Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Amazing Times

We live in Amazing Times.  If you were born before 1960, did you have any conception of the ability we have to connect on line?  I certainly didn't.  Yes, I knew about computers, but internet?  World Wide Web?  Stuff of Science Fiction!

So when I ask about on line learning, I am not proposing to do away with in person opportunities to learn.  An on line seminar (webinar?) will never, in my opinion, (or at least not in my lifetime) replace that entirely!

I know that not everyone can utilize the internet for things like webinars, or even You Tube video clips.  I only got a fibre optic connection to the internet very recently.  Prior to that it was a dial up connection and slow and clunky, and I could not have dreamed of participating in anything like a seminar on line.

However, there are also a lot of people who cannot, for whatever reason, attend workshops, guild meetings, conferences.  On line seminars could be a way for them to increase their knowledge remotely.

I have not watched any of the Craftsy classes - simply no time - so I really cannot speak to their format.  From what I understand it is a sort of interactive DVD experience.  You have the ability to pose questions of the class leader and get responses (although not necessarily live?)

I have not been successful with Weavolution.  I could not get my computer to work with their technology and I was left with only the 'chat' option to communicate when I tried to do an open house when they first introduced their learning opportunity.  So I was hesitant to pursue that further.

However, I have been working with Interweave (one of the up coming projects which I feel I can now start to discuss because we have an air date).

So I know the most about their presentation although I will be getting more details.  In fact the contract is in my in box but I'm still too jet lagged to be able to deal with it.  :-/

The Interweave webinar is a Power Point presentation with live audio in it's first iteration.  Several days after the original air date all registrants will receive a link which will allow them access to the presentation for 3 months to view as often as they like during that time.  Therefore you do not have to be physically present for the original air date.

The moderator will collect questions and present them to the leader so there is some ability to ask questions during the live presentation.

Since my lecture A Good Yarn is already in a Power Point format, this is the one I will begin with.

Now, when I am doing this subject live (as I have done now for the past few years, initially as an overhead transparency format, now Power Point), the slides are merely a bullet point presentation of the material I am lecturing about.  However, on the internet with only the slides as the visual, that might tend to get a little under whelming visually so my challenge as leader/presenter is going to be to re-tool the Power Point presentation to make the visuals more interesting and rely much more heavily on the power (if you will) of my vocal presentation to keep interest going.

(You may understand why I didn't want to discuss this previously - I needed to work out how I was going to do this - if I was even going to be able to do this.)

I do not anticipate that this seminar will be anything more than a pale substitute for a guild program.  After all, when I'm doing a guild program I am there, live, to answer questions and my samples to pass around!

But if you can't attend a guild meeting, can't afford a conference to take this seminar live, but you still want to get the information?  This seminar might be just the thing that gives you sufficient information to carry on to learn more.

I will certainly be adding a bibliography for additional resources at the end of the presentation.

On line seminars are not intended to be 2 day workshops.  They are just another tool in the student's tool box of methods of learning.

Stay tuned for details - time/dates, etc.


Steph said...

Thank you for taking the time to get this all well thought idea, and I like the way you are thinking. I believe this could be so helpful for me. Steph

Louisa said...

Ah the joys of connecting! Those of us with broadband cable forget how difficult it can be from remote areas.

Craftsy isn't quite what you describe. It's a professionally filmed series of video lessons. The instructor goes to their studio to produce it. Questions and comments from students are posed by typing them into a comment field. (Photos are allowed but sometimes don't work properly.) Answers can come from the instructor or other participants. Unfortunately older posts seem to disappear after time has passed. Perhaps they are limited in storage space? It also takes more time to get a response as time goes on. It must be a big commitment for an instructor to monitor their classes "forever"!

Laura Fry said...

Thanks for the clarification Louisa. Like I say, just no time for me to check it out so far. This year has been a bit crazy with one deadline after another crashing down in me. I have tried to stay abreast of the ability of the new technology to bring information to students. Doing on line seminars just seems like a natural progression. Time will tell!