Thursday, June 7, 2012

PL 28/12: Skills, formats, tasks and time

Filed under: LATINA — plinius @ 8:17 pm

When we do a LATINA training, we work with several different time scales.

Individual learning sessions (or learning events) typically last a couple of hours. We do, however, make a much more detailed plan for for the sequence of activities inside each session. Here, the unit of planning plan is seldom longer than ten minutes, and we sometimes plan minute by minute. Each learning session has four basic components: the topic (task/theme),  the person or persons that participate as teachers, instructors or assistants, the duration (minutes) and a sequence of learning formats.

A 90 minute session can for instance consist of

  • five minute video +
  • five minutes group discussion +
  • fifteen minutes plenary discussion +
  • a five minute demonstration +
  • thirty minutes individual computer work +
  • twenty minutes plenary discussion (based on the computer exercise)
  • ten minutes individual blog writing (e.g. “what did I learn in this session?”)

When we do class based workshops, we usually schedule about six clock hours, or three to four separate sessions, a day. This means thirty clock hours or fifteen to twenty sessions a week. Our summer courses in Oslo last for three weeks. Since we require some work in advance and hope for some individual follow-up, this corresponds to a full month of learning.

The teachers may spend an equal amount of their time preparing the course.  Since we deal with a field in rapid change, and want to work near the development front, we must revise both the content and the forms of presentation thoroughly every time. Monitoring the field of elearning and digital librarianship throughout the year is a necessity.

LATINA is not a crash course. Learning is a marathon race, not a hundred meter dash.

LATINA is intended as a bridge between two worlds. We all come from traditional schools and universities. We need to unlearn the habits of industrial society in order to develop habits – or ways of working – that will serve us well in the new digital world.  We must move from a familiar to an unfamiliar environment. We are digital immigrants.

It takes years to settle down in a country.  We assume that teachers and participants in LATINA will need equal amounts of time to get rooted in the new learning environment.

During the first day of the course in Kampala we plan to cover the following themes, tasks or topics (Ts):

  • Formal opening.
  • Overview of calendar.
  • Overview of practical issues.
  • Social computing.
  • Flipped classroom.
  • Practical introduction to our digital environment.
  • Group processes.
  • Group formation in practice.
  • Conduct picture searches.
  • Write blog comments.
  • Self-presentation through pictures (visual communication).
  • Presentation techniques.
  • Theory and practice of learning logs.

Each topic is covered through one or two formats. For instance:

  • The opening is (likely to be) a series of brief speeches in the full class (plenary). We try to keep the total time down to 15 or 20 minutes. Openings are necessary, but provide little learning through time on task
  • The overviews (10 minutes + 20 minutes) also take place in the full class. They combine information from the staff with spontaneous questions and answers.
  • The initial lectures will (probably) combine a Pecha Kucha introduction (7 minutes) with a brief discussion (7 minutes).
  • Picture searches (20 minutes) are carried out individually, but people sit in groups.

Additional and potential topics

  • How to design learning sequences
  • How to produce books in the ePub format
  • How to set up social magazines
  • How to animate slides
  • How to design blended exhibitions (virtual + physical)
  • How to design home pages
  • How to design posters
  • How to prepare and conduct executive presentations
  • How to use the Pecha Kucha presentation format
  • How to create and use QR codes
  • How to use Twitter in teaching and learning
  • How to interpret web analytics
  • How to create information graphics
  • How to interpret information graphics
  • Working with uncertain web access from a technical point of view
  • Working with uncertain web access from a pedagogical point of view



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