Practicing What I Preach – A Collaborative Learning Experience

screen1.gifOr, How 140 Characters Enhanced my Tuesday.

140 Characters. My average sentence length, because I am usually wordy, runs at about 120 characters. Long enough to convey a message, but without a great amount of depth. (For those of you counting, the first three sentences contained 171 characters.)

On Tuesday, in the course of 10 minutes, I received three messages from three different members of my personal learning network. Vicki Davis, a teacher in Camilla, Georgia, wrote:

Vicki Davis coolcatteacher Hey guys — someone come over here so we can check out google presentations – » link to Welcome to Google Docs & Spreadsheets about 22 hours ago from web

Darren Draper, a technology coordinator from Sandy, Utah added:

ddraper It’s a Google Presentations party. » link to Welcome to Google Docs & Spreadsheets about 22 hours ago from twitterrific Icon_star_empty

And Bud Hunt, a teacher from Colorado also added:

budtheteacher Learning about Google Presentations with lots of other folks. Come join us. » link to Welcome to Google Docs & Spreadsheets about 21 hours ago from web Icon_star_empty

Thus began one of the more interesting learning experiences I have had, ever.

With the announcement of Google Presentation yesterday, I filed the news away as something that I need to take a look at, but didn’t have a sufficient time during the course of the day yesterday to put it through its paces. But, I took the rish and clicked on the link and began an exciting journey and collaboratively learned about Google Presentation as a result of my learning network.

Upon the page loading, I noticed something remarkably different about Google Presentation. While someone was running the presentation which had been created, it did not take up the full screen. In the lower right hand side of the screen there was a chat window. Everyone who was collaborating on this document was not only testing features, but posting their findings for all to read. They were testing different fonts, adding images, importing PowerPoints, testing RSS feeds, you name it, all at the same time. Within a half hour of glancing at the progress, I was able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the program, due to the efforts of “the mob”.

At any point in time, there were 6 – 15 people working, testing, and most importantly, beginning to share strategies best practice, how this application could and should be introduced in the classroom and for professional development. There was a number of conversations about the chat feature, which can be saved, and posted, such as Vicki Davis did on her blog yesterday (Cool Cat Teacher – Google Presentation LIVE)

Collaborative project ideas began to emerge as other participants began to brainstorm about the uses of this product. And the conversation continues, 24 hours later, as we collectively try to make sense. Having finally joined the document as a collaborator, I have had invitations from a friend in Pennsylvania to conference later this afternoon via skype if I need additional help.

My transformative learning experience continues.

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2 thoughts on “Practicing What I Preach – A Collaborative Learning Experience

  1. The presentation acted as a conference as well: a place to make new connections (and now visit their blogs).
    All this collaborative effort was so simple to do, yet not that simple to explain. Take a simple question, for instance. How did I meet Vinnie? Well, I was introduced by a tweet in common, then we met on a Gdoc.
    If they don’t get it, I’ll refer them to this post.

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