I have decided to participate in something called iFacilitate 2011, which is a 6 week open workshop/learning that hopefully will improve my online facilitation skills. I discovered this course when Jim Burke discussed it on the ACTEM listserv almost two weeks ago. When I went through the course introduction and the About This Workshop pages, iFacilitate really piqued my interest and I decided to give an open course a try.
I was reading one of pre-workshop articles What is the learner responsibility in open education?, which discussed what some student expectations/responsibilities are in open education and the part that I tend to agree with is
“We are accustomed to signing up for a course, and whether it’s free or not, being directed through it very explicitly.”
That was the toughest part of being involved in some other open courses that I tried, was the lack of clear objective or structure, I would get lost down rabbit holes or loose interest because I attempted to do too much too quickly and other participants were going at a different pace. From what I can see there is structure to the iFacilitate course that will help me keep on track, give me a few deadlines (which I need) and this time I am not trying to go overboard with doing everything all at once and burnout on the course in the first week.
Last week was spent reading the articles, putting the general resources into Evernote, so that I can read mark-up, chop up and try to digest the information provided. Going through this process is also part of the reason why I have not been posting very many new reviews of software/web apps that I use in the classroom lately. I have a feeling that I might be taking a 5-6 sabbatical from my regular postings, to focus on the iFacilitate course.
This week was spent preparing for the iFacilitate open course and it seemed as though much of the focus was on blogging. I feel pretty comfortable with blogging the blogging requirements of the course, since I have been blogging for a few years now.
After yesterday’s Illuminate Session and looking through the readings coming up, I have a feeling that I will be pretty busy this week and for the next 5-6 weeks. Maybe this course will be what I need to get my focus back to becoming an active participant online again, instead of just writing in my blog, reading posts, watching the Twitter feeds and mostly observing, but not really commenting all that often on what others are saying.
As a part of the iFacilitate course you are expected to blog about what you are learning. So I will be doing reflections on the articles, discussions or other information I find and I am using my One Foot In Reality blog for this purpose for the duration of iFacilitate.
For the first time in a long time I am really looking forward doing what looks to be more than a little bit of extra work – gee isn’t that the goal of teachers to get their students interested in doing more because they want to learn more, not simply because the student has to? I would like to think so.
Thanks Greg for taking the time to facilitate this course. Oh by the way thank you Jim B. for pointing me in the right direction – yet again.
What have you done to make a difference today?