Introduce Yourself

Today I’ve been playing around with voiceThread and Frappr. I’m looking at various tools that I can use for course introductions. Most of the online courses I’ve been in or seen have used a discussion forum for introduction.

I find this a sad substitute for a face to face meeting. In a classroom environment everyone gets to see each other and hear each others voice. In a discussion forum you MAY get to see the other person’s face, but that depends on what picture they have uploaded as their avatar.

And since I’ve mentioned avatars…I’ll just have a little rant. From a learning perspective I think it’s very important to see the person you are connecting with…so PLEASE upload a photo of yourself not of your dog, a cartoon character or other silly picture! They may be amusing, but they do not help you form “connections” or rapport with others in an online environment. 🙂

With Frappr you can see them and see where in the world they come from. So it’s a nice tool but I like voiceThread better. With voiceThread the person commenting can choose the tool they are most comfortable with or have access to. Video, audio or text and they can also annotate the picture that you upload. I still haven’t got around to buying a webcam yet (but it is on my list of things to do). So currently my preferred method is audio. I have uploaded a photo of myself, so when you visit the voiceThread you get to both see and hear me. Nearly as good as meeting in person 🙂

So…please feel free to try them out for yourself and let me know what you think.

voiceThread World Map – Introduce yourself

Frappr World Map – put yourself on the map

(note: anonymous visitors will not be displayed – your need to enter your first name as well as your location)

  

MAN3655 Getting Familiar

I find with any new job the first thing I need to do is familiarise myself with my new environment. So for the past couple of weeks I have been reading all the existing material for the MAN3655 course.  

Textbook

Textbook-NoeOverall I think the textbook is a good learning resource, however it needs to be contextualised to suit our learning environment as all the examples in the book are about American companies. 

I will include a few examples about Australian companies, however I think the students will have a better learning experience if I re-word the discussion and application questions at the end of each chapter so that they can research, explore and contextualise the information to suit their own environment. This course usually includes a number of international students from diverse cultural backgrounds. So this course is a great opportunity for learners to share their knowledge and learn from each other.

Resources

I’ve also been exploring web 2.0 tools to see what I can use to enhance the online learning experience. I particularly like voiceThread and would like to use it for the students to introduce themselves to each other. The reason I like it, is that they can comment using a number of different methods (text, audio, video) so they can choose the medium they are most comfortable with. Being able to see and hear each other should help build rapport and a sense of community. I discovered this tool through Nellie Deutsch’s Moodle site – Integrating Technology: Exploring New Domains. (Thanks Nellie!)

And I’ve started to bookmark other resources that I think might be useful for this course.

Meetings

After reading all the course info I had an idea of what I liked and what I would like to change. So I arranged to get together with my supervisor again to discuss what I can and can’t change.

Yesterday I met with the ECU Blackboard guru who gave me a quick rundown of what tools are included and some basic editing tips. Blogs, discussion boards & wikis are all available in Blackboard however he advised they are very basic. He is very interested in workplace learning (his current focus area) so he is keen to assist me in any way he can which is fantastic!