#BYOD4L Day 1 – Connecting

The latest iteration of #BYOD4L got underway today with the topic of connecting.  Connecting is fundamental to learning, and particularly to learning (openly) online. As part of the week we are running informal drop in sessions every lunchtime this week to connect with staff and students across the university.

Yesterday we had a good discussion about using communication services/apps (in particularly twitter) in the classroom.  Finding time to just think about how to potentially integrate new communication channels into a class is an issue for many staff, however we are seeing more and more people set up module hashtags and integrate a twitter feed directly in their modules in GCU Learn (our VLE). Inspired by the tweet chat on Sunday between #byod4l and #txeduchat one of our lecturers is now going to try and adapt the ideas used on Sunday night (particularly the selfies and doodles) into induction activities.  Hopefully that can not only let staff and students try out twitter in a relatively simple way but also build confidence for future use, including more focused tweet chats on specific topics.

Although many of our staff and students do have mobile devices, they are not universal.  Booking out pool devices can often be more time consuming for staff and students as apps have to be downloaded each session. So whilst having spare tablets in theory is a good idea, in practice it’s not really that great if you can only access them for short periods of time and settings are wiped when they are returned to the central point.   You get most out of any device if you are able to personalise and access it all the time.  The campaign for iPads for staff and students continues . . .  and we move onto day 2’s topic communicating.

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3 thoughts on “#BYOD4L Day 1 – Connecting

  1. The drop in sessions are great for inspiration & motivation; everyone was so enthusiastic it makes me want to engage, and try stuff, just so I can join in the chat and use my experiences to personally help others. If communicating was the theme of yesterday then the message was received – and today, in keeping with theme, I have connected so far today with twitter, LinkedIn and now my first ever engagement with WordPress!
    I did spend some time (probably too much) enthusiastically signing up for various services/apps and meticulously personalising them on my ipad – this validates our discussions about using pool devices, as i think feeling ownership and connection with your actual device is an important part in the engagement process. It also allowed me to explore & prepare in my own time, before the point of scheduled activity, which both increased my confidence & my participation.
    My initial thoughts at my GCU supported meeting yesterday was to utilise social media more as a way of connecting & ice-breaking leading to and at the point of induction, but keeping this open throughout the year. On reflection I think this is the perfect strategy, as any activity offered will be no-pressure, flexible, and hopefully encourage engagement with social media (which they may or may not be already comfortable with). I also feel a strategy to do this is in all 4 levels of the programme is important; hopefully this will make the approach more collaborative & supportive for the staff, but also communicate to the students that this is not just a ‘fad’ or one person ‘having a go’. Of course, a wee pilot of some bits & bobs over the next few weeks is need to ensure I have a plan of action.
    There’s so much shiny, flashy, jingly stuff out there, I need to focus and increase my mastery – and I hope this approach will take my team & my students with me.

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