I was persuaded by the softly spoken Akshay Bhavadwaj.
He asked us to think back to when we’d been in a classroom, when we could interact, asking questions of folks. He’s not the product of the British public school then, where collaboration was thought of as cheating and if you spoke out of turn you’d get hit by a piece of well aimed chalk or the wooden board rubber.
Old times, past times.
I’m a convert to collaboration in all things; that sharing bolsters thinking, empowers and engages the mind.
70% drop out of online courses due to learner isolationwe are told.
This is because candidates will click in, click around then click off somewhere else unless they find someone, not just something, with which to engage.
My take here is that this is where those organising a course must step in. However, time (and cost) a limiting factor, I understand why the Open University wants, encourages and needs students who know their way around, or know anything, to share and support new comers. It may happen naturally in a large enough, engaged, tuned in, Net savvy community, but otherwise it needs a nudge (and the tools).
Should a cohort of students on a module, or in a Tutor group be sharing Twitter account details? This is when I feel myself splitting into various versions of me, the student being one, the commercial, family man and swimming coach the others.
Akshay explained how to use Twitter to circumvent a course Learning Management System (LMS).
It is easy to use Twitter. I.e. use what people are familiar with. This presumes of course that most in a cohort have the device, the means and inclination to use Twitter.
- Overcome learner isolation
- Hold learner interest
Akshay then went on to set up a virtual classroom with those attending the seminar and showed how using Twitter it was easy to quickly set something up.
It worked, but those who have taught in a class or lecture hall recently, especially at Secondary Level, would have serious doubts about encouraging the use of smartphones in class. My experience is that students will listen to music with earplug cables snuck up shirtsleeves or text each other – the idea of using their device (at their cost?) to engage with classmates strikes me as odd.
In a virtual classroom however, this would be a different matter.
Using devices used for social networking and communicating between friends in a learning setting may not appeal to some. It smacks of bringing work home; but do we no longer have any choice ?
Life Long learning also means learning anywhere, anytime, anyhow.
If I understand what is going on correctly, then some corporates can purchase help desk services, real people paid to mill around and be around to be supportive. It’s no different to second year students keeping an eye out for first years at university …
I then went over to the Adobe stand, returning two or three times.
These are the tools I’d like to get my hands on. I feel an affinity to Adobe as I do to Mac.
As long as it pays to pay, then it is understandable that some tools cost something.
Pay peanuts and you get monkeys?