Edublogs webinar overviews Oct 2013


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.


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.

Getting ready for Reform Symposium Conference


I have been helping with Reform Symposium (#RSCON4) preparations, mostly with some training and ideas for presenters and moderators on using BlackboardCollaborate.

Some things work and some things don’t!

We all have our “wish lists” of what we would ideally like to do/like to have available when we present at conferences. It isn’t always possible/practicable to do exactly what we would like. Most venues will have some restrictions of some sort on our dreams.

Online venues may often appear more restrictive than the face-to-face environment. However they do often also have advantages, not least of which is the opportunity for people from around the globe to join sessions at no significant cost in time, travel and money. Enabling a global audience to participate does itself impose some restrictions – not everyone has access to fast Internet connections and if we truly want to be global in our reach we need to consider this when planning our presentations. BlackboardCollaborate is a very good platform to use as it is less bandwidth “heavy” than many alternatives and also has great tools for interactivity and audience participation that can be used without high bandwidth.

Despite the bandwidth advantages of using BlackboardCollaborate there are some applications it is better to avoid or use with great care when participants may face bandwidth challenges. One of these is using application share to present a Prezi.

No Prezi in BbCOthers are:

  • keeping your webcam live throughout – a few minutes at the beginning is usually OK;
  • multiple live microphones – better to restrict the permitted number of live microphones at any one time to one or perhaps two;
  • any rapid scrolling or change when application sharing;
  • using breakout rooms.

Those have evolved for me over several years of BbC experience in working with online students in regional Western Australia where we experience regular bandwidth challenges, but even so are far better served than many parts of the globe!


If you are presenting or moderating and have not yet had the opportunity for any training then join us on Thursday/Friday for one of our regular Edublogs FineFocus webinars (start time 23:00 UTC/GMT on Thursday 10th October – evening in the USA and Friday morning in Asia/Pacific) for a session aimed at helping presenters and moderators. This session is in our usual *Edublogs/BlackboardCollaborate Community Partnership room

*NB you cannot join this room from iPad or Android.




Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – emerging tech et al


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.


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.