Friday, July 16, 2010
Flat Classroom Workshop virtually
I attended a great workshop in St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday without leaving Maryland. The workshop was the Flat Classroom Workshop given by Julie Lindsay. For us relative newbies to technology, it was an excellent introduction to the Flat Classroom universe and several commonly-used Web 2.0 tools, and it gave me a chance to work with other workshop participants, both virtual and real, in designing a Flat Classroom-style project to work with other classrooms across the web.
In the course of the workshop, I worked with two collaboration tools which I highly recommend. One was Dabbleboard, which was a whiteboard that many people could edit simultaneously, with a chat room box attached, and a similar program called Sync In. And I managed to create a spreadsheet in Google Docs and share it ...small potatoes for you skilled Web 2.0 folks, but a step forward for me.
Was being a virtual attendee the same as being there? No. it was a small workshop, and those who were there were able to interact much more easily and fully than I as a virtual participant. The audio at times was hard to follow, and the web cam struggled to resolve the display screen with any clarity. But, was being a virtual attendee worth it? Definitely yes! Julie and the other workshop organizers clearly put a lot of time and effort to make it possible to attend virtually, and I got a lot out of it. I think the point of virtual participation is to make it possible to take part, not to replace the experience of being there. And the choice for me was virtual participation, or no participation at all. I would definitely encourage others to attend conferences virtually when it is not possible to be there in person.
Taking was a big step forward for me, and, undoubtedly my personal development highlight of the summer! Thanks to all who organized the conference and allowed us to participate virtually!
Photo "virtual seat" by Bob Esty