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    Teaching Effectively Online

Lesson Four: Online Interaction Considerations
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Required Submissions for Lesson Four:

1. Read the lesson and View a few videos and Explore resources within the recommended time for each lesson. (One hour)

2. Visit Classroom20 – a ning social media site, and review ning tutorial videos, and explore other well established ning sites. 

3. You have been invited to join the Social Media for Educators ning!
Pop in, ( http://loneeagleacademy.ning.com ) look around, and leave a friendly message in the Teaching Effectively Online forum (Click on Forums in the menu bar,) and, optional but recommended,
post a photo, and/or a video. Message your instructor via private email as to what you contributed and your thoughts on the Ning. Send any questions to your instructor.
(One Hour)

4. Review the collaborative tools and tutorials at

Search for "free web curriculum tools" "free tools for teachers" and experiment just to see how many toolkits and directories of tools are already out there.  Contribute three new links under your name on our class wiki Front page at http://teachingonlinewiki.pbworks.com.

(Just click "edit" at the top, and when done click "save" at the bottom.) And consider creating a topical hotlist on your personal class wiki page and sharing the link with the class. 

(Click on New Page on the right to create your own new page as you did in lesson 3.)

 (One hour)


5. View IPAD Transformed Classroom Video (20 minutes)


  6. Post to the class listserv; teaching-L@netpals.lsoft.com
  Advise on your best collaborative tool experiences, your knowledge of the best sites listing
  educational collaborative tools, and your experience with apps, including listing a half dozen
 of your favorite apps.
(40 minutes)


Painting a Moving Train

When the Internet became popularized around 1995, email and free listservs (also called mailing lists or groups) were the most widely used collaborative tools. Ex. Google Groups: http://groups.google.com Spam has proliferated and diminished the practical utility of both email and listservs. Web conferencing sites require everyone remembers to check messages, which is a major limitation unless you have a thoroughly committed group. However, many web conferencing systems do offer an option similar to listservs to email all postings automatically.


While blogs are popular, only 2% of Internet users actually use RSS to automatically receive postings, but the numbers will grow as the efficiencies become better understood. In short, there is a trade-off between simplicity and efficiency. To use the more advanced tools well, everyone in our intended group needs to have the same skills and understandings for how best to use them. As we all grow our knowledge of available collaborative tools, ideally we will all develop and share the skills necessary to use our time as wisely as possible. The proliferation of new web 2.0 tools complicates the issue – it can be like painting a moving train.


For example, now microblogging using Twitter is booming in popularity, with 200 million Tweets posted daily, limited to 128 characters, brevity on bits of wisdom is obviously meeting a need. That major political impacts in dozens of countries are already attributed to tweets and Facebook – strongly suggests there is much more to this than silly names, or idle amusements.


Building Your Online Discussion Moderation Skills

To successfully lead a purposeful discussion a moderator is
usually needed to keep the discussion focused and to assure all
participants receive feedback regarding their contributions to
the discussion. This is best learned through actual practice
participating in and leading online discussions.


Social motivations to participate in a discussion are best
provided by the moderator individually recognizing each
participant via both private and public messages. One-on-one
interaction is much more effective for initially motivating a
given individual to participate compared to a public posting
encouraging "everyone" to participate. Its important for the
moderator to have a genuine relationship with each participant, as
this creates a social commitment that facilitates participation.


This relationship becomes key to drawing individuals into a given
discussion. As the discussion begins to take form, the moderator
should periodically introduce "weaving" messages that steer the
discussion and keep it on track as well as summarizing what has
been covered, decided and what should next be discussed.

One persistent problem with even the most prestigious of online
discussions is the tendency to lose the original focus of the discussion.

Without a thoughtful moderator, purposeful forward progress of a
discussion may be lacking. Online "group work" is a rapidly
evolving art. Being a good online group worker will prove to be a
very important skill. "Listening" skills are more important than writing skills.


As a moderator, modeling collaborative processes is a social and
linguistic skill that requires sensitivity to the personalities
and unique differences of the participants. A moderator might
play devil's advocate to solicit responses by role playing
different points of view. Additionally, a moderator might model how
the group can gather and share information, and support each other,
as part of the group's discussion.


As with any classroom discussion, students may opt to not
participate, perhaps preferring private messaging with other
participants. Required participation should be part of the course
assessment. The level of genuine thoughtful involvement depends
on the intellectual investment your students are prepared to
make. While online discussions hold the potential for high levels
of intellectual rigor, the risk is aways present that discussion
will reflect minimal effort and thought.


What to Watch for When Moderating a Discussion

- Anticipate realistically how many interactions are possible
   between the number of participants, within the allowed time

- Be sure you clarify upfront what participants can expect will
  be required of them: number of times/week to be online and the
  number of expected posted messages.

- Be clear what the purpose and expected outcomes are for the
  discussion. Keep it simple.

- Is your group uniformly "up-to-speed" technically? Do they
  all use the same software tools?

- Assess how personalities, learning levels and confidence may
  vary among your group members.

- Watch for topic drift. Steer the discussion with regular
   weaving messages.

- Will you evaluate participants on number of responses, length
   of responses, quality of responses, or only by their having
   read all posted messages? Do your participants know how their
   participation will be evaluated?

- How will you use private email to supplement the public
  conference? Use your one-on-one relationship for encouragement.

- Use private email to advise them on what they are doing
   right or could do better.

- Ask "leading" questions and resist being too chatty yourself.
   Give students enough time to respond.

- "Flaming" is the term for negative, hostile interaction. Be
   ready for it when it happens. You may have to decide when you
   will censor messages or ban participants. You must be ready to
   serve as the arbitrator when conflicts arise.

- Always bring a discussion to closure and provide assessment
   measures for the group and/or each participant. One option
   is to post the entire transcript for review.


Interactive reading and writing is a fundamentally new communications medium that focuses on the written word in a dynamic form with characteristics of oral speech, yet with the editing ability and permanence of the written word.


Face-to-face, we focus on verbal interaction, online we focus on written interaction. Each mode has its advantages and disadvantages, but both are important mediums for building social and communications skills.


The TED video you were asked to view, “How Web Video Empowers Global Innovation” makes the point that humankind was an oral culture, requiring memory skills, until the printed page become the dominant medium, requiring reading and writing skills, but that the sudden boom of video is returning us to the dynamics of an oral culture – with this new form of visual and oral communications now available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.


Online motivation of students is important. Students must share in the learning goals of the class, feel a sense of control over their learning, and ideally share a sense of "fun" throughout the online learning experience. It is important to "model" how to have fun learning with others online!


Social informality is important to demonstrate and encourage. The instructor must maintain a sense of "being onstage" when facilitating an online class. The instructor "models" the style of interaction expected from the students. In reading the class conference messages, note the different impressions you get
regarding the various students. Be aware how a sense of the class's group personality, as well as individual personalities, are revealed, and continue to develop, through online interaction.


Initial dutiful responses from students will hopefully be replaced with genuine inquiries and exchanges based on their interest in learning. The initial weeks determine whether the class develops a sense of community and purpose or is reduced to hodge-podge messaging between disconnected, disinterested


Moderating an online discussion can be a challenging role for an instructor. Keeping the discussion on track, regularly summarizing points made, and asking the right questions to lead the discussion are skills that are developed through practice.

Thorough course organization and friendly back and forth dialogue compensate for the "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" challenges of the online medium.


Building on a Foundation of Trust:
Trust, is an essential component of any online discussion-- trust that you won't be laughed at in a demeaning way and trust that others will respond honestly to you, as they trust you to honestly respond to them. Patronizing messages intended to "say what the teacher wants," to get a good grade, etc., won't produce a good online discussion.


As a truly "mind-to-mind" medium, it doesn't work well if participants are not really thinking! For this reason, online discussions can be wonderful experiences or a waste of effort. Your students will need to demonstrate whether they are ready to think for themselves and to articulate their thoughts for others.


Explore: NING in education

http://ning.com  The founder of Netscape has created Ning.com where it takes only a few minutes to create your own public or private social networking site. Search by topic to see what sites have already been created. Review the capabilities and features offered and explore a few of the existing educational social networks to see how others are using these features. Use the search engine at the ning site to find social networks on topics of greatest interest to you.

Ex. librarians


Welcome to Classroom20.com

http://classroom20.ning.com/ The social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and Social Media in education.  He has created a rich compilation of resources for international project-based learning listed on the right column at this site.

As noted above, we have our own NING social network shared with two other Lone Eagle Classes; Social Media for Educators, and 21st Century Workforce Readiness.

You have been invited to join the Social Media for Educators ning!
Pop in, ( http://loneeagleacademy.ning.com ) look around, and leave a friendly message in the Teaching Effectively Online forum (Click on Forums in the menu bar,) and, optional but recommended,
post a photo, and/or a video. Message your instructor via private email as to what you contributed and your thoughts on the Ning. Send any questions to your instructor.


Explore: Ning Tutorials on How to Create a Successful Social Network


Ning has sophisticated video tutorials on best practices for creating a social media site:  http://creators.ning.com


Video instruction is the next wave of Elearning, see how Ning is using short instructional videos: http://creators.ning.com/video


Teacher-specific best practices are introduced at the following link:


Click on best practices at the page above.


VIEW: IPAD Classroom Application Videos and APPS

VIEW: Skip Via's one transformed classroom video on Ipads for K-5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYLirypK_Yo  (19 minutes)


OPTIONAL: and his youtube channel has many related videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/skipvia  See other related IPad videos on the right sidebar.

Also available as an eBook for iOS devices:



EXPLORE:  K-5 ipad apps, 5 part blog series: OPTIONAL



Students can now create their own Apps without programming. It can be as simple as dragging and dropping a module. (Optional)

App Inventor Moves to MIT Center for Mobile Learning

Beginning in early 2012 App Inventor will be available as an open source project and the MIT Center for Mobile Learning http://mitmobilelearning.org/  will provide the application for educational users.  To keep up with these and other changes please subscribe to the App Inventor educators forum: http://www.appinventorbeta.com/forum  

OPTIONAL – More on Apps (Is there an app for..?  *Probably!!)

   250,000+ apps to choose from

 Facebook apps for education

James Rosenberg, the social media director for the World Bank
shared the following video via twitter:

Video announcing new Facebook App for Ipad

Email: Jerotus@gmail.com Follow @jerotus on twitter

His Blog is http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/ 


            The Facebook Blog http://blog.facebook.com  


            ARTICLE: At Long Last Facebook Releases an Ipad App



At the Apple app store:

            Pages for Mac can now handle Word docs,

and create Epub docs for Ipad, Iphone, etc. Pages for Ipad now available $9. 

           Ipad Bookcreator App for Ipad, $9 –
           students easily create Epub multimedia docs for each other.

Showme app, and screenchomp apps are free; students share narrated whiteboard video capture easily.


EXPLORE: Optional. An exceptional creative work.

Virtual Architecture, by Dr. Judi Harris

Dr. Judi Harris has put her book online detailing online Teleactivities, and more. 

 "In the Kitchen - Designs for Telecollaboration and

Telepresence" The 16 teleactivity categories are listed

At http://virtual-architecture.wm.edu/Telecollaboration/index.html

      Click on the "See Examples" links and scroll down to see

      the examples and descriptions.

Required Submissions Checklist:

        ____ Posted 3 resource links under your name on our wiki.

        ____ Posted your experience with collaborative tools and apps to the class listserv

        ____ Send instructor a private email with details on what you contributed to the Ning.

        ____ Leave a message in the Ning discussion forum "Teaching Effectively Online."


Lesson Feedback: 

You're invited to privately email your instructor:

       1. What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this

       2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?

       3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?

       4. What improvements would you like to suggest?