Wednesday, 19 December 2012

#edcmooc has a school! Where are we now pre-course?

What is this "School"??
A lot has happened so far before the course has even begun. The Facebook and Twitter groups have been tremendous at really opening up connections and collaboration. We have shared blog posts, Pinterest accounts, favourite links, articles, and so on. But, it still feels a vast amount of info to digest, and what have we really learnt so far?

So, I had an idea. What if this was a real school? Where would everyone be? Where would we put everything? It seemed obvious (weblinks to the library, Twitter chats to the common room), and sounded fun to try and visualise it. So I made a mock ground plan of "the school" and here it is. There is a link beneath the picture to the plan on Google Docs with all the live links. You may also edit it or add comments here if you wish
Link to the school plan

How did I do it?
I actually did it on trusty old PowerPoint. Then I uploaded it to Google Docs and made it public. This way. anyone in the course group can access and edit it. There must be a tool or app out there that does this better. Do you know of one? Please share in the comments below.

What's this school all about?
Well, firstly it was a bit of fun. But I had a serious point and that was to try and organise all the info I've come across, and see if we can't work smarter as a group. I divided the plan it into school rooms. Each room has links to the various online spaces we have created. So, if nothing else it will be a handy reference point, and a helpful guide for newbies to the course.
Entrance Hall - Welcome
Cloak Room - Hang your coat up, and find your way round. There is a Google Map on the wall. Have a look at where all your classmates are and add yourself to the map so we can see where you are from. Have you joined the Google Plus group as well? And added your blog to the blog list? Remember to be courteous and read the rules too.
Quiet Study Room - Here's where we work away quietly on our own projects. We keep Pinterest, Evernote, Flickr & YouTube accounts. We like to share them but are happy beavering away on them in the background. We also started some study groups. You can join a QuadBlog and work in little groups together, follow the link to find out more. Or, if you are feeling overwhelmed, have a vent on the WallWisher page.
Library - there have been so many links posted via Twitter & Facebook, but I thought it was a bit unorganised, and we could be a bit smarter about this. So rather than always post to Twitter or Facebook, add a link to our shared Diigo group instead. Tag it "edcmooc" and we will soon have created an online library. It's much easier to search for things this way, and means Facebook & Twitter don't just get clogged up with endless links to articles. You can also add comments to your Diigo links. You could add why you shared a certain article for example, or pick out your favourite line and ask others to choose theirs. It is much more engaging than just pasting a link. If you have a nugget you really want to share, why not write a summary of the video or article yourself. and post it on your blog? It is sometimes more interesting for people to read your take on it, and you might think more about something if you write about it rather than just post the link.
Common Room - this is where most of us are hanging out. Links here to all the social media groups where you can join in on the conversations
Kitchen - Er, not sure about this one. Something to do with the creative area where we make things.  Links here go to test pages or groups that people are trying out.
Teacher Room - info about the course itself. There is also a link to a trial tutor group which Eric Clark set up. So, if you are a tutor yourself in real life, please join in.
Classroom - the most important bit - but look how empty it is! OK, so the course hasn't begun so it will start to fill up. For now, there is a question on the whiteboard which Steve posed.

Alright, so there's my school plan. What do you think? Did I miss any rooms out? Doing it on PowerPoint seemed so antiquated, especially given the subject matter of this course. There must be a better way to do this using a nifty website or app. Do you know of one? Or if you are clever web person, write to me and let's design one. This could be a great application to use in clasrooms. Get the pupils to design their own dream school and add web 2.0 things to each room. Make a timetable, what would be your dream day, or what do you want to study and what would the classroom look like? It would get pupils' creativity going, and teachers might learn a thing or two as well. Someone must have done this already so grateful if you can share any stories with me.