Monday, January 31, 2005

Live Blogging James Farmer's Alado session

Background

This is a combined summary of the three live bloggings of James Farmer's Alado session for the EVO2005 Weblogging Group held on Monday, January 23, 2005.

The original live blogging posts can be found here: Cleve's live blog , Gerry's live blog, Graham's live blog

Also, these bloggers posted about the session afterwards: Aaron , Bee

Longer comment on session can be found on the wiki

The session was held at the Alado WebHead page with live audio and webpages. Participants could speak over a microphone, and by text chat in a side window. The Alado communication platform performed very well, especially for broadband connections.

James Farmer's supporting material: James's Weblog Presentation Slides Original Paper

Summary of the Presentation

By looking at three critical elements, or “presences”: social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence, James Farmer frames and illustrates the questions:

- how to best facilitate communities of inquiry

- how these dynamics impact our ability to facilitate them.

Social presence is the ability of teachers to project themselves and create a community.

Cognitive presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse in a critical community of inquiry.

Teaching presence is the ability of the teacher to actually facilitate the development of social presence and cognitive presence.

Through these presences we can evaluate the dynamics within communities of inquiry.

Just like traditional communication environments such as lecture halls and corridors are not conducive to leaner interaction and collaboration, discussion boards tend toward participant anonymity and email is, primarily, one-to-one. Course management systems such as WebCT and Blackboard are highly structured and rigid. These attributes and architecture can limit learner presence in communities of inquiry.

These limitations are largely overcome with blogs. Blogging technologies, syndication and aggregators nurture the dynamics within communities of inquiry by fulfilling the potential of learner presence.

By using weblogs learners may project their real persona through sustained reflection and discourse in a loose, organic environment.

Comments related to postings and trackback links facilitate communication and the building of community.

For teachers, weblogs allow the design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes that can lead to rich communities of inquiry and successful learner outcomes.

For those who want more, there is a more detailed commentary on the wiki

Live Blogging ( Some thoughts on this)

Graham: I found it exhilharating, and I was completely exhausted afterwards - I missed lots of very interesting points of discussion, which was annoying, but I found the experience to be very interesting indeed. What's sure is that the next time I'll be able to do it much better.

Cleve: I agree with Graham that it was a buzz. Reflecting about what liveblogging did for me as a learner, I feel that my relationship with the event was so much more active, and the (conceptual) interaction so much richer, that I gained quite a bit more than if I had been a "listener + a question or two" only, which is my normal posture. Much of this was a result of the 45 minutes I spent editing and organizing the post after the event (which I suppose means it wasn't truly "live"). And it was exhausting, especially for a two-finger typist.

Gerry: My experience with live blogging is that it was a little hard to keep focused - should I type or listen and read? When typing, I was concentrating on capturing the proceedings as well as I could, but at the same time, I was conscious that I was not paying close enough attention to what was happening next in the live event. As a result, I found it hard to provide good coverage of the entire event and often wondering what I may have missed. In the end, I just started typing as much as I could while not immediately editing or revising, but rather leaving that until the event was finished. I did repost my blog entry about every 5 minutes, with the thought that if anyone was following through the blog, they would be kept somewhat up to date.

It was obviously a good idea to have multiple people blogging the event as we seemed to compliment each other's work rather well. However, this process did prevent me from providing any editorial comments or personal views as I was not sure how that would fit when it came time to generate the collective work. I suppose this aspect could be worked around by somehow identifying what was opinion and was was simply the recording of the proceedings as I experienced them.

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Fantastic example of collaborative work and insights here. Thank you so much for stepping out so far from your zone of comfort and sharing the result of your work with us :-)
"Attention! Here and now"

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