The best and worst bits

I haven’t left the course but have spent the last couple of weeks engrossed in exploring a number of web tools and playing with them. I’ve found that there seems to be two parts to this course, firstly there’s setting up and learning about the web tools themselves and then secondly, considering how they can be used to communicate, share and collaborate, in developing and maintaining a community.

So far my priority has mostly been on the first part. I have set up rss and google reader, have iGoogle as my homepage, have got and tags for bookmarking, explored flickr and uploaded some photos, used skype for chatting, explored youTube, worked on google docs, used gliffy and to make concept maps, tried out audacity, and taken a peek around myspace and bebo, and most recently have been looking at how to podcast, set-up slideshows and videos. This is a huge achievement given where I began!

I have to say though that even getting this far, nearly didn’t happen. Earlier on I was floundering around in cyberspace, completely directionless and disorientated; it would have been easy to give up. I knew I needed to fill in some basic gaps in my understanding of these tools, but I wasn’t sure how to do this. And then by chance, I found some resources that gave me the structure and guidance I needed:

Learning 2.0 program: 23 things, a course for librarians. I liked the course blog format, introductory podcasts, resources and discovery exercises, all with an emphasis on having a play and some fun.

Workshops and Resources wiki from University of Manitoba’s Learning Technologies Centre, with lots of really useful background information, advice and examples of using the web tools.

These both helped enormously and have kept me fairly busy over the last couple of weeks.

The best bits so far

  • the knowledge gained about these tools and my confidence in using the web has grown substantially
  • having the opportunity to hear from expert speakers in the 10 minute talk series
  • following everyone’s progress in their blogs and email forum

The worst bits

  • the earlier times of complete confusion
  • getting around to blogging (I have never managed to keep any kind of journal before! I’ve got some posts partly written, but it’s easy to lose the moment and find yourself engrossed in something else)
  • and leading on from the last one, not being a more active online participant in general, being here but mostly invisible (my online personality definitely doesn’t match my real-life personality and I’m not sure why, maybe it’s a confidence thing)


  1. Carolyn McIntosh said...

    Thanks for the links Veronique.

  2. Sarah Stewart said...

    Great post, Veronique. I am interested in what you said about your online personality not being the same as your off line personality - in what way?

  3. Veronique said...

    Hi Sarah, when I made that comment, I was thinking about how some people (like yourself for instance) manage to project so much of their own personality in their blogs. Another is Sue Waters, her personality shines through with what she says and the way she presents her messages on her blog. And Konrad Glagowski's whose writing is very easy to read yet filled with strong messages about who is as a teacher and person.

    I feel I'm rather bland and boring, and what I write isn't especially stimulating. So I hope I'm not like that for real. I'm pretty excitable, usually laugh far too loudly, often enjoy myself way too much, and love being involved with students. Here's hoping I grow / mature / blog into myself as time goes on.

  4. Leigh Blackall said...

    They call it "finding your voice". But I dunno about that.. mayb blogging is not it for you... at least text blogging. Maybe photos are the go, or video, or audio, or a drawing... all of these are creative, and all could be an expression of what you want to say.. and what you say needn't be much... maybe a niche, recipes, advice, what you teach, what you find on the net, good music... but you are right to see the presence in others. I think having a strong online presence is pretty important if you're going to try and facilitate learning communities online.

    Thanks for the handy links. I've tagged them in so that they come through on the course blog

  5. Yvonne said...

    Hi Veronique

    "I feel I'm rather bland and boring, and what I write isn't especially stimulating" This struck a chord with me as I often have this feeling too. I re-read my efforts and don't recognise myself! I think Leigh's comment about finding a 'voice' online is valid. I think in any new setting it takes time to let your true self show through - some do it quicker than others. I enjoy reading your posts and found the links really handy (esp. the 23 thingy).

    I was reading an English teacher's blog recently where the students had been asked to comment on their Shakespeare work and the kids jump in with all sorts of comments. Perhaps finding your 'voice' online is easier for the digital native!


  6. Debbie said...

    Hi Veronique

    This was a very helpful blog, thank you Veronique. Have been trying to catch up on things since returning from Japan, and this has helped me get back into things by structuring where I can start. It is far from boring: it is easy to read and to understand. Great.

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