ACAL and ACTA Exchanging ways of being.

Introduction

A few weeks ago (7th-11th April 2016) I went to a great conference! The “Diversity: exchanging ways of being” Conference was jointly organised by the “Australian Council for Adult Literacy” (ACAL) and the “Australian Council of TESOL Associations” (ACTA) with the local host organisations being the “WA Adult Literacy Council” (WAALC) and the “Westralian Association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages” (WATESOL). It was fantastic to have so many LLN oriented people all together in one place, fabulous sessions and incredible networking!

ACAL ACTA conf

As always after conferences/events whether face-to-face or online I like to let my personal dust settle a little before I post my thoughts and reflections on the event. Now a few weeks later it feels like the right time to post!

I rarely attend face-to-face conferences – our own annual local WA Adult Literacy Council Conference being the only one I have attended for many years. There are several reasons for this:

  • I live in regional Western Australia, not too far from Perth but a long way from the Eastern states of Australia and the rest of the world so most conferences are not easy to get to;
  • I loathe flying – being both claustrophobic and not very good at heights – I find it frightening and stressful and it leaves me useless for a couple of days afterwards;
  • Large International conferences are expensive – I work in the public vocational education and training sector and my organisation has only limited funds available for professional development/conferences.

I do find it frustrating that with the multiple streams available in large conferences there are always so many sessions that I can’t attend! Online conferences by contrast usually record sessions so it is possible to catch up with any of particular interest later.

The Conference

I am just so delighted that I had the opportunity not just to attend the conference but also to present a workshop.

The buzz of all those LLN people gathered in one place was phenomenal and very exciting. Strictly it was two places – because sessions were in two Perth hotels just across a street from one another. However the need to move between buildings didn’t prevent the conference running (at least as far as I saw) extremely smoothly throughout, thanks to the efforts of the organisers.

The sessions I attended were all excellent and the Keynotes were outstanding. For me this conference “walked the talk” of “exchanging ways of being”. I think that combining the ACAL and ACTA conferences provided exceptional opportunities for networking and “cross pollination” of ideas and is something the two organisations should consider again, perhaps more regularly, in the future

The only downside for me was all those sessions I would love to have attended but couldn’t because they were concurrent with something else! In my opinion this is a huge and intractable problem with all major conferences. While providing concurrent sessions is a terrific way of catering for varied interests, it does also mean often being unable to attend everything that is relevant. Possible options for large conferences might include adopting some of the practices used in online conferences such as recording of some sessions so that they can be made available afterwards as videocasts or similar.

My own session

I deliver quite a lot of presentations/workshops on using technologies for facilitating learning to colleagues. This is in my own organisation, more widely in WA and Australia and also globally. Most of these in the last 10 years (with the exception of my own organisation and our WA Adult Literacy Council Conference) have been online. In all of these sessions (face-to-face and online I strive to use interaction and activities to keep the content interesting and illustrate the engagement potential of using technology as an adjunct to learning.

There were no computers available at the conference venue for session participants so I needed to make activities feasible for a “Bring your own device” (BYOD) context. A big challenge for me as in the majority of my past face-to-face sessions the participants were using desktop computers that all had the same operating system (ie Windows) and online they were mostly using their own familiar desktops or laptops rather than mobile devices. This made it relatively easy to be sure that everyone would be able to access the same tools, that we were exploring and using in the session. In this session we had a mixture of mobile phones and tablets and Android and iOS – some of the tools I use regularly with students are not compatible with one or more of these others need an installed app to work. So it was important to have illustrations of usage in my slides to minimise the frustrations felt by those who couldn’t easily access the tools via their device.

A further challenge for me was that I wanted the session to do two things: illustrate and provide opportunities for participants to extend their PLNs (ie exchange their own ways of being), and also introduce and explore some “tech” tools that could be used with students to facilitate them in exchanging their own ways of being.

My sessions always include a lot of link sharing – online this is very easy as links can usually be shared in chat boxes and/or on whiteboards. Not so easy in a face-to-face environment! However I have developed an approach that seems to work well – I put all the links I will need to share on a blog page – in this case ACAL/ACTA Conference 2016 – with some narrative, and then create a customised “bit.ly” link for that page so that people can easily type it into their device.

Integrating PLN development with tool sharing seemed to work very well. A lot of participants joined our FSTeach Facebook Group during the session and some tweeted with the #tag #FSTeach.

As is my wont in PD sessions I used a variety of tools and activities to encourage participation including online polling, online sticky notes and social media. I have posted the slides in Slideshare, and links to the tools and to the sticky not canvases are on the blog page ACAL/ACTA Conference 2016.

I really enjoyed doing this session – despite being quite nervous and apprehensive about whether the strategies I had planned would work. The participants were wonderful – so supportive throughout and happy and enthusiastic about engaging with the technologies. The two hours flew by and before I knew it the session was over!

Conclusion

When I was completing my workbased Adult Ed teaching qualification  in the UK over 25 years ago one of our lecturers was always telling us to “take risks” – she gave us a list of strategies and said we should try them all. I felt unhappy with this – my students were studying for national exams and I was unwilling to take risks with their learning. However when I looked at the list I had already used almost all of them! My whole life in teaching seems to have been about trying different things, or the same things in different ways. Always seeking to keep it interesting and to challenge students to get involved in their own learning. I try to do this ie “walk my own talk” in PD and conference presentations as well. For me this is particularly important, with respect to technology, and using the technology to support the learning – not as an end in itself. However, having said that, with the continually increasing significance of digital skills and digital literacy for future workplaces using the technology effectively, safely and critically is itself becoming one of the objectives!

I would love to see your thoughts (comments):

  • on the session – if you were there!
  • on the blog page and slideshare
  • on “taking risks”
  • on the increasing importance of digital skills and digital literacy to foundation skills/literacy/language/numeracy teaching.

 

Social media for professional development and networking

Introduction

A post for my colleagues who are beginning to consider social media for professional development.

The associated presentation is available on Slideshare

We all have some sort of Personal/Professional Learning Network (PLN). In the past this was based around people that we met face-to-face or communicated with by phone or letter. However the growth in online communication and social media has given rise to an immense expansion in the potential for learning through networks.

Personal/Professional Learning Networks

I have a large global network of educators across all sectors with whom I “chat” frequently and acquire links to many excellent resources, websites and articles. The main networks that I use are Twitter and Facebook, but I also use our statewide Adult Literacy and Numeracy Network (a Google Group), Google+, LinkedIn, social bookmarking and web conferencing. These “platforms” constitute my own Personal Learning Environment (PLE).

Much has been written about PLNs and how to develop your own PLN, this can only be a guide! Every PLN is different because it reflects the interests and personality of its “owner” and because the balance of platforms forming the PLE will vary.

PLN

One of the best ways to get started is through someone who already uses one or more of these platforms, who will act as your mentor. Both Twitter and Facebook are good platforms to start with – Twitter has the advantage of brevity, and Facebook the advantage of familiarity for many people. I usually recommend that people use both – they are both relatively easy to manage and it is also possible using one of the available clients to cross-post (this means post the same post on both platforms at the same time).

LinkedIn is a little different from other platforms in that it has more of a job/workplace focus. Many people who use it do so for the purpose of career development rather than professional learning.

Be careful about where and what personal information you share. Keep your home address, mobile and home phone number, private email, and anything similar out of comments and posts.

If you are new to PLN/PLE you can find getting started information in:

 Conclusion

This post and those about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are intended to help you get started. The next step will be actively participating in those networks.

If you have any questions please use the comments on this or one of the other posts to ask them and I will do my best to reply.

Twitter for professional development/networking

Introduction

Twitter is a social networking/microblogging platform. The main difference between Twitter and other platforms is that posts may only be 140 characters long – and no, this doesn’t restrict conversations! Twitter is great for quick updates – and yes we do sometimes mention food! Just as we might ask “How was lunch?” when a colleague returns past our desk. As with all networking the “social” interaction “oils the wheels” of the professional relationship. So how do you get started with Twitter as a professional development and networking tool?

Getting started

1. Go to the Twitter website and sign up.

Twitter2 500px

This includes creating a “username”. Ideally your username should be fairly short and should identify you – your name or a variant on it usually works well (my own Twitter name or “handle” is “@JoHart”).

2. Once you have signed up it is important to add an image (avatar) and complete your biography (bio). These will influence people to “follow you” or not. Twitter only gives you 140 characters for your bio so make every word count! If you want an example visit my Twitter page. There is much discussion about what is appropriate in terms of images. If you are using Twitter largely for PD then a photo is probably best, alternatively a cartoon image that you can create with a tool such as Mangatar.

3. Now it’s time to start following people and posting! There is no rush to build a huge list of followers, take your time – there are educators from all over the world on Twitter. You can tap into ideas and conversations from all sectors not just VET/Adult Ed.

4. If you follow @JoHart and Tweet me – put @JoHart in your Tweet and I will see it, I will be able to Tweet you with a couple of lists with relevant people and also some individuals that share interesting content and links.

TwitterChat

Once you have got started – especially if you want to join in or follow Twitter chats – it is a good idea to use a “Twitter Client” to help you organise and manage the flow of Tweets. A TwitterChat is a conversation carried out between any number of people using a #tag so that they can all follow and participate in the conversation. There are some excellent structured TwitterChats that select a topic each week (often using a poll) and then have a designated time for discussion the topic for one hour using Twitter. The discussion is then often summarised and made available online. One of the TwitterChats that I have joined in the past is #ELTchat, this has a focus on English Language Teaching and posts regular summaries of the chats.

As with starting to use Twitter or Facebook there are many “how to” posts available for using Twitter Clients, this “Beginners Guide to Tweetdeck” from “Mashable” is quite comprehensive.

Conclusion

This post focuses on getting started. If you have any questions please use comments to ask your question and I will try to help.

 

Facebook as a professional development resource/platform

Introduction

This post is for my colleagues considering the use for Facebook as a professional development platform. At some time soon I will post on using Facebook with students.

Facebook is used for social connections around the world, however it is also a great platform for professional development. Facebook has the capacity for you to “meet” others with similar interests and come together in “Groups” to discuss and share those interests. It is particularly important with Facebook that you understand and use your privacy settings so that you know who sees your posts. You also need to keep an eye on the Facebook settings because Facebook sometimes reverts things to defaults – especially what appears in your Newsfeed.

Fb1Getting started

1. Go to the Facebook website and sign up. Facebook expects you to use your own name and this is the preferred option anyway if you are using Fb for professional development. I have a second completely separate Fb account (using my work email) that I use for any student interaction.

2. Once you have signed up it is important to complete at least part of your profile ideally including an image (avatar). There is much discussion about what is appropriate in terms of images. If you are using Facebook largely for PD then a photo is probably best, alternatively a cartoon image that you can create with a tool such as Mangatar.

3. Now it’s time to start “Friending” people and/or joining Groups and posting! These are two  Facebook groups for VET sector educators:

  • VET Training and Assessment Networking opportunity for VET trainers and assessors across all Industry groups
  • FS Teach Specialist group for Foundation Skills (LLN and Employability Skills) practitioners

There are many other educator groups globally and a lot of these are cross-sectoral, here are just  few:

  • Educators using Facebook  For educators to share resources ,experiences ,teaching opportunities , educational innovations , best practices and other useful links with other educators
  • FacingIT   A group managed by Australian educators for anyone facing up to the challenges of using information technologies for communicating, teaching and learning.
  • Apps for Education  This group was started so that educators can share any apps that they use for education.

For industry connections look up your own industry area in the Facebook search to find groups relevant to your industry.

Some privacy and security points

I use one Facebook account for personal purposes and professional development. If you mostly use groups for your pd then your personal connections won’t get all your pd type posts. I use a second account to keep my student interaction separate and the two accounts are not “Friends” with one another.

It is particularly important with Facebook that you understand and use your privacy settings so that you know who sees your posts.

You also need to keep an eye on the Facebook settings because Facebook sometimes reverts things to defaults – especially what appears in your Newsfeed. If it doesn’t say “Viewing most recent stories” under the box where you type your post then you will be seeing “Top posts” ie the most popular. To correct this and see all posts from your connections go to the left hand column and look at the dropdown beside “Newsfeed” (top menu item under your avatar). Choose “Most recent” then you will see all posts from those you are connected to.

Your groups are listed on the left hand side, to see posts and to post in the groups you need to be on the group page.

Conclusion

This post is just about getting started and finding some potentially useful groups for professional development and networking. If you have any questions please  comment on this post and ask your question in the comment.

Edublogs webinar overviews Oct 2013

Introduction

Still running behind on webinar overviews. A digest of  our recent webinars over the last few weeks.

Fine Focus – Presenting with Blackboard Collaborate

As always this session was recorded. The session was our last webinar before the Reform Symposium Online Conference #RSCON #RSCON4 and so we decided to provide a further training/practise/question and answer opportunity for presenters/volunteers.

Serendipity 17/18 Oct 2013

In this recorded Serendipity session we talked about the recent Reform Symposium Conference #RSCON #RSCON4. We were a small group and all of us had had some involvement as participants or presenter/volunteer/organiser, so the session provided an opportunity for us to share our thoughts, reflections and ideas.

Fine Focus – “Tech Smackdown”

This was another recorded session the intention was a quick tech smackdown type share of some favourite tools/applications that save time or that we use with students but we ended up discussing a variety of: tried and tested tools, some previously used with students and some new that we plan to try. All in all a great session with many shared links.

Serendipity 31 Oct/1 Nov 2013

In this recorded Serendipity session our chosen topic was “Blended Learning”. We started with a discussion on our understanding of the term blended learning, moved on to share tools that have been part of our best blended learning experiences, considered some of the advantages, and ended with a brief look at how/why we choose tools and strategies for blended learning.

Conclusion

Once again I am finally up to date with posting webinar links. Sorry again for the short session descriptions.

Our Next Webinar

FineFocusSmallOur next webinar will be an Edublogs “FineFocus” session on Thursday Nov 7th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday Nov 8th at 7am West Aus, later in the  morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room.

Edublogs webinar overviews – Several recent webinars

Introduction

Over the last few weeks I have fallen very behind with overviews so this week is a double overview for four recent webinars. There will be less detail than usual about each webinar because I feel it is important to share the links which I have not yet done rather than write detailed overviews.

Exploring Sticky note walls

This recorded session was a FineFocus session in which we explored some of the online “sticky note” walls available. We started as we so often do with “where are you coming from” on the topic questions. These elicited that all but one of us had used sticky wall notes at some time.

We finished up with an opportunity to share our own preferences – several links had been shared earlier via text, a look at our “take-aways” from the session and some quick feedback!

Serendipity

A really interesting session – recorded as always in which we discussed several topics, this is something we do more often in Serendipity at the moment as we are often a small group. Topics were:

  • Sharing links – in which we shared links that had interested us recently
  • Hacking – concerns about our devices and information being accessed unbeknownst to us. This topic gave rise to the following week’s FineFocus – see below.
  • “Technology terrorising teachers – does it? what can we do about it?

As always time went too fast and it was the end of the session!

Keeping the “Black Hats” at bay

This was a terrific recorded session by @philhart (when he isn’t teaching Phil is a freelance computer consultant) who gave us a very thought provoking insight into the risks we take every time we connect to the Internet, and into some of the strategies for reducing these risks.

Phil dis a great job of demystifying some of the jargon. He also made the point strongly that there is no complete answer – all we can do is be vigilant. I certainly came out of the session with much greater knowledge and awareness than I had when I went in! I would suggest catching the recording to anyone who has any concerns about online security – and really this should be everyone!

Another Serendipity!

This was another enjoyable recorded session in which we took a look at several topics:

  • linking/embedding webinars in posts
  • an update on “willing your digital empire”
  • how would you cope with NO paper available for class

Interesting topics – there will be a FineFocus coming up on “Willing your digital empire”, and the “no paper” question always raises interesting ideas. Of course we always assume that “no paper” means that we do have technology. 🙂

Conclusion

These were great sessions and my apologies for not doing them justice in the overviews!

Our Next Webinar

Our next webinar will be an Edublogs “FineFocus” session on Thursday May 30th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday June 1st at 7am West Aus, later in the  morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room.

Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – cool tools and other things!

Introduction

In this recorded Serendipity session our chosen topic was “cool new tools” – although this extended to cool tools, not necessarily new, that we use! We also decided to take a look at some of the other suggestions if time allowed.

The Session

We had some new tools shared and also some old favourites.

 

Always interesting to find out what everyone else is using and often even more interestingly HOW they are using it. We had a great conversation around these tools and how/why we use or in some cases don’t use them!

One of the best things about Serendipity is that we often look at more than just the one chosen topic. This gives people an opportunity to share briefly what is currently on their mind and get input from others. In this session we talked about the pressure imposed by assessment and reporting requirements, and an interesting sidelight on the need to translate a report into a parental first language. Yet another pressure that would not have existed 30 years ago! The topic of free live conferences was also discussed briefly – there are now many of these globally but not at the moment one that is at generally Australia friendly times. (Most of us in the session were Australia based).

Conclusion

A great session – Serendipity is always fun and enlightening!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is a FineFocus session. Join us for “Accessibility Standards?” in which we take a look at some of the issues around accessibility of e-learning content and some of the standards introduced to try and make it more accessible. Join us on Thursday April 4th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning April 5th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs webinar overviews – Serendipity (infographic homework) &FineFocus – “good” presentations

Introduction

This post covers two webinars. A Serendipity session in which we shared and discussed our infographic “homework” from the previous session and a FineFocus discussion session about what makes “good” presentations.

Serendipity – infographic tools

This recorded session was a Serendipity (unconference) session with a difference as it continued the theme from the previous session. We shared our “homework” infographics resulting from the previous session and found that most of us experienced a degree of frustration with the infographic tools such that some of us had not used the online tools. @jofrei picked up on a need expressed in the FineFocus session and has created a visual for one of our participants in the USA – Jo has posted about this. In my case I did two infographics one with one of the tools we experimented with and one with Powerpoint!

I put my two infographics on the screen WITHOUT labels for the tools I had used and asked the group for comments/preference. The one made with Powerpoint was preferred. This one was quicker and easier for me to make partly because I am very familiar with Powerpoint. However I did find that consistently selecting and moving shapes in the other application was much more difficult.

The discussion moved on to consider whether the proliferation of tools available for very specific tasks is necessarily a good thing, especially when there are more general tools that can be used very effectively. My personal thoughts on this are that the choice can perhaps be bewildering for those relatively new to e-tools, and can also sometimes produce a tendency to use the tech for techs sake. I feel it is important to remember that the “best” tool for a task is not necessarily the newest and trendiest but the one that suits the user best. I now realise that the reason I had not used infographic generators previously is that I don’t need them as I can create better ones with tools I already use. Of course this may change  – we live in an era of rapid change so I could feel quite differently in a year’s time.

“Good” presentations

This recorded session was one that arose from some comments in the Serendipity session above relating to appropriate tools for tasks. On this occasion we had a structured discussion about what makes “good” presentations and whether this varies with the purpose and audience. FineFocus discussions are differentiated from those we have in Serendipity sessions by the fact that they are structured in advance and that we often use pre-prepared stimulus questions and/or resources.

Ideas flew thick and fast on the whiteboards and in text chat and audio.

We took a look at presentations from several perspectives including:

  • checking out some posts on presentations,
  • considering audience and purpose
  • features of presentations as a continuum from boring to interactive
  • the ‘fine line” of getting it right for audience and purpose

Presentations in one form or another are something that we, as educators, do all the time. Using e-tools and strategies adds a new dimension and perhaps can help us to avoid a “death by ….” with whichever presentation tool we are using. We should always remember it isn’t the fault of the tool if we do a boring presentation!

Conclusion

Two lively sessions! Lots of ideas links and interactivity.

Our Next Webinar

Our next webinar will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday February 28th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday March 1st at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic

 

Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – reading to dogs, why great apps close, mismatched expectations

Introduction

Again a Serendipity session where we didn’t vote on a topic! When we are only  very small group as has been the case often lately it works well for us to briefly visit several topics. This week we looked a “reading to dogs”, “why great programs/apps close” and 2stC expectations in a digital age. As always we recorded the session.

(For the link for live webinars and info about the times and topics scroll to the bottom of this post)

The session

This was an interesting session starting wih a look at “reading to dogs” a fascinating topic shared by @jofrei about “Reading Assistance Dogs” who help reluctant readers with reading aloud by being non-judgemental listeners. Jo shared a number of links, and this caused us to widen our thoughts into other animals as “assistants”

We then moved on to consider some possible reasons why what we feel are great programs/apps disappear or are changed beyond recognition by being taken over.

An offshoot from this included thoughts on the proliferation of new apps many of which seem to be very similar in purpose and which often don’t last long. My own leanings are towards using Open Source apps maintained by the community. This is because it appears to me that anything small and commercial that is good is immeditely a target for takeover by one of the giants in the field. It is then either shut down because it was a competitor or changed beyond recognition in the name of re-badging. These closures of good apps also raise issues about loss of personal data that has been uploaded and/or the complexities of removing it and transferring to a new platform. This provides a strong argument for having everything backed up in the “down here” and not just up in the cloud.

Our final very briefly visited topic was about the continuing existence of 20th Century expectations/methodologies being applied to assessment of learners who are learning using digital technology. This raised questions about: the time spent teaching the students how to use the tech tools instead of working with content; and the fact that students no longer need to learn and regurgitate content but must instead be able to evaluate information that they source from the Internet and make informed judgements on its reliability. This is definitely a topic for a full Finefocus session in the future!

Conclusion

As always a fascinating session – we almost forgot to stop at the finish time! These flying visits to several topics in a session are fun, and they work well with a small group.

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session. In this session Phil Hart (@philhart) will take us on an introductory look at e-publishing in “E-publish or be e-damned”.  Join us on Thursday August 23rd at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning August 24th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – emerging tech et al

Introduction

As has been the case a couple of times recently this was  a Serendipity session where we didn’t vote on a topic! The consensus was to take a quick look at all three that were proposed – “Emerging technologies for the classroom”, “Introduction to PLNs” and “rscon4” The last of these is a little cryptic. It refers to the Reform Symposium Conference for which a date has not yet been finalised. The hashtag seems likely to be #rscon4. The session was, as always, recorded.

(For the link for live webinars and info about the times and topics scroll to the bottom of this post)

The session

A lively session with much sharing on the whiteboard and in text chat, although I felt – as so often that I talked too much!

We began with a whiteboard of ideas about emerging technologies. 

Then shared our knowledge of those we had any experience with – my particular fascination out of this part of the session was with the concept of 3D printers. Something completely new to me & definitely out of the realms of science fiction! This was the longest part of the session.

Our next topic was “Introduction to PLNs”. Again we used a whiteboard to share our thoughts on the variety of tools and strategies we use as part of our own individual PLNs. Any discussion about PLNs is always worthwhile because there are always new thoughts and angles on how we each view them. This was a “flying visit” to the world of the PLN but sufficient to give a flavour!

Finally another “flying visit” this time to “#rscon4” this is actually the probable #tag for this year’s (or maybe early next year’s) – the date is yet to be finalised – Reform Symposium Conference. This was a very short chat as the planning for rscon4 is still in the early stages. However it seems it will be a very exciting event using multiple strands and platforms.

Conclusion

This was a great session – I always find something new and interesting to me personally in every session. However some stand out more than others and 3D printers are a definite standout for me. The whole idea is getting so close to Star Trek “replicators” that I can almost hope for “transporter beams” to enable me to travel without the claustrophobic “tin tube” experience of flying!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session. This week Lisa Conrad (@ljconrad) – the Moderator of  the lively Twitterchat for Gifted and Talented (#gtchat) will give us a “heads up” on #gtchat and on moderating a #chat.  Join us on Thursday August 9th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning August 10th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.