Lighting up my students’ online lives with interactive Elluminate

Its a long time since I wrote a post so after Free Online PD on Friday (09:00 Western Australian time – GMT +8) where I did a session on Elluminate interactivity in the Edublogs/Elluminate community partnership virtual room I thought I really should continue my posts about using Elluminate. Last year when I was providing cross-college PD in e-learning (including Elluminate) I started a series of cartoons made with ToonDoo introducing some of the facets of working in virtual classrooms. I used a couple of these in Fridays session and thought maybe it would be fun to put some of them in posts when I’m writing about Elluminate and some of the tools and strategies that I find useful.

Most of my cartoons are two ToonDoo cartoons joined together like the one above on the social dimension in online learning.

For me – in my context – ie working with students who are often geographically isolated that social dimension is critical – both in Elluminate and in the Learning Management System that we use (currently CE6). On Friday in Online PD I tried to give all those in the session a feel for some of the strategies and Elluminate tools that I use to keep that social dimension in the forefront throughout my virtual classes.

I use a lot of game type activities – one of the simplest that is really good to help students get familiar with tools and also get some practice with them is a version of “Simon Says”. I think this has different names in different countries – so here is a short “toonscription”

Another advantage of this game is it gives you (as moderator) an opportunity to see if any students are particularly slow with the tools and to assess whether they might need extra help or are suffering from bandwidth/connection problems.

If you don’t normally have access to Elluminate and would like to try it out or use it for small meetings you can use this link to get your own free 3-user Elluminate v-Room! you are also very welcome at the Free Online PD sessions that happen through Elluminate each week Friday (09:00 Western Australian time – GMT +8). Read the Edublogger post from Sue Waters for more information.

This Friday (3rd April) we are following on from last week’s how to keep Elluminate sessions interactive by suggesting that participants try out something interactive they might use with their students. This should be an “elluminating” session! If you are coming along and plan to try something and there is anything you need clarifying beforehand then you are welcome to Tweet me @JoHart or ask your question in a comment to this post.