IT 5660 Unit 5 Blog Entry

This week I’m supposed to write about what I learned in Unit 4 (Sept. 7 – Sept. 13).  During the week, I

  • read Chapter 2 of E-Learning by Design for the week that’s just ending
  • wrote a blog entry about Unit 3
  • identified a webinar to attend and critique
  • selected my top three preferences of a topic for a webinar we’ll be developing this semester
  • discussed how our instructors are using the common instructional values they identified in the course
  • started working with members of my webinar team to develop an agreement for how we’ll work together
  • found a song on Songza that I like
  • completed the weekly reflection survey

I had a hard time finding a webinar to attend.  The week was particularly busy because I was hired on Tuesday to teach a class that started on Friday, so I didn’t start looking for a webinar until toward the end of the week.  Then I finally had to settle for one on the differences between Excel 2007 and earlier versions because none of the more interesting ones were scheduled when I could attend.  (Then this week, during Unit 5, I was notified that the webinar I registered for was cancelled, so I had to find another one.)

To be honest, I’m not sure how often I would have occasion to hold a webinar in my online classes.  Most students register for online classes because traditional classes don’t fit their schedules.  Trying to meet everyone’s schedule for a synchronous session is difficult if not impossible.  Just this week, I held a last-minute chat session for my online class because people were struggling with writing search strings, and I think only four people showed up.

One thing I wanted to learn this fall was how to create a podcast because other people do them.  However, I’ve never listened to a podcast (or watched a webcast) because they take up so much time.  I can read much faster than anyone can talk, and I can do it on my schedule.

My top three choices for a topic for the webinar we’ll be developing were

  1. Second Life
  2. Ning
  3. wikis

I ended up on the Second Life team.  I think I was the only one who listed it has his or her first choice.  I finally decided that, with everything else I have going on this semester, I should pick something I know well.

I was concerned about getting our team agreement done on time because we didn’t find out which teams we were on until Thursday, Sept. 11, and the agreement was due on Tuesday, Sept. 16.  One member of our group did a lot of the work to make sure we got it done on time.  We’re going to use a wiki for our project, and we’ll meet in Second Life or a Connect meeting room.

I’m worried some about the webinar because I don’t think I can run both Second Life and Connect at the same time on my computer.  (Running anything else with Second Life makes both programs really slow.)  There may be a way to work around it by using both my PC and my laptop if I can get them both on the internet at the same time.  I could be in Second Life doing a demonstration perhaps while one of my teammates shows my avatar (and his or hers) on her desktop.

I hope I can get all of the major assignments done for the class and keep up with everything else I have to do.  (I don’t want to let my teammates down.)  I know I didn’t complete all the posts I was supposed to make in the discussion this week.

2 responses to “IT 5660 Unit 5 Blog Entry

  1. Nice Reflection! At CU Online we do a podcast that you might think about listening to:

    I think you are right on about the issues surrounding synchronous communication. However, some interesting research is being done showing many benefits of this form of communication. I think though we (as the academy) have sold online learning as — do it whenever you want…–that it will be a challenge to integrate more synchronous activities into online courses.

    Regarding 2nd life and connect, I wonder if you could do a few short videos/presentations (either with connect or jing or camtasia or even a mini-dv camera) of 2nd life. It is a very resource intensive application.

  2. Since I have problems with Second Life being very slow when I run any other programs at the same time, I don’t think making a recording in Connect would work. I don’t a video camera (is that what a “mini-dv” camera is?), and I’m afraid that I’m not familiar with Jing or Camtasia.