Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jumping blogsites and showing up

I've made my first video!

This video is my response to the Facilitating Online 2010 course requirements. I learnt a lot about myself and the art of videoing during this experience. I also discovered that there are more differences than I thought between the two blogging platforms. I have found that blogger is far easier. The new template design features mean I can configure the layout to more suit my needs. I also like the follower button and couldn't figure out how to add it to the other platform.

Back to the video creation, I was surprised at how anxious I felt as I started the video filming and how self conscious I was during the video. The experience has been really worthwhile. Looking at the video, I can see how self conscious I was. That's great feedback for me and helps me to think more about my teaching style and how I come across and how I want to come across.

The list of activities Sarah Stewart our talented and social media savvy facilitator has asked us to engage in this week include: 

1. Watch the video by Clive Shepherd called "Welcome to the virtual classroom". This video explains the difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication, and explains why and how you'd use online communication.
Comment: I loved Clive's explanation of the development of communication modes and the differences between synchronous and asynchronous communication. A very clear and considered presentation. Gives some good ideas on how to present information in a video format.  The requirements for effective online conferencing and teaching were outlined succinctly. A very useful resource and one that can only enhance my thinking about online facilitation and teaching.

Comment: I've joined the group and find the interaction very encouraging and friendly. Everyone is really positive and supportive. A wonderful way to get and provide feedback and information. 

3. Make a plan for what you want to learn and explore, and write it up (or present in another way eg mindmap, video recording) on your blog. Answer these questions. 
Comment:  So, my first foray into video recording and blogging is in this post. I'm not sure I really answered the questions following adequately in my video recording, so will ponder each question separately below. If anyone feels like giving feedback on the video, I'd be grateful to receive it.

Sarah asks:
  • What do you want to learn to facilitate?  
Comment: I'm still thinking about this question. The mud is settling somewhat. I like Chris Woodhouse's focus on creativity in online facilitation. An interesting post on psychorg talked about a group who are researching creativity as a social process to solve problems; an idea which I suspect is very much in line what Chris was thinking about. 
  • What are you doing now in terms of online facilitation? 
Comment: I'm privileged to teach midwifery in both face to face and online modes through the University of Newcastle.
  • What would you like to achieve, change or do more of? 
Comment: I would like to make more dynamic and interesting online resources for students. I also like the idea of online meeting/education sessions, like those we have experienced with Elluminate. Many of the students are mothers, wives and employees, not to mention all the other 'hats' they wear while they study. Providing exciting, interesting and useful learning tools makes learning fun and something they want to engage with, even if it is late at night when everyone else is in bed and the house is quiet. 

and then... there is the whole political activism agenda that beckons me...
  • What do you need to do or make happen to achieve your goal? 
Comment: For a start, the recipe is skills and tools, both of which this course is providing me with. Those items are the primary ingredients, but so much more is needed to make the mix just right. A healthy sackful of creative thinking and dare devil courage with a good measure of right action will make it all rise and take form.  This video offering is the beginning.


    1. I'm impressed Carolyn! What a lovely video. I really like the face-to-face feel of video interaction. I find talking to people via non-visual means difficult as I talk so much with my hands. Maybe this is my answer... then again not sure I'm brave enough yet. Well done you!

    2. C'mon Rachel! I felt really daggy and of course, as I look at myself, I see I am really daggy LOL but hey, what fun.

      I learn a lot looking at my little peculiar habits and ways of using my face. I can see what people have said is true - they can read what I'm thinking like a book!

      One of my best learning experiences years ago was being filmed doing a counselling session in a course I was doing ... oh my did I learn quickly in that one!!

      I look forward to seeing yours. Thanks for the comment and encouragement. :-)

    3. Nicely done Carolyn! I think you look - and sound, great! How did you do it? Did you use the camera on your computer and is there a program that you use to upload it? This is me being too lazy to look it up on YouTube where Sarah says everything lives.

    4. Nicely done, Carolyn. I'll get to work to make one, too. . . maybe I'd better go get my hair trimmed first.

      I've been making a birth film with a proper film maker and every time he films a bit of interview with me, I'm so self critical. Gloria in Canada

    5. Hi Carolyn, for some reason I cannot pick up the RSS feed to put into Google Reader - I just get sent to Feedburner when I click on the RSS sign above your blog url. Do you have Feedburner set up properly?

    6. Hi Carolyn,

      I think you needn't be so modest - you came across as comfortably confident in front of the webcam. I also liked the layout and content of your post. I got a feel for you while your thoughts are neatly organised with the course's opening assignment tasks and questions.

      I chose Wordpress because I eventually want to incorporate a blog seamlessly into my business website, and Wordpress has a version that allows you to do it. But, the free version doesn't let the user upload videos, so I'm resorting to YouTube. You might point out that there's no video in my FO2010 blog, and you'd be right. But I'm also running a personal blog about our puppy from my Wordpress account.

    7. Great video Carolyn! Videos like this are a wonderful way for people to make a connection with you as a person. I've not been able to master the turning off the camera at the end as you alluded to -- you've obviously worked on that!

    8. Thanks for your kind words Karen. I'm looking forward to doing the next one. Read something about videos on your page stimulating the mirror neurons and helping people feel connected to you.

      I did the video using a logitech videocam attached to the computer.

      Gloria, you look gorgeous any time - isn't it funny no matter how lovely someone looks, the self critic comes out! Interesting to hear about your film. I look forward to seeing that!

      Chris, I may appear confident, but may also be clueless! I'm interested in what you say about the Wordpress and your business website. Can you please explain more about that?

      thanks everyone. I appreciate your comments! warmly, Carolyn

    9. Claire, I found when I saved the video that I could have edited it and then saved it. That ability to edit it wasn't clear to me until then. I'm going to remember that for the next time I make one. I'm thinking (I'm inspired after all your kind comments) of making a little 'good on you - nearly finished your studies' video for our midwifery students who are nearly finished their program. This course they are doing is all online, so we don't get to see them. I was thinking that would be something different to do and perhaps more interesting.

    10. Carolyn,
      I think your idea for a 'good on you' video is great! Perhaps you'll share it here too to inspire the rest of us ;-)

    11. Thanks for your support Claire! I will share it :-)

    12. Sarah, in regards to Feedburner for RSS, clearly that service is not set up properly. I will investigate and see what I need to do differently. Thanks for the comment and question

    13. Hi Carolyn,
      Great video and from a completely visual perspective (I am a visual learner)- the things that made the presentation easy and pleasing visually was the fact that your dark hair and dark unpatterned clothing framed your face which made it easier to see you and concentrate on your face and voice .A bit like when you go to the photographer for a family portrait - they ask you all to wear similar colours and no patterns - otherwise it is distracting to the viewer.
      I would like to make a video as well. Can you tell me how you went about it. I have a video camera, can I use that and then upload it to my computer and then ?????. I really have no idea how to do it.

    14. Thanks Jillian. I appreciate your feedback about what 'worked' in the video for you. Your comments about the colour and patterns in clothing is helpful. The clothing I wore for this video was not chosen purposely, but I can recognize the value of darker clothing forvisual impact. I will remember that for future work.

      I used a webcam to take the video and saved the file to the computer. I then added the file to the blog with the video link in the post toolbar.