Friday 11am NZ time I sign in to the synchronous session. I haven’t been involved with one of these before. I thought about the last one but it was at 7am NZ time and that was a bit too early for me as it is holiday time here at the moment! The previous one was at 11am but this semester I am teaching 10-12. So this week was a perfect opportunity for me to see what it was all about.
It was easy to log on and easy to follow what was being shown, said and typed. I liked the various components. I even felt able to contribute and it was nice to hear the speaker acknowledge my typed comments. I think this shows what community is all about. My session did disconnect a couple of times but it automatically re-established the connection and I didn’t miss too much – not that missing parts is an issue really as it was being recorded and the link is going to be added to the Pedagogy First site so I will be able to catch up on anything I missed.
My thoughts on a synchronous session from a student point of view: some students are going to be nervous logging on the first time, some may lose the connection (either temporarily or completely), some may want to contribute but others may not. Being able to view what others are commenting on is important so students can see how straight forward the comments can be – as simple as a yes may be enough for students to feel part of the class (in lieu of a student nodding in a f2f class). Making the student’s contributions appreciated will encourage others students to comment as well. Text chat is neat as you can think about what to say before committing yourself. Over all, I liked the experience.
An example of establishing a community for IT students enrolled in various f2f programmes is contained in the following YouTube Video.
I created the video using BB FlashBack Express . This is a free video creation tool similar to Jing but with no time limit and the ability to save as a flv file and easy uploading to YouTube from within the programme itself. The website even shows how to record a Prezi presentation (in the solutions tab)!