I have gained a huge amount from doing this course, particularly as Sue and Cheryl have said from the other blogs. I have been able to look at so many good resources from other people that I have already been using in my teaching.
The format of the blog with tasks linked to other blogs responding to tasks has been really good and I am now just about to replicate this with my teacher trainees. They are due to go out on block placement so we won’t see them for six weeks and we had always intended to set up online activities for them. The platform of choice by default was to be Blackboard but I have chosen to use blogs and going to trial the same model with minor differences in terms of the workload. I find Blackboard extremely frustrating , non intuitive and fragmented – I have been using it for 10 years and God knows I have tried to love it but it is not working for me! Am off to a preview soon of the new Blackboard which I hope includes a button to blow it all up and develop something that people can actually understand!
I agree with Sue it was a lot of hours particularly in the first few weeks where there were lots of new things that I spent a long time thinking about and setting up – in later weeks we were looking at things I knew about so it wasn’t so intensive for me. It was not that those hours weren’t available as I spend 2-3 hours a day bogging and social networking but it cut into my ‘social’ use of these things but for a limited time that was fine.
Most useful things I think have to be Delicious – very sad that it might go – RSS feeds and blog readers (being very much a blog addict!) and Slideshare. Once I get really into my research I can see that Mendeley and Cite U Like will be more useful.
I have really enjoyed the little community that we have built here and looked forward to finding out about more about people who work at Hudds Uni which was one of my aims for the course. I am very impressed how much of people’s personality has come over through this interaction – I feel I have got to know people as people through their posts – what they feel strongly about and their experiences and I think that is very much to do with the quality of the contributions they have made – they have all shared lots of things about their experiences doing the course but also their interests and lives.
I think having access to Twitter feeds as well ( as I have been following Sue and Cheryl) has helped as there has been lots there that has enabled me build the bigger picture of them.Cheryl and I have known each other for a number of years and our offices are opposite each other but her Twitter feed and blog has enabled me to find out more about her interests as well as we don’t get a lot of time to interact face to face at work.
On practical note please leave this blog live so that when I forget what Mendeley is and how to use it in a few months I can some back and look at the info!
My other ‘thing’ is a resource I use constantly at work – Teachers TV – set up to produce short digital videos for professional development of teachers – originally shown on cable late at night as well as ‘catch up’ through the web. Although not a collaborative resource like You Tube it is a very, very useful repository – lots of real life footage filmed in schools and colleges and invaluable for those in my field. Sasha you may find it useful to look at what is available as resources for teachers in your PhD topic. I have heard that funding is being cut for it (how novel!) but hopefully the archives will remain.
For me having WordPress as the platform made it very easy to set up and contribute – might have been more of a challenge in Blogspot!
Have really enjoyed it – thank you very much for the chance to do this and I will miss not doing it – however I will have more time to catch up with my crafting blogs now!
Am going to leave you with a pic of one of my fave places in all the world – was trying to find a good pic from Flickr but all the ones I liked were ‘all rights reserved’ so you have one of mine instead.
This is La Marina in Spain – I will be here in 5 weeks time!