Saturday, April 26, 2008

Online Professional Development Course

(Cross-posted at Kate Says)

As ad4dcss (Advocates for Digital Citizenship, Safety, and Success) has been up and running now for several weeks, it's time to really get moving on the online professional development course that we have decided to create. This course will be a free moodle course (generously hosted on one of Professional Learning Board's sites - full disclosure: I, Kate Olson, do consulting work for PLB) but we haven't gotten past adding our names to a list of willing volunteers - this needs to change! I'm currently working on getting the volunteers added to the course so we can begin building it, but there needs to be a LOT of discussion before we can start. Some of the things that need to be decided are:

1) Who is the audience for this course? Teachers, parents, community members, administrators, everyone?
2) Will the course be self-study or will we have volunteers facilitating it?
3) What's the curriculum?
4) Will there be some form of recognition upon course completion?

These are just some of the things that the we need to discuss - all of which need to be figured out before course-building can begin. I would like to have a real-time, preferably voice, discussion on this with at least a portion of the course volunteers in the very near future - getting the 4 things listed above decided is crucial and would best be decided in real-time (I'm thinking Elluminate) meeting.

As with any larger group project, certain people will rise to the top as leaders and certain people would rather hang back and do the behind-the-scenes work. I completely understand this (and depending on the project, settle into either group) and hope that at least a few of the volunteers will be willing to attend a meeting (or if unable to attend, provide copious input beforehand) - I can NOT make these decisions on my own for the group as a whole as this is much larger than me and my knowledge-base or agenda.

What can YOU do?

1) If you haven't already, add your name to the course planning wiki page so we know who to contact for planning
2) Add your input in the comments here if you don't wish to work on the course itself
3) Add your input to the discussion area on the course planning wiki page
3) Attend a meeting (to be announced soon)
4) Join the new Moodlers Diigo group (I just created it yesterday) to share resources for Moodle course creation with the course developers - these can be general moodle resources, not necessarily specific to this course

I'm also trying to determine the best way to communicate with course developers and volunteers - suggestions would be more than welcome! Right now the course planning page is part of the larger ad4dcss wiki page, so messaging within the wiki ends up going to the entire group. I'm thinking of setting up a separate wiki for this project.........again, input on this would be appreciated! You can comment on that here as well.

If for some reason you need to contact me directly about this, you can email me at kolson29 at gmail dot com, but it would be best to have all input out in the open so the rest of the group can see it.

Let's move on this!


loonyhiker said...

What a great post! I joined the wiki and the diigo pages. Obviously you have risen to be a leader! I am more of a worker bee and would be willing to help in anyway that I could. Thank you for doing this!

Jocelyn E. Chappell said...

(Cross-posted at Aylesbury Life)

Thank you for your lead and input into this area. It is quite clearly the right way to go, although as you say we do have some deciding what actually is the right way to go. A small point of fact the original meeting was less than two weeks ago as I remember -- some would say we are making good progress already. :-)

Addressing your helpful questions:-

I envisage multiple audiences. I would like to purpose and re-purpose whatever we produce for Pupils, Parents/Carers, Community Members.

Self-Study or facilitated...?
Clearly facilitated is best, however we have to be mindful of resources. Again, would multiple versions of the course be good. One facilitated and perhaps with some competition for places and the other for people to facilitate who have 'passed' the facilitated version, or something else entirely....

Mmmm, perhaps a bit provocative here, I am a bit of a bear with a simple brain with respect to curriculum. We need to cover the skills from a very basic level leaving nothing out. The principle here is that for any given skill some will have it and others won't. If they do it already it makes sense for them to tick relevant learning objective statements and move on quickly. If they don't have some specific skills (that is why they are on the course and) they need to see and hear how to do what is what -- and then slot the theory around. Mostly people can work out what is good citizenship, safe and successful when they know what they are doing...?

The answer ought to be yes, but that is the most difficult (for me) to envisage internationally -- I am a bit of a newbie in that respect.

Good decision on 'real time preferably voice' communication for decisions to be made now. I would envisage that sort of meeting occurring with increasing and decreasing frequency depending on where we are at and what we are doing. I am now carrying a microphone about with my laptop and it works -- the appliance of science huh.

You mention ongoing communication as distinct from real time voice. Here I wonder whether Moodle would be the obvious work horse for developers, volunteers, and other interested parties to communicate and track progress against agreed goals. Wikis are fine, but they don't quite do multiple collaborative developments for me. If the issue were finding an admin to help manage the developers'/volunteers'/interested parties' Moodle I would be pleased to slot into that role.

There, I had more to say than I envisaged and I hope it was helpful!

Vicki A. Davis said...

Hey, it is only TWO WEEKS old and yes, we need a planning meeting - let me know when you want the elluminate room and I'll make it happen.

Kate Olson said...

@loonyhiker - thanks for joining, so glad to have you! I love worker bees :-)

@jocelyn - great input, we'll bring this to our meeting! I'm so glad you posted it here so everyone could see and think about it. There are obviously still a lot of questions (and answers), so hopefully we will narrow some of this down after some more discussion

@vicki - am emailing you re: Elluminate!