I usually try to ‘attend’ the CIDER sessions but I missed the December 2nd one “Instructional Design Research“, – I’m sorry I did, because I’d have personal experience with the disruptive loud ‘whispers in class’ coming out of the text chat area that Rick Schwier talks about in his blog posting .
I like the options provided by the Illuminate interface including the chat area. As a viewer/listener, I like the opportunity of keeping tabs on what the audience is thinking through the questions and discussions that come up within the chat area â€“ for my learning, the CIDER sessions, are as much about the others who are attending (and hearing their thoughts) as it is about the presentation. (I’m sure the Presenters don’t want to hear that, but if it was about them, they should just do a podcast!). I like how the audience can interact both in the chat room and through audio questions…admittedly, there is so much more opportunity for text chat questions!
Yes, at times, the â€˜chatterâ€™ can be disruptive. By paying attention or writing in the chat box, I may miss something from the presenters. However, at least with CIDER, the presentations are archived. With this thought in the back of my mind, I know, I can always go back and replay the presentation to capture the information â€“ so this frees me to pursue chat-based investigations with the others currently online. Such “in the moment learning” is raw and messy – but doesnâ€™t some of the best learning come at us in a messy format?
Through such an inquiry based approach, I begin to construct my own knowledge from what is being said â€“ the immediacy and openness of the Illuminate environment facilitates this â€“ the alternative is to do a one-way podcast (or as suggested by one of the Presenters, hold the questions until the end) but I like the â€˜rawâ€™ format. And I definitely like to have the choice â€“ I know I donâ€™t have to look at the chat board nor participate in it. I also know that it is a rare presentation that doesnâ€™t ask for questions at the end of it and I know that there are usually only one or two brave souls that are able to field their questions at that time. It sounds like there was a 45 minute question period running concurrently with the presentationâ€¦two for one!
Having the presentation archived is a major relief! It’s somewhat like the freedom a student feels when a professor posts their PowerPoints on a website – it frees the student from the task of writing everything down (and therefore not truly paying attention to what the professor is saying) to one where the student can stop and ponder IN THAT MOMENT on what the professor has written down or said.
To me, what we’re seeing in some of these text chats is a person’s inner-conversation made public – WOW!!! I think that’s hot…and not something we want to limit but encourage and learn to harness or work with. Perhaps in the CIDER case, the presenters needed to ignore the text box and let Rick S. do “his thing” – With 40 or so people attending, I’m sure there was enough ‘audience’ for both activities to share. The presenters and Rick could have privately communicated if anything from the Chat area needed the presenter’s particularly attention. It would be up to Rick S. to be a good chat-chairperson and make sure everyone stays on topic.
IMHO one group that works effectively both the real-time discussion as well as an active text chat area is WorldBridges â€“ I would encourage anyone to visit a session in real-time by checking out their webcast schedule . They are the ones who bring us EdTech Brainstorms and EdTechTalk – they use a simple interface, by no means fancy like Illuminate, but the topics, discussions and interactions are great!
This topic definitely lends itself to others which Iâ€™ve been thinking about as of late and will try to write about soon: â€œWhen your learning disrupts mineâ€¦ or cut the clickinâ€™ computer keys!!â€ â€œAsk Good Questions but keep them in your head, please!â€, â€œNew Age Whispering in Classâ€ â€œFrom Just-in-Time to Just Good Enough Learning â€“ the curse of multi-taskingâ€.