#BYOD4L Day 5 - It's here and then it's gone....or is it?

I’m writing these reflections about the final night of the BYOD4L course, several days after it happened. They will be a little fuzzy so please bear with me. This post might be giving the game away a little, but I'm sure it is in the spirit of the course to be open and accessible. :-)

I was tasked with facilitating the final tweetchat with Chrissi Nerantzi on the topic of creating. We have worked together a number of times delivering workshops for MELSIG events. We work well together because we share a fun approach to teaching and learning, although I have to confess  when I deliver presentations or facilitate workshops I tend not to enjoy surprises! So  when she mentioned that we would change the format of the last day on the Thursday night! I was a little uneasy . I wasn't concerned about Chrissi as she has been living this project (with Sue Beckingham) since November last year. As for me, I tend to favour structure and organisation when in a learning support role, so when I heard the word chaos, my internal control freak started twitching! How would I adapt to this creative chaos? 

Let me explain the chaos. Two new elements were introduced into the tweetchat format and differed from the previous proceedings. Firstly, a call for participants to test out their smart devices camera. 

During the day, participants were asked to create an artifact of their experience on the course. In addition, the plan was to use the' question shower' method which I've never used before.This meant encouraging participants to answer each others questions with another question in the  It wasn't really chaos, as I was well informed about what was going to happen and there was a structure there (wheeeeew) but it was a risk to change the format on the last evening ( Friday night)  when there would certainly be less participants. Would it pay off?

As before, we had used the Facebook facilitators group and comments in Google docs to keep each other updated about the plans for the evening. By 7.30pm I dealt with my fatherly duties and was setting myself up for a torrent of ideas and chat through my favorite social media tool. As mentioned in a previous post, I'm fortunate to have a few devices to help me manage the maelstrom. The laptop was running Tweetdeck with two columns set up following #BYOD4L and #BYOD4Lchat. I'd also used this tool to set up a few reminder tweets for participants leading up to tweetchat time.  I used my Samsung S3 Twitter app with mentions/interactions switched on vibrate, as well as my iPad to ensure I was responsive and communicating with participants. The iPad ended up being used for a DM (direct message) back channel with Chrissi. Banter ensued! 

The chat itself worked very well I thought. There was a convivial atmosphere as Andrew points out. Someone described it as being like the end of term...it was Friday night after all! The question shower elicited some deep probing around the nature of what we were all participating in, sharing mostly positive view about the course and the journey people were travelling but also I felt and implicit commitment among participants to bring these ideas to bear on their own practice and help influence others. Perhaps I'm projecting a little, as this was certainly how I felt. I also felt tired!  Once the tweetchat finished at 9pm (GMT) I downed tools and unplugged myself from all my social streams, turned off my laptop and powered down my iPad. It had been a long week in my day job and the effect of participating in the chats in the evening, as well as blogging about the experience and keeping up with the back channel chatter in three spaces has left me feeling a little exhausted. Goodness knows how the others felt!

My Creation was not very well thought through and was actually completed minutes into the chat. I used a site called Noteography on the desktop, but there is an iPad app (android coming soon). I really like using this tool as its quick, easy to use, and is another way of creating interesting images for presentations. Is this a creative act? Does allowing an algorithm to manipulate your text demonstrate creativity? I'm not too sure about that, but what I am sure about is the result: nice, clean, stylish graphic without using photoshop. This is interesting to me as there were a few apps mentioned and used to create videos, slides and images where text was input into a app or service and the out came an interesting piece of multimedia. Apps can make the creative process simpler for everyone - expert and novice alike. 

I plan to write a few more posts about the course, even though the facilitated was here and now its gone, it really is just the start for me and how I filter and assimilate all the ideas I've been exposed to this past week.