Tuesday, June 3, 2014

OSL community necessities

From the SurveyMonkey thing:

Given what you know about the challenges and opportunities that Open Source Learning presents, what qualities/ ingredients do you think a learning community must possess in order to make the most of it?

JSYK THIS IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR ME TO SAY SO IN CAPS: what the community needs that we didn't have is adequate virtual infrastructure, most importantly a central place (message board or similar) to post time-sensitive notices, help requests, shouts-out, etc., where EVERYONE (yes, 100% participation is important; that means someone needs to accomplish the digital wrangling of email addresses with more success than I had) will be notified (by email, Facebook, text, phone app, or...?) and see it IMMEDIATELY (that means NOT the course blog [sorry Preston, kids don't check it as much as {I think} you think they do]).

I believe the key determining factor of success is teacher endorsement: in APWH, Mr. Greeley facilitated the creation and use of the Google Group and made joining a requirement; however, in AP Lit Comp, Dr. Preston's "hands-off" policy had one of its few backfires by making it impossible to get full membership or even much participation among members. This is one of those situations in which everyone will do a certain thing if "everyone" else is, but no one will do that thing if "no one" else is. Thus, by common use, the inferior environment provided by Facebook eclipsed the environment I attempted to create with the RAM Google Group, so the latter did not succeed.

Also helpful would be more informal/instant virtual meeting places such as chatrooms, [ahem] *active* shoutboxes, or video chatting.

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