Will >> Will's blog
Fri, 16 Jul 2010
We were running out of time to cover all the material, so I made the decision to survey the material, mention resources, and hope the participants would pick up enough that they could continue their learning on their own.
After looking at the evaluations, three things are clear:
- the workshop covered a ton of stuff and everyone got something out of it
- this is a tough workshop if the spectrum of experience ranges from beginner to experienced--it's probably better to have all the participants be beginners or all of them be experienced
- there's a lot of material missing regarding structuring policies that cover privacy, data availability, confidentiality, child safety, and other things like that--it's not enough to cover tools and how they can be useful, it's imperative to cover the policy context in which they can be reponsibly used
One thing that surprised me is that no one is really that interested in blogging. Blogging is such a rich form of communication and the interconnectedness of blogs creates a network of knowledge and experience--I must not have effectively communicated that.
Anyhow, the workshop is over. I'm glad I did it--I had a great time and it was a learning experience for me as well. Feel free to email me for a link to the workshop materials.
Wed, 14 Jul 2010
I was pretty tired yesterday and had to spend some time working on the workshop materials, so I didn't end up blogging about it at all.
Yesterday went really well. We covered communication tools and the kinds of things you can do with them. It was a gorgeous day, S's mom came up, and we spent a few hours sitting on the beach and playing in the surf. Between hanging out with S's mom, playing at the beach, working on the workshop, and feeling really tired, I didn't get around to blogging the day at all.
Today we covered collaboration tools in the workshop. It was a cold and rainy day. Additionally, it's sort of the middle of a really high-energy week and everyone was pretty tired.
Afterwards, I noticed I missed a call on my cell phone. I checked my messages to discover my little sister L had a baby at 3am this morning. It's the first baby for my siblings, so I'm a new uncle.
I spent much of the rest of today thinking about what kind of uncle I will be.
Mon, 12 Jul 2010
Shelby from the UUA talked about using social media for outreach, Facebook, Facebook pages vs. groups, Twitter, child safety issues, and a variety of other important things. She also covered what resources the UUA has for churches and RE programs.
It was a really great session.
After it, I decided to retool the rest of the workshop to follow Shelby's flow. I think it really reached the participants plus I think it's the best model for maximizing the usefulness of the workshop for everyone involved.
I also decided to stop using social media presentation tools. I find them pretty lame looking and the interfaces are kind of irritating. I want to type a bunch of text and put the text in specific places. I don't want to fiddle with my presentation as if it were a page layout problem. Ugh. Anyhow, I'm now using s5 which I love because it's easy to use and portable.
Sun, 11 Jul 2010
Today was the introduction to the workshop. We had a hell of a time with the Internet connection, though, so that caused the activity not to work so well and was pretty frustrating.
I talked to Dan about it afterwards and we devised some alternatives for the rest of the week--it's hard to do a workshop on using social media if the Internet connection isn't reliable.
I spent the rest of the day talking to people and working on the workshop.
Sat, 10 Jul 2010
S and I are taking a "working vacation" this week. We're both at Ferry Beach in Maine and teaching workshops. Her workshop is one of the UU RE Renaissance modules--one on worship. My workshop is on using social media tools to run a RE program.
The UUA has a bunch of resources on using social media, but it's primarily focused on marketing, public relations, and announcements. That's great stuff, but the bigger impact for social media tools on RE programs is their ability to help people communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with communities of volunteers. I've never run an RE program, but I am involved in and run FLOSS communities--there's a lot of overlap between these two domains.
As such, I'm writing my own workshop. I spent most of last week banging out the material based on six months or so of notes and research. It's really coming together, but I still have a lot of work to do. I have full confidence that I can pull this off, though. At worst, I'll wing a few of the sections and codify them into workshop materials after the fact possibly with the help of my participants.
I checked in today and went to the Gardiner porch where I'm running the workshop to test out the Internet connection. It was awful about an hour ago (latency > 700ms); seems a bit better now. I'm hoping it's working well for the workshop hours since I've lined up a bunch of demos and activities.
After I'm done the workshop, I plan to post the materials online licensed under a Creative Commons license. This is going to be an awesome workshop. I dare to say that the information in this workshop will make a huge difference running an RE program and making sense of the crazy landscape of social media.