I was going to write about this last night when everything was fresh in my mind, but I spent time fussing over and organizing my slide presentation for this morning's joint Presentation with Al Upton. I've come to the conclusion that I create slideshows to clarify in my mind what I want to say. I deliberately tried to keep text down to key phrases and use my own diagrams, screen dumps and Flickr Creative Commons images. So that took all of the time I had set aside and now I'm sitting here in the second keynote of the day, indulging in a bit of multi-tasking. I had about 12 participants following on from Al's Workshop which was focused on classroom blogging. That was very cool and he gave us a good overview of his classroom blog and the how-to's of getting a class blogging. He showed us Dylan's blog as a great example of how kids can use these connected spaces. Anyway, he set a high standard for me to follow but I was primed and ready to go.
Al and I had originally used a SeedWiki to prepare for both our presentation and both of our workshops. There were five parts to my workshop and I had put up the notes for two of those sections previously and was going to finish up on Wednesday evening just prior to the CEGSA conference. However, SeedWiki was down for the entire evening which threw a very large spanner in the works. I very quickly (within 90 mins) threw my notes and diagrams into a new space at Wikispaces which has never been down when I've needed it with the bonus being that I am very familiar with their interface. So I had a Powerpoint presentation which I talked to, expanding my points and pausing to allow the participants time to browse for some blogs and to set up their own Bloglines account. A 90 minute workshop goes really quickly and I had a mixed bunch of participants ranging from practicing bloggers (Jason Plunkett was one participant) to others who had never dabbled in blogs. I think they all got my point that blogs can be a fantastic tool for Professional Learning. I divided the workshop into five sections - The Global Conversation,
The Edublogger Community, Finding And Reading Blogs, The Power Of Comments and Centring The Conversation.
I got really good feedback from many of the participants and even had one teacher, Hank, come up to me and tell me about his new blog that he got up and running that evening at home. I must go and drop him a comment. Hopefully, the participants glimpsed the potential that blogging can have for developing their own Learning Network.
Click the thumbnails above to view two key images from the workshop (a) a TouchGraph screengrab showing my Learning Network and (b) a self constructed flow chart of how to get comments up and going on an edublog.
Download Blogging For Professional Learning slideshow. (2.5mb) PDF File Blogging As Professional Learning (Thanks, Leigh for the conversion.)
Notes and resources at the CEGSA06 wiki here.