Mentoring Mania!

Coonara early years training

Coonara Early years Training FB Page

Tonight I acted as tech support\co-facilitator in Elluminate (or Blackboard Collaborate ) with one of the tutors I have trained to use the online classroom. It is such a buzz to see this particular tutor absolutely flourishing in the online environment. Of course, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear they say, and its true. You have to be an excellent face-to-face facilitator to be an excellent online facilitator and this tutor is certainly that! Unlike most of our tutors, this one was not opposed to challenging herself and could see the benefits for students and herself so it was a breeze to teach her the rudiments of operating the classsroom and then see her fly!

Each week, we get into the classroom early and I pass on to her more facilitating tips and strategies that I have learned from all the fabulous mentors and coaches I have had along the way. Thus the ripples keep spreading! Last week she tried a mood meter (with chairs) and also launched herself with reckless abandon into using breakout rooms. I did all the creating, naming and moving of people in and out of the rooms and she watched carefully. This week she skilfully facilitated an uproarious game of Pictionary as an ice-breaker and moved people in and out of the breakout rooms herself. I showed her how to use the video and no doubt that will feature in her toolbox in the coming weeks!

Another couple of tutors have also come on board and are now quite confidently facilitating classes in the room with me alongside as tech support and co-facilitator. At this point, at Coonara, we have 5 tutors who are willing and able to facilitate classes in the online classroom. Every tutor uses wikis on a regular basis with students, a couple use MSN with classes, smart pens, video and I have made a few suggestions for tutors to use SMS to contact groups of students as I found that they (students) always checked their messages rather than checking emails and always got the message! Recently  several tutors started using facebook with a class and even Twitter. Check out Coonara Early Years Training Facebook page.  My coaching cup runneth over!


Leaping into learning with EpCoP MOOC!

Leaping into learning

Leaping into learning

Joined up to the epcop mooc and am busily engaged in sifting through the mountains of information that are on the various sites, Ning etc. Really looking forward to getting started with the business. Attended the initial online session and enjoyed meeting up with the challenge mentors and Coach Carole. Bit like old home week for me but am loving just being a participant and working through it all. An impressive amount of work has been completed on the site – what a wealth of information! My main concern is being able to keep up with it all with my other commitments but I will give it my best shot!


Uno Bloggo!

The road ahead
The road ahead

I joined this WordPress Blog some time ago meaning to get back into blogging in a big way and look how long it has taken me to get started! However, I have joined the EpCoP MOOC and we are required to blog as part of the learning process so this has galvanised me into getting this blog back up and running.

It seems fairly user-friendly and I am starting to get the hang of what it will look like. No doubt I will spend many useless hours trying out all the themes but its what I like doing.  Just have to make sure I remember to blog as well!

I have made a little resolution to myself that I will blog at least once a week as a minimum. This is the same strategy that works for me with exercising. I set myself to walk at least 3 times a week. I can usually manage that and if I do more that is a bonus. If I set myself a target of walking every day, then of course there will be days when I cant and that just makes me feel like I have failed and tend to give up. I am hoping that this tactic of setting smaller bite-sized chunks of goals – or objectives, works with the blogging!

It will be easier having a road to follow in my blog – eg I have to blog primarily about the EpCoP MOOC journey so that will keep me focused.