I’m currently on a professional learning journey – exploring longer, ongoing learning (through BCCampus Online Book Club) and distinctly separate (but linked) digestible chunks of learning offered by Sylvia Currie and her FLO’rs (through FLO – MicroCourses)*
I’ve taken one micro-course (Creating and using rubrics) on and I’m immersed in the 2nd: Experience and design a community building activity, facilitated by three creative and experienced facilitators: Colleen Grandy, Gina Bennett, Sylvia Currie.
So, I‘ll take the micro-scopic view this week as I’m currently challenged to pick, describe and share my idea(s) for an engaging online community building activity!. I’ve got some drafts on the go – will share them below here after I share them with my colleagues!
I started by waffling between using one of two amazing free online tools: Five Card Flickr by Cogdog (aka Alan Levine) or the TinEye Lab (Multicolr: Search by color). Both do random searches by keyword and/or colour for Creative Commons-licenced images. How great is that eh? I mentioned that I’d been waiting for an opportunity to use Cogdog’s app for a long time (Sylvia Currie pointed out tha
t he’d launched it in a 2011 event at UBC!!!)
And I think I probably found the search by colour site by Tineye sometime around 2012? I can’t remember exactly and it may have come from Stephen Downes or, more likely, by amazing edtech boss Grant Dunham! He was always combing the Internet for new ideas to make online learning and distributed learning more interesting, engaging and to help people learn!
And here’s the great thing about taking the plunge into self-direct professional learning – the feedback I received from the three micro-course facilitators and participants really expanded my perception of how I could offer this as a community building activity and made me take a closer look at whether it was edtech fascination or a focused intention to support better learning (yikes – guilty of letting my digital magpie take over to some extent!)
Check out the value-added feedback from the micro-course – and you’ll see why I am a fan and encourage you to sign up for the next FLO micro-course!
Gina: try one image and then space out the contributions of other learners – to build a story together from the images from random searches (maybe contribute one every other day?) My note: Which tool would be best to support the shared presentation of image and story? We are working in Moodle primarily – Lightbox might work? Or is Google more flexible? and accessible? or move away from the Web2/3.0 tools entirely and just provide a selection of random images and they can pick?
The point is to build connection and community among disparate learners. Maybe best to do a themed search, collect the random images and post them in the learning space? Allow learners to select one image and add to the story line? Could be done with Glossary tool?
SylviaC: try the same set of random sorted images and ask everyone to build a story and then comment/think about others?
Beth Cougler Blom: she encountered some challenges with saving images from a random search on the 5 Card Flickr site so she went to a random search on Adobe Spark and created a quick story – and shared the steps she took and what she thought about what she was doing – invaluable feedback!
And she made me reflect on my underlying motivation by asking: “I feel this story doesn’t have anything to do with me…was it supposed to? Or was it supposed to just be a cool, creative process/story to engage with?” Yup, I have to admit, part of this was driven by the ‘cool’ factor rather than the community building factor. Yikes, you’d think I’d be over that. But that’s the value of these micro-courses – where else would I get such honest, thought-provoking feedback. I’m so appreciative!
Gina – again: She stayed on track and watched Beth’s Spark video and contributed another awesome resource – Random Image Prompts. I have never encountered that one but it’s now tucked away in my Ideas file and I’m sharing it out to you in case you want to try some variation of this approach to building community!
So thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and took the time to test my idea – I have even more ideas now! Try it yourself – and let me know how it went?
* Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) MicroCourses are short, single-topic, hands-on and free. In one week, you will dip into the FLO experience, and leave with something practical and useful for your own teaching practice.