Telling and creating stories as part of #octshowntell has been the fun, creative and almost easy part. However, as @restructuregirl has pointed out, sharing our collective storytelling has turned out to be harder than we thought.
YouTube groups were considered and then found to be no longer supported or available. Setting up a group within vimeo caused headaches for the creator and difficulties for the rest of us in finding it. These technical difficulties aside, the other problem with groups in video based cloud services is that you can only post, well, videos. Those of us creating stories using other formats can’t post our stories to these groups anyway.
Enter the idea for a google sites project. Easy to set up, quick to add things, accepts flash so that we can embed storybirds that can’t be embedded in lots of other places (like here on my wordpress.com blog), even looks a bit fancy thanks to easy to use templates and drag ‘n drop formatting. However, once I had set up the google site I came across the problem I have also had at MPOW with my library website – other people can’t edit or add to the site unless they are first added as owners.
This is a straightforward problem on the surface, just email an invitation to the person you would like to add, they establish a google account and then they are away. Of course, as my PLN is largely a twitter based group, I don’t actually have email addresses for most of the people participating in #octshowntell and while I’m a big fan of google sites, they are not yet so advanced that you can send out invitations via twitter handle!
What I love about these group collaborative learning projects I have been involved with is the opportunity to learn by doing and to learn by playing. Michael Stephens from Dominican University in Illinois uses learning by playing as a recurring theme in both his teaching and presentations. Sophie McDonald from UTS Library in Sydney also presented on this at the recent ALIA conference in Brisbane, talking about Transforming information literacy through play. I love the idea that playing is learning and counts as professional development at the same time! Most of the 2.0 technologies that I use I have learned how to use by sitting down and playing with them – learning as I go, asking the twitterverse for advice when needed, using YouTube to find more information and a demonstration.
I have been passing on my knowledge to other staff at MPOW and was thrilled to have an older, self acknowledged luddite teacher tell me the other day that he’s excited by the tools and possibilities the college moodle is opening up to he and his students and that perhaps he is ‘never too old to learn’. Music to the ears of one so recently committed to a profession of lifelong learners.