Learning online through CSU – looking for solutions

This is the first week of the new session at Charles Sturt Uni – and my first week dipped into a fully online world of learning for current and future educators.  I was lucky to meet some of them in O week at the barbeque, and was ‘rocked’ by their aspirations and passion about work in libraries in schools and in the community and public sectors. The conversations covered many things – and of course Twitter and Facebook came into it pretty soon.  Of those starting the course many had a Facebook presence, though only a few were twitter followers.  Never mind…the queenslanders got together for a ‘twitter training session’ to get connected and stay tuned.  You know who you are :-)

This week I began to ‘meet’ my students in four subjects that I am teaching this session.  It’s a time of reflection and re-organisation for me, as I move into the potentially flat-bed delivery of courses that Uni learning managment systems can be.  I’m looking for solutions.

My students in Digital Citizenship in Schools are the ones that I am keen to see what we can do to improve on the way we deliver online courses. After all, understanding digital citizenship assumes a level of interaction with digital content and digital modes of interaction!  Our content is delivered in ‘modules’ and can be quite static text based products. However, there is functionality that allows for online meetings, forums, and shared spaces through Wimba.  The Sakaii platform (latest one is not rolled out yet) does allow embedding of many files, so videos and more can be incorporated – a real plus!

But it’s still not easy to share online learning together, unless we adopt more visual, interactive approaches with our students – who in many cases are teachers or teacher librarians looking for or implementing interactive learning for their students.

So what am I doing with the Digital Citizenship in Schools ETL523 group?  Setting up things that will benefit them, me, you, and model how what we learn today will continue to be part of the learning collaborative that we create.

I’ve created a Diigo group  Digital Citizenship in Schools which not only informs the course work we are engaging with, but becomes a pool of information for anyone, and can continue chugging along.

I’ve created a Facebook Page Digital Citizenship in Schools – with the same mission.

These two plug directly into a blog I have created for the students, as a way of sharing updates in a more interactive way  (not sharing this link yet, as I won’t go live with this for the students until tomorrow).  The feeds from Diigo and Facebook update automatically within the blog too.  The videos I am going to make will also plug into that same blog and update.  So now we will have a nice colourful, hyperlined, information rich  exchange that can be embedded right into our Sakaii system – and bingo – easy, up-to-date communication from me – leaving the forums for the questions, queries, and discussion of the ‘formal’ learning.   We’ll be using a number of other tools too as part of the learning experience.

So a simple little adaptation has created a nice one stop shop in the LMS – that’s actually a composite of many worthy online tools.   I think next time I’ll add a wikispace, now that they have free Wikispaces for the Higher Education.

I’m enjoying this, and really looking forward to working with my students in INF330, INF505, ETL523 and ETL401.  Not sure what adaptations will happen in my other courses yet.  That’s the challenge for Week 2 :-)

2 thoughts on “Learning online through CSU – looking for solutions

  1. No Dean, just adding to the platform. All core coursework, forums etc remain within the platform – just streamling public information aggregation. In fact, it’s even possible to use add-on things like blogger with a privacy option – so it becomes ‘internal’. It’s great to have visual interfaces.

  2. Are you going off platform? What is the policy and mood for doing that with regard to student privacy and data storage Jude?

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