Photo by Chris Heur I just finished the first part of a Webinar series on tagging for Extension. What I have really enjoyed about teaching (and learning) with Extension professionals is their willingness to experiment.
A few weeks back Nancy White, Steve Song, and I traded some emails about workshop curriculum to teach tagging nonprofit and development professionals. Some notes are on the KM4Dev Wiki. So, its been on my mind how to translate some of the off activities to an online environment in light of the Webinar.
When doing the icebreaker face-to-face, I ask people to “tag themselves” with actual tags and then walk around the room and find someone they want to have a conversation with based on their tag. So, I wanted to port this online. The Extension initiative using Adobe Breeze with has a chat function that is has private chat. I had about 20 people on the call. Here were the instructions:
- Pick three words or tags that describe your work focus that you are most passionate about
- Something you would love to have a conversation about it
- Type those three words into the chat
- Take a minute to scan the chat transcript (full screen of that window)
- Find someone based on their keyword to have a private chat
- Have a conversation
- Ask them to share an important web resources on that topic
In the physical room or face-to-face, people can see whether or not someone is talking with another person. So, I was a little afraid that some people would get pinged by two others. I got some questions about how to use the private chat and I was able to guide them through that. What I didn't realize was that Breeze has color coding for the chat that indicates whether your chat is being shared with the group or another person.
As the instructor, in the physical space, I say three minutes, but it may be slightly shorter or longer because I use the noise level in the room to determine when to stop and debrief. With the chat, I had not idea whether people were engaged in a meaningful chat or not. If I had everyone chat to one another at once, that might have been too chaotic.
The point of the exercise was to be able to say:
Tagging allows you to connect with other people who are interested in the topics you care about – to share or discover resources.
We didn't get a chance to verbally debrief or via chat - what was the experience like. So, I'm hoping some of the participants will offer that in the comments.
One of the questions that came up was "How do get a tagging community - does it start on its own or is there some guidance or facilitation?" A little bit of both.
With the reflection exercise - I decided to create it by pointing to exciting instructional materials - both videos and text instructions.
Now, I have figure out jabber ...