So first, where are we now? In the past 2 years SCoPE has grown to 1,280 members from 45 countries, we've organized 20 seminar discussions, 28 members have volunteered to facilitate scheduled discussions, and we have hosted over 30 special interest groups and events. This year we were the proud recipients of the British Columbia Innovation Award in Education Technology. We already have a few seminar discussions scheduled for the upcoming months. It's been busy!
Obviously we have only managed to accomplish this because of our active, enthusiastic members who are so willing to share their time and expertise in the community. We have also been fortunate to collaborate with other communities and institutions on special projects and events. And, of course, the Learning and Instructional Development Centre at Simon Fraser University continues to provide the support to keep us up and running!
Now we need your help in planning for future activities and enhancing our community. Thinking ahead to the next 12 months, what would you like to see happen in SCoPE? Remember, BIG ideas and tiny suggestions are both important!
I think this fills a key place in the portfolio of offerings in this field.
There are several posts around the place in various seminar "Finishing up" threads wondering how to manage afterthoughts. I have thought of the idea of keeping one forum open per seminar - but now this has grown to 20!! or keeping one forum open with one thread per topic: same problem.
I have thought whether we could choose a small number of themes and keep them as ongoing open forums of the Q&A "I have a question" sort. In some respects, Google/Delicious/Technorati helps with this now. BUT there is no substitute for the networking people effect.
This is the problem of scalability.
There are some topics that deserve a re-visit.
Also: social chat and just musing. Where do we do this? One answer is the various blogs that have spawned. But there may be technological gizmos to help with this. We have the problems of scale here . . .
I like being here because I have NO responsibilities. I can just dip in when I want to. I have no responsibility to Make Things Happen, facilitate, etc - just to be a good citizen. There are a lot of lurkers - I know this because I meet them sometimes. This is good. But can we draw them in in some way? Should we try?
We are not quite a 'user community' but Kath Sierra's post has some interesting wisdom
Most user communities take a typical path--the newbies ask questions, and a select group of more advanced users answer them. But that's a slow path to building the community, and it leaves a huge gaping hole in the middle where most users drop out. If we want to keep beginning and intermediate users more engaged (and increase the pool of question answerers), we need them to shift from asker to answerer much earlier in their learning curve. But that leaves two big questions... 1) How do we motivate them? 2) How do we keep them from giving lame answers?
Actually, this isn't the biggest problem with most user communities. The real deal-killer is when a new or beginning user asks a "dumb" question. Most supportive, thriving user communities have a culture that encourages users to ask questions, usually through brute-force moderation with a low-to-no-tolerance policy on ridiculing a question. In other words, by forcing participants to "be reasonably nice to newbies", beginners feel safe posing questions without having to start each one with, "I know this is probably a dumb question, but..." <snip>
I think my question for you Sylvia includes this:
What are your goals? (I mean the sponsors etc) - Why did you set this up? Behind the scenes: what oils the wheels?
And my final comment is this: I'm not too worried about anything here!! It's been a great time. We don't need to get too immersed in analysis or postmodern co-construction of ideas about the future. But a little bit of this may help. Charles Handy (The Empty Raincoat) talks about the sigmoid curve, and the inevitable decline, and the benefits of catching this when all indicators are that everything is well.
Here are the other types of questions:
- Are we including newcomers as best as we can?
- Are we web 2.0 enough?
- Are we keeping up with the times?
- Who is we?
Sylvia, as always, you are doing a wonderful job shepherding us along!
I liked Derek's response and suggestions. I agree we should explore web 2.0 more, and would love to see a meetup feature, perhaps like a board or list of conferences or events where people could see who is planning to attend where, so if face-to-face is possible, let's encourage it. This reminds me when I met you at Northern Voice--it added a wonderful new direction for this. I also liked Derek's question about learning a little more about the sponsors of this site itself and what objectives exist for it.
Finally, I am interested in evaluation of educational technology and social netoworking. How can we determine if objectives are met, and what does success look like for technology integration into education.
I am really glad I am involved in this site and community.
I'm with Derek on wanting to explore more 2.0 tools and issues, but I've spent the past 24 hours thinking about Jennifer Wagner's blog post about getting beyond preaching to the converted. How do we reach educators who aren't part of our conversation? How do we convince them to get beyond the "I don't have the time" and other such reasons for resistance to using technology with their learners? (I may be volunteering to facilitate with this one).
And Derek, I really miss Kathy Sierra's posts.
Many educators themselves are not up to speed with what's out there - and our students surpass us in their ease of use with web 2.0 choices. This does not inspire teachers or students.
If there were a learning modules that could be easily added to your favorite platform...if there was a platform that had elements of OpenSource so that we could share code for this...if, if, if...
We have to address the contradictions within time and choices.
I agree that the difficulties and contradictions exist - but isn't that what early adopters are all about - trying to forge the way so that others after us will have paths and models to follow. It seems to me that the difficulties you describe are exactly what these discussions are about - how can we use these tools to support learning and how can we make their power accessible to others. What can we build so that when the tools become more acccessible and commonplace there will be powerful models for others to look at and they won't use them in trivial and passive ways to do old fashioned tasks.......
For me Del.icio.us is a godsend that will allow me to connect the web searching of the teachers I work with. I am trying to think about developing common tags and some way to indicate which sites have been used successfully with students and whether to try to include some kind of review structure.....
We need to do both: find uses for ourselves and our students, and think about how to make these things as accessible as posssible for others. One of my colleagues used to call simple powerful examples "quick wins" because they were effective in engaging even reluctant teachers.
Thanks, Sylvia. I enjoy seeing what is being discussed on SCoPE, but have had limited time to participate. The 'next steps' posts all sounds good. Along similar lines, discussions that would be helpful for me are those that blend technology with teaching practice, particularly where it concerns applying and evaluating Web 2.0 tools--perhaps testimonials from both the giving and receiving ends and suggested next steps, keeping IT smiling when planning to roll out these tools (potential impacts for them) and some best practices. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I am not a regular participant; I think I wandered in here via a Moodle Canada conference a while ago, but here is my two cents...I was drawn in by the seminar on creating online dialogue, which was excellent. I am sorry I missed the earlier one on facilitation, as that one looked very interesting also. I work with both educational and other organizational (government, non-profit, foundations, etc) online CoPs. I support (coach) facilitators, set up the sites, kind of do Sylvia's job in some respects, so topics that relate to dialogue and facilitation interest me.
I think this community is very well organized. It is usually pretty easy to get to where I try to get to and the topics are good and I have discovered some good resources here. So, thanks, and thanks for having it open to outsiders like myself!
There are some things we have right
1) The concept of SCoPE
2) Sylvia's skill as a facilitator and community manager
3) The "social capital" that gathers here and their generous contributions to the discussions
I agree with the suggestions of areas we can improve on
1) Bringing the value of SCoPE to newbies
2) Aggregating the best content in a central area
3) An area for casual conversations
I have a propensity to use public free and open source information and tools. I think it is important. I also think it is important to integrate the most valuable features of other platforms such as Second Life, You Tube, delicious and Facebook as best we can.
For me the challenges with moodle/SCoPE in reside with the usability, searchability and navigation of the platform itself. Lots of information but compared to other sites, where I should go to find areas that may be of value to me is not clear. Usability is a issue everywhere there is hordes of information to sift through. I am aware of the amount of time/effort it can take to make improvements. By putting our heads together we will come up with "little things" that will make it better. For example I like the header area with the links to what is happening. I think adding some videos or slideshare presentations would add some visual interest to the main page.
For the seminars, three weeks is a large commitment for both the facilitators and the attendees. It requires effort to keep the momentum going and skill to keep it focused. Perhaps shorter more intense seminars is the way to go with an agenda and a summary of the discussions afterwards.
This also spreads the brand of Scope as an ingredient into other brands, servicing the person using it. Opens many opportunities if well managed. Creates awareness, strengthens dialogue, brings issues above water, offers opportunities to develop collaborative solutions to learning, expands Scope's technological growth path as well as users.
the same could be done with Web2.0 software we use. Anol, a friend of mine posts his latest del.icio.us links on his twitter, on a fixed basis he sends them around, which allows others to quickly check out what is happening and whether or not that is useful. This kind of twitter thing: the scopeTwitter could be usefull.
@facebook or other: is there a facebook group of SCoPE? I did find a group: summer camp opportunities provide edge... but that did not seem the right group (: That way we can all join in that group.
@event calendar: that would be such a good feature. Networking would be really easy.
I always find something new and fresh when I on SCOPE. There's also a lot of enthusiasm, info-sharing and ideas from the community...
And thanks to Sylvia and others for keeping this happening!
Firstly - many thanks for a very valuable resource!
1: Meetups. Yes, good idea! I'll start off ... - with another thread so that they stand out!
2: Social Networking etc.,
I'd personally vote for something Elgg based, rather than Facebook. I use Eduspaces, which I like as it's full of Educational Technology types, so a great many communities that can be useful. It's also got the ability to import other blogs, so it's a way of aggregating blogs etc.
It's also got quite a few Moodle intergration tools as far as I know, so it could be possible to have a Scope installation of it (though personally, I think that joining in with the wider community would have more benefits).
3: Getting a wider audience.
Several people have asked about getting a wider audience. From my own view, it strikes me that Scope is growing rapidly, and increasingly outside the English speaking world. I'm not sure that encouraging those teachers etc., who aren't "early adopters" to come here is always the best, experts, however friendly, can be pretty scary in herds! However, the more innovators that arrive here, the more we can get ideas, which can then be shared with others; who may then gain the expertise & confidence to use them.
To give an example, I've never been a fan of mind-maps. I just don't get them - particularly not shared ones. However, given the enthusiasm for them here, I think that I'd encourage people to use them - as clearly it's just one of my quirks that finds them not that intuitive.
Overall, I've found this very useful - I can't remember how I found it, but I'm glad that I did!
We now have preferences of (with random attributions) Ning (Deidre) Facebook (Colby, Jeffery) Elgg/Eduspaces (Emma) - References to Jaiku (Lisa) Twitter (??) and the others I missed . . .
- I don't suppose there is a humongous aggregator for all these . . . Probably NOT!! just back to RSS .
- I'm not sure what I think about facebook/Ning/eduspaces for SCoPE . . .
- This is cool to know who is where - now I have more people to ask if I want to find out about one of these things, someone who actually USES the thing.
- Scaleablility. Maybe we just have a SCopE friends group ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE and just rely on the network/serendipity effect so that if something interesting happens on SCoPE-NING we know about it from our Blog RSS feed, or IM or post in Moodle-SCoPE . . .
We could take over the world here.
- There are 5000 apps, which means we have a lot to do, even deleting the 4000 duplicates and wierd ones.
[No wonder I have so many languishing accounts]
Flogged from Deidre's NING site: