Activities for research / learning

social_networking_tools_007.jpgHere are some suggestions for how people might pursue their own research and learning, and build up a sense of network connection through sharing with the group.

1) First of all: set yourself a focus or a question for your research / investigation.
2) Then, at the same time: develop your learning through social networking with your colleagues, via live sessions and journal-based reflection.

a) Join the group in live discussions via elluminate or skype.
See event page, or visit the Ning events page for details (login req'd).
b) Start up your own blog, and post a weekly reflection (fortnightly?)

You can post a blog reflection in the Ning, which only subscribers will see ..
.. or you could set up your own more public blog in the outside world, eg at try wordpress, edublogs, or blogger.

HELP: documents and screencasts for blogging in the Ning on the How2Ning page.

Suggestions for Term 3

Please please please (must do) activities
  1. butterfly_on_a_hot_tin_roof_by_ArtWerk.jpgComplete research plan (template on the document page .. due early July ;-]
  2. Benchmarking survey please please please.. ASAP! Josie needs to be able to show some before and after stats to our funding Buddies.
  3. Join us live, post some reflections in your blog (eg in the Ning), and comment on your colleagues' blog posts too (see below for details).

Suggested schedule for live sessions in the rest of term 3

4 August: join in and add your perspective to a group voicethread (topic tba)
18 August: look at e-learning models and planning tools - decide where your learners might fit
1 Sept: map some tools and technologies to their educational purpose
15 Sept: join a discussion on voxopop - compare this to a forum or blog (topic tba)

Repeating the Top3 useful activities for reflecting and connecting..

To support your learning and research.. and also to help build a sense of network connection,

..once every fortnight

  1. Day_58-365_by_martianmermaid_at_flickr.jpgMeet up in a live session 30-75 minutes depending on your available time
  2. Spend 15-20 minutes reflecting on your own learning.. (eg research, experience in classroom, experience with e-learning..)
    .. and write this up somewhere your colleagues can give you feedback (eg a blog in the Ning, a blog at edublogs)
  3. Give some feedback to a few of your colleagues by commenting on their reflective journal (blog)

Blogging? Skype? So what do i write.. or talk about?

phone_home_by_Louise_at_flickr.jpg1) Discussion among colleagues is one of the best ways to share problems, questions and resources. We are running regular live conversations in elluminate. Event details on the events page.

2) One very popular research tool is the journal. We have suggested using a blog to keep your regular journal reflections. See below for some suggestions of what to write. You can keep it short and sweet. Don't worry about going into too much depth at first.

3) Read your colleagues' blogs and leave them a comment. Please! Writing is a big effort, so please support your fellow team-members by posting them a quick note to show you've read (or scanned) and appreciated what they contributed.

Tips for blogging

michael suggests this:
  1. Take 10 minutes for a first draft.
  2. Come back the next day and take another 10 minutes to polish and publish.

Topics for discussion, or journal-writing and reflection could include:

Issues around research and investigation

  • Write or talk about this question "What is my focus for research and investigation?"
  • Join in the live collaborative problem-solving sessions (notes from previous discussions here)
  • Think about which strategies you'll use for data gathering and evaluation

In your classroom

Tell us what happened in your classroom..
  • What happened, how you responded, how you felt, what you learned.
  • Or what is still challenging you.
  • Reflect on some classroom teaching strategies, for example
  1. digital storytelling
  2. vox pop and interview
  3. data projector for engaging learners

Web applications and software

Find some software or a new gadget .. and do a quick evaluation.
Follow Dale and Wayne's lead in the ACE network (login req'd), they've been investigating screencasting apps, video recorders (the flip) ..
Search the Go2Web site for something that interests you. For example:

Communication tools and technologies

Collaborative authoring places, presentation tools, voiceboards, discussion forums and live classrooms
Wiki, ning, Voicethread, voxopop, google docs ..

audio: voxopop, voicethread
video: moviemaker, photostory,
photography: flickr, bubbleshare
collaborative writing: google docs, wikispace ..

More ideas for collaboration:

.. post your thoughts in the discussion tab.. what is most important for you?

your research / investigation and learning

  • look at e-learning models - decide where your learners might fit
  • planning tools - add some e-learning into your learning activities and session plans
  • discussion: map some tools and technologies to their educational purpose
  • discussion: gather and evaluate relevant data

share your knowledge

  • set up a page in the classroom practice wiki outlining your project (eg challenges and experiences so far) (michael will set up pages and templates here)

connect up and network - evaluate technologies through group experience

  • join in and add your perspective to a group voicethread (topic tba)
  • join a discussion on voxopop - compare this to a forum or blog (topic tba)
  • evaluate a bit of technology, eg a web application or a portable gadget, share your evaluation via a wiki page

stretch your understanding

  • explore a case study - each person in the network chooses a different case study and provides a brief summary for the rest of us
  • explore the original AccessACE research - as above, read one report and summarise briefly for the group
  • explore the original AccessACE research - invite a guest speaker in for one of our live sessions

Extra activities

put google map on wiki, locate yourself
create a voicethread together - Nice idea - create a voicethread to introduce ourselves first to get used to using it. Sort of ice-breaker. Works well for students too. They know about themselves so will have something to write/say.