First online experience

June 26, 2006

When you get the chance of participating in an online event try it. Take up the challenge of working with the technology, just start. Eventually you will find a forum or a group, and the technology will work for you. If not the first time, then the second or third. Be curious, you can always listen in, if you don't want to speak. Using the chat window is not dangerous either. 


In or out…

June 26, 2006

In this workshop I met many competent people who like sharing knowledge and be together in online sessions. I profit from this, but I don't feel that I can contribute as much as I would like to. There is plenty of material to study, I got clarity on terms I had no clue about before. I have started a blog and start enjoying it. It was great to see some comments in it (comments 🙂 there are two). The asynchronous form of the blog suits me fine, I can work on it when I have the time for it. I will hang in with all the time I can spare for this activity. I still feel that Skype calls are difficult for me, writing to people I don't know is easy for me, speaking to people I have never met before is easy for me when I can see them. Something I need to work on. My approach is to use the written word to keep in touch. On the session evenings I miss sometimes a question round about the individual experiences, but then: it is an informal learning unworkshop.

I just fought my headset, the microphone resisted to work. Very irritating, now that I wanted to catch up with the informal unworkshop and talk to some course mates before listening in tonight. I wandered around the house, being very upset, and complained to my son. He solved my problem: I had twisted the connector so it would not sit properly in its socket… he twisted it back and the problem was solved. It just shows again that you must be your personal IT supporter to survive in this virtual world.

At work I finished an educational game for our new product today, right on time for our summit meeting on Wednesday. My favourite multimedia guy and I invented a golf game. In this gamee a golf player must hit one out of four possible holes (= answering a multiple choice question) to get points. The quicker he answers, the more points he gets. It is a 2-player game, we use it in f2f classroom training. The game is set to 5 minutes, that should keep attention up. We have good experiences with educational games, they add to teaching variety and loosen the atmosphere a lot. This is our second game, it has whooshing sounds from the golf player hitting the ball and subtle applause for every correct answer. I believe in learning through playing.

I just came across this wiki which deals with mobile learning and educational games, need to check it out.

I follow the program for the Master of Online Teaching certificate at the Illinois Online Network. I like the courses a lot, I feel that I learnt a great deal and it has been great fun so far. If you are looking for professional development in online teaching, I can recommend this program. I found it when I researched the Internet for online courses on online learning and teaching.

"The Master Online Teacher Certificate is a comprehensive faculty development program based upon the MVCR series of online faculty development courses. This program recognizes and certifies faculty, staff, and administrators who have achieved a measurable level of knowledge related to online course design, online instruction, and other issues related to online teaching and learning."
Have a nice day,


A blog is a personal, public diary available on the Internet. A blog is also a major buzzword.  A blog is another offering for the learner type with natural curiosity.

In our telphone conference on June 12th, Carolina, Angelika and I discussed the aspect of the benefits and uses of blogs.

On the positive side we found that

  1. a blog is an excellent tool for sharing your knowledge with any interested party
  2. a blog is easy to handle and available all the time
  3. a blog has limited dialogue capabilities (readers can post a comment)
  4. a blog is an excellent learning tool as the writer must reflect and formulate thoughts on the learnt topics and publish them. The publishing is rather a commitment and an incentive to do a good job.

Who has the time

On the negative side we found that

  1. finding and reading blogs is time consuming, professional adults may find it difficult to set aside time for this
  2. it might be dangerous publishing a work-related blog when you work for a company listed at the stock exchange.

When we talked about how to find a good one we found out that the ones we liked came up at conferences or through references on blogs we already subscribe to. Neither of us has (yet) positive experiences with finding and evaluation the quality of a blog using web search tools.


I joined this workshop almost on the spur of the moment. One of my problems is that I get carried away easily and become very enthusiastic when I can try new technologies and learn about online learning and teaching. So I joined this workshop for the month of June and I am very happy to meet people sharing some of the same interests.

Weekend project

I think that informal learning, enthusiasm and good social skills are part of feeling "at home" in an online environment. Every time I join an online class I am surprised about how much I feel being part of the group. I miss the visual contact. Thanks for the web cams and still pictures in the Monday night session.  

I would love if you shared your experiences on the following topics: 

Time management – What are your personal experiences of how to combine work and private life with professional development? I signed up for the Unworkshop2, and from the first day where I had to actually spend a couple of hours on getting started, reading the assignments, etc I got stressed because I had to down-prioritize other appointments.  

Visual learning –  I have a rough idea what this is, I would like to learn more about experiences from others how they proceeded to turn textbased material into visual aids without having a huge budget. 

Motivation – I find it extremely difficult to motivate my target audience to spend time on e-learning. They are professional adults (sales force and audiologists, definitely no early adopters of new technologies) who have not the curiosity of trying out a new learning environment.  

So much for now, have a nice day,