Interview with Sabine

I participated in the ARVEL SIG social network meeting through Adobe Connect where Sabine Reljic was our host. Sabine is managing the ARVEL SIG because of her interest in the SL community. She took over the position from another member in hopes of expanding the community. What I also found fascinating is she had no prior experience in managing a PLC but was determined to jump right in and take a chance at building a very respectable community. She does have vast experience educational technology, SL and SLED.

One of the first questions I asked her was to explain the strategies she uses to get participants interested in participating.

Sabine uses quite a few techniques to garner participation from her community including open forums, resources that are interesting, photos, videos, and tries to keep the focus specific to the community. According to Howard (2010), managing a sustainable online community must avoid 3 cardinal sins:

• If you build it they will come.
• Once I’ve launched it, I’m done.
• Bigger is better.

Sabine is doing everything right thus far to sustain and create a vibrant community for SL. As I look at her community and through her interview she is in the mature stage in her community- it is clearly established, where little or no supervision is required while she is maintaining a credible participant status.

The second question I was interested in was about how she manages her workload and network.

According to Kanter (2010), “Social media does take time even if you are efficient.” Sabine stated that she manages the network alone, approximately 5+ hours a week. She monitors but also participates in discussions that interest her. Sabine clearly wants the network to be organized and have an ease of use throughout her community. She discussed her struggles to make the community more efficient to the wants and needs of the participants. Sabine also reflected on the fact that this is not “work” to her because she is also learning and growing professionally from the other participants.

Lastly, I was interested in what Sabine would do differently from experience she has gained.

Sabine reflected on restructuring her Ning PLC to make it more streamlined and uncluttered. It is her hope that this will also make her participants more aware of new resources to be tried and shared. She regards her community as greatly rewarding and personally satisfying. Through her hard work the participants she is now attracting from Harvard and other well-known research establishments. I noticed that she uses every available social source (Linkedin, Facebook, SL, SLED, and Twitter) to “advertise” her community and get the word out about her PLC.

I enjoyed listening to Sabine and found it very good experience learning from her experiences. The work at first will be large but after set up will be manageable. The benefits seem to outweigh the frustrations. This is something I will consider in the future. Maybe I will create my own PLC and just “jump in”!

References

Howard, R. (2010). Mashable/Social Media. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/07/30/sustainable-online-community/?utm_source=TweetMeme&utm_medium=widget&utm_campaign=retweetbutton

Kanter, B. (2010, September 16). Social Media: Who Will Do The Work? [Web log comment]. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from Beth’s Blog: http://www.bethkanter.org/social-media-who-will-do-the-work/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bethblog+%28Beth%27s+Blog%29

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PLC Comparison

I have chosen to learn more about Whiteboards in the classroom, which is an open PLC and GSA or graduate student association which is a closed PLC. They are both excellent PLCs to get information about their specific content. It is interesting to see how many participants post comments and links to resources. The whiteboard PLC had excellent contributions to resources whereas the GSA PLC is meant for educational technology members at Boise State University only. It has excellent members that are very knowledgeable about using technology in the classroom or even in business applications. Click here to go to my comparison table.

GSA at BSU

I participated in the GSA meeting for the month of Oct (Sept 27-Oct 4). I mainly lurked in the chats and discussions about the structure we are setting up for the GSA. The experience and leadership that my colleagues bring to the table are invaluable. We are only 1 year old and are still figuring out how to proceed as an association. In fact all of the topics covered are about how to proceed as an organization, what are goals are, and how to help future educational technologists. I learned that my colleagues have very good ideas and are willing to participate to make the changes happen. Because of the collection of participants, we are going forward with a newsletter, online journal, linkedin, and a “to be developed website”. The newsletter should be fascinating to set up and develop- linking relevant news and tools. I have volunteered to work on the website and will help in the peer review. It is very exciting to be at the grassroots level of an organization that can make a lasting impression upon future educational technologists.

Academia.edu

I have joined the Academia network and connected with 8 peers already. I sent more invitations to my fellow students to join me in this network. I also have 3 peers following my work. I have added 4 papers and websites that I have completed to this network. I will continue to add my completed work through the remainder of my schooling.

Subscribing to RSS

I have begun an RSS feed located at my sidebar to further enhance my learning and participation in technology. In reading TechLearning I have found several sites that make digital books. It is interesting and I hope to incorporate a digital book into one of my projects. I also have twitter located in my blog now in hopes of attracting more viewers!

Using Issuu

I have uploaded 4 documents from my learning at Boise State University. I have found Issuu accepts specific formats in their upload process. It is a slick way to view formal documents or create something fun to view. I have already received feedback and look forward to showcasing my future works with my peers!