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Elluminate Example John Sharp Sliceforms

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by weebecka, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Do you think there's a better word to use her than facilitator?
    I think students naturally wander off topic and it's quite nice to work with this, turn it into a positive and draw them back in rather than to demand they don't.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  3. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    As I said earlier, when she was actually doing her job then it worked well. I don't care what it is called.
    I particularly objected to her off-topic chat. That was wrong.
  4. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    We all
    Know that people don't like it when you wander off topic. Posters get a pm
    Telling them so.
  5. I depends what topic they wander off onto curlygirly. Some topics you have to let go of for all the right reasons.
  6. bbibbler

    bbibbler New commenter

    Now I understand what she means when she says that she wants to be a facilitator, she wants to be the only other person who can speak when there is an intelegent person teaching.

    A bit like a <strike>C</strike>rapper putting his own words over a good song.

    The facilitator would have to be a good mathematician.

    The facilitator would have to stay on topic.

    The facilitator should not try to bend the lecture to her own political agenda.
  7. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    very good bbibbler!

    I hate it when posts go off topic.

    Is there a rhyme for topic?
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

  9. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    I cant read that
  10. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter



    Is that better?
  11. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    much better thanks
    I thought you'd typed biopic
  12. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

  13. Hello everybody,
    Thank you for the discussion about Math 2.0 I found it helpful.
    There is a culture of "back channel" in online or mixed events, where people talk in chat while listening to lecture. I would like to keep some of this in Elluminate meetings. My hope is that people will discuss their projects and thoughts, and I try to do it too. This leads to people making connections with one another during events, which lead to collaborations. I never thought before reading comments here that mentioning Monty Python or other off-topic ideas, for example, can be an irritant - definitely something to think about! I am very used to back channels during conferences, but other people's experiences may be different.
    We just had our 75th event. The group Math 2.0 is completely volunteer, and a labor of love. The only sponsorship we have is a free Elluminate room from LearnCentral.
    There are usually two people leading the event: the host - in the case of the event linked here, John Sharp - and the organizer, in this case me. The organizer helps everybody who needs it with the technology, greets people as they come, tries to engage people through chat, prepares interview questions if that's the format, and takes care of the housekeeping tasks such as recording and switching microphones. There are also tasks before and after the event, such as making web pages and announcing events online.
    I try my best, but I don't think of myself as a particularly strong event organizer. I appreciate tips and ideas for doing things better, as well as any sort of volunteer help, or ideas for Math 2.0 in general. For example, we can organize an event with someone this community would like to meet.
  14. otherwise known as 'not concentrating properly'
    often done by text on a mobile phone
    the bane of most teachers lives
  15. I use this type of technology quite a bit although have never used Elluminate. I've given and received training in large and small groups and also use it quite a bit with friends and relatives if we need to show each other our computer screens. I find the facility to hand over control of the presentation a real key to interactivity.

    As far as "the faciliator" goes, I only think this is necessary when there's a large number of participants where it would be disasterous to allow everyone to speak. I've participated in a lot of the free GSP webinars where there can be up to 200 participants and they always have a facilitator. It works well because audience questions are answered without interrupting the lecture, however if something important comes up the facilitator can ask the presenter to go into more detail etc. Its worth taking a look at one of these webinars if you want to see how other facilitators interact.
    When I give training myself this way it tends to be with small groups so everyone is allowed to speak. I think 8 in a meeting is really the maximum for allowing people to speak. Obviously a facilitator is not needed, however sometimes people do type questions which its very easy to miss when you're concentrating on the presentation.
    I really believe that this technology will be widely used for teacher CPD in the not so distant future. Weebecka you mentioned audio difficulties with GoTo that Elluminate doesn't have? I've never experienced this. I've been having a look at the Elluminate product range and to be honest find it a bit daunting, possibly a bit OTT for teaching. Does Elluminate have advantages over GoTo or Webex? You also say it is being used extensively in the maths education community? In the UK? My experience (although fairly limited) in dealing with maths education providers in the UK is that they are still very shy of this type of technology.
  16. @florapost, I see where bad associations are coming from!
    Math 2.0 online meetings have some overlapping goals with classrooms, however, most goals are different. The main goal is to help people who are interested in collaborating around a community or a project to find one another and to connect. For this to happen, they have to communicate during the events.
    Also, the event structure is based on everybody in the virtual room being peers. The host shares ideas about his or her project, and the goal of this sharing is to spark connections among the participants, both during and after the event. When professionals from all over the world meet for just an hour around the project of interest, their communication needs are different from classmates.
    John Sharp in particular participates in the Math 2.0 peer communtiy through the main email group, and is one of the advisors on our Math Seeker project. He just sent full recordings of the latest meeting of his math art seminar to the email group - check them out: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=E55779D8D0E3C022
    I am working on making these UK events John organizes open for remote participation. His materials are very meaningful - and beautiful!
  17. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Hello Maria - thank you for coming here to respond to some of the posts.
    In many ways I think what you describe as Math 2.0 is very interesting (*) and rather exciting. I do, though, have some questions/concerns.
    1] I am happy with the idea of a facilitator and a lecturer. It seems like a good plan to have someone focusing on the content of the session and someone else on the other issues. I can see that having someone essentially chairing the event is good so there aren't lots of questions coming from different people at the same time. If the lecturer is having to keep an eye on all of the typed comments then they will be distracted from their lecture, so having someone to pick out particular points is useful. On my local radio station the morning programme is run by someone who appears to know absolutely nothing. It is hilarious!. He asks the most asinine questions about the most obvious things. But the listening public love it, prsumably because they understand everything that is going on. I would skip lots of steps assuming that everyone knows things I would regard as being obvious.
    When you are acting as Facilitator, how well do you know the material already? How well do you know the lecturer? Is there a danger you will either ask them to explain too much, or that things will fly past without being explained properly?
    This has cropped up already. Just because there is a culture of something, doesn't mean it is a good thing. There is a culture of 16 year olds drinking vast amounts of cider at the weekend and then throwing up all over the place - that doesn't mean it is good or desirable! Why is this a good thing?
    This is an interesting (*) one. Do the participants know each other beforehand? Some of your comments (about Math for Babies, or something similar) seemed to suggest that they do. What sorts of collaborations arise?
    4] Why is this format, with about a dozen participants, better than a lecture or a video which thousands of people could watch?
    5] "This is interesting". I have used this a couple of times already in this post. It crops up occasionally here on TES and very frequently in posts on NCETM. It also, I suspect comes up lots in Math 2.0 events. My concern with this is that everyone says how interesting something is ... but then very little gets done with that interest afterwards. I know that this is not exclusively a Math 2.0 issue, but the overheads here are quite high. Even if the costs of the technology are covered by someone else, the time that the facilitator and lecturer give is considerable. If this only results in a dozen people telling each other how interesting it has been then is it really worth doing? It strikes me that if there are ways to reach more people then there is more likely to be impact from this.
    6] Finally, where do you see the technology going? It feels to me that the technology is currently the main feature of what is going on, whereas ideally the technology should merely allow it to happen and should almost be invisible. How might this improve in coming years? I would be interested in your thoughts.
  18. @Nazard - thank you for your attention to the project, which is very helpful. I share some of your concerns, and have a few more.
    The roles we defined for events are: hosts, organizers, participants. Ideally, all three categories contribute to the content of the event. Participants are not just "receivers" and hosts are not just"givers." As organizers of an unconference once said, the sum of knowledge in the audience is considered greater than the contents of any presentation.
    Hosts decide on the format of the event. You can think of most formats as stories, either following, interrupted by, or followed by questions, comments, sharing of ideas. The goal is for the host to interact with some of the people interested in the project or community, while creating a review for others. Another goal is for host project to be a part of the aggregated review of mathematical projects and communities Math 2.0 conducts.
    Organizers help hosts learn the ropes of presenting ahead of time, brainstorm their presentations, prepare materials. They also distribute information about events to relevant communities. During the event, organizers help participants with the technology, organize discussions, and usually ask relatively many questions themselves. Because organizers invite hosts and talk with them ahead of events, they are likely to have appreciation of hosts' work, hence more questions. However, participant questions have preference, since organizers can usually contact hosts later anyway.
    Participants come because they want to learn more about the area of the project (e.g. math games), because they are interested in the work of the host, or participate in the community, or just want to check out what a webinar is - but mostly, to connect with like-minded people. As several commenters here noted, it's not about information (that's what YouTube is for), it's about interaction.
    Is there a danger that too much or too little will be explained? Well of course - we only have an hour or so, technology isn't perfect, people get carried away since they are passionate about their work and so on. The goal is to introduce the project and the surrounding community, and to invite people to collaborate with it. There is always a question at the end: "How can people collaborate with you, join your cause, help with your dreams?"
    It's a valid point that "a culture" may be something one wants to promote or discourage. There are some horror stories about back channels at conferences in particular, which you can find online. I studied the issue at some detail. When a back channel is a part of the event's plan, and participants are given appropriate roles and some direction, it can help people engage with the event more and contribute to it. Again, the goal is for everyone in the room to be a co-creator of the event's content in some way. This involves people getting to know one another somewhat, too.
    Some of the participants know one another, so some of the remarks refer to previous events or projects. There are quite a few collaborations arising around events. To name just a few examples with some diversity, several people joined MoMath volunteer crew; we formed School of the Mathematical Future at P2PU with more than a hundred people participating in classes this Spring; there are some accepted and some in-progress papers and conference presentations; we are working on summarizing information on how to collaborate with different communities in a project called Math Seeker; community members are co-organizing a conference this Summer.
    There is a number of differences between participatory media and broadcast media. The events, while being fully recorded, are participatory. To get some perspective, compare an event which is one hour at length and attended by 12 people, some of them highly interested in the topic, to a video one hour at length, watched by 12 people. As a host, which would you rather produce? You can think of events as recorded seminars, as well.
    I am sure there are ways of increasing impact and participation, but I am less sure of what they are and who can be working on make them happen. Until now, Math 2.0 has been growing more or less by itself. It is a network in every sense of the word. I have no idea how many people are active in it at any given time. Anyone who wishes so can become an event organizer or a host. Some people contribute many weekly volunteer hours to it, and some only contribute one or two remarks during that one webinar they attend - and yet it's valuable too.
    Participation is very international, and members are very diverse - software developers, teachers, writers. For example, this month our hosts are:
    • A teacher from France talking about a dynamic geometry platform
    • A writer from the USA introducing his 29th book and a large game dev project
    • A US couple talking about their open assignment platform project
    • A US teacher who makes short movies live in his classes (1 million hits and counting)
    • A Canadian mathematician developing videos and programs
    • A UK math clown for conferences and events
    We also had an event in Macedonian (about GeoGebra modeling) and an event in Russian about math and physics journal "Kvant."

    Where would you take this next? Please feel free to make suggestions here or to me droujkova@gmail.com
    The technology allows people to talk live and to share content. In mathematics, modeling is very important, so the ability to share rich media during the events is crucial. There are some excellent events that are "just talks" - for example, this week's Keith Devlin's event where he could just show a few text slides, because all his games are under non-disclosure agreements. Then there are more involved events, such as the 3d SubQuan lab we visited in Second Life. Here are my personal minimal tech requirements for an event platform:
    • Full recording, or at the very least audio, text and snapshots
    • Easy text and voice interaction among all participants
    • Ability to share rich media: software from your computer, web sites, pictures, models, graphs
    I hope this conversation will continue. It is valuable for the Math 2.0 network.
  19. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Maria - thank you for spending so much time replying to my comments.
    I am not going to be able to comment further on everything you have said (which you will almost certainly be relieved about), but here are a few further thoughts:
    This is fair enough and perfectly valid. I have recently experienced several very different scenarios, though, that should have been about interaction, but where it turned out not to work. This was essentially because people didn't understand each other properly. Sometimes this happened because non-verbal cues were not picked up on, or because of a misunderstanding of the language employed. On other occasions this happened because everyone was talking (not necessarily simultaneously) and no-one was listening. This reminds me very much of my Year 9 class (8th grade), where they all want to share their own idea but aren't interested in listening to others in the class. On occasion we get the same idea proposed by 4 or 5 different people ...
    This sort of interaction is immeasurably more difficult if people don't know each other at all.
    A couple of things here. I watched the majority of the sliceforms example and there was not a vast amount of what I thought of as meaningful public interaction from the non-leaders. (I am choosing my words carefully, because they may well have been making things in front of their computers!) The public utterances were usually asking for clarification about the number of bits of card that were required.
    My main concern (which I didn't explain well) was that if 12 people have an interaction role in a webinar and perhaps 25% of them take it on further then there has been a lot of effort by you and by John to influence 3 people. If 100,000 people view a video from TED and only 0.1% of them are influenced then rather more people have been reached.
    As a further thought: the 'threshold' for watching the sliceforms illuminate presentation was rather great. I had to install software, restart my browser, load it up, etc. Would it be easy to save this (using Camtasia or equivalent?) as a movie for those who want to watch it later?
    This is really exciting. I hope you get further interest in it too.
    6] One reason I asked about where you see the technology going is:
    I have never been a Second Lifer, but when it was very big a couple of years ago several people I know raved about how wonderful it was and how it was the future of interaction via the web. My local council opened a Second Life office so people could pay their First Life (?) bills via their computer. And then it seemed to me to fall out of fashion. I don't know whether Second Life is moribund or not, but it does not have the same buzz that it used to.
    I don't feel inclined to start exploring Second Life now because it doesn't feel like it is likely to exist in a few years time.
    I agree with your other requirements.
    I hope it can continue too. There seems to be some potential here if it is used well.
    Thanks again for your responses.
  20. "If 100,000 people view a video from TED and only 0.1% of them are influenced then rather more people have been reached" - this is true. TED recently created an educator community, TED-ED, which attracted a nice first thousand of people, now five thousand, during its soft launch. There, I offered the idea of doing math reviews, and they might do something, or not. TED is currently different from Math 2.0 in goals, medium, format, target audience, and pretty much every other variable I can think of, though. If you like their cause, you may want to communicate with them, too.
    I am not actively working on expanding the number of participants in Math 2.0 events. Everybody is welcome to come, and bring their friends or whole classes of students or everybody in their communities, but still our record number of attendees per event is under one hundred. Interacting with a dozen, or even four of five interested people, in the context of a series of such events, has been rewarding enough to attract about as many presenters as we can accommodate. If anyone wants to "promote" events, they can do so at any time, and people blog or tweet about them every week. Most hosts announce events to their communities, as well.
    Personally, I find events with ten to thirty participants most rewarding: everybody can still get personal attention, everybody gets to ask questions, people can text chat without speed reading, and there is no need for a complicated community infrastructure. I prefer to have some interaction during events, but it does not always occur - whether because we happen to have quieter people visiting that day, or because the presentation is super-engaging, or for another reason.
    Second Life may not exist, but immersive virtual worlds will exist in the foreceeable future.
    I do not know if re-formatting Elluminate recordings in some other format is easy - it can't be easier for event organizers than the current procedure, which is a link to the recording that arrives by email. But more importantly, Elluminate records are not like movies: they are more interactive. For example, you can copy chat from there in the text form, or click a link to open it in a browser. Likewise, parts that have web tours allow to use interactives or play, stop and pause embedded movies.
    I think meeting technologies will only get better with time, just like everything else online. For example, I am looking forward to virtual rooms having voice clarity comparable to Skype.

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