Learning2gether Episode 443
On Wednesday 11 March my turn as an English Langage Specialist ended for the year 2020 when I hosted this final Blended Learning Classroom Showcase Event with Sharon Graham and Jane Chien about their experiences with online teaching in coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with me introducing the MOOC community space extension to the course toward the end of the webinar.
This was Learning2gether episode 443 and the last live event of the course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom at https://tinyurl.com/blended2020. The course started on Feb 20, 2020, and officially ended with this closing webinar on March 11, on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/e91cDKYp2_c. I had anticipated making it an opportunity for participants to come together and show each other what they’ve learned through their creations.
Sharon Graham was supposed to be teaching in China by now but instead she is teaching the students there online from her home base in Hayes, Kansas. She showed us a number of the tools she uses; for example, VidGrid, https://www.vidgrid.com/, a platform designed to engage students in video content making them active interactants with the videos, rather than simply passive viewers.
Jane is meeting her students in Taipei face-to-face but she has one student from mainland China who is unable to travel now, and whom she is trying include as a participant in class. We talked about how she could do that by turning her computer / web cam out to the class. It turns out that among the students is where she likes to be in classes, and as she was checking in to our zoom chat from her cell phone, its seemed she could better include this student if she set up a Zoom meeting on the class computer on one account and joined it from her own account on her cell phone. Then the students would be “face to face” on the computer screen, and her absent student woud see his classmates and better experience the context of the class.
Before turning out the lights on the eLearning course, I made preparations to flip the course into MOOC / Community mode by creating an extension to the course in the form of a MOOC / Community space, with more information in the Green Folder in the Schoology portal here, https://app.schoology.com/course/2362600716/materials?f=183558388.
Participation in or enrollment in the Schoology course is optional; in other words you don’t have to be interacting there in order to participate in the MOOC Community. I have set up spaces outside of Schoology for that. But if you wish, you CAN enroll in the Schoology course. It’s set up to run to the end of the year and I can renew it then if I wish.
Also, in setting up this space, my main purpose is two-fold. Fold one is to model how a community could be managed as an extension to a course, if there were sufficient interest in that, and fold two is to see what happens :-). Maybe a community will form there, maybe not. Either way, another possibility of blended online classrooms, the possibility of perpetuating them as community spaces, is modeled.
The last half of the 3-week course coincided with a time when schools were closing in unprecedented numbers over concerns with the COVID-19 outbreak. This has sent an equally unprecedented number of teachers into a search for stratgies they can use to transition their classrooms online. Going from face-to-face straight to online is a daunting transition, and one that requires some kind of portal space that will attempt to center the course and provide coherence to activities that cannot be simply explained in class.
This course has been focused on helping teachers conceptualize and create that center space. When teachers have to come up with components for such spaces on limited funds and resources, I call this DIYLMS, or do-it-yourself learning management systems. For teachers who have already been running blended learning classrooms, that center space was already there, and the shift to a totally online environment is simply a matter of layering syncronous activities onto the existing asynchronous ones.
With more schools worldwide closing suddenly almost every day now, many teachers have been stretched to come to grips with the demands of their situations, and many others not yet in that situation are doing what they can to level up and prepare for whatever contigency.
Accordingly, the last week in our course we were hearing from teachers who were having to come up with strategies for dealing with meeting students purely online. Jeff Lebow, who has been working online for years and, like me, incorporating what works online into blended environments for his students, showed us how he had already set up classes for his whole department in blogger and now all they had to do was just add Zoom. In our penultimate webinar we talked with Suzan Stamper and Bonnie Calanchini, two teachers from Hong Kong, about how they were coping in international schools with kids and in the tertiary setting with adults. And in this webinar we discussed with Sharon Graham and Jane Chien how the outbreak has impacted them and what they are doing about it.
These made for interesting webinars but were mere ripples in the tsunami of information that is becoming apparent as the days go by. I’ve been accumulating crosses my radar here:
Since this is a dynamically developing situation, and as there is a chance that we in this community could both learn from and contribute to the ongoing conversation, I have created a kind of static extension to the course in the form of a MOOC / Community space, with more information in the Green Folder in the Schoology portal, as noted above.
I set up a MOOC Community space at http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/ (and added it to the sidebar there; direct link here:
I created a Groups.io for ongoing discussions at
https://groups.io/g/blendedclassrooms/ and of course I tweeted about it.
In this webinar, I came online to talk more about that, and wrapped up the course on Creating and Using Blended Learning Classrooms in the company of Sharon Graham and Jane Chien, who both joined in Zoom
Announcements were made on these Facebook Groups
- Learning2gether – https://www.facebook.com/groups/learning2gether/
- Webheads in Action – https://www.facebook.com/groups/webheadsinaction/
- EVO Multiliteracies MOOC – https://www.facebook.com/groups/evomlit/
- Learning with Computers – https://www.facebook.com/groups/6577061586/
- TESOL Arabia Ed Tech SIG – https://www.facebook.com/groups/TAEdTech/
Here is the text of the follow up announcement I posted to the above spaces:
The #blended2020 Learning Classrooms online course ended Mar 11 with a webinar attended by Sharon Graham & Jane Chien. and archived as #Learning2gether episode 443.
But though the course has ended, the MOOC community can potentially carry on.
See here how that could happen: http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/w/page/138923232/MOOC_Community_Extension
And this is the last best practice that I plan to model in this round of #ELSpecialist online activities.
For the archive of the webinar, YouTube video and show notes, please visit https://learning2gether.net/2020/03/11/final-webinar-for-blended-learning-classrooms-with-vance-stevens-sharon-graham-and-jane-chien/ (no need to click; that’s this page)
Also announced here:
If you have any comments or suggestions about the course, let us know
- in comments at Schoology
- or in a tweet tagged #blended2020, so that it appears in our Twitter feed
- or at our Yo! Teach backchannel chat password blended
Mon 9 Mar 1330 UTC LEARNING2GETHER 442 – Two Special guests from Hong Kong – What if your school closes?
Tue 10 March 1200 to 1500 PST Library 2.020 Wholehearted Libraries
WHOLEHEARTED LIBRARIES | A 3-hour mini-conference
March 10 | Free | REGISTER HERE
Hosted by: Library 2.0.
This is the first of the popular Library 2.0 mini-conferences of the year, and organized in partnership with iSchool Associate Professor Michael Stephens. He writes: ” We should bring our hearts to work, and qualities such as open-mindedness, emotional intelligence, and reflective action are all part of this process. Services steeped in humanism, compassion, and understanding should be the cornerstone of what we do, and why we do it, for all members of our communities, including the underserved. Not only do libraries need high tech, they also need staff who approach their work with a wholehearted attitude.” The mini-conference will explore the human side of 21st-Century information work. We will define what soft skills are, how and when to use various soft skills, types of training that can improve soft skills, and how to share emotionally engaging stories. Learn what libraries are doing now to extend services, create welcoming spaces, and engage users with soft skills such as compassion, empathy, creativity, curiosity, and finding balance. Sessions will focus on how we can nurture a positive mindset in our employees, use the power of stories to promote understanding, and extend our reach into our global communities. Soft skills are heart skills.
(Register to get the actual session links)
12:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time
(Click here for international times)
Opening Keynote Panel
Michael Stephens, Associate Professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University | Loida Garcia-Febo, International Library Consultant | Christian Lauersen, Director of Libraries and Citizens services, Roskilde Municipality, Denmark | Rivkah K. Sass, Library Director + CEO, Sacramento Public Library
1:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)
Finding the Heart of Library Service
Hope Decker, Member Library Liaison, Pioneer Library System
Library Leaders Are Failing Librarianship: Soft Skills Needed for Human Library Leadership
Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University Libraries
Mindfulness in the Public Library: a Secular Buddhist Approach
Jeremy Morelock, Database Maintenance and SysAdmin Assistant, Superiorland Library Cooperative
Radical Transparency in the Library Classroom
Bria Sinnott, Arts + Communication Librarian, Albert S. Cook Library, Towson University | Elisabeth White, Science, Technology + Mathematics Librarian
The Library Workplace Bully Versus the Wholehearted Librarian
Sharon Clapp, Associate Librarian, Information Systems and Resources, Central Connecticut State University
1:30 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)
Bibliotecas de todo corazón – Nuestro sistema bibliotecario al servicio de la comunidad a través de las diferentes habilidades de aprendizaje y enseñanza.
Judith de Méndez, Librarian, Learning Resources Centre (LRC) Academia Britanica Cuscatleca | Jennifer Garcia, Melissa Hernández, Hilda Gómez y estudiantes.
Empathy from the Inside Out
Rene Tanner, Associate Liaison Librarian for Sustainability and Life Sciences, Arizona State University
The Healing Library: Nontraditional Lending in Response to Trauma
Megan Schadlich, Creator, The Healing Library
Libraries: Places for wholehearted social change
Suji DeHart, Director of Educational Programs, Make A Difference Travel (MAD Travel)
Wholehearted Hypergrowth: Scaling Up in Silicon Valley
Elizabeth Borghi, Knowledge Program Manager, Knowledge Bee Knowledge Management Consulting
2:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)
Challenging Unwritten Rules Using Practical Wisdom
Joe Stoner, Branch Manager, Newark Library, part of Alameda County Library
Library Cat Herding: Holding the Herd Together Without Getting Ripped to Shreds
Raelynn V. Richardson, Library Services Coordinator for Circulation and Reserves, University of New Mexico University Libraries
Putting the heart [back] into an online library
Lise M. Dyckman, Executive Director, PlaneTree Health Library
The Power of Stories
Kylie Carlson, Senior Coordinator Library Services and Partnerships, Yarra Libraries, Yarra Council | Dr Michael Stephens, San Jose State University | Felicity Macchion, Manager Libraries, Arts, Culture and Venues
Wholehearted Training: Fostering Connection, Compassion and Joy in Digital Literacy
Leana Mayzlina, Senior Program Manager, NTEN | Emily Flores, Training Officer, San Antonio Public Library
2:30 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)
Stacie Ledden, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Anythink Libraries