Serendipitous Collaboration

Our Edublogs Serendipity sessions are unconference sessions. This means we don’t have a pre-planned topic but ask you to come along with topics you want to discuss and/or learn about. We put these on the whiteboard and the topic is chosen by a poll. This week was a very lively session (recording here) with worldwide participation from a great bunch of people. We started with a small number but people came in throughout the session so that we had about 17 participants.

Our poll at the start was a choice between three options:

  • best Skyping practices
  • managing student learning on very few resources
  • how to collaborate with other schools around the world

The hands down winner was collaboration!

Just to clarify for everyone – although we often use the term school throughout sessions we have regular participants from vocational, further and higher education and also librarians from these sectors as well as from schools. Using the term “school” is a convenience and refers to education in general.

Several people were already involved in collaboration with other schools around the world. These shared some of the strategies they use generating considerable discussion and ideas in text chat as well as through audio and on the whiteboard. One of our participants (Shelly, well known to many of us through Twitter (@ShellTerrell) and her blog) then described a particular complex collaboration (involving large numbers at each end of the conversation) that she is planning and asked for ideas. These came thick and fast ranging from single applications to blends of several and leading us once again to consideration of limited  bandwidth and its impacts  and implications. The session was itself a wonderful illustration/example of a global collaboration with all of us focussing on the practical strategies of managing a specific event.

By this point time was running out so feedback and future ideas were the order of the day – everyone then had a great time putting avatars, clipart and comments on the final whiteboard.

Final wbd 11 12 09

We finished up with a reminder that next week’s session (Thursday 17th or Friday 18th December depending on your timezone) is an End of Year party. We invite you to bring delicious virtual food or drink to share, and challenge you to develop and bring an Elluminate party game for us all to play. For ideas look out for my post about this in the next couple of days!

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