e_-_leo_reynolds_-_50168250_0f66258f4d_b.jpge-learning at Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC)

E-mentor project, 2010

The plan

Plans, thoughts and strategies

Overall goal or vision
We need a detailed plan for e-learning and e-business across the organisation, including staff skills, managing the website, developing wikispaces for staff and students.
Ideally in the future, we'll be able to have some staff meetings via live web conferencing also.
Main project focus
We need a virtual staffroom, an online place to meet.
Secondary focus
We need staff to be confident and competent in using the interactive whiteboard.
Introduce people to live web conferencing as a whole group experience (eg statewide professional development via elluminate).
Need, problem or question
Staff are all part-timers, have trouble getting together face-to-face, overcome isolation.
Course, certificate and learners
Staff professional development, across all programs.
Classroom or organisational strategies
  • Engaging staff in a communication hub, to demonstrate potential for the technologies, to inspire teachers' creativity, to stretch the ways we use the student wiki.
  • The student wiki operates passively. As staff grow in competence and confidence, we hope they'll use the wiki more in class, and find more creative ways to use internet in class.
  • Aim to get staff using discussion area to share ideas and resource, and also to develop skills.
  • Workshop for professional development in using wiki.
  • Regular updates by office staff, eg putting newsletter on home page of wiki.
  • Develop a plan for engaging and sustaining teacher interest: What's in it for me? Time to connect, place to connect and share resources and ideas.
Discussion plan could include, for example
  1. share your latest book on the books page (week one)
  2. post a resource or a link (week two)
  3. share a problem you've solved in class (week 3)
  4. tell a story of something that happened in class (week 4)
  5. brainstorm what the wiki is for: suggest different pages, contents
  6. ..
Hardware & equipment needed or involved
Interactive whiteboard, data projectors.
Software, websites to be evaluated
Student and staff wiki, live web conferencing technology.
Eg iGoogle, wiki discussion, elluminate.
Foreseeable challenges, risks etc
Who's going to maintain the site? How to spread the load?
How to engage more staff in the process of providing learning materials online. Who's got the responsibility and the privilege?
What about teacher time and resistance to imposed technologies?
Sources of knowledge and help
  • Find existing help files eg video screencasts for using interactive whiteboard.
  • Connect with others in Victorian ACE networks who have used these whiteboards.
  • Invite guest speakers (perhaps in a live web conference), eg Dale Pobega to demonstrate his ESL classroom blog (or Rosa Ochoa from Sydney).
  • For example the Gilly Salmon model of online facilitation.
Ongoing evaluation of activity
Observe the activities and their uptake.
Reflective journal/discussion by project leaders (eg blog post in the Ning, or discussion in the CNLC staff wiki).

plan for working a staff wiki

  • purpose: share ideas and resources, meeting place, updates eg newsletter, sharing problems and experiences, a central hub for CNLC staff, assessments page with links to documents and assessment web sites, a safe place to start navigating the internet.
  • each person could have their own page to present their own latest resources and tips
  • training sessions: an intro, talk about the benefits and potential pitfalls, what is a wiki and why use one? [intro video screencast eg Jenny Luca],
  • a place to put training video screencasts eg skills: how to upload photo, use iRiver
  • need to "sell" the benefits of the wiki: "what's in it for me?", eg why upload the news onto the wiki instead of emailing?
  • issues to think about: navigation, motivation, levels of privacy (?), processes: eg remember your login, set up email notifications on the site, getting everyone logged in (same login for staff and student sites), using discussions to respond eg to newsletter, naming conventions for pages (?),
  • skills people need to learn: edit and save pages, add links - images - text - pages, join in discussions..

(Checklist of skills for staff
..for the range of e-learning skills, including wiki, whiteboard - tick people off when they display or feel a level of competency
  • list of skills for each area (wiki, whiteboard)
  • actions or activities for each area that staff must do (participate in discussion, give feedback on newsletter, share a resource on the wiki)
  • a sense of time limit for staff to learn the basics
  • as much as possible staff could take responsibility for their own learning and practice
  • leadership responsibility: make sure everything is working
  • provide some level of support for learning the basics, eg video screencast, link on wiki to existing tutorial, workshop, one-on-one time where possible.

image credit: Leo Reynolds at flickr (creative commons) . Thanks Leo.