Reflections on the EVO experience


How very frustrating to have to write this for a third time, but hopefully 3 is a lucky number.

I attended 2 workshops in this, my first, year at the electronic village online. One was about powerpoint presentations (PPt) and the other was about openweb publishing (OWP), also know as web2.0 if I understand correctly. The moderators in both workshops were excellent, supportive, motivating, and just generally very friendly and responsive. Both groups were very rewarding and I learned a lot. However, they were very different in the amount of time and intensity of attention that was required.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete the PPt sessions, not just because of the other commitments I had, but also because I was completely absorbed in what was going on in OWP. Whereas PPt was focussed on technical skills and pedagogical considerations, OWP was opening up a whole new world and way of thinking, which I had to get my brain around. We were advised to choose no more than 2 workshops, which I think was a wise decision, but I really think that some workshops hardly allow further ones alongside. I write this not just out of my own experience, but also my observation of others who also had choosen these 2.

PPt gave me an aim to work towards, with excellent examples and wonderful advice. PPt motivated me to experiment and improve my work with this tool.

OWP gave me a starting point for a new look at learners, learning, collaborating and growing. OWP gave me strong connections, ties to others and starting points in all sorts of directions. I have grown so much in the space of 2 months and will continue to grow, of that I am sure. And many people have contributed to this growth. There are so many names that it would be a long list, but here are a few of the people who have especially affected my thinking.

Bee Dieu (there is only one Bee!), such an excellent moderator, who patiently nudges others along to experiment and grow and is always there willing to help. Graham Stanley, whose blog I’ve been subscribed to for a while, for his EFL bridges and excellent blog contributions. Will Richardson, who coined the term ‘clickability’, and George Siemens with ‘connectivity’, are both inspiring people! The people who responded to my posts and who provided food for thought on their posts.

So, can a 6-week workshop on-line with people you’ve never met face to face affect the way you think? — to a certain extent, yes!