What I Learned in Three Hours

By Helen Torigoe, Guest Contributor
University of Hawai‘i, Educational Technology Master’s Degree Candidate 

TCC 2012 Worldwide Online Conference began at 7 a.m. HST this morning.  By 10:00 a.m., I had learned several teaching methods that I would like to try out in my classroom.  My classes are still (the old-fashioned) face-to-face but the ideas I gained from these sessions about online classes seem nevertheless applicable.

Virginia Tucker’s research (using Facebook) confirmed the stages of a virtual community – introduction, identification, interaction, involvement, and inquiry (Waltonen, 2008).  Building trust and sense of community happens in stages.

Barbara McKenna and Michelle Reinhardt presented GICE method – this web hosting guide, source here, inspire, challenge, and empower – to engage and empower learners.  More hands-on instruction during guide and inspire stages, then almost hands-off toward the end, the empower stage.  Evidences of an empowered student might be self-motivation, self-inquiry, mentoring others, etc.

Melissa Holmberg and Therese Kanai said an instructor bio is an important connection for potential learners as it tells them how the faculty member is qualified and why he or she might be interested in what is to be learned.  A welcoming bio would make the students feel comfortable and put them at ease.  There was also a caution to not share too much personal information, especially about one’s children.  In summary, an instructor’s bio should be used to support his or her credibility at a professional level.

Dr. Holmberg and Dr. Kanai had a second presentation about using Skype in an online classroom for office equipment, hours, collaboration, and meetings.

Lots of information and learning in just the first three hours.  So much more to come.

Waltonen-Moore, S., Stuart, D., Newton, E., Oswald, R., & Varonis, E. (2008). From virtual strangers to a cohesive online learning community: The evolution of online group development in a professional development course. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14 (2), 287-311.

Readers: If you participated in TCC 2012, what did you takeaway from it? What practices might you change in your teaching? We look forward to your responses in the comment area below.

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