Elluminate did Resonate

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: Blog on Blogging, edublog, reflection | Tags: , , |

I just listened to an Elluminate session that Alec Couros and Sue Waters moderated.  There were quite a few things that struck a chord with me, and I want to share them without being scattered and all over the place.  Therefore, I have decided, I am going to use good old fashioned bullets.

  • First, I was uncomfortable with the chat going on while Sue was presenting.  I understand that Elluminate is not meant to be a newer power point where one person presents and everyone else sits there like bricks.  BUT I still sometimes feel like it’s disrespectful.  Call me old fashioned, but how is having your own separate chat any different then texting in the middle of a University class?  I think chat is great when you can ask questions to the presenter- but when you start your own little side conversations that the presenter can’t keep up with anyway BECAUSE THEY”RE PRESENTING, I feel like this takes away from the entire presentation.  In fact, sometimes I missed what Sue or Alec said because I was trying to scroll and read what was being written in the chat section.  I think this problem could be solved with removing the “chat” portion and only having the mics available so that if there was a question, someone could raise a virtual hand, speak into the mic and have their question answered when the presenter had a second to breathe, not mid sentence.  The only problem that this could cause would be that people couldn’t type links into the chat section.  Thoughts or ideas?
  • Second, I have to give Sue credit for all the work she has done with edublogs.  Before the fall 09 semester started, Sue held a competition where she gave away free blogs for a year to people who were willing to share their tips about blogging and win.  I knew I couldn’t afford my own edublogger supporter blog (without ads)  for my student’s class blog so I entered.  I wrote a post about my 5 most important tips for people starting out blogging.  I had an emphasis on early childhood class blogs because that’s what I knew best, and in October, Sue announced the winners of her competition and I won a free blog for a year!  Abbey R, the student who Sue mentions in the Elluminate session, also won a free blog at the same time I did.
  • Third, I would like to comment on some of the questions that came up during the Elluminate session.  I felt an underlying theme of “time” arose during the conversation.  I felt some people were uncomfortable with the amount of time blogging takes.  Sue also eluded to the fact that she spends a lot of time commenting on blogs, and commenting on comments.  It was actually after my ECE class last night that I started thinking about how teachers battle time.   Most of us already feel pressured to fit in all of the curriculum in our September to June school year, so I’m sure some people think “how on earth can I add blogging on top of that?”  As I was mulling this over, it occured to me that we can’t add blogging ONTO the curriculum.  It has to become part of the curriculum; a tool to support the rest of the curriculum, if you will.  I think we need to get away from having “computer class” and realize that technology needs to be a way of learning, or a tool for learning.  Did you know that in the “Better beginnings” sask education document (about early childhood), it is suggested that in Pre-K there should be a 60-90 min block of time designated for uninterrupted play?  My original thought was- then when will I teach?  And there… that’s the problem! We think we need to teach curriculum instead of viewing curriculum as somethig we “unravel”.  Some think we need to “teach blogging” where we really should be using blogging to teach.  Let me know if you disagree, I’d like to hear your suggestions! 🙂
  • My last thought related to the Elluminate session is on bletiquette- (blog etiquette?)  I had an  interesting experience with comments last year.  I was blogging about my thoughts on “scientific truth.”  It was a discussion on using creationism in schools, and apparently I stepped on a few people’s toes because I got some VERY interesting and rude comments.  Here are two snippets for an example: “If you honestly can’t see why you should not be poisoning the young minds placed in your care with such nonsense, I urge you to find another discipline to teach – science is clearly beyond you”  and “Do you actually believe that Kindergarten to grade 3 students can make a reasonable distinction between actual science and creation ’science’?
    The idea of you being anywhere near children, let alone filling their heads with claptrap, is frightening
    .”  Ouch hey?  I’m not going to lie, I was little bit upset at first, but then thought… really?  Am I really going to listen to some random blogger tell me how to teach children?  It started to make me think- what was their purpose behind writing the comment?  They clearly weren’t wanting to join my educational network, or inform my teaching practice, so I left it.  Too bad they didn’t realize that their “evil” was used for good :)- Their comments inspired me to write a whole post related to the issue.  Thanks people.  Any idea of what we can call these mean people who leave comments?  I was thinking “Crommenters”  which is crappy commenters.

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4 Responses to “Elluminate did Resonate”

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I am new to Elluminate and was very surprised by the chatting! I also found that I would get distracted trying to read the chats while listening to the speaker. Sometimes I found the chats were really irrelevant to what the speaker was saying and occasionally were just a bunch of inside jokes between friends. I do not mind the idea of having a chat feature for people that want to comment on the speaker’s words but why would you even bother with the presentation if you are going to spend all of your time focused on a completely different conversation. That is a waste of time to the people that are there to participate in the Elluminate session and a waste of your time as well. There is no way to give your full attention to two conversations simultaneously!

The chit chat and inside jokes is getting to be common place in these sessions and I have to say I’m guilty of doing it sometimes. I think Deb you make a good point that it’s a bit disconcerting when:
a) you are new to the environment
b) you don’t get the inside jokes
c) it’s your class and you paid money to be there

It’s a little bit like being the new person on staff. You’re trying hard to fit in and you’re feeling like an outsider.

Thanks for the feedback. I need to be careful to monitor that in my classes.

Danielle, regarding the commenting, I’ve had my share of rude and challenging comments. I do take them at times with a grain of salt but certainly do not mind someone disagreeing with my in a respectful manner. If everyone agreed with everything I wrote, I wouldn’t learn much. I value disagreement and alternative opinions. We simply need to model how to do that and not feel threatened by it. It’s how we learn.

Danielle, I wasn’t part of the Elluminate session but I fully understand how you feel about the chat – I was very distracted with it when I first began. However, as I’ve become more comfortable with the tool, I’ve learned to be more discerning about what I pay attention to in the chat. Like Dean, I’m guilty of having off-topic discussions with people that I have grown to know as my PLN has grown. I’ve learned to let the chat roll by and not worry or try to scroll as it passes.

As someone who has blogged regularly for a while, I have had my share of opposing views show up. I will admit that I’ve disagreed with what people have said but I realize that it’s their opinion and if I wasn’t ready for those opinions of disagreement, I should find another venue to discuss my thoughts. I accept that we all won’t agree and that some people will be down right rude. It happens and I’ve learned to move on. Like Dean says “It’s how we learn.”

Great thoughts and insights – keep it up!

Danielle, as I watched the elluminate session, I too noticed the chat going on the side, and thought to myself that as a presenter it would definately distract me and take away from the presentation. I feel that it is good to have there for needs of asking questions or communicating to the instructor/other students in case of a audio error or something. On the other hand I do understand what Dean is saying as it is like trying to fit in, and not be the outsider.

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