Last week I was invited to share a webinar presentation via Skype through with educators involved in the PBwiki summer camp facilitated by Kristine Molnar. Kristine aggregated the resources we discussed during this session as well as participant comments and feedback on her wiki. The ideas I shared were based on a presentation I’ve shared previously at conferences titled “Powerful Ingredients for Digitally Interactive Learning.” Kristine recorded this presentation and discussion with Ustream. Since I had participated in this online webinar using these tools I was pretty confident that last night’s Storychasers meetup could work too using Ryan Gordon’s great instructions (And it did! – The text chat transcript for that discussion is also available.) It is pretty amazing we can use freely available tools and a $30 piece of software, Audio HiJack Pro, to host webinar events like these! For participants, all they need is a computer and a high speed Internet connection which permits connections to Ustream.

The experience of presenting in a setting like this with a backchannel text chat going on is cognitively very challenging, but also very rewarding and I suspect more valuable from a participant standpoint. It is kind of weird to not “see” the audience with which you are speaking during a presentation like this, but the dynamics of trying to follow as well as respond to comments in the text chat certainly dispel any perceptions of “disconnection” from the audience. (Assuming audience members are sharing and participating rather than just lurking. That was certainly the case with this event!)

One of the accepted K12Online08 presentations in the strand “Kicking It Up A Notch ” is “Back-channels in the Classroom” by Scott Snyder. Scott teaches high school English and has been using live blogging tools like Cover It Live with his students. He blogged about his experiences using this with students back in April. I started listening to Bob Sprankle’s “Podcasting with Purpose” presentation from BLC08 this morning driving into work, and he had audience members use Cover It Live for that presentation as well as others at BLC. The first time I participated in a live event using this tool was during a keynote Dan Schmidt shared a few weeks ago in California. WOW. I’m eager to use Cover It Live more in the future, and will try to use it in presentations and workshops I share later this summer and fall. As Bob said at the start of his podcast, the opportunity to read the questions and get the feedback from audience members not only DURING a live presentation but also AFTER it offers great opportunities to reflect and improve for next time.

Many thanks to Kristine and the PBwiki campers for letting me join in and participate in their online summer camp activities! 🙂

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One Response to Talking with PBwiki Summer Campers: Basic Ingredients for Blended Learning

  1. Kristine says:

    Hey Wes,

    It was great to have you — and the interactivity with the listeners made the meeting so much more useful for everyone. Thanks for talking with us.

    The PBwiki Team

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