This is probably a fairly unremarkable ‘power point’ … as an introduction to social media I gave to general staff and students this week. I find it really hard to pitch social media in education as a dry – theory, so have tried to liven it up by having people leave comments during the presentation. I am much more comfortable with learning frameworks and nitty gritty stuff. Part of the process of delivering this kind of message, which is not ‘my’ lens – was to try get them to engage with the idea of a two-way interchange, in what is a passive presentation. I have used Etherpad, and created a live document to accompany the presentation. Sessions like these I think tend to attract ‘digital tourists’, so I am hoping to capture two voices – those attending, and perhaps some more experienced educators. It would be great if you could leave a comment on the Etherpad, to give the ‘next’ bus load of tourists some sense of conversation, as this will be a repeating session. I’ll also be giving this presentation online via Live Classroom next week … May13, 10-11am, you can register FREE here for that. I hope that you can spare some time to participate.
One of the common comments people make in workshops about Google Docs is ‘what if two people are editing’. Well in reality that doesn’t happen that often, and even so, Google Docs informs you … but in a real time classroom, it can be kind of annoying. Etherpad, is fantastic for classroom collaboration. It has been in closed ‘beta’ for a while and has always looks good. The ‘real’ deal is even better. Being able to work in real time, with ‘live’ text significantly changes the interaction between students when collaborating. Not only can you ‘see’ who is doing what, but the digital text needs negotiation by the group. Knowledge is therefore being constructed in real time, using Etherpad at the centre of mutli-modal activities. Students could be using text books, visual resources or recording live events and dialogue. It bridged the gap between live blogging and chat, where time is the publishing criteria, to a live activity that allows students orgnise it. Best of all, there is nothing in ‘Etherpad’ that puts students at risk – it is a great tool, and will enable many classrooms to engage in ‘live’ activities – especially if the collaboration is over distance, cultures or disciplines