine Horgan refers to in another thread.
Enjoy your hot & sunny afternoon in Antigonish! It won't last long
I participated in the "Viral" session earlier this summer and have been lurking recently here.
My current PD is self directed since there really does not seem to be a real mechanism of support...that is why we're here, right?
I have read several books and white papers this summer. This has been one of the most helpful. http://tinyurl.com/5o5vxd
A search in ProQuest of "elearning" will also yield a fair amount of current work on the subject.
It is nice to be connected locally (geographically speaking) with learners looking for similar information.
Good to see you again.
Here is a current journal article from e-leed (e-learning and education).
I thought the group might like the abstract.
Teachers' professional development in a community:
A study of the central actors, their networks and web-based learning
Contributions by authors:Essi Ryym in has collected and analysed the data, interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript. Jiri Lallimo and Dr. Kai Hakkarainen have provided theoretical and methodological guidance during the research process.
Abstract: The goal of this article was to study teachers' professional development related to web-based learning in the context of the teacher community. The object was to learn in what kind of networks teachers share the knowledge of web-based learning and what are the factors in the community that support or challenge teachers professional development of web-based learning. The findings of the study revealed that there are teachers who are especially active, called the central actors in this study, in the teacher community who collaborate and share knowledge of web-based learning. These central actors share both technical and pedagogical knowledge of web-based learning in networks that include both internal and external relations in the community and involve people, artefacts and a variety of media. Furthermore, the central actors appear to bridge different fields of teaching expertise in their community.
According to the central actors' experiences the important factors that support teachers' professional development of web-based learning in the community are; the possibility to learn from colleagues and from everyday working practices, an emotionally safe atmosphere, the leader's personal support and community-level commitment. Also, the flexibility in work planning, challenging pupils, shared lessons with colleagues, training events in an authentic work environment and colleagues' professionalism are considered meaningful for professional development. As challenges, the knowledge sharing of web-based learning in the community needs mutual interests, transactive memory, time and facilities, peer support, a safe atmosphere and meaningful pedagogical practices.
On the basis of the findings of the study it is suggested that by intensive collaboration related to web-based learning it may be possible to break the boundaries of individual teachership and create such sociocultural activities which support collaborative professional development in the teacher community. Teachers' in-service training programs should be more sensitive to the culture of teacher communities and teachers' reciprocal relations. Further, teacher trainers should design teachers' in-service training of web-based learning in co-evolution with supporting networks which include the media and artefacts as well as people.
The article is long and good.
There was an access message at the bottom of the article reading as below:
Any party may pass on this Work by electronic means and make it available for download under the terms and conditions of the free Digital Peer Publishing Licence. The text of the licence may be accessed and retrieved via Internet at
I hope you all like it and perhaps some will comment or relate.
Previewing it makes me keen to learn more about extant and possible fits between "sociocultural activities which support collaborative professional development" in and among various groups, and "in-service training" (Ryymin, Lallimo, & Hakkarainen, 2008, Abstract, ¶3).
Ryymin, Essi; Lallimo, Jiri; & Hakkarainen, Kai. (2008). Teachers' professional development in a community: a study of the central actors, their networks and web-based learning. E-learning and Education (issue 4, July 2008). Retrieved August 27, 2008, from http://eleed.campussource.de/archive/4/1251/
I concur that this article makes me think about the "sociocultural activities which support collaborative professional development in and among various groups, and "in-service training" (Ryymin, Lallimo, & Hakkarainen, 2008, Abstract, as you stated in your post. Thanks
"Scope's online community" for me, is a "social" and "cultural" activity opportunity (Yeah!) which definitely supports collaborative PD for an active online community, in my humble opinion -- and it would be fairly easy to research if this is the experience of others - say through a poll, collecting information if others think this way generally and how specifically do they think this way or differently. Scope participants find their way here -- somehow -- and it would be interesting to hear how they (we) got here and what keeps them coming back, if anything. The above article indicates variables like collegial support (in specific communities of interest -- perhaps professional learning within various organizational interests, PD and interdisciplinary challenges, learning made accessible, and safety in the process. I think these are huge factors for me.
I like the sharing, but I get a lot of intellectual stimulation, I like the networking, and I get energized by knowing there are others that are working online too. I initially joined because of the PanCanadian online conference, but I am interesting in the fast growing sense of world community.
To address Jo Ann's question: "Scope participants find their way here -- somehow -- and it would be interesting to hear how they (we) got here and what keeps them coming back, if anything. "
I came across SCoPE only becasue the director of our curriculum department mentioned it. Most of my on-line education/PD resources have come to me via others. What keeps me coming back? community, confimation that the challenges and opportunities in my institution are not much different from others, an opportunity to walk the walk and look after my own PD needs, the opportunity to lurk if time or energy prevents more active participation.
Sounds like you have a good director; encouragement to participate and information sharing from a director is important. Thanks for sharing these reasons -- I can relate to them. Cheers, Jo Ann
That I enjoy all that, too, is what keeps me coming back – that, and fairly continuous access to the web. As closely as I can recall without turning over tons of compost, I meandered over to SCoPE after discovering a gathering-initiated wiki-building project, deriving from about the same geophysical location as SCoPE, one that hadn't quite gotten off the ground.
This has been a good Scope PD sharing.
Scope feels to me like something I want to phenomenologically embody because it connects in a mirroring fashion to important people at the other end. When ideas are shared and embodied, reflected upon -- and experimented with at this end -- my lived-world expands. When this starts to happen, I resonate with various appendages of the work through people gifts -- their senses -- eyes, ears and their embodied knowledge in a new and interesting way.
Who are these people?
-- here is a PDScope Poem
Willing to login, take a chance in the mix,
Read, feel the thought, now what to write,
Welcome even lurkers who respond here and there.
"Scope Professional Development I now declare.
Electrified by flow -- human flow appendage by appendage.
Great online resource with wiki attached, go-writers-go
Nurturing healthy online veins and arteries to the heart
Of Polls and Scoopers on Scope, Yes we can!
Some carry questions and curious creations to what end.
Into the collective wiki, okay, that's good. Amen.
Respond and collaboratively blend. Thank you and you.
Redistributing opportunities for all to learn.
Renewed back in the hearts of lifelong ... Scope friends.
by Jo Ann
That is a lovely present. Thank you for reminding me how wonderful poetry can be.
Thanks -- glad that you like it. Jo Ann
I was so busy recent days. Because i was preparinf my Master Thessis Presentation. At last i finished and i prenseted. Now I am M.Sci. in Instructional Technology.
Here i am
Greetings from Turkey. My name is Firat Sarsar (www.firatsarsar.com). At present I am working as a research assistant in the department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies at Ege University, Izmir.
i think i am one of the fun of Scope I have learned a lot of new things and met a lot of people here. My area of studies lays in Social Skills Development throught the Online collaborative learning environment. And I want to aplly PhD program in Instructional Technology in USA as soon as possible. (I am ready to listen your advice)
Good to attend here