Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hanging out and watching videos

If I don't say this all the time I should because I sure think it a lot! I'm so grateful for my membership in  CPsquare, and especially the partnership between SCoPE and CP2 to organize quarterly field trips together. Well, after I typed that I immediately wanted to add also especially the monthly "my practice" series where I learn so much from other community of practice leaders.

Normally for the quarterly field trips John Smith and I invite community stewards to talk about their CoPs and sometimes walk us through their online spaces. This time we did something a little different; we watched videos about communities. John describes it well and has captured the experience on the CP2 blog:
The idea is that our field trips have tended to focus on communities that are formed intentionally, often looking at them through the eyes of someone who's leading or trying to cultivate them. The videos we select would be of communities that are "found" and observed from the outside but are interesting to us for one reason or another.
This turned out to be a very interesting experiment, and valuable exercise in thinking about what we can learn about CoPs from the outside, and useful and meaningful ways to look at CoPs together. It was also an opportunity to explore new technologies and processes for organizing online activities.

The planning phase
The videos (and presentations in other formats) were prepared by Pepperdine University students for a course facilitated by Margaret Riel. John initiated a discussion in the CP2 community asking members to watch a handful of videos to narrow down our choices. We ended up with a shortlist of 3 videos, one that was from an earlier collection of interviews done by John because it provided a nice contrast of listening to one person's perspective rather than looking in and making sense of a CoP from the outside.

The shortlist:
 Ice Skating Sensations
 Joseph Sikeku talks about the technologies he uses at FADECO radio to reach Tanzanian farmers.
 The Gym

The next step was to find a way to view and discuss these videos as a group. I've had some experience doing this in Elluminate, but it wasn't without challenges! We decided to try Google Hangout, and were quite impressed with our trial run -- especially the 'reindeer' button! Check out John's nose! :-)

Next we worked out the logistics of how to gather people together. 

Before Event 
  • Create a Google account 
  • Add Sylvia to your network ( and send her a note to say you want to join the Field Trip ( 
  • Sylvia will add you to her circle "Field Trip" 
  • Install Google voice and video plugin 
  • Test your audio and video: 

Time of Event 
  • Sylvia will create a hangout and invite everyone in the Field Trip circle. 
  • Go to G+ to see a post in your stream letting you know there's a hangout going on. (If you're signed into Google chat you'll receive an IM with a link to the hangout.) 
  • Note only 10 people can be in the hangout at one time, so be quick! 

During Event 
  • Click on the YouTube button, but do not press the play or pause buttons (John Smith is the pilot!) 

Because the room is limited to 10 people, we didn't go beyond sending out a notice to the CP2 and SCoPE community members. We had 8 people RSVP that they would be joining in, so the numbers worked out well!

The Actual Event

After creating the hangout, and sending out the invitation to members of my "Field Trip" circle, folks started to roll in. This, by the way, is a pretty dangerous way to operate! If for some reason I wasn't able to connect then it would not be an easy task for somebody else to round people up into the room. I'm sure there's an easier way, and the enhanced version of hangout may address this but for now it doesn't support YouTube integration.

Once we were all in the Hangout we were able to just get started -- none of the usual audio checks or fumbling with webcams. Everything just worked!

I recorded much of the session using Jing Pro, not realizing that it would only run for 5 minutes at a time. I had to save and restart the recording MANY times, but I don't think I missed too much. One odd thing about Hangout is that you never see yourself in the top section when you are speaking, but others do. So my recording isn't exactly what other participants experienced.

I pieced together the questions and some sections in an effort to keep the video under 10 minutes, but hopefully also captured the essence of our field trip. At the end we have a debrief on the experience (again, an edited version).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Student Panel: How I/We Like to Learn

The Teaching and Learning Institute at Selkirk College has put together another event that will be live streamed and you're all invited!

What: Student Panel
Topic: How I/We Like to Learn
Where: Live streamed here:
When: January 19, 2012 (Pacific time zone)

(see your time zone)
11:30 a.m. Panel Begins - Harry Pringle Moderating
12:00-12:15 p.m. Discussion - instructors may ask for clarification (not rebuttal : . )
12:30 p.m. Adjourn

Modified from Stephen Brookfield's Critical Incident Questionnaire:

  1. At what moments in classes do you feel the most engaged?
  2. At what moments are you the most distant from class?
  3. What actions that instructors or classmates take in class do you find the most affirming or helpful?
  4. What is not working or could be improved" 5) What about your classes surprised you the most?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MicroSCoPE News

Cross-posted from SCoPE:

MicroSCoPE: A closer look at what's happening in SCoPE

January Activities

Use of Video in Education
January 11-24, 2012
Facilitator: Amy Severson
"As video gets easier to record and publish, it's valuable to step back and ask ourselves a few questions." What are your questions? How have you used video in your teaching? We've already started so come on in!

Open Content Licensing for Educators
January 23-27, 2012
A special invitation is extended by the OER Foundation to this free, open, online workshop designed for educators and students who want to learn more about open education resources, copyright, and creative commons licenses.

Demystifying the Student Perspective Part 2
January 25-28, 2012
Facilitators: Hilda Anggraeni and Diana Chan
This series is organized by students, for faculty. During Part 2 we will focus on the online environment. A 2-day asynchronous discussion will be followed by an interactive web conference, and a 1-day wrap-up discussion.

Quarterly Field Trips
January 23, 20:00 UTC
Our next field trip is an exploration of Communities of Practice that were "found" and observed from the outside and documented by Pepperdine graduate students -- organized in collaboration with CPSquare, the community of practice on communities of practice.

February Activities
Writing an e-book about e-books for fun and no profit
February 1-14, 2012
Facilitators: Richard Schwier and Scott Leslie

Cases in Online Interview Research
February 20 - March 3, 2012
Facilitator: Janet Salmons

New Groups
Shared Services: Adobe Connect is a group of British Columbia educational practitioners using Adobe Connect in teaching and learning who are interested in sharing and improving practices.

About SCoPE
SCoPE brings together individuals who share an interest in educational research and practice, and offers opportunities for dialogue across disciplines, geographical borders, professions, levels of expertise, and education sectors. Our activities are facilitated by volunteers in the community, and membership is free and open to everyone.

SCoPE members receive email updates automatically. If you prefer to read MicroSCoPE on the web or via RSS, login and manage your subscription here. Professional learning events, resources, and member highlights are captured via

We welcome requests to host or promote professional development activities and projects related to teaching and learning. SCoPE is supported by BCcampus. Contact: Sylvia Currie (
Please spread the word about SCoPE!

Communicating Online: Email Signatures

It was such a refreshing change to see this email signature from Phil O'Hara, Dalhousie University:
The information in this e-mail is NOT privileged or confidential. This information is intended for your use and any other distribution, copying or disclosure is strongly encouraged. Thank you.
after seeing these:
This communication is privileged and contains confidential information intended only for the person(s) to whom it is addressed. Any unauthorized disclosure, copying, other distribution of this communication or taking any action on its contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately and delete this message without reading, copying or forwarding it to anyone.
This communication is intended for the use of the recipient to whom it is addressed, and may contain confidential, personal, and or privileged information. Please contact us immediately if you are not the intended recipient of this communication, and do not copy, distribute, or take action relying on it. Any communications received in error, or subsequent reply, should be deleted or destroyed.
Please consider the environment before printing this email. This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately. Any review, dissemination, copying, printing or other use of this email by persons or entities other than the addressee is prohibited, unless permission is granted by the sender. If you have received this email in error, please contact the sender immediately and delete the material from any computer.
This email and any attachments are intended only for use by the addressees named in this email and may contain legally privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail or any attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify me by return email and by phone at xxxxx, permanently delete the original and any copy of this email and any attachments from your systems and destroy any printouts of them.
I actually have a bigger collection of signatures that I've saved over the past year or so. But you get the idea!

I've noticed signatures from different people/organizations that have identical wording. Are they plagiarized? ;-)

PrivateI get a kick out of reading these. I'm curious about WHY people use email signatures that reveal such paranoia about how others might use those words in the message.

Do you add an email signature to your correspondence. Why? Is it a requirement of the organization you work for? Are you really concerned that someone will forward your email to others?

Have you noticed that nobody pays attention to these disclaimers? I've received hundreds of cc'd and forwarded messages containing information clearly stating that I should never have received them!