Popping Candy

Reflections on being a facilitator:

I started to do this reflection on Day 4 of the BYOD4L course but only got as far as finding an image. So I’ve come back to finish this report 5 days later. Inevitably this is going to influence the type of reflection I will do. I’ve just been too busy at work and even by the time I got to the weekend I had to take work home with me….ridiculous I know! But it’s just an unlucky combination of events at work.

Firstly I just wanted to say a few things about feeling ‘Guilty’ . Yes not an emotion I am prone tooJ I think it’s the role of the ‘facilitator’ that makes me feel like that. I didn’t have a role in the design and set up of the course which I’m very used too when I involved in some teaching activity. Again this if probably my fault I seem to remember many emails and posts in Facebook from Chrissi and Sue asking for feedback and comments on the course. In retrospect, I wish I’d looked at the course in more detail before we started and made a contribution to the design or contents of the courses. I probably would have felt more ‘ownership’ of the process and less guilt as a result.

Also, the other reason I think I was starting to feel a bit guilty about my contribution was that I wasn’t really clear about me role as a ‘facilitator’ …I constantly felt like I wasn’t doing enough but was struggling to find the time to do more. It was the first week of a new term at work and it was manic with new inductions for both staff and students and loads of issues to do with our VLE. I think the Facilitators instructions were clear and I had a good chat with Andrew Middleton the Friday before the course started and throughout the week Sue and Chrissi posted words of encouragement on Facebook but I still felt I wasn’t doing enough. Maybe I was and that my contributions to the TwitterChats in the evening were enough. I didn’t contribute to the Facebook chats or anything happening in Google+ but just didn’t have the time at work.

Which brings me onto the ‘TwitterChats’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I knew what the TwitterChat was – obviously not! I have been involved in what I thought were ‘Twitter Chats’ in the past but these obviously involved fewer numbers and were spread over a longer period of time. The 8 to 9pm slots on Monday to Friday were not what I expected – they were crazy. They were the digital version of ‘popping candy’ (probably cola flavour!) where everything fizzed and exploded for an hour or so! The facilitator got things going by asking a few questions and then there followed a stream of answers, thoughts, further questions, jokes, links to useful stuff – literally a ‘mish mash’ of consciousness! It was great whilst you were just contributing to the discussion but I found it very difficult when myself and Ola were the facilitators. Maybe I’m just not quick enough tweeting. I would look at a tweet, think that’s a really good point, think of a response, tweet a response, then look at the twitter timeline and a further 10 tweets had come in! Still that’s the beauty of TwitterChats and others answer the questions and then little discussions break off with just a few participants.

The TwitterChats were ‘captured’ in a Storify and the end of each day. I’ve had a quick look at these but would like to come back to them at a later date and blog about them too…

Overall, being involved as a facilitator on this course has a been a fantastic experience and given me lots of ideas for new things I can try out. I also see that Chrissie has a new open course starting in next week – will need to sign up for that too!


New run of Flexible, Distance and Online Learning course from @chrissinerantzi @laruhl starts 10th Feb http://fdol.wordpress.com/ #fdol141