Reflections on Blackboard Collaborate

What an interesting experience! In planning for this day we were conscious of the two-fold nature of our aims: to further explore an aspect of literacy which would support teachers’ work with their students and to explore the possibilities the use of Blackboard Collaborate would present for communication between schools/teachers/CEOM.
I must say I found presenting using a PowerPoint in this space quite unnatural. I realised how much I look for the body language of participants, their facial expressions etc as feedback for how a session is going. Not having that was strange. It was also difficult in that space to maintain a natural, conversational tone. I was quite aware that I was falling into lecture mode every now and then – sorry! My greatest frustration however was the fact we couldn’t get our film clips working – something to be pursued and sorted before our next attempt!
On the positive side, how wonderful to simply log in to an online space and be connected with our CLLC schools. Your excitement at the start of the day was tangible. Loved hearing the pre-session chatter! Great to hear people welcoming one another and problem-solving issues in setting up! I’ll be very interested to see your responses to the survey this afternoon and to hear how you think this type of forum might be used into the future. I’d hate to see it replace face-to-face contact with schools entirely – but I think it’s a great tool in our repertoire of communication possibilities!